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Countertop material - you decide!

NutmegCT

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Kitchen Countertop Materials – Granite vs Marble vs Soapstone vs Quartz vs Laminate vs Formica vs Wood vs Stainless Steel …


Good grief - back in the Ancient Days when I was young and worked for president Washington, you had the choice of wood or Formica (laminate)!

With all the pro's and con's of the many materials available today, I wondered what materials you guys would choose, especially if you're like me and cost is the most important factor. Some of the materials (granite, marble, etc.) look great, but is the extra cost really worth the flashy look and extra maintenance? Most are 3 to 5 times the cost of laminate, including materials and installation.

Making progress on the 1730 house restoration.

Thanks.
Tom M.
 

GregW

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Maybe post a picture of the kitchen to give people a feel. I'm guessing you're not going to modernize it.
 

Bayless

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Well laminate is certainly the most cost effective, in the short term. Formica is a brand name of laminate, I believe. It does have a limited life though. My son is just finishing a new house and chose quartz as best combination of looks, durable and low maintenance.
 

bobhustead

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We did the counters in our last house in ceramic tile. Mixed the grout with latex paint instead of water to resist staining. Looked "oldish" and served problem free for 20 years.
Bob
 
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NutmegCT

NutmegCT

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Thanks gents.

Ceramic tile - didn't even think of that. Bob, did you put the tile *over* an older countertop surface? or did you have to remove the old countertop completely, then install the new one?

Wondering if I could just put tile over the old laminate that's been there for around 50 years.
 

bobhustead

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New exterior (maybe marine) 3/4 plywood. We used mastic instead of thin set. If the bond on your existing laminate is sound, you might scratch it up with 80/100 grit on an orbital sander and use mastic. Check with a tile supplier or mastic manufacturer on suitability of mastic on laminate. We were doing a complete cabinet replacement.

Bob
 
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JPSmit

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we're on the cusp of approving a kitchen renovation and going with quartz.​

Granite is expensive (you can get 24 X 24 tiles more economically)
Marble is beautiful but soft and stains (though would suit the age of the house)
Soapstone is like Marble - soft, needs upkeep but would suit the house
Quartz is expensive but not as expensive - and won't stain.
Laminate (Formica) is a solid choice but is less desirable for resale
Wood is wood - would suit the era but will require upkeep - pretty economical
Stainless Steel is trendy but leaves many fingerprints and I am not sure an industrial kitchen look will last

One other factor - Mrs JP & I plan to retire in a few years and leave Toronto - in all my home improvement dealings these days my mantra is: 'don't give me a 30 year solution to a 5 year problem.'

OTOH there are no wrong answers - if you like it it is the correct product.
 
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NutmegCT

NutmegCT

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Thanks JP - I sure agree on the "30 year solution to a 5 year problem" principle.

While a $1200 countertop may add more eventual "sale value" than a $500 countertop, I'm thinking I (or the next owner) wouldn't get anywhere near the $1200 cost back. Same for the widely touted "$30K kitchen remodeling increases the value of your house" idea. Sure, it increases the value, and it looks pretty and up to date, but you're not going to get anywhere near the $30K back when you sell.

Onward through the (laminated) fog.
Tom M.
 

Mickey Richaud

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Thanks JP - I sure agree on the "30 year solution to a 5 year problem" principle.

While a $1200 countertop may add more eventual "sale value" than a $500 countertop, I'm thinking I (or the next owner) wouldn't get anywhere near the $1200 cost back. Same for the widely touted "$30K kitchen remodeling increases the value of your house" idea. Sure, it increases the value, and it looks pretty and up to date, but you're not going to get anywhere near the $30K back when you sell.

Onward through the (laminated) fog.
Tom M.
A lot like our hobby, wouldnya say? 😉
 

DrEntropy

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Over a decade back we updated our kitchen, built overhead cabinets, used laminate for the facing. Countertops were a conundrum so I understand the confusion. I went to some "suppliers" to get info, we'd decided to go with acrylic as I could work with it, thus sparing us the labor expense. Found DuPont WILL NOT SELL Corian to us commoners unless certified as "installers." Went to an independent warehouse outfit (Bay City Plywood) where they sold the Chinese counterfeit equal, "Korlan" by name. Only fly in the ointment is the epoxy adhesive they supplied, no matter how diligent I was with the joints, they are visible as thin lines. After I'd used the stuff on the long sink countertop I found that using Epoxo-88 was a better answer. The material has stood up well, only concern is we've been careful about not allowing things to stain it.
 

Basil

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we're on the cusp of approving a kitchen renovation and going with quartz.
Another vote for quartz.

A few years back, we did a complete remodel of our kitchen and counter tops were a huge consideration. Granet was more expensive and, at least where we were buying, only available in thicker sheets. We ended up going with quartz because: 1) They had a color that we thought looked really good with our choice of cabinets and 2) it was a bit thinner which we thought looked better with our relatively small kitchen.

Really love the look of the quartz, even after all these years it has stood the test of time.

Before: Horrible original Formica (and crappy blond oak cabinets)

Counters-2.jpg


After with new cabinets and quarts counter tops.

Counters-.jpg


Counters-4.jpg
 

JPSmit

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looks great!
 

DrEntropy

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JPSmit

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Oh and what about concrete? could suit the building and maybe even DIY

1623682259985.png
 

Basil

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If you want the ultimate in durability and the capability to withstand high temperatures, then you definitely want Titanium counter tops!
 

Boink

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Concrete is interesting.
We went with low-maintenance quartz.
Ryan shot - after.jpg
 
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