California to Puerto Rico

Kitchen Counter Tops

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Summer has pretty much givin’ me full decision making authority for the kitchen (i am the cook). I laid out the cabinets, the floor plan and now have to pull the trigger on our counter tops. Her input is very important to me and we have collaborated on every purchase so far (no one gave anything up to get what they wanted, that’s a compromise) and I am really satisfied with every decision we have made together.

Now that we are onto the counter tops, I really wanted her input as to what they should look like. We both liked the idea of granite (solid, earthy, natural, strong presence) but neither of us fell in love with any of the samples we found. As a matter of a fact, we really didn’t like any of them. I couldn’t stop thinking of confetti or some cheesy jersey shore summer rental. There was one that was kinda cool, but really only because it was granite. If it were another material we never would have chosen the pattern.

Now, that it is decision time, I might be backing out on the granite. But I am not sure yet. I would really like everyones input on this one. Link to whatever may help us in the comment section and help give us some direction.

I found this stuff called SileStone.

The superman of stone, quartz surfacing provides a nearly indestructible material, idea for homeowners who want a beautiful countertop—that they might occasionally spill wine on! Providing the look of natural stone with a mettle that laughs in the face of coffee, lemon juice and high-maintenance care, its non-porous nature protects against more than just stains—it’s also extremely hygienic, making it a food-safe choice.

Though quartz surfacing is sometimes referred to as “engineered” quartz, don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ll end up with a synthetic countertop. Expect pure natural quartz (generally upwards of 90 percent) mixed with epoxy resin binders. The care-free surface doesn’t require sealants. Boasting the look of natural stone, quartz surfacing has a consistent color; its color should be very close to what you saw in the showroom.

Pros

* Does not require sealants.
* Scratch-resistant with diamond-like hardness, you can cut on quartz (excessive force can damage it, however).
* Consistent color.
* Its non-porous makes it virtually stain-free.
* Can be worked into a decorative edge.

Cons

* Though it can briefly tolerate moderate temperatures for a brief time, you’ll want to use a hot pad or trivet when placing a hot pan on it.
* Integrated sinks are not available, as with solid surfacing.

SileStone Color Chart
Click the link to see big version: SileStone Quartz Color Chart

Comments

6 thoughts on “Kitchen Counter Tops

  1. RobinQ

    My mom is getting such surface next week or something. I will let you know what I think. They are putting over old tile. It make sense from practical if you really cook in your kitchen. So basically they grind up stone and glue it back together and when you think of it Granite is ground up stone pressed back together and decomposed granite is probably like the material they start with. My mom is getting somewhere between the Stellar Rose and Kala Hara. I sort of like the Blue Safita or Rosa Gray. How is the price totally installed compare to the granite?

  2. mdh

    Some random rambling thoughts. First of all dont be in a hurry and fuck the cost. Easy for me to say. No matter how you cut it the Silestone looks like a manufactured product. You want all white easily repaired go with corian. If you want the sleek tough modern effect go with granite. Theres got to be a greater variety in San Juan. Im not sure why your opposed to tile but theres a huge variety of NICE stuff out there. Summer walk into Arizona Tile on Morena Blvd. We used to use maple butcher block wood counters in the food prep zone. Timeless,no labor involved, lasts forever, easily dressed up, cheap, good for gormet chefs and resturant kitchens, cant hurt it. Might even break up the rectlinear layout of the kitchen. We have used a wood trim edge for some kitchens to good effect although its a maintance problem, just occurred to me a wood edge would solve 98% of the technical problems of a concrete countertop, even I could pull that one off. By the way yall dont need no architect or designer, your rockin it. You did good not putting a wood floor in the kitchen.

  3. mdh

    oops, I forgot. When the cabinets go in have them raise them slightly below the finished floor height. ( 1/8 inch below finished floor ) if you dont the dishwasher wont fit. I embarressed myself letting the floor go down around the cabinets once upon a time. And you will save money.

  4. admin

    We are tiling the entire kitchen…and the cabinets are already built. Are you saying don’t tile under where the dishwasher goes or it may not fit under the counter?

  5. Chip

    Are the cabinets installed? If they are installed MDH is probably right. You might have to add a strip of matching wood to the top of the cabinets or something else creative. There is some adjustment to the DW but measure it first. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had difficulty pulling or installing a DW on a remodle job because of the additional floor layers after the cabinets have been installed. Or if the tile was installed after the cabinets.

    MDH is right again we have about 100+ slab colors in stock, sucks you don’t have a better selection of granite. No offense to MDH but I wouldn’t go with Corian, it scratches badly and stains. I have it, go figure a granite guy has corian, and it sucks. Our website sucks for colors but try this one, http://www.ohmstone.com/ We buy a fair amount of slab material from their NJ office.

    One last comment, MDH got the hat trick, all of the quartz products miss a step in natural beauty, I’m a granite guy. And as a builder I know how the top holds up a ton of work you could get done, but take your time, this is going to be one of the most used, viewed, commented on items in your house. Ultimatly choose what you like and what you want. Thanks Chip.

  6. mdh

    Im saying if the cabinets go in before the floors raise the cabinets slightly below the finished floor height or set the floor first , then the cabinets. If you install the cabinets first with 5/8 inch blocks, [ for 3/4 inch hardweood ], then you dont have to put a finished floor under a cabinet that you will never see or use. And the diswasher will fit. I always prefer that the finished floor goes down last. Somehow it always gets damaged. Even with ram board on it.

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