kitchen counter brand/materials?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Posts: 2219
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Chicago North Shore

kitchen counter brand/materials?

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:01 pm

My husband and I are going to replace our kitchen floor and counters (kitchen was redone by previous owner in 1995 - cabinets are still in great shape).

I think I know what I want for flooring, but I have NO IDEA on counters. There are so many options for materials and brands and the prices vary widely.

So what is a Bogle to do? I'd love to hear suggestions for getting a good value and what you recommend for looks and durability (want the counter to last at least 20+ years).

Posts: 2633
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:45 pm

Whatever you choose is probably going to look dated in 20 years, so get what appeals to you. Some of the newer composite materials are really attractive and we considered these, but finally decided that granite would probably age better. Also granite comes in a very wide range of price points and the lower end is less expensive than many of the popular synthetics.

If you like the look of granite there are two routes that can save you money. The low budget approach is to use large granite tiles - our last house had this and it was surprisingly attractive. Grout is never desirable in a countertop but the 12 x 12 perfectly flat tiles weren't bad to clean. For our current renovation we toured a couple of places that sell granite slabs and found a low cost slab that turned out to be perfect. There are "flaws" in the stone that I think give it a much more interesting appearance. Our granite countertop cost less than a solid surface such as corian would have.

If you want a "fun" countertop, look for a store that specializes in green remodling - some of the countertops that use recycled materials these days are really interesting.

Finally, there is a lot of derision heaped on the granite countertop because a less expensive countertop will do the job just as well, and will look better than your mother's formica. However the quality of the kitchen materials does make an impression on buyers when it comes time to sell the house. If you are on a tight budget and need to consider lower cost materials, make sure you actually get the savings you think you are getting. Otherwise try to keep your kitchen equal in material quality to other houses at your price point.

User avatar
Posts: 2994
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:47 pm
Location: California, near the beach

Post by CaliJim » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:58 pm

Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:22 pm

Post by redarmymembe » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:02 pm

With granite plan on polishing every day you use them. Streaks!

Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:51 am

Post by marylandcrab » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:42 pm

We replaced countertops last year and went for granite. We have not had to polish or do any kind of maintenance.

We went to a local place and picked out our slab. We also went to Lowe's and they were priced way higher for lower colored quality than the local person.

The one thing I kept forgetting at first was if you drop something on it, it will shatter, so you have to learn to be a little more gentle. I learned my lesson after breaking a pyrex bowl, which then the shards went in my foot for the most painful extraction ever.

Granite is granite however, the price difference comes from the amount of intricacy of color or rarity of stone.

Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:05 pm

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:28 pm

We went with the engineered stone for current house. Looks very nice and needs NO maintenance or sealing. Many different manufacturers to choose from so do your homework. Prices and warranties vary greatly, but there are many price points.

Posts: 567
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:06 pm

Post by JasonR » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:15 pm

Here's a good thread from last year:

Posts: 2633
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:58 pm

redarmymembe wrote:With granite plan on polishing every day you use them. Streaks!
Polishing every day? In our household we're doing well if we wipe it down most days, but it always looks good. We've never regretted getting a color and texture that can be described as "peanut butter, bread crumbs, and coffee grounds".

Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Post by travellight » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:55 pm

I think granite is a classic and very low maintenance in my experience.

User avatar
Posts: 271
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:09 am

Post by TenS2XS » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:22 pm

We decided to go with Quartz about 18 months ago. So far so good.

Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:29 am

Post by theron » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:22 pm

TenS2XS wrote:We decided to go with Quartz about 18 months ago. So far so good.
We also went with Quartz (Caesarstone). Had it now for 9 months. Love its looks and its functionality. Would definitely get again.


User avatar
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:33 am
Location: On the banks of the Mekong

Post by MekongTrader » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:35 pm

I had my kitchen built over a year ago and was given bad advise. I ended up with a soft material, I think sandstone. Not suitable since it absorbs water. I now have redwine and water stains on it.

Will be taking it out shortly. Replace it with granite.


Post Reply