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Old 08-20-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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ISO help choosing countertops

i need some advice.
my boyfriend and i have an ongoing argument about new countertops in the kitchen. right now it is an icky brown laminate that probably came straight out of the 80's. we have both agreed that we want to replace it. the disagreement is what do replace it with. he wants to tile over it; that way he doesn't have to take the countertop off and put something else on. i dont want tile at all because it seems like it would be a pain to keep the grout lines clean and harder to deal with crumbs and such. i want to do a butcher block countertop becuase it looks nice and sounds to be relatively easy to care for it, just oil and sand periodically and your good to go. we're trying to keep it low cost, otherwise we might look into a solid surface idea.
so, does anyone have tile countertops or butcher block? easy to clean or not? we won't be doing anything immediately, maybe in a year or so. i also want to paint the cabinets a cream color and we're gonna pull up the linoleum floor and do wood. any ideas would be great. thanks alot.



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Old 08-20-2007, 06:31 PM   #2
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Hi Kat, I had tile on the counters and backsplashes and I hated it. It wasn't the beautiful, newer tiles they have available now but they looked nice. It was the grout I hated. You really have to keep this sealed and that's a task.

I have some butcher block and some stainless steel counters now and I love them. It's very easy to re-oil the butcher block, which makes a nice, water-resistant surface. It's also quieter than tile or natural stone or metal and is easier on china and stoneware. I use natural bees-wax on them in between times so it is very easy to keep clean and resists stains.

I love the stainless steel because it is really almost maintenance-free and can be bleached daily. It scratches but I kinda like that.

I did use laminate on the walls as the backsplash in the sink area but just in plain white, like the upper half of the walls. Laminate is a really easy to keep clean surface as long as it's not subjected to cuts and scratches.

I too took up the linoleum in my kitchen and had the original wood floor for a while which looked great, but was a soft pine that didn't hold up well to kitchen duty. I ended up putting commercial vinyl tile over it last year and that works much better for me.

Good luck - this will be so much fun for you!


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Old 08-23-2007, 03:02 AM   #3
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I have corian now, in my last home had tile. I liked both. The tile was harder to keep up but was much prettier. The Corian is a dream to keep clean, and probably looks better in my 1940s type kitchen. The tile is not as difficult as you'd think if you periodically (every year or two) put sealer on it, the grout won't stain. The Corian has in inset sink, which is a great work saver. In both cases (and in most) your worst enemy is abrasive cleaners .... especially if you go with shiny surfaces rather than matte. Either tile, linoleum, Corian, stone, whatever, shiny may appeal but is easy to hurt when you clean it.

My floors are original 18-something pine and never, to me, look clean. I want to strip them and polyeurethane them some day so they'll be easier to keep clean.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:37 AM   #4
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Granite or Corian...if you plan on being there for a while. If you think you may move in the not to distant future, then check out other options at say a Home Depot!
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:57 AM   #5
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I had tile counters and the grout was a pain in the behind. I have granite now and love it. The new laminates at home depot offer alot granite looks too. I don't know much about butcher block.

I have large ceramic tiles for the kitchen floor and have no problems with it.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:52 AM   #6
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Tile is not at all popular here in the northeast, I agree the grout would probably stain easily. We also have Corian, I really like it. You can get inexpensive formica that looks like more expensive Corian or Granite if cost is an issue for you, though.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:39 PM   #7
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I have granite and I love it. It's cool, shiny, attractive, smooth, and I can put hot things on it. My mother's old wooden counter tops scratched very easily and showed greasy spots. She now has Ceasarstone (stone composite), which appears to be very durable and is hard and cold like stone.

On the negative, a friend of mine, who had the resources to do what she liked, found that she and her kids kept smashing things on her stone countertops so she replaced them with laminate!
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:29 PM   #8
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My parents' kitchen has a tiled backdrop, mainly all ivory white. Our floor is laminated tile, so it has the appearence of nice white ivory with a little feel. To clean it, I just use a swiffer and it's done. For the countertops, it's some old cream-coloured thing. To clean it, just use some spray cleaner and a papertowel. It is difficult to stain and is hard enough to cut on. It's not cold like stone but is hard enough that a plate dropped on it will shatter and hot pans can be placed without harming it.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:46 AM   #9
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I took out my Corian island and laminate countertops in May and replaced them with granite. LOVE the granite. My Corian island was scatched up, I didn't like it plus it stained easily as it was almond colored.

I got my granite through Costco and I was quite pleased. I mentioned it to my friend who went there after getting a quote from one of the nationally known big box home improvement stores. Costco price was $1,000 less than the big box store for an average size kitchen in a 30+ yr. home. Not only can you get granite there, but also Corian, and some of the other engineered stone.

In addition, when you hold a Costco member's card they give a % of what you spend back to you. Hopefully, there is a Costco nearby for you to check out.
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:10 AM   #10
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Here's some info on tiles granite countertops. Both have no grout joints. Basically the tiles are butted right up next to eachother. There has not been an issue with crumbs. Just make sure you seal the granite and use cutting boards.

Granite counter.

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