maritajb

Countertop conundrums

maritajb
7 years ago
Okay, so it started with the stove. I hate it. It is cheap and nasty and really hard to clean. Food falls down the sides and underneath. More mess. I wanted a built-in, self cleaning oven. Actually I wanted a self-cooking oven and a self-cleaning house but until that's available I want pyrolytic, stainless and at a massive discount. So i bought that and then I bought an induction cooktop that can be built-in to the counter top.

That meant I needed a new cabinet to hold the oven and as this has to be sprayed to match the sprayed mdf cabinetry and matching is hard, we decided to get a quote for all the doors, toe-kicks and drawer fronts to be resprayed in the existing colour. That way all the fixed shelving etc doesn't have to be pulled off to cause more mess and expense. I don't like cream but the hope is I can make it look good again with a new spray, fancy oven, sink, counter-top and eventually flooring.

So my question to you, Houzzer peeps, is the countertop. We were thinking about stone or granite but have been told the odd angles of the u-shaped bench would require too many joins and it is better to go with something more malleable, design-wise. So we are considering solid state acrylic resin like Corian or similar in white. All good, the guy measuring up told me it stains easily with beetroot or wine, and that it has to be kept dry and all splashed cleaned immediately. Now I love beetroot and wine and often splash both, and more seriously, surely water is going to get splashed around the sink, so is this true? I thought the whole point of it was that it was less porous than natural products and easy to maintain etc?

So any advice please on:
- are corian type solid surface counter-tops hard to keep looking good?
- would any other material work for this odd shape, apart form laminate that I am a bit tired of?
- either way, what colour would work with cream cupboards in a way that will update the kitchen?
- is it a false economy spraying the non-fixed bits?
- should I swap out the handles?

Any tips much appreciated, I am at the quote stage but want this sorted fast, new oven and cooktop purchased and in garage, though at least they will stay clean a little longer that way....

PS to the right pf the third photo is a pantry and there are upper cupboards and shelves all around that are out of shot.

PPS The house is 50's, I recently had the kitchen painted a 50's green to match some storage canisters (2nd pic) and the servery to the right of the 3rd pic opens up to a formalish dining room with oak furniture.

Comments (36)

  • maritajb
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Oh and flooring ideas? I'm thinking black and white chequerboard vinyl or tile of the vintage vibe.
  • sabineledieu
    7 years ago
    Butcher block hardwood counters would be a nice addition to this cabinet design. The floor would be nice in a Black and Tan or tan and beige tile. Armstrong makes a commercial vct tile that is hard wearing and fits the historical (1950) nature of your home.
  • maritajb
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Thanks sabine, what is vct? I am in NZ and some terminology doesn't cross the Pacific.
  • safronpixi
    7 years ago
    I am not sure if it is much more expensive but another option could be stainless steel? It is incredibly easy to look after and can be made to fit any bench configuration.
    Another idea is the 'Smartstone' product which evidently does not stain so readily. This comes in a myriad of different finishes. The concrete look is quite interesting and concrete tiles for the floor would then look good with the white cabinetry. Maybe too modern for your 50's style??
    I think the kitchen actually looks very nice as it is! Good luck with the project.
    maritajb thanked safronpixi
  • maritajb
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    I want to modernise it, looking for that transitional look, and the current laminated blue benchtops with wooden edging that is beginning to show water marks, as well as the stove, have to go. thanks for the tips, i did consider stainless steel, and will look at smartstone. It seems that not all solid surface materials have the same qualities, some are used as vanity basins so clearly can handle water!
  • PRO
    Stone Works Marble & Granite LLC
    7 years ago
    From the looks of it, this counter if any requires only one joint. Which can be made at the middle of the sink. The shape has nothing to do with it, as long as your fabricator takes a template it will be good.
  • mpoulsom
    7 years ago
    concrete, but that's pretty modern. They can make it shaped anyway you like however.
  • Carol and Robert Clay
    7 years ago
    I'd look to granite first. In our area of the States, the quartz products now exceed the granite in cost. My mother in law had corian put in her kitchen and it scratched easily. Plus, I don't believe you can put hot pots on corian the way you can stone. As for the hardware, they're a little hard to see in the picture, but instead of going out and buying new ones (which can add up quickly by the time you swap out the hinges so they match), think about spray painting them. We had ugly shiny brass in our house and spray painted them that antiqued bronze you see a lot of and they look great.
  • PRO
    ísARK Studio
    7 years ago
    Corian and solid surface can stain but I've found that the Mr Clean Magic Eraser pads clean it right up. They are very practical countertops because they can easily be sanded and buffed to be refinished (something you can't easily do with stone) plus if done correctly they can be virtually seamless.

    Like all products there are things you have to be careful with. Heat is big time enemy of these countertops. It will stain and warp it. Keep some hot pads handy and you should be fine. Also make sure that you don't have any seams over your dishwasher or it is likely you will see them buckle over time.

    We usually recommend a square eased edge on solid surface as the larger radius (or ogee) tends to make it look more like plastic (in our opinion).

    Happy Remodeling,
    isARK Studio
  • pcmom1
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    Since this is sort of a 50's vibe and you have a lot of weird angles, what about good old tile countertop?
    https://www.houzz.com/photos/2000-showcase-traditional-kitchen-new-york-phvw-vp~66603
  • happyasaclam
    7 years ago
    Love your green canisters! True vintage '50's. :)
  • mkmort
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    I have Corian. But I selected a darker color. They have many different colors and even black.
  • Rhiannon Crain
    7 years ago
    I'm putting large format tiles 5 ft x 30in in for my countertop. None of the maintenance hassle all of the pretty! Taking FOREVER for them to arrive for installation though. Also cheap compared to other countertops
  • Stacey at Dohiy.com
    7 years ago
    Rhiannon -- wow, that is LARGE format. Where did you find those?
  • PRO
    Choice Granite & Kitchen Cabinets Inc.
    7 years ago
    granite is a safe way to go.
  • 574steele
    7 years ago
    Our old house was built in the early 60's, had custom cabinets, all the built-ins, carpet on the floor & of course, white formica with tiny specks of gold, on the counters. When we remodeled in 1999, we installed a turquoise green Corian counter with a matt finish. I loved it! As a gardener, I put-up beets & made currant jelly, all while drinking red wine, Never had a problem with staining, but of course, my counters were darker. If interested, the house is still posted on Zillow and you can view the kitchen & counters by typing in the address: 574 Steele St, Craig, CO 81625. I have to replace tile counters at our new location & will certainly consider using Corian or another solid surface again.
  • PRO
    ísARK Studio
    7 years ago
    Rhiannon, That tile product does looks pretty fantastic. How long was the lead time for you?
  • Rhiannon Crain
    7 years ago
    We ordered Nov 9th, it took a couple of weeks for them to tell us it was out of stock and they needed to manufacture more. They said that would happen by the end of Dec, and since then it has been on various trains and trucks. Word is it will show-up next week.
  • happyasaclam
    7 years ago
    I know this is maritajb's discussion, but could you post pictures of your countertops after the material has been installed? :)
  • Rhiannon Crain
    7 years ago
    @happyasaclam, sure will. Here is the original kitchen:
    Renovation Loan · More Info
  • lessismoore
    7 years ago
    No advice on the counter top, you already have plenty to think about. But on the flooring, rather than a black and white here, consider the same type, but with a tan and white or a gray and white checkerboard on the diagonal. Same vintage look but should work better with the lovely soft green you have.
    [houzz=
    Farmhouse Kitchen from School House Electric · More Info
    ]
  • maritajb
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Thank you guys for all your suggestions! This is the first query i have posted and jus checked after a week on hols and am delighted you took the time to post, it is so nice that people care about one's own obsessional dilemmas!! We are going with corian, white-ish but i've heard that one with a quartz pattern in it reduces the look of any marks. Great tip on the cleaning product and in avoiding the seam near the dishwasher. Will post when all finished!
  • Rhiannon Crain
    7 years ago
    Anyone curious what the tile countertop looks like here ya go:
  • okdokegal
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    WOW.... thanks for the link Rhiannon, that counter looks NICE.

    (peeks at link, jaw is in shag....)
    60x120 inch TILES?????? whoa!

    http://www.stonepeakceramics.com/download/StonePeak%20Plane%20catalog%20final%20sm.pdf

    Gives a lot of technical data about the large ones including how to shape and install.
  • Rhiannon Crain
    7 years ago
    Mine aren't the 60x120. That is too big for a regular countertop. ( nice island though). I did 30x60 ( 2 of them).
  • pcmom1
    7 years ago
    Rhiannon, what was your cost for those two tiles plus shipping? Did you have any trouble finding someone local to install?
  • Rhiannon Crain
    7 years ago
    ~$400 including expedited shipping. My GC just had his regular countertop guy do them, which wasn't great.... he had trouble making clean cuts. If I were going to do it again I would have pressed for someone with expertise to cut them. You can see in the image that the facing is not made of the stone peak, because too much was broken during the cutting to make the mitered edge. I'm a little bummed, but mostly pleased with the surface (which is the important part) thus far.
  • PRO
    Cabinets Extraordinaire
    7 years ago
    If you decide on corian, please stay away from the integrated sink... go with some kind of undermounted sink. Once the integrated sink has scratches, there's no easy/inexpensive way to salvage it. Good choice on the corian... remember that the material can be sanded and buffed later down the line if you notice small scratches!
  • maritajb
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    thanks for comments all. Here is the finished kitchen.
  • jen046
    7 years ago
    Looks wonderful! What kind of countertop is that?
  • pattyannb
    7 years ago
    Looks awesome! What kind of oven and stove is that?
  • adivra
    7 years ago
    Those large format tiles are also available from Neolith thesize.es which has distributors in the US and elsewhere. It comes in 3, 5 and 10mm thicknesses and is installed like other porcelain tile. Nice to see it used in someone's kitchen, I'm fascinated by the product.
  • jacksonbeth
    7 years ago
    I prefer the laminate countertops that look like granite. Web Don has one type by wilson art where there are bold graphics and unique colors, but its not as pricy as granite. http://www.web-don.com/our-products/laminate-postform-countertops/wilsonart-laminate/