Kitchen countertop - which one would you buy again?

(123 Posts)
cabbageandbeans Tue 13-Mar-12 21:42:25

We are buying a new kitchen and I am really confused about which type of countertop to buy.....

1)Laminate - Have had in the past and I reckon I will chip this easily.

2)Granite - tempted but not black because I reckon I'll have to shine it up ALL the time!

3)Corian - I know very little about this but I was thinking about a light colour and worried about stains, tea etc - on my current light laminate - I always use bleach for stains but have no idea if I can do this with corian.

If I do go for Granite - I guess it would be a lighter colour (maybe oatmeal shade - but have no idea how easy this is to keep looking good. But really don't know because I would like to get a white kitchen (am I crazy with 2 kids?)

I am after low maintenance as REALLY do not want to spend my life trying to make it look bloody perfect!

What have you got and would you buy it again?

sixtiesqueen Wed 14-Mar-12 21:31:47

oh regarding the photo of the granite - you'll have to go backwards to November 22nd I think to see it - the photos are a bit washed out and the kitchen wasn't fully installed but you'll get the idea.

annalouiseh Wed 14-Mar-12 21:37:16

nomoremarbles the black will not make the room look smaller as will look like it is glossy'er from the base colour so will reflect loads.
fingerprints are very visible though.
black base units and cream wall units will look good

Pannacotta Wed 14-Mar-12 21:40:34

nomoremarbles not sure balck units and dark worktops are ideal in a small room.
Cant you have mid tone units and worksurface? I think not too much contrast is better if you are short of space, but would opt for mid tones rather than dark.
Perhaps these kind of colours
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4PfBssprdyc/TYsPiyLIrSI/AAAAAAAAAKo/CseBbUJL5Co/s1600/K2-Side-return-extension-Kitchen-and-dinning-area.jpg

Canella Wed 14-Mar-12 21:50:57

We've got a glossy black quartz stone worktop - I love it nearly all the time - i just wipe it with a slightly damp cloth and walk away but round the sink where the dc wash their hands and leave little pools of water, it has already got faint water marks sad. We live in a hard water area & no amount of polishing is making them go away.

But everywhere else it looks fab. Goes lovely with our matt grey units and our slate floor too.

pinkappleby Wed 14-Mar-12 21:53:11

I have had wood (installed by previous owners), looked beautiful and no marks around sink but that is because I looked after it meticulously and I would NEVER have it again.

We have gone for laminate in our new house, I don't love it, but didn't love anything I saw so went for the cheap option. Having said that, I was in Homebase this week and walked past their new German range and saw a worktop I loved. I went and asked the assistant as I couldn't identify what it was and it was high end laminate. Many more layers thick than bog standard and edges manufactured in a different way. High end laminate might be worth checking out.

Busyoldfool Wed 14-Mar-12 22:30:19

This is really interesting - so much useful stuff. I didn't have the wood round the sink so the mould question didn't come up at all. I've taken note though and will avoid it next time. I have seen glass worktops - v expensive I fear but lovely colours especially for a small run of units in an alcove. Does anyone have glass?

Re laminate and chipping. Actually yes there was one chip which we got when we tried to move some garden furniture through the kitchen and bashed the edge of the worktop - but none in "normal" usage, ( and I'm not careful)

teta Wed 14-Mar-12 22:35:08

I have Iroko wood and slate for either side of the cooker.I am happy with both and our kitchen gets a lot of wear and tear.Units are painted in skimming stone [F&B] and the island is painted in elephants breath plus an odd wall cupboard in Light Blue.I also have a bit of oak and it is a pain,as it marks with everything.

Gentleness Wed 14-Mar-12 23:34:08

I would LOVE to have got bamboo but as I'm just not a great house-keeper and I wanted the lowest maintenance possible, we went for Duropal. It's laminate but a very nice one and looks great. We chose a walnut block because it seemed the one that had enough pattern to distract from whether it was real wood or not.

Friends who are pretty similar in housey skills to me (but a bit better) had chosen solid wood and theirs looks AWFUL round the sink now. That's what convinced me to keep life as easy as possible.

CointreauVersial Wed 14-Mar-12 23:47:13

Love my granite. It's black, with grey flecks; you can easily keep it streak free by wiping down with a cloth in each hand - wet, to get the grot off, and dry, to buff and get rid of any streaks. It is bomb-proof and looks as good as the day it was put in. We have matching upstands, window sills and a splashback behind the cooker.

My folks have a very heavily speckled beige and cream granite - not particularly my taste, but boy does it hide the crumbs!

Laminate is fine, but doesn't last - OK for a cheaper kitchen maybe. It gets scratched and stained.

Wood - yuk. My parents had wood prior to the granite, and it was always black around the sink. Impossible to keep clean. It also marked very easily, for example, my dad put a bottle of kitchen cleaner down, and it left a permanent ring. Maybe if you are a fan of sanding and oiling......

i was hoping it would be light-reflective anna and DH is not keen on the lighter colours (white/beige/mocha). my brother has recently had white gloss paneled units in his kitchen and they (DBro and SIL) are quite competitive (my kitchens better than yours because...etchmm) so we are steering clear of white. our existing kitchen is a beech slab style that was newly fitted before we bought the house and we have black gloss laminate worktops so dont want that again (i want it entirely different esp as we are moving the back door and window placement and making the 'L' more pronounced)
panna that kitchen is beautiful but too...pale i think...i am a slattern... the wite would not be white for longblush plus with a DH who NEVER wipes after himself, DD who is a spiller and a dog who refuses to desist in jumping up to paw at the counter i fear i would hate it before longgrin thanks for the lin thoughsmile

pickledsiblings Wed 14-Mar-12 23:55:43

We have black granite on wooden units and white corian on cooking apple green painted units with a painted tongue and groove splash back - would highly recommend the corian, it looks as good as new after 8 years.

You can bleach it and even sand it but the best thing is the way you can have a seamless integrated sink...and it can be made to look v. thick and works really well vertically (we have it down the side of the unit that faces towards the living room).

captainmummy Thu 15-Mar-12 09:13:42

Cabbage i had high-gloss cream units,with 1 high-gloss black one under the hob (drawer unit). The black shows the fingermarks more than the cream but they are easily removed, just a quick wipe with a sponge. My new kitchen has the same cream and black, and i'm going for a red glass splashback and black double oven, black induction hob. I hate clutter so the only colour in the room will be the splashbacks- no colour-coordinated storage jars/toaster/kettle for me!

I did want a white-ish worktop (was looking at concrete, granite, glass) but thought with cream walls, cream units and wood floor it might be a bit blinding in there - it's west facing with a big window and glazed double doors, so prob go for dark wood, or a dark grey worktop.

Upthread there was a comment about the 'fashion' for worktops is now for thin ones - I really like the chunky look, 40-50mm thick, but I don't want it to look dated before i put it in! Not sure about it now....sad

jasminerice Thu 15-Mar-12 11:24:51

Pickledsiblings, are you happy with 2 different types of worktops? Because that's what we're thinking of having but I'm not sure how it will look. Am thinking of quartz on island with hob and corian on seperate sink area. Undecided on colours and base/wall units etc. I like the practicality of corian around the sink but don't want it everywhere.

Honu Thu 15-Mar-12 16:10:08

My kitchen is at the digging-out-for-footings stage so not ready for worktops yet but following this with interest. If you google getacore and look at the money saving expert forum (sorry, fail miserably at links) you'll see some quite interesting comments on this and similar products. Keep the ideas coming - I'm thinking of granite for the island and laminate round the edges of the kitchen, but can easily be swayed!

cabbageandbeans Thu 15-Mar-12 20:08:00

This is ALL very excellent! I think that because I am not a dedicated domestic goddess (always a bit hit and miss) I am definatley ruling out wood. although the Wood effect laminate may still be an option if it is good. What I am really excited about (and this is still a shockingly long list!) is the corian/getacore/maia type material.

AM Very interested in concrete - I had a very quick peek and really liked the colour and am I imagining it or can you have a sink made in that too so seamless like corian/getacore etc? Also very excited about the positive about granite and quartz. I was really down on granite because IMO black granite is just too much hard work with streaking and all that karate kid wipe on wipe off......just a wee bit too much effort for me on a daily basis BUT it sounds like if you through in a few more speckles then you are good to go?

I have to say I really like the idea of a white countertop and Ivana I looked your countertop up - found one called snow which I LOVE and it looks SO good in these pictures

dh not convinced that white gloss cupboards easy to keep looking nice - I need LOW MAINTENANCE ALL ROUND!

Fascinating that so many people sem to have two kinds of cupboards/countertops in their kitchens - don't think that would ever have occured to me!

Captain - LOVE the sound of your red splash-back. We have considered a big wow splash of colour and that sounds lovely. Am also looking at an induction hob - how fab are they?!! Which I never thought I would do....I am gas all the way, but no knobs! I LOVE that. It is weird because I don't really like clutter but I like an easy life and can't be hiding my toaster/kettle in a cupboard when not in use!

annalouiseh Thu 15-Mar-12 20:58:29

below is the money saving expert Getacore, hope link works tried to be fancy.
many people on there have it and say it scratches all over the shop

((http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=344469 getacore link))

annalouiseh Thu 15-Mar-12 20:58:54
Bunbaker Thu 15-Mar-12 22:22:00

That made for depressing reading. I have a light coloured Getacore surface and haven'y noticed any scratches in it after 15 months use. I don't regret having Getacore so far.

captainmummy Fri 16-Mar-12 08:28:47

Cabbage am now regretting reading this thread! I was going for thick thick thick dark wood....am now wavering between quartz, glass and concrete. Has anyone got 2 types of surface on one worktop ie not on an island or similar? What if I went for quartz behind sink, but concrete for the other 2 'legs' of the U-shape? must look into that.

Pannacotta Fri 16-Mar-12 08:38:06

captain I am thinking of doing that, ie quartz round the sink and then wood (rather than concrete) along the main run of worktop which is at a right angle to the sink - our design is an L shaped run of units.
It was suggested by Mnetters and several kitchen designers so hope it will look ok.
Though having read this thread I am a bit undecided now!

Pannacotta Fri 16-Mar-12 08:41:22

Also I have a techie question for anyone who might know, could we have a shelf like this behind a range cooker made from wood or would it need to be solid worktop?

www.higham.co.uk/

oohermrs Fri 16-Mar-12 08:47:50

I've got black granite, it looks amazing. Had the predictable negative comments from people about it showing every mark. But I bought granite e-cloths from Lakeland. I just use fairy liquid on it and wipe it dry. So yes would buy again.

teta Fri 16-Mar-12 09:03:21

You could have wood pannacotta but light wood might stain with food/oil.Worktop would be more wipeable but would be fiddly and expensive to cut i think [but i am no expert].I have a wenge wood upstand behind my rangemaster [i couldn't find slate upstands anywhere] and this doesn't show the dirt.

Pannacotta Fri 16-Mar-12 09:31:25

Thanks teta, it would be walnut rather than pale wood - am not too hot on the cleaning front.
Did wonder about fire regs etc but will need to check with whoever makes our kitchen...

annalouiseh Fri 16-Mar-12 10:17:28

Hi Captain

look here for the concrete, concrete although stunning can be quite problematic.

www.concretenetwork.com/fix-concrete-countertops/

glass is good, very very pricey though

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