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ok kitchen style gurus - I need a low maintainance worktop that looks great!

(35 Posts)
elliott Sat 03-Jun-06 21:04:56

Having read through the granite- yes or no thread I am none the wiser....
We need something that above all is robust - we are truly crap at cleaning/maintainance and have a habit of buying expensive things that soon look rubbish because we haven't time to polish/clean/oil/dust them....
Will granite be an expensive disaster for us? i can't be doing with something that needs special spray or is in any way delicate. Actually our current IKEA bog standard laminate has lasted fantastically (as DH loves to point out), i just want something a little more, well, classy!
What should it be? Granite? Corian? Wood? or will miserly DH get his way?

MamaG Sat 03-Jun-06 21:06:09

DON'T GET WOOD! I did once and it cracked as I didn't look after it properly

Granite looks lovely but I can't be arsed faffing around with it. I just got an expensive laminate which looks great after a wipe over (soooo lazy)

robinpud Sat 03-Jun-06 21:08:20

I am very happy with our laminate.. looks like granite one. Dead cheap, easy to keep clean. I spent the money on a wooden floor instead which makes everyone wow in a way that they don't wow about granite anymore.

neena28 Sat 03-Jun-06 21:12:30

All I do with our granite is wipe it with water and use the spray once a month and it always looks fab, the spray only makes it look shinier and I only really do it when we have people coming over and I want it to look very nice.

I'm a bit the same to be honest and the granite looks the best bit of the kitchen!

elliott Sat 03-Jun-06 21:18:03

Ah, but there you go... 'its so easy I only spray it once a month...' What if you NEVER sprayed it? (realistically, that's what will happen to ours).
i had kind of set my heart on granite but I will be really really pissed off if we ruin it in the first six months...

OK,guys, I'm prepared to listen - what is an expensive laminate?

apronstrings Sat 03-Jun-06 21:20:25

granite - but not too plain, my bro got very plain black and unless you dry it every water droplet is visible. We have a more forginving one - maintenance is fine - just be warned it can be stained by grease. We aslo use the spray when people come round and it looks great

elliott Sat 03-Jun-06 21:20:34

Oh and while we're at it, any ideas about flooring

Its not a big kitchen and we won't be eating in it - it opens out onto the dining room. We have marmoleum atm which again is practical but not really very stylish...

apronstrings Sat 03-Jun-06 21:22:15

not tiles -every time you drop something it smashes into a hundred pieces.

neena28 Sat 03-Jun-06 21:22:20

Right listen to me....

If my other half can be let loose in our kitchen granite for eighteen months and there is no damage there is nothing at all ever thta you could do to it that would wreck it!!!!

I take stuff out the oven everyday and put it straight on the granite, spray it with any old cleaner that comes to hand, bounce cups and glasses off it (does damage glasses in all truth but the granite stas fine!) etc etc.

Nothing has made a dent on it yet...but I haven't tries slicing with a sharp knife straight on to it so they's a chance that might, but I can't think of any surface you can chop onto without any marks?

Seriously you can ignore it all the time and just wipe it over with washing up liquid and water and it looks fab again.

franke Sat 03-Jun-06 21:22:35

I must say I was dead against laminate because it's so, well, not classy. But our budget won the day and in the end we went for a laminate which doesn't pretend to be anything i.e. not fake marble or fake wood. Although possibly it's pretending to be glass, I don't know. It's a sort of translucent white with a slight texture and really easy to clean. In fact I like it so much I got the kitchen people to come back and fit it as a splashback too.

apronstrings Sat 03-Jun-06 21:23:04

Also slippy when wet, cold on winter mornings and bad for tinies heads!

neena28 Sat 03-Jun-06 21:23:46

Mine is matt black with no sparkle and water hasn't marked it yet and we have hard water? Wonder why that is?

We also have no grease marks and we should cos my oven trays are disgusting!

apronstrings Sat 03-Jun-06 21:24:12

I slice directly on my granite all the time - no damage.

neena28 Sat 03-Jun-06 21:24:49

See granite is a miracle product!!!

Can anyone tell I adore mine!

apronstrings Sat 03-Jun-06 21:25:32

THe grease thing was told us by a friend - dh googled it and apparently its true - but we haven't got any marks.

apronstrings Sat 03-Jun-06 21:29:25

with regard to the cost we went directly to a granite supplier - not a kitchen shop and payed a lot less than most I think. Also when we fitted it took the vierw that it would add to resale - laminate will not do that. LOVE mine too nad will put it in my next house ( if I'm lucky enough to be doing the kitchen)

Matonic Sat 03-Jun-06 22:07:07

We have tiled worktops. Very low-maintenance: wipe clean, completely heatproof, you can chop on it without marking. They'll never look as good as quality granite, but if laid properly, they look effective, and it was our cheapest option by miles.

elliott Sat 03-Jun-06 22:12:02

you know matonic that very idea flitted through my head and I dismissed it because I'd never seen such a thing...what kind of tiles and how were they fitted?

Twiglett Sat 03-Jun-06 22:18:03

the problem with using knives on granite is that it blunts the knives .. doesn't affect the granite at all

elliott Sat 03-Jun-06 22:20:29

perhaps there is granite and granite? People seem to have such different experiences....
Don't really want black tbh - would be too dark in the room.

Matonic Sat 03-Jun-06 22:33:47

Elliott, they are your basic quarry tiles - in black rather than the more familiar terracotta so that it didn't look too obvious that we were putting floor tiles on a worktop. They were fitted exactly as you would fit tiles on a wall, grouted, and then coated with several layers of varnish. The worktops also have a wooden rim/lip which matches the cupboards and doors so that we don't have raw tile edges at the front of the worktop.
I think it would be easier to make the tiles look good if they are biggish, plain rather than patterned, and with an untextured finish. And unglazed - so that you can't crack the glaze and you can apply a more durable finish yourself if you think it necessary.

Alipiggie Sat 03-Jun-06 22:38:04

I've had both wood and now tiles. I loved my wood - if you treat it properly to start with and put at least six coats of the oil (linseed) on then you only need to re-oil every month and i found that theraputic. Tiles are great and a cheap alternative to granite (which I would love as I'm a pastry maker by heart). The tiles in this kitchen are excellent and just need a wipe down and never seem to get greasy either. And as someone said you can get them to colour co-ordinate with the rest of your kitchen. Mine also have a wood surround/edge.

Alipiggie Sat 03-Jun-06 22:39:22

Oh and flooring, we had some brilliant laminate tiles fitted that looked just like ceramics, but were much easier to clean - wipe over and your done. Now I've wood and that takes a lot more looking after but I love it.

brimfull Sat 03-Jun-06 22:42:08

I was dead against black granite as I thought it would make the kitchen too dark but in fact it's so reflective it actually adds light by reflecing the light from the widows and lights.

It was really noticeable when I watched them fit it,the room was suddenly so much brighter.

LadyCodofCOdford Sat 03-Jun-06 22:42:52

i too have espensiev laminate
ocudlnt justify cost of granite for a house thta we will move form in a coule fo years

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