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Kitchen countertop - which one would you buy again?

(132 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?

captainmummy Tue 13-Mar-12 21:46:09

Am marking this thread - we are in exactly the same position! My kjitchen is just going in now, and i have no worktop yet.

Have had corian and love it but can't afford this time. Stains not really a prob with this - i had a light-grey and it still looks fab, 4 years later.

Like granite but want really thick (40-50mm) so poss too heavy/expensive

NOOOOOto laminate. Wil starve rather than have laminate.

Quite fancy concrete, would even do a DIY concrete worktop but prob don't have time or skills.

So probably will end up with a thick dark wood worktop.

Vickles Tue 13-Mar-12 21:57:07

I think we've got Iroko wood.. it's amazing. I just rub olive oil on it once in a while.... fantastic stuff. But, it's super expensive, and we didn't buy it, previous owners did.

But, in the old house, where we bought the kitchen... we went with howdens 'walnut block' laminate... bloody brilliant stuff. Would highly recommend it.

Busyoldfool Tue 13-Mar-12 22:01:41

I had laminate because it was so much cheaper than the other options and I have just got rid of it 15 years on. It was light, colourful, fresh and stayed looking good. Ok, so not v upmarket and wd really like something a bit more sylish this time round but not sure I can afford it.

I also had wood on one of the runs and it was great. It did show marks and although I could have sanded and re-oiled it I didn't - I quite liked the "used" look. Will have some wood again as I like the warmth of it.

cabbageandbeans Tue 13-Mar-12 22:06:30

I am amazed about the wood Vickles - as you can see - NOT even on my option list! I have seen friends houses with wood counter top and it has gone black (mouldy?) around the sink. You don't have this? Really? Must know more!

We are looking at Howdens for our kitchen so will check out that laminate.

Captain Concrete - I clearly have not done my research! never heard of that!
I know how you feel about laminate. My experience is actually quite good - it is easy to clean and keep looking clean. But I always do chip it (I am very clumsy!) and this just irritates me.

cabbageandbeans Tue 13-Mar-12 22:07:46

And you too Captain are going for wood! I totally thought wood was high maintenance - I am amazed!

oreocrumbs Tue 13-Mar-12 22:08:51

I like granite. I had the dark shiney one in my last house and I really didn't find it hard to keep clean/shiney. It is virtually indestructable, you can chop, put hot pans, drop a solid rough granite pestle and motar on it not my finest moment!

You can also get a granite overlay if you are worried about the weight. rather than a solid piece of granite it is cut like a shoe box lid and laid over a basic worktop. I haven't had it myself but I can't see there would be any problem with it - its still granite just a thinner piece.

I would really like a solid wood work top, but I'd be forever in a flap about keeping it looking nice.

WRT a white kitchen...just say no. I have a cream kitchen, I hate it. It looks lovely for a nano second and then its grubby. Its not even the small child (or the dogs which add to my cleaning woes), but just general use. You have no idea how many tiny splashes you make when you make a cup of tea, or just how much food splatters the cupboards when you load the dishwasher. How much yellow greasy steam settles on cupboards straight away when you have used the george forman etc.

I'm in a constant battle with the bloody thing! My house is only 5 years old and this is a 3 yr old kitchen that was put in before I bought it. As soon as I have the funds I'm changing it. I find it very hard to live with!

cabbageandbeans Tue 13-Mar-12 22:10:43

Busy I know what you mean about laminate - 15 years! thats amazing. Any chipping? this is my big concern.

And on the wood - sounds like you didn't really tend to it's needs - was it not a bit grim around the sink? I know 2 kitchens which have rotting wood around sinks and that has put me off for life! I will serious persuasion to go in that direction1 But I am open to persuasion - that is why I am here!

cabbageandbeans Tue 13-Mar-12 22:17:26

Oreo Yes I was thinking I would get the overlay granite IF I go that way......ANd I know that white is probably not the most sensible - but what else? I need something neutral because I get bored really quickly, am a terrible fashion victim and plan to accessorise a fairly boring kitchen with my colour or fad of the moment (currently chintzy/Cath Kidston/pastels and shabby chic.........but leaning toward bright vibrant colours for the future new kitchen!).

So what should I go for?????!!!

jasminerice Tue 13-Mar-12 22:21:30

What about quartz? I'm thinking of luxore quartz in diamond ice. Sorry no good at links but you'll find it if you google.

hillyhilly Tue 13-Mar-12 22:22:37

I have cream units with black granite and absolutely love them both. I don't spend ages shining the granite, I mostly just wipe it over and it keeps clean beautifully, as well as being able to put any pan down anywhere. I occasionally shine the central island by wiping it with kitchen roll after wiping with a damp cloth, it takes only about a minute.
The cupboards do get a bit grimy but again, they wipe easily and the only thing I dislike is that the muck catches in the corners of the panel on the cupboard front.

oreocrumbs Tue 13-Mar-12 22:24:43

I would go for a simple oak kitchen a bit like this. I would spend the money on a good solid wook kitchen. A simple style will let you dress it up anyway you like, modern or traditional and it goes with any colour.

I did see a lovely dark wood modern kitchen when I was in Tecaz a few weeks ago but I don't remember the make and I can't find it!

Francagoestohollywood Tue 13-Mar-12 22:29:30

My favourite are solid wood or marble, they do get marks on, but they have character.

I think decent quality laminate is quite hard wearing.

I also love concrete tops.

I don't like Corian, it's too slick, too artificial, imho.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 13-Mar-12 22:29:38


put six coats of oil on it - top bottom sides and all cut marks - before its fitted
then remember to oil it once a year
(must remind self now that mine is three years old)

goes well with white units and bamboo floor

annalouiseh Tue 13-Mar-12 22:31:27

I would look at Quarts - the new in thing in kitchen design also is the slim 20mm tops and cheaper. Compaq and technistone prob have the nicest selections, were using alot of bright tops at the min like purples and pinks etc esp with white and cream matt and gloss doors.
its also the most durable than all the others and because its an engineered the colour can be controlled as in plan unlike the natural you have in granite.
if going/ wanting a thicker top they use the 'normal' thickness, and then create an edge giving the 50/60mm thickness and sit it on a botton on top of the units , so weight should be no more than standard

breatheslowly Tue 13-Mar-12 22:40:48

I wish we still had granite (dyed green I think) - we moved and the new house doesn't. It is indestructable. We just used washing-up liquid and water on it, then dried it to stop it from looking streaky.

I'd hate wood as it isn't practical not to get your worksurface wet.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 13-Mar-12 22:44:47

mine gets wet and dries out again - that is why it was oiled
wipe it down with a damp cloth couple of times a day

Shallishanti Tue 13-Mar-12 22:53:08

get slate!
it's fab
you can stand hot pans on it
it looks great
doesn't matter if you spill stuff
if it gets chipped (and its tough) the chips don't look too bad
it's British (probably- check)

captainmummy Wed 14-Mar-12 08:27:26

SLATE!!! haven't thought of that! My prob is that i want really thick,plus I have installed a hexagonal kitchen- i didn't want the usual 3-corners-of-a-square, so cut the corners off with a unit and now have a hexagon. I need a really wide worktop(frontof slanted-unit to wall is 100cm) and yep I did lose a lot of space, but I have 3m sq to work with plus a utility with all my larder cupboards and machines in.

I quite like the overlay-granite idea. Don't know if it will go all the way into thye corners tho. WIll research!

I had a gloss-cream kitchen in my last house (laid in a circle - that was fab, curved units and corian top) and never had a problem with marks. I am putting a cream gloss (howdens!) kitchen in at the mo.

Am now swinging between light-granite overlay or dark-wood. Or possibly slate.grin

Bunbaker Wed 14-Mar-12 08:35:28

Do not get wood. We replaced our solid wood worktop because it had gone black all around the sink and it marks easily. You can't put anything hot on it either. We replaced our worktop with a Getacor one. It looks like granite and has no joins when it is installed. It isn't as heavy as granite and not as expensive as Corian. Our is a light coloured surface and doesn't stain.

If you damage part of the surface you can just replace that bit without removing the entire worktop as the joins are sanded in and are seamless.

I have GC3961 in my kitchen

captainmummy Wed 14-Mar-12 08:39:25

BunBaker - just checked that link and they do concrete! WIll be contacting them for a quote

charitygirl Wed 14-Mar-12 08:40:35

Slate is beautiful, but expensive I think. We have just had stainless steel installed, obviously it is a very modern/minimalist look. Needless to say it is v easy to clean, heat proof, hygienic etc. I am delighted with it but I do like the masterchef look...

annalouiseh Wed 14-Mar-12 10:00:37


Also the same as Getacore is Maia - they do a 54mm thick top

there fitted the same as laminate

MrsGypsy Wed 14-Mar-12 10:09:24

I can't tell you what you SHOULD get, but I can say what I don't recommend..... textured light speckled granite (white with flecks of grey)! I put it in (against my better judgment - DH loved it) and it's awful to keep clean. It's something to do with it not being smooth, I think and somehow it always looks grubby. Really wish I'd chosen the black sparkly smooth granite, which my friend has just chosen and looks fantastic. She says it's really easy to maintain - just wipe over and dry off with kitchen paper.

NoMoreMarbles Wed 14-Mar-12 10:31:33

Watching with interestsmile now we have chosen our style of kitchen it is time to obsess over worktopsgrin I like the quartz and high end laminate at the mo...

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