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Worktop surface... help me decide

(36 Posts)
MrsHarford Mon 07-Oct-13 21:15:37

So, finalizing kitchen design and we're happy with choice of gloss ivory doors complemented by gloss walnut (a medium shade) on the island units. We're pretty much decided on York Stone Karndean floor tiles and now the final major design decision is the choice of worktop.

So first up.. granite versus quartz. I understand quartz is more hardwearing (though more expensive too), any thoughts/experience on it being worth the extra?

Secondly I am undecided on colour. There is far too much choice!!! Should I go for a darker (richer) colour to complement the walnut or something lighter? Are ther practical implications with the choice, other than pure black=hard to keep pristine? It will be a large, bright room.

e.g. this from Silestone

Moonwhite from

Or something else entirely.

Any thoughts appreciated before my head explodes!

hermioneweasley Mon 07-Oct-13 21:18:54

What are you planning to do that you need something more hard wearing than granite?

We have black granite with ivory units and I still love it.

TheRedQueen Mon 07-Oct-13 21:50:03

We have a pale granite containing various shades of grey, cream and teracotta. The cupboards are a matt cream and the floor slate.

I know little about quartz but I do know that granite has to be sealed when installed and then treated again at regular intervals. That said, it's not a massive effort - we treat ours twice a year maximum. The other thing you must remember is that if you drop substances such as red wine or vinegar onto granite, you must clean it up immediately or you end up with a stain (due to low resin content, I think?).

Another thing to bear in mind with (in particular, a pale) granite (can't comment on quartz) is that the patterning and colouring can vary greatly depending on the seam from which the slab is cut. If you don't want to leave things to chance, therefore, it can be a good idea to go to the stonemason's yard and handpick the slab you want your tops cut from. (This is what we did as the granite we have is generally much more orange, whereas we wanted something with more cream/grey content.)

MrsHarford Tue 08-Oct-13 12:46:39

Thanks far the feedback so far. @hermioneweasley It's not that I'm planning to do anything particularly challenging it's just that I'm worried I might inadvertently ruin it through carelessness.

@TheRedQueen thats helpful to know about the treatment thanks. It's just the kind of occasional maintenance task that might get overlooked in our house <disorganised emoticon>

Anyone else with any thoughts???

CarlaBrooni Wed 09-Oct-13 10:28:08

I'm interested in finding an upmarket laminate due to the cost involved. I think I'd much rather be able to change the worktop in 5 /6 years rather than be stuck with an extremely expensive Quartz or granite worktop. In our kitchen they are going to cost +10K.

Chopchopbusybusy Wed 09-Oct-13 10:40:45

We have black quartz and are pleased with it. I avoid using bleach in the kitchen as that can damage it - although I imagine less noticeably on a paler colour. We sometimes get water marks around the sink as we are in a very hard water area. A bit of barkeepers friend gets rid of that.

EastwickWitch Wed 09-Oct-13 11:28:41

I've got my heart set on a pale Silestone (looking like Carrera marble) but there was a horror story on here last week about it staining. It's certainly worth looking into.

echt Wed 09-Oct-13 11:48:50

We went for a laminate - Laminex because of the silly cost of wood/granite. Also granite is loud and, living in Australia, some bedrooms are on the ground floor, so quiet is good. Laminex looks good even when a bit crumby. Wipes clean and doesn't stain.

We chose a darkish green mottled colour with a dull sheen and held our breath when we considered the impact on the tiling, a brilliant deep turquoise. But it works. I should say the kitchen has windows on two sides of the corner of the room, and three narrow tall windows, so it's full of light and can take deep colours.

MrsHarford Wed 09-Oct-13 13:00:12

Silestone stains? confused I thought the whole point of it is that it doesn't... And just as I had thought I had decided on an off-white silestone to match the ivory doors, is it really back to the drawing board?

CarlaBrooni Wed 09-Oct-13 13:43:49

Echt what do you mean a bit crumbly? We're talking ourselves into buying laminate because the cost of quartz or granite is just so excessive. We were renting with granite worktops before and I broke so much on them so hated them at the time.

MrsHarford we have white caeserstone where we are just now. It's a pain. I am terrified to cook with turmeric! The worst stains seem to be around the sink (although I am very careful at wiping up).

The "joy" of owning a piece of Caeserstone/Silestone/Whateverstone/Granite has lost it's edge - especially considering the cost.

noddyholder Wed 09-Oct-13 14:26:39

I usually put oak or wenge in developments but this time I thought I would use something else and didn't think this flat warranted top end granite etc so got a wilsonart laminate in Feutre and it is really great

EastwickWitch Wed 09-Oct-13 14:38:53

MrsH I have a sample of my chosen worktop Compaq Carrera Quartz, its the one I was told is stain proof. I have dribbled a combination of coffee and turmeric on & will report back later.
If it stains I shall take it in to the kitchen shop.

CarlaBrooni Wed 09-Oct-13 15:51:23

noddyholder, thanks for that information but does that mean that a more expensive flat/house shouldn't have laminate? I'm not trying to nitpick, I'm a complete novice here with kitchens as we've rented forever but we're about to buy a 600k house in Surbiton, Surrey. We both (all) like stylish things however the thought that a kitchen worktop is going to cost the same as solid wood flooring for the rest of the house doesn't sit well.

Please be honest. We can afford it but I think we'd rather spend the money elsewhere. What do you say? I've read your posts before and you seem rather knowledgeable.

amazonianwoman Wed 09-Oct-13 17:24:49

Have you shopped around for several quotes for granite or quartz? They can vary hugely eg Lunastone is much cheaper than Caesarstone or Silestone. The kitchen companies seem to come up with the highest quotes - try going direct to granite suppliers.

I might be a kitchen snob (and I might be way behind the times and laminate may now look great) but I'd prefer granite, quartz or a good solid wood eg teak/iroko/wenge.

But see what noddy says and listen to her advice - she's the interiors style guru grin

noddyholder Wed 09-Oct-13 17:29:52

Well I don't really like granite or quartz prefer wood or glass but some houses in certain areas require it iykwim. I almost always do wood. I am amazed at how laminate has changed people keep asking me what it is as I think because I do this for a living it wouldn't be laminate. I think it really depends on the look of the kitchen, I would use this in my own house now which I didn't think I would. Some of the matt plain coloured ones are very nice. If you were planning to sell on then I would look at comparables and whether they have granite etc. I am living in this flat until new year and I am loving the way I can scrub it and nothing marks it!

EastwickWitch Wed 09-Oct-13 17:54:20

To report back on my experiment.

I left a combination of coffee and turmeric on my Silestone sample for 3 hours.
There is a definite yellow tinge even after I used washing up liquid and then Cillit Bang.

This is so disappointing, the companies all advise that it is stain proof.

CarlaBrooni Thu 10-Oct-13 10:31:51

noddyholder, that sounds quite promising - I must phone their supplier and find out where I can look at some samples. Do you have any other recommendations other than WilsonArt? I've seen some nice Formica but it's only sold in the USA according to the website.

We also like wood and the price is much more reasonable however have been put off by lots of mumsnet horror stories of staining round the sink.

noddyholder Thu 10-Oct-13 10:34:24

Pure white top end laminate looks great too if well fitted.

Roshbegosh Thu 10-Oct-13 10:39:55

We have a pale silestone and I just love it! I don't know anything about staining but granite needs care with oil and acid spills and the look of it is irregular, which you might prefer of course. With our sleek minimalist style the siletone was better.

CarlaBrooni Thu 10-Oct-13 15:58:15

noddyholder, help me, help me. I've searched for Pure white top end laminate and don't get anything definitive. What make is it? I thought it might be called Pure, but don't get anything with that. What does top end laminate mean? <<novice>>

noddyholder Thu 10-Oct-13 16:06:37

It just means a non cheap one not b and q 20 quid job!

Chewbecca Fri 11-Oct-13 11:51:14

I'm really surprised by these comments about granite needing regular upkeep and care to be needed to avoid spilling things on it.

I have a dark granite, it's been in 5 years now, I thought the whole point was that it doesn't mark, stain or need any care. We've never treated it with anything and there's absolutely nothing I avoid putting or spilling on it, I treat it as indestructible.

It looks the same today as the day it was put in.
Is it because it is dark? Or are there different types. Or are some of you treating your granite unnecessarily carefully?

Chewbecca Fri 11-Oct-13 11:53:17

And, as above, I got mine direct from a local granite supplier and the cost was not outrageous at all, certainly loads less than flooring a whole house! One room perhaps comparable!

amazonianwoman Fri 11-Oct-13 11:57:51

Dark granite is much more forgiving, pale granite can stain & is more porous (I think)

pippop1 Fri 11-Oct-13 11:58:43

I also have had granite for a few years. The colour is called Blue Pearl. There is one tiny chip on the edge next to the dishwasher. Otherwise nothing at all.

I am not at all kind to it and spill everything. The only kindness it gets is I don't cut on it and if I get something out of the oven I put it on a trivet or board.

It looks the same as when it was installed. I love it.

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