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Kitchen Counter tops

We are replacing our counter tops and would like to know your opinions on material; i.e., granite, quartz, soapstone, etc. The last information posted here was from four years ago so I'm guessing there may be new options? Thank you!

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

asked 6 months ago
19 answers 689 views
4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 6 months ago

I've designed a number of kitchens. It depends upon what YOU want, your budget, why you are choosing that medium. Quartz is much easier to maintain than either granite or marble. Poured concrete is fairly popular and easy to care for. There are also very affordable laminates that are definitely NOT your grandma's formica. You should go and look at the various materials and then ask informed questions.

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Amanda Sims

Amanda is the Design & Home Editor at Food52

added 6 months ago

I love poured concrete (which can be painted black to look quite a lot like soapstone) for a budget option that's easy to keep up with, a butcher block counter if you don't have too many other wood finishes or a wood floor that will compete with it visually; it will require more maintenance by way of waxing and possibly sanding, but that said it's really pretty a little worn! If you don't mind seeing the surface wear a little over time—and can afford it—white marble and soapstone are both hard not to love. Granite *can* also be gorgeous; just be picky when you're choosing a slab, since the color and pattern can really range (I like less variegated ones). I'm not big on quartz counters, since they look (and are) less natural than stone—but they are very, very, very low-maintenance. And of course copper would be a splurge, but not actually that tough to care for and and wowza pretty.

Completely agree with ChefJune that your choice depends quite a lot on what your priorities and budget are, how much TLC you want to be giving it, and which looks you like the best.

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 6 months ago

Have to say if I were doing my kitchen in 2016, I'd be going with poured concrete. I love the look and the ease of care.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added 6 months ago

I'm interested in the poured concrete. I don't think I've ever seen it before. The photos that came up on a quick internet search showed a lot of variation in appearance. Most look so austere and unwelcoming.
I'll likely be doing 2 kitchen remodels in the next few years (in 2 homes I'll soon be buying, not yet found / closed, because I'm taking my time to get exactly what I want) so I'm actively researching everything kitchen these days.
Can anyone direct me to some appealing examples of poured concrete counter surfaces? (I'll be putting tiles on the floors.)
And do you know anything about the coatings some builders recommend for poured concrete? Thanks! ;o)

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 6 months ago

AntoniaJames; on the HGTV web site, look up FixerUpper. Joanna Gaines uses poured concrete a lot in her designs on that show, and has it in her own home. There should be lots of photos there.

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added 6 months ago

I am on planning my kitchen and from my research, quartz will be my choice of kitchen countertop. It can have similar price with granite/less than marble; more shatterproof, stainproof, nickproof than both granite and marble; no yearly sealing maintenance necessary compared to granite and marble; and a renewable resources.

If price is of more concern, laminate would be my second choice. Economic, waterproof, pretty, relatively maintenance free.

I heard that concrete poured <1.5" can have much more risk of break apart and chipping, so it can be a concern. It also has more porous surface, so your stainproofness depends on the sealing. If anyone can chime in on the technicality on these 2 things, it'd be great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

*this part was somehow cut off:

I heard that concrete poured <1.5" can have much more risk of break apart and chipping, so it can be a concern. It also has more porous surface, so your stainproofness depends on the sealing. If anyone can chime in on the technicality on these 2 things, it'd be great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

I heard that concrete poured <1.5" can have much more risk of break apart and chipping, so it can be a concern. It also has more porous surface, so your stainproofness depends on the sealing. If anyone can chime in on the technicality on these 2 things, it'd be great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

..... concrete poured <1.5" can have much more risk of break apart and chipping, so it can be a concern. It also has more porous surface, so your stainproofness depends on the sealing. If anyone can chime in on the technicality on these 2 things, it'd be great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

I heard that concrete poured <1.5" can have much more risk of break apart and chipping, so it can be a concern. It also has more porous surface, so your stainproofness depends on the sealing. If anyone can chime in on the technicality on these 2 things, it'd be great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

I heard that concrete poured <1.5" can have much more risk of break apart and chipping, so it can be a concern. It also has more porous surface, so your stainproofness depends on the sealing. If anyone can chime in on the technicality on these 2 things, it'd be great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

I heard that concrete poured <1.5" can have much more risk of break apart and chipping, so it can be a concern. It also has more porous surface, so your stainproofness depends on the sealing. If anyone can chime in on the technicality on these 2 things, it'd be great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

Sorry for the repeated, cut off answer. I tried to answer on the concrete but for some reason the website cut it off.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

I have had 2 kitchens with granite and I don't think I ever would consider anything else. Granite is a so robust and I don't have to coddle it. It is in use all the time and really is a workhorse. Red wine, oil, turmeric, beet juice makes no difference. Both were/are basically black and in the lower price range for granite. One had a lot of marking, the other less so - so to keep it looking tidy requires wiping more than a granite which has a pattern. I have a spray bottle with a little dish soap, a spritz of that and it is perfect. The only downside is that if you are heavy handed in putting items down your china has the potential for chipping as the granite has no give, but unloading the dishwasher I put down a tea towel and that solves it. I also love the feel of it. Not sure what the poured concrete will feel like it - and I would definitely want to touch it before I went down that route.

4caa0af8 566e 43ab 992b 57e8725a8b1a  joey
added 6 months ago

I think that the poured concrete sounds amazing and it looks like a pretty interesting project if you're handy (https://www.youtube.com...). If I was to re-do my kitchen, I'd go the poured concrete route. I don't care for the black granite I have now; it looks streaky when I wipe it down with regular spray cleaner. Sadly, a guest recently dropped something on my countertop and chipped the edge. Replacing the whole thing is about the only option, so it'd be nice to have something like poured concrete that I'd imagine could be fixed a little easier if something like that happens. (unless someone knows of a way to refurbish a chipped piece of granite?)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

I haven't tried this but seems to be worth it to try https://www.youtube.com...

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 6 months ago

or https://www.youtube.com...

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ktr
added 6 months ago

I think I'm in the minority here, but I would go with laminate. Then if it gets chipped, I wouldn't feel bad replacing it.

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added 6 months ago

I'm in love with my quartz countertops. They don't stain, look natural and beautiful, and are durable. I had a terrific array of choices, and they clean up so easily and well. I've had them for about four years now, and I've not a single regret.