• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Kitchen Worktops  RSS feed

 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 10014
Location: Portugal
925
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We're finally starting work renovating the old house at the farm, and are beginning to plan the kitchen.  We want a worktop in the kitchen, probably with cupboards built in underneath, and the choices seem to be either a new synthetic laminate, or, if we are lucky, there is a place that sometimes has secondhand marble worktops which might just be affordable. 

Are there any downsides to using marble?  How likely is it to crack?  If anyone carelessly sticks a hot pan on it straight after removing it from the woodburner, is it going to damage it?  Or is it truly wonderful and going to last me a lifetime no matter how careless I am with it? 
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used to work at a place that sold and fabricated marble tops. Unless you are using a sledge hammer to prepare your food, you will be all set. It is virtually indescructable.

Karl
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 10014
Location: Portugal
925
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Indestructable sounds good! 

Do you happen to know about seriously hot pans?  And things like vinegar? I've heard rumours of staining, too, but I couldn't really care less about stains. 
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
heat won't bother it either!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Seal it properly, and food acids won't be a problem.

If your luck in acquiring marble isn't as good as you'd hope, and especially if you get a significant amount of marble but not enough to cover your needs, consider concrete as a worktop. It has many of the advantages of marble, and if you're skilled in working with concrete, it's possible to do yourself.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Concrete-Countertops-for-the-Kitchen---Solid-Surfa/

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-build-and-install-a-concrete-countertop/index.html

If your renovation produces some scrap melamine, that can be used as a mold material for the concrete (perhaps before a second life as a garage/potting shed worktop).
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 10014
Location: Portugal
925
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for those links Joel - my other half likes the sound of that!  I think that will be way to go if we fail to find marble or anything similar. 

Portugal isn't a good place (or at least, this part isn't) for finding used stuff, but marble worktops seem to be the exception.  I've seen a few at a place about twenty miles away where they take and renovate old/antique furniture as training for disadvantaged young men, and I've even seen some stacked up in the back yard of a local builder, so they are obviously considered worth saving.  The culture is strange - poor people, and anyone in a village, will use what they have till it's just not usable any more, so there's no culture of either swapping or buying used items.  In the cities, where people have 'progressed' from the poverty of the villages, it's considered 'beneath them' to buy second-hand, so no-one even bothers trying to sell used stuff. 

About sealing - will bees wax do?  Only that's something we actually have, and it would be good to use something home produced.

There won't be any scrap melamine unfortunately - the old house is seriously basic.  Walls are stone pointed with mud, the roof is tiled and has home-grown eucalyptus beams and wooden slats to support the tiles.  We've put in a concrete floor, started putting a bit of rendering on the walls and installed a woodburner and a sink but that's about it so far. 
 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
Posts: 143
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Unless you get things very, VERY hot (well over 500degrees farenheight) marble shouldn't have a problem handling hot pots.

It is interesting how social attitudes affect the sale of used merchandise.  I know, when I was younger, I thought I had to have all new stuff.  Now, I know better and I love to find something I can put to good use! 

I think that attitude has begun to spread, in my area.  As a result resale shops have become envogue.  So much so, in fact, that we have a few that cater to the area's most wealthy.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Burra Maluca wrote:About sealing - will bees wax do?...There won't be any scrap melamine unfortunately.


Bah, I say not having scrap melamine around is a good thing, overall.

I believe the first step of sealing involves water glass (sodium silicate), and the second step is beeswax. The water glass is permanent unless you sand, I think the wax should be refreshed about every month or so. Double-check this, as I'm not speaking from experience or deep research.
 
Andrea Wisner
Posts: 31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Crazy idea? (Limewashing marble/limestone)

In building our kitchen, we have gotten a pile of scrap 24 x 24,  about 1 inch thick, beige/pinkish marble tiles - for almost nothing. They may actually be honed limestone. They had gotten stuck together and some had corners broken off when someone attempted to separate them. Long story short, they have now been separated and we have enough to do the kitchen countertops. While they're all about the same color (except for one very pink one which I separated out), they have significantly different patterns. Some have fossil patterns, others have those marbled lines, but look like they came from different sources. I'm wondering if limewashing them will give them a more uniform look. Both marble and lime come from limestone, and my understanding of lime is that the limewash probably will fuse with the marble (or limestone). We would then seal them, and I see some good ideas for natural sealing above.

So is this crazy, considering the current smooth honed surface?

Edit: Through online search, the stone appears to be "Crema Luna" limestone, and may actually be polished rather than honed, as they are very shiny: "Occasionally, a type of limestone will be hard enough to take a high polish. Some of these stones include Crema Luna and Cafe Pinta, although these stones are most frequently found in a honed finish as well." - www.ehow.com/about_6130457_honed-limestone-marble_.html 

I have read a million things that stress how "porous" even a highly polished marble is, and marble is compressed limestone, so this polished limestone should be considered to be porous, but is it "porous" enough for limewash to fuse to it? http://www.minervaconservation.com/articles/limewash.html

Of course, I may lay them in a way to emphasize their difference, rather than trying to make them look uniform. I could do wide grout lines, or divide the tiles with contrasting stone or glass tile lines. (I also got a box of blue glass backsplash tiles for almost nothing, fwiw. Got a couple boxes of travertine backsplash tile also for almost nothing, also fwiw.)
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6796
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
266
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would not try to alter, nice smooth material like that. Better to accept the color difference and live with it. I assume you have enough backsplash to tie it together by using a single color there or at least use the same color pattern around the whole thing.
 
Andrea Wisner
Posts: 31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dale, yes, I think you're right. The tile, as it is, is very beautiful, although very inconsistent in pattern. But yet I have the curiousity of "what would happen if ...?"

The travertine backsplash tile is plenty, but it's pretty close to the same color as the countertop tile, especially when sealed, so I'm thinking maybe we can find scrap of a darker stone, or use tile. Or maybe we could darken the travertine more than the sealer darkens it, to provide some contrast and division. (Sorry, not sure if you were suggesting to use it to divide the large tiles, or use it as a backsplash. As a backsplash it's fine as-is.)

Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion says you can make odds and ends look aesthetic, as opposed to an eyesore, by creating patterns with them ...


EDIT: Related thread: https://permies.com/t/26783/Sealing-natural-stone-counter-tops.
 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Steve flies like a tiny ad:
Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!