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Which one should I choose for my new kitchen?

 
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Recently, I want to plan to replace my kitchen countertops. I think Quartz countertop looks better. But some friends told me, the granite countertops are more resistant.

So can you help me decide which one should I choose?

Thanks!
 
Mother Tree
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I went for local granite.

The house is built out of local stone and it seemed only natural for the worktop to be made out of the most suitable local stone too.  
 
Kimbery Boice
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Burra Maluca wrote:I went for local granite.

The house is built out of local stone and it seemed only natural for the worktop to be made out of the most suitable local stone too.  



What color did you choose? Can you share some pics?
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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We had it cut to fit in the alcove in the kitchen window.  I think it cost €60, cut to measure, about five years ago.



Here's a close up - not sure what colour you'd call it but I like it!



 
Kimbery Boice
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Burra Maluca wrote:We had it cut to fit in the alcove in the kitchen window.  I think it cost €60, cut to measure, about five years ago.



Here's a close up - not sure what colour you'd call it but I like it!





Beautiful.

Thank you so much. :)

 
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If you' were interested in doing something sustainable then you might want to consider earthen/clay counter tops.  I've done several, with bamboo as a substrate.  
 
gardener
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you might want to consider earthen/clay counter tops.  I've done several, with bamboo as a substrate.  

 Can you share your recipe Krofter?
 
Krofter Young
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Roberto - Don't have time to do a detailed post but I'm sure someone has posted a detailed description of how to do earthen floors.  Earthen counter tops are the same process.  Use a 3 to 4" bamboo pole as the front edge and retainer for the mud.  Let the top edge of the bamboo stand proud to keep things from rolling off.  Split bamboo can be used as the base.  Pre-drill holes to accept screws to prevent bamboo from splitting. Might get some ideas from a few different pages on my site - www.erdakroft.com
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I'm sure someone has posted a detailed description of how to do earthen floors.  Earthen counter tops are the same process.  

got it.  It's all good.  I thought your bamboo substrate was being used like fiber rebar to reinforce the counter top internally in the matrix of the counter itself.  My bad.    



 
gardener
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I've been told that quartz doesn't require maintenance, and that marble and granite require "sealing" of some sort. I've also been told that acidic foods such as tomato sauce can etch granite and marble, even staining marble. I don't know if how true those statements are, but I imagine every marble, granite or quartz has different mineral composition depending on what part of the globe they come from, maybe making some more prone to staining versus others. I'm just thinking out loud here.

I'll actually be building a 1 bedroom house next year, and I'm curious about these things too. Burra, can you share with us how your granite has held up after 5 years?
 
Burra Maluca
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James Freyr wrote:Burra, can you share with us how your granite has held up after 5 years?



The granite still looks as good as the day we installed it.  But then, the old marble slab that's been sitting outside that we prep chickens and ducks on looks pretty much the same as when we put it there, too.  Neither of them have been treated in any way since we've had them, though I guess the marble might have had something done to it in its previous life, and all the maintenance I give them is a wipe down with a cloth or the occasional scrub if they get something very yucky on them.  
 
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If you pick granite, try to scratch it with a pocketknife. Not all granites are "granite". The more expensive granites(exotics) are also the most fragile . See if they scratch,  and look for fills. Think of granite as swiss cheese. The holes are filled with a resin, then polished. The resin fills the swiss cheese voids. Not as bad as i describe but they are in some granites. So its important to inspect the slab cause what you see is what you get. If you buy off a small sample you may be disappointed.

Quartz (engineered) are popular cause the current  trend is lights,whites, and grays. Its very hard to find these colors in a granite. They dont need sealed, are generally stronger depending on things like veins that granite have. Quartz is harder to repair, but neither should need repairing if you stay away from the fragile granites.

Marble-  If you want it to look the same in 5 years, dont get it. It will gradually stain and lose its shine. Dont get me wrong, it will still be beautiful, but it will have a patina. If you fight this , you won't enjoy it.

Ive been in this business for 17 years. If you have specific questions i csn elaborate.
 
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Marble is basicallly transformed Limestone, so it is not resistant to acids. It will get stains. We have had a granite countertop for the last 7 years, and until now it seems to be nigh indestructible. No stains, no cracks, no other care than soapy water. Almost all shops tried to tell us granite was more delicate than quartz, but when we asked a mason he said that this was mostly due to a better profit margin. Kitchen shops have to get their granite from a mason, which leaves less profit for them.
 
Burra Maluca
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Philipp Mueller wrote: Kitchen shops have to get their granite from a mason, which leaves less profit for them.



You went to a kitchen shop?  We went to a local stone cutter and wandered around his giant slabs of local stone with a cardboard template of the weird shape we wanted cutting and he helped us a chose a lump of stone that would work well for the use we wanted and the colour of the kitchen.  He took the template off us, set his machine up, and we collected it the next day.  Don't think he had time for filling holes and polishing.  

I'm tempted to go back just so I can take photos...
 
Philipp Mueller
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Burra Maluca wrote:
You went to a kitchen shop?  ...



...first. Before we found a local mason. It was the usual route to go around here, but we learned better.

(I really do not know if kitchen shop is even the right term. It is not a shop for kitchen supplies, but for whole kitchens)
 
Burra Maluca
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Seems like a good idea to share this photo of a marble sink and draining board unit belonging to a friend in the next village.

 
pollinator
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I will keep an eye on this thread -- the house we are moving to next spring (if all goes well -- closing is a bit up in the air at the moment) needs a new kitchen.  As in, the kitchen has been completely gutted.  We'll be starting from scratch, all new cabinets and everything.  

 
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mine was broken but was a very fast and easy fix
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WP_20171116_21_48_14_Pro_LI-1-.jpg
[Thumbnail for WP_20171116_21_48_14_Pro_LI-1-.jpg]
 
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Kitchen stores and big box stores are middle men that add a LOT to the price, and the craftsmen get very little of it. Often the better craftsmen won't work with them because they pay below average rates to the craftsmen but charge the customer a premium rate (like Home Depot).

Might want to search for "Marble and Granite Fabricators" in your area, those are the guys that actually cut/polish the granite/marble slabs and do the installation for you.  They often don't have their own inventory but they will tell you where to buy it. If you are picky about color you want to go to the warehouse and select specific slabs yourself, since it is a natural product the colors always vary a bit so slabs need to be taken from the same "lot", selecting them personally will ensure you get exactly what you expect when it is installed.

Don't know about quartz, but no one uses marble for kitchen counters. It is too soft and stains too easily, marble is for bathrooms and floors. Granite is the gold standard. Call a fabricator and ask them about quartz, they will know if it is suitable for a kitchen counter and they can explain why or why not better than anyone else.
 
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My wife is a cooking enthusiast so her counter tops where critical to her.
Last house we upgraded and splurged for Corian.  She ended up regretting it - mainly because the sink was molded to the counter top, which was awesome for cleaning, but the sink was off-white and as it aged it started taking a stain and basically never looked clean.  Turns out it can stand the heat, but it gets micro porous so it get stained.
She ended up wishing she had just stuck with a high quality lamenent.  Easy and cheap to change.  Much lower initial cost.
On our current house she has gone with a wooden plank counter top.  She could stain the whole thing whatever color she wants - it can take abuse - and it was cheap cheap cheap.
You can see the process in this
http://beechhousebuild.blogspot.com/2016/11/kitchen-cabinetry.html

It's worked perfect for us so far.
 
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Does anyone have experience with soapstone?  We're redoing part of our kitchen and I love the look and feel of soapstone (and it's supposed to be impervious to heat and staining); quartz is our second choice.
 
Chris Knite
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We have a soapstone fireplace.  So definitely it can take the heat - but we have found it is very easy to stain.  (it's  a light gray).  Our old neighbors got soapstone counters put in.  It was beautiful.  It was Very dark, but it still would stain easy with normal stuff like wine.  They also found it uncomfortably easy to scratch.  The good news is re-oiling took care of most stains, and that scratches could just be sanded out, but it was happening all the time so they basically treated it like it was glass.
 
wayne fajkus
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I had mentioned " embracing the patina".  This is very true with soapstone.

If you expect it to look the same in a couple years, youll be too worried to use it.

Chris gave a great description.  Oil darkens the scratches along with the entire surface. Mineral oil is preferred.
 
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I am looking at slate when we remodel our kitchen.  It is low maintenance, takes heat and just needs a little mineral to touch up the finish.   Scratches can be removed with steel wool.

 
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I put in butcher block counters throughout my kitchen and love Love LOVE them. The only other countertop I would have is stainless steel like they have in commercial kitchens. If it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for me. Trendy stone countertops...nope.
 
pollinator
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These stone countertops have been around long enough that they often come on the used market, whether the home is renovated or demolished. When I have them, and the cupboards beneath are no good, they generally sell for $50 or less. That's a fraction of new cost. They can be cut with a diamond saw that fits in a standard circular saw, and does not require water. These blades cost about 20 Canadian dollars here. Most people would have trouble doing a cut out for a sink, with rounded edges Etc. But almost anybody who has built things before, could clamp-on a wooden fence, so that the circular saw follows a very true path, to make a nice smooth, straight-cut. An angle grinder can be used, if rounded corners are desired. Wear a mask.
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
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I like the idea of a glass countertop. Not one that could break and allow everything to fall into the cupboards beneath. Set it in wet mortar or concrete. The base could be made of plywood and then the glass floated on half an inch or so of wet material.

Glass washes up really clean.

I've seen some really expensive looking glass countertops that are molded in fancy shapes. And, I've seen some very expensive concrete countertops. They pour the concrete, then finish it very carefully, then sometimes grind, and finally use a sealer. A piece of salvaged glass, floated on the concrete, would greatly reduce the cost.
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