Wednesday, February 15, 2012

products galore: kitchen counters

i have no idea what to do for our kitchen counters.  there are so many choices available to consumers that it makes deciding a very difficult process of elimination.  i think the most important features of a kitchen counter are, ease of maintenance / cleaning, durability and looks.

i have been reading about all types of solid surface products, these are typically products that are made up of an acrylic resin.  within the group of solid surfacing are many different manufacturers all with slightly different looks, however Corian by Dupont, is probably the most well known.  it is non-porous and stain and chemical resistant which makes it a great choice for medical and food-preparation areas.  i like the idea of this product being super sanitary and easy to clean, however it is not known to stand up to heat very well because it is essentially plastic.  but i like some of the different looks that Corian has so i think solid surface is still in the running.

Rain Cloud from Corian Private Collection

Arrowroot from Corian Private Collection

Beautiful Corian countertop via Houzz

I love how thick you can make Corian
 look like on this solid white island via Houzz

another serious contender is the engineered stone that is available on the market today.  people are OBSESSED with granite, you watch any of those HGTV shows and every person says "oooh granite counter tops" as if that instantly makes a space more classy, regardless of the layout or the fact that they are probably looking at THE cheapest granite money can buy, but anyway (yes, I am kind of a granite hater)  the types of granite i love are waaaaay out of my price range and come from exotic locations in africa and europe so instead i am seriously considering an engineered stone.  these have all of the great qualities of granite- stands up to heat well, easy to clean, beautiful movement but can be made in large slabs at a lower cost than the real stuff.  all of these engineered stones are basically the same make up of 93% quartz and 7% resin, and because it doesn't need sealing it is lower maintenance than granite! yay for me!

don't get me wrong, there are plenty of granites out there that compete or even beat the price of engineered stones, but these are your typical santa cecilia or tropic brown or that gold color that ever new condo in the world seems to have.  (ive been drinking the hater-ade i know) products like dupont's zodiac, silestone and caesarstone all have a variety of colors and styles to choose from ranging from almost solid to pieces with tons of movement and color.  here are a few i am liking right now:
zodiaq cloud white
zodiaq bianco carrara- made to look like carrara marble 
silestone - bianco river

i love this silestone because it reminds me of concrete- color cygnus

silestone lagoon

white zodiaq counters via houzz

finally i am looking into concrete counters.  this is a real source of anxiety for me, i have heard great things about concrete and terrible things about concrete.  on the one hand i know that is stands up to heat, and cleaning really well and i love the industrial look of it, on the other hand i have heard about wine stains,  and oil spots that never go away.  i just don't know what to think!  our neighbor actually makes a living pouring concrete counters so i think i am going to go question him and get the run down.  in the mean time i have been eagerly looking at this company sonoma cast stone to get ideas as well a pouring over the internet for photos, here are few that show off the style of concrete i like.

beautiful bath with concrete counters and surround via houzz

a picture everyone has seen of jenna lyon's concrete counters via houzz
(still chic though)

beautiful kitchen with sleek concrete counters via houzz

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