Greetings!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by gina.boyle, May 13, 2019.

  1. gina.boyle

    gina.boyle New Member

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    Hey guys, I've been thinking to have a kitchen renovation to make my baking equipment more organized. So I did some research on some ideas for my countertops because I really wanted to start with them since I started practicing basic baking for my grandma. I'm hoping if you guys happened to know some source that could provide me a lot of information about different kind of surfaces that I can install over my countertop. I prefer the ones with white design, probably quartz. Someone told me that marble is good, others say granite's better. But I couldn't find a plain white color for them. I will be grateful to know your opinion/experience regarding choosing for the best countertop.
     

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    gina.boyle, May 13, 2019
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  2. gina.boyle

    deb.Williams New Member

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    when will you start the renovation?
     
    deb.Williams, May 13, 2019
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  3. gina.boyle

    gina.boyle New Member

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    Planning to start with the remodel a couple of weeks from now.
     
    gina.boyle, May 14, 2019
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  4. gina.boyle

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Well I don’t know of any sources. Most places want to sell you their products and so they’re going to promote what they sell.

    Over the years I’ve had to move back-and-forth across the country as my former husband’s career advanced. I’ve had laminate, corian, tile, and granite surfaces in my homes.

    Although I did not a install quartz countertop in any my homes, when I was selecting the countertop for my home in Virginia I wanted quartz. But after much discussion with the builder we decided against quartz due to how easily it burns. I’ll include the information about quartz.

    I’ve also worked on stainless steel and wood surfaces in commercial kitchens.

    There’s pros and cons to all surfaces.

    Quartz

    Quartz is not natural stone. It is man-made or engineered stone made of 95% ground quartz mixed with 5% resin. The appeal of quartz is it is man-made so they are able to control the color and pattern. What you see in the show room is what you get in your kitchen. They’re also able to create a wide range of patterns and colors. And this is what appealed to me— the range of patterns available.

    And since it is mixed with resin it is very durable and a non porous surface that will not absorb bacteria and odors. It is scratch resistant. Another big plus that I really liked about quartz.

    But it has a significant drawback—it is not heat resistant and easily discolors from heat. And the scorch mark caused by placing a hot pan on a quartz countertop is pretty permanent. Given the kitchen is all about heat the chances of accidentally placing a hot pot, lid, or utensils on the countertop is pretty high.

    And it doesn’t even have to be a pot off the stove or out of the oven. If you place a hot pot right out of the dishwasher on a quartz countertop you will burn a permanent mark into the quartz countertop.

    One mistake/accident could ruin your countertop because once you scorch it there’s pretty much no repairing it. And a scorch mark is going to be far more obvious on a white quartz countertop then on a darker color.

    Manufacturers recommend you never place anything hot on a quartz countertop. A trivet must always be placed under a hot pan. Quartz is also notorious for chipping on the corners. So they recommend you purchase countertops with a rounded corner design rather than squared corners.

    Interestingly the quartz countertop was more expensive than the granite, probably because the demand was so high given it is really attractive.


    Granite

    As a natural material each piece of granite is unique, so the piece of granite you see in the show may not be the piece of granite you end up with in your kitchen. Granite is designed by nature not by man. So when shopping for granite you need to keep that in mind. But this uniqueness is also highly coveted and granite is priced accordingly. Unlike quartz where a manufacture can mix and sell as much of a particular pattern as consumers demand, with granite there’s an finite supply of each vein. So a rare and unusual granite vein will sell for a premium price. And when it is sold out, there’s no more to be had on earth.

    Granite does not have the heat discoloring issues. But it certainly will absorb heat/cold because it’s natural stone. If you have a ceramic or glass baking dish, you definitely do not want to place it directly on a granite countertop right out of the oven. The cold granite countertop could shatter a hot ceramic/glass baking dish right out of the oven due to thermal shock.

    Granite is porous but, once granite is sealed it should be resistant to odors and stains. They recommend resealing granite every 3 - 5 years. Granite can also chip. I’ve had both square corners and rounded corners on my countertops and I have not had any issues with chipping.

    Tile

    Tile provides a variety of design options. And you can fit tile into every budget. The other beautiful thing about tile is if you damage one tile you can easily have it repaired. If you choose tile it’s always advisable to purchase a few extra pieces to ensure that you have replacements that match in the event that you have to do a repair. Tile does require a little bit more maintenance in that the grout must be sealed every year. The grout is porous so it will stain if it is not sealed. You have to use a pastry board or pastry mat when with working dough on tile because the surface is uneven.


    Laminate

    Over the years laminate has gotten to be a lot better. I home I owned in Virginia about eight years ago that had laminate countertops around the sink in the laundry room. It’s inexpensive and comes in so many colors and patterns to match any room decor. But despite advances in the looks of laminate, not much has changed in performance as it easily scratches. You cannot cut on this surface without a cutting board. But it is very durable otherwise and it cleans up very well. I accidentally dropped a gallon of paint in that room while I was on a ladder, so the paint went everywhere. Took me an hour to clean up all that paint and it came off all the surfaces including the countertop very easily.


    Corian

    We had this in the kitchen and bathrooms in a vacation home. It comes in every color and design you can dream up. The faux quarts even looked like quartz. But this stuff scratches. You cannot cut on the surface. You cannot clean it with anything even slightly abrasive as it takes off both the glossy finish and scratches it. And once the finish is taken off it looks terrible. I do NOT recommend Corian.



    Wood countertops (commercial kitchen, not in my home)

    At least one butcher block countertop is in most commercial kitchens because it’s a preferred cutting surface as well as a surface dough. Once you lightly flour a wood surface, does not going to stick to it. Wood is ideal for kneading and rolling. And the texture of wood is great to help create the necessary surface tension when shaping bread for those of us who lack the skills.

    But for a residential homes a quality wood it’s too expensive and impractical. So a good hardwood maple pastry board is invaluable. It’s an excellent surface to knead and roll dough. It contains your work/mess to make cleanup easier. You can easily move your dough from prep area to another area in the kitchen.


    A well design board should be safe and do double duty as a pastry board and a chopping board. Not this particular board per say but look at how the board is constructed to help keep it from sliding forward. It’s also reversible.

    A high quality hard maple is the preferred wood for a pastry board.


    https://www.pastrychef.com/WOODEN-PASTRY-BOARD-BREAD-KNEADING-BOARD_p_2179.html



    Stainless steel (commercial kitchen)

    Stainless steel is the standard countertop surface in commercial kitchens.

    It is smooth, it’s non-porous, so won’t absorb bacteria and odors. It’s easy to clean and sanitize. It’s pretty much indestructible. You can put a burning hot pan on it no problem. Setting a tray right out of the freezer will not damage the surface. You can cut directly on it; you can scrape on it. Yes if you drop something on it it will dent it. Yes the surface will scratch if you scape metal tools across it repeatedly. But compared to all other surfaces it’s pretty much indestructible. But again a stainless steel countertop is not practical residential kitchen.

    But if you have the space for a kitchen island, I would encourage you to research a stainless steel surface as a possibility for a kitchen island. Another option would be as a portable stainless steel work table.

    There are other types of countertop surfaces but I am not familiar with them so I cannot provide any information.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 14, 2019
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  5. gina.boyle

    Thut1997 Member

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    There's probably a lot of stores nearby that can answer your question regarding those surfaces for the countertop. One thing for sure that I would like to suggest is don't try having a marble. I know that's pretty cheap but it's the worst for me. In my own opinion :)
     
    Thut1997, Jun 26, 2019
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