What countertop product looks like formica/laminate?

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Tim Young
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What countertop product looks like formica/laminate?

Postby Tim Young » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:27 pm

My wife and I are likely moving soon, and we're starting to think of what we want to do with the counters in the new house. In our current house, we put in formica countertops. I love the look of them, but they haven't worn well. The usual issues: chipping at the corners, scratching, etc. Is there a product that can look like formica? I'm thinking of something that could have square edges and a solid color. I don't like the look of speckled countertops. Could something like caesarstone fit the bill? Most of the ceasarstone counters I've seen are speckled.

These are my current counters and the look I have in mind. The house we're moving into is a flat roof modern home built in the 50s.

Image

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Postby egads » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:30 pm

I have seen the plain pure white caesarstone installed and it's really plain, probably as plain as a man made stone can get. It is basically like terrazzo, caesarstone being made out of quartz and terrazzo made out of marble chips. But in either case chips is what it's made out of. So there is some speckling. But with the Caesarstone, in the pure white, the pieces are so small and the color so uniform, it reads all white. You really have to get up close to see that it is in fact made of teeny tiny pieces of quartz. It is a premium product, the "granite" of modern interiors if you will. It would be my first choice if I had the budget. (well neck and neck with stainless perhaps) You can check other makers of man made stone, like Silestone. their ZEUS white seems really plain. I also ran across a product made for lab and commercial kitchen counters I can't remember the name of.

Edit: just Google Lab Countertops, they seem to be made of epoxy resins and are indestructible. They do come in plain white.

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Postby egads » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:52 pm

Oh, don't forget Corian. That stuff is amazing. It comes matte and gets buffed (or not) to the sheen you desire. They or you use Scotch-Bright pads in various grits to obtain (or maintain) the sheen. To polish it up you use the white ones. I once worked in a house where I took down all the recess light trims and washed them. The springs rusted and left spots all over the counter. I scrubbed them right out. A counter you can scrub with a Scotch-Brite pad without damaging is kind of cool when you think about it. Don't reject any material based on they way you have seen it used. You will spec the edge detail. With Corian (and the lab counter material) you can get a sink made out of the same material totally integrated. No seams to clean ever!

An aside, what a way to get out of redoing the front yard!

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:11 pm

chips and scratches? wow, you must be really hard on your counters. I mean, formica is tough. maybe consider other edging materials and using cutting boards and heat mats?

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Tim Young
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Postby Tim Young » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:09 am

Yes, chips and scratches. No, I'm not hard on my counters.

egads, thanks for the great, helpful comments. Fortunately, I had just begun on the front yard when all of this came about!

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Postby dani » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:54 am

From what I have seen of formica, you get what you pay for. There seems to be some real cheaply made counter tops out there. I would look at getting formica again, myself. but pay the $ for a nice supplier and installer.

other than that quartz and corian are the options, if you want white. Egads is right, the corian cleans up wonderful. I've seen varnish rings from workers left on my dads counters buffed away in seconds.

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Tim Young
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Postby Tim Young » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:58 am


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Postby dani » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:46 pm


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Postby jonu » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:40 am

Another vote for Corian.

Here is a link to their available colors....
http://www2.dupont.com/Surfaces/en_US/p ... olors.html

And, here is a picture of a solid white Corian countertop with integrated sink..

Image

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Postby Joe » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:35 am

consider some alternatives...

stained/sealed MDF with wood edges.

concrete, as long as it's not too thick isn't bad either.

cork with wood edges is interesting too.

sheet linoleum with mental edges works too.

stainless steel

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Tim Young
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Postby Tim Young » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:53 am

jonu, thanks for the picture. I'm impressed. I can see the potential of corian. I really handn't seen a corian countertop with square edges before. It does resemble formica. Is it plastic?

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Postby egads » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:05 pm


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Van
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Postby Van » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:50 pm

Staron is another brand of solid surface countertops. I have no idea if they are good or not. Just thought I'd put it out there.

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Tim Young
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Postby Tim Young » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:31 pm

"First sold in 1967, Corian was originally developed as a material to replace human bones, and it is still produced in the first color: "Bone"."


Freaky.

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Tim Young
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Postby Tim Young » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:58 pm

Trying to find some examples of Corian used in mid-century homes:

Image
Image
Image

If anyone has more, post them. I like this one but I really don't like any rounding. I think I like square edges everywhere better.

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Tim Young
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Postby Tim Young » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:04 pm

I'm interested in the cork idea:

Image

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Tim Young
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Postby Tim Young » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:32 pm

What do you guys think about this - marmoleum counter with metal edging:

Image

Also saw people who did this with formica.

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dani
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Postby dani » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:21 am


egads
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Postby egads » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:07 am


srk1941
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Postby srk1941 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:58 am

I vote for either linoleum or formica with that metal edge.

I think formica would be more maintenance free.
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Postby hood » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:53 pm

I am a fan of counter tops that incorporate only one material/surface/color. Banded counter tops seem a bit busy in the overall vision.

I love laminates, you might check with Kerf and see what type of laminates they use for their millwork.

I also highly recommend Corian.
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