New Member-Kitchen reno

Lauren328July 10, 2013

I read the sticky. I sweeby'd. I've houzz'd. I've pinned.

We are planning a kitchen renovation.

Cabinets, fridge, DW.

countertops, sink, faucet, range, pulls

Hood over range (currently a microwave)
cabinets/countertop added/extending where fridge is currently living

Fridge to empty wall with pantry surround.

My sweeby vibe is this: If a sweet little seashell could have a love-child with a classy sailboat, and it was born as a kitchen, that's what I want. I like soft pearl whites, sea green, neutral, nautical (without anchors or actual seashells). I love sand colors for surfaces, etc.

Bottom cabs will be Revere Pewter, tops White Dove. Applicances are already stainless, so range will be as well. Hoping for a slide-in. Pulls will be steel boat cleats or something silly since those are easily changed. Backsplash will be a small scale tile in something soft and sand colored. Warm, but without too much color.

I was hoping to not be "that girl" but my oh my, am I stuck at countertops.

I've lived in a lot of houses and have experienced Corian, Granite, Laminate, butcher block and Tile (current #killme). My mother has soapstone and I cook alot in there and love it.

Budget restrictions and a personal affections sent me straight back to laminate. The minute I started researching it, I found this sort of "laminate shame" to be abundant!

I am a hardcore cook. But I'm not clumsy and I'm a big fan of rules. So, I use hot pads, etc. My husband and I eat most meals at home. We might get dinner out once every other week. Bfast, lunch, dinner and dog food are all made at home.

Why is laminate such a scarlet letter? I've lived with it twice and it was easy to clean and I never considered that it was "low end".

I love my mother's soapstone, but that's just out of reach and too dark for my seashell/sailboat lovechild kitchen goals.

I like Formica Travertine Silver with Ideal edge and an undermount sink. If there is something else I should be look at, please tell me. I'm open to other things but I just can't spend 6k on countertops.

Sorry for the rant, but I am a little perplexed and want to be sure I'm not missing something? Is there something modestly priced that would be better? The granite I've seen in my price range look pimp-ish and blingy to me. The corian in my price range looks like the check out counter at my dogs' veterinary office. It's funny, people describe laminate the same way, but I can't seem to find this "look" (the travertine silver formica) in a moderate price bracket.

I will accept hand slapping and lectures. ;-)

Best, Lauren

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Full disclosure: I have granite, because I had a rock collection as a kid and I just love stones.

On the advice of my fabricator, I still use trivets or hot pads under hot pans. I don't cut on the granite, because it would ruin the knife. So I don't think I'm getting any more function out of my granite that you would out of Formica.

There is nothing wrong with laminate, IMO, in fact there are many lovely new patterns and textures as well as some great vintage ones they have brought back. I lived with the PO's pink-with-gold-flecks Formica, with a full BS and that chrome trim, for over 20 years. I thought it was pretty. New laminates don't seem to have what I saw as the biggest drawback, that gunk-gathering chrome strip.

Stones are beautiful and durable, but I think they also have a lot of snob appeal. All that House Hunters "I must have granite and stainless" nonsense. But I have seen beautiful kitchens on here done with laminate. Get what you like (which will prove you are an individual and not a sheep) and what you can afford (which will prove that you are wise). No need to apologize.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Granite would probably be better for resale, but if you're not moving, it doesnt matter. I think I have read on here that laminate nowadays is not as cheap as everyone thinks. If you're thinking of granite at all, I would visit some stone yards (with painted cab doors and floor tile) and see if you find one you love..then compare prices with the laminate you love.....if you don't find a granite or the difference is in the thousands...then you have a definitive answer. For a more custom look, have the laminate done just like a granite 3" panel on the back wall...have the BS tile go all the way to the countertop. Laminate can look as nice and function as well as granite...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:46PM
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:) Laminate is a very good material in itself and outstandingly excellent for the price, so for what it's worth it has my approval too. Your ideas sound very nice. There's a game about to start, the "design around this" thread, with a beach theme this time. It'd be fun to see your design there.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:51PM
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duplicate post

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 15:44

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Worth repeating and very well said!

"Get what you like (which will prove you are an individual and not a sheep) and what you can afford (which will prove that you are wise). No need to apologize."

Good idea to skip the standard back splash, and the square edge that shows a seam (also prone to damage), for a more custom look.

With laminate being considered the lower end, most cost efficient counter material, it can get surprisingly pricey. And they really get you on install charges, doubling the price, which is a ripoff, imo. So it is good to shop the stone a bit to compare since it is a more durable product, if that's something high on your priority list. If you check that out, honed is a nice soft look that would work well with your seashell theme, but it is more expensive.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 16:02

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Not surprisingly. Of course the price is pumped up substantially for something a bit different or a bit nicer. This is the kitchen industry, after all.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:57PM
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" I think they also have a lot of snob appeal. All that House Hunters "I must have granite and stainless" nonsense. "

so true. I don't like either.

the newer laminates (FX) are more than the regular type. If you don't like granite it doesn't matter if the price of the laminate you like is creeping up closer to the granite price. You can want laminate even if you can afford granite. I'd much rather have laminate than granite.

There are some granites that are beautiful and I'd like to hang on a wall as art. Not for my counter top.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:19PM
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I see you have tiles right now. I hated my tile countertop so much. Whatever you pick, be it laminate, granite, or solid surface, it will be so much more functional and easier to clean than tiles. Your cabinets seem very new and has nice clean line, definitely a good decision to keep those.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:45PM
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