Quartz countertop with mitered edge...in a different color?

marcoloAugust 6, 2012

So, I'm trying to make an island evoke a 1920s worktable. Wood might pass, but the real work surface of the day would've looked like this:

or this:

or this:

So, after making lots of ridiculous phone calls trying to get steel enameled or researching whether powder coating would hold up to butchers' knives, I was in a store and passed Cambria White Cliff. Here's a random web pic I found:

Too thick. And missing the contrasting-color edges.

But wait. Aren't mitered edges made like this anyway?

So--if the edge piece were black--wouldn't it look just like a porcelain enamel work table?

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I like the idea but get ready for sticker shock. With granite the mitered edge is really expensive. It would have added $1000 to our 42 x 70 island. I think your island is smaller so maybe will fit your budget. Check it out. What style of edge would you have?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Creative problem-solving! Sound like it just might work. My only concern - are mitered edges clean enough for that to work? I'm just thinking that you can't do much fixing of a little chip or nick along the edge because of the color working for one and not the other. Have to find a fabricator up to the challenge!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Yes, that's exactly the problem. The cut has to be straight, and chips are an extra issue.

I had thought about surrounding a countertop with V-cap tile, giving a vintage look plus solving the quartz chipping issue. It could work here but it's not really going to fit the table idea.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Corian would be much much easier and cheaper to do than quartz. You could also have some type of design inlaid into it with a CNC machine if the local fabricator has one. Inlay work in Corian is not even that awfully expensive. And regular white starts at about $37 a square foot. Talk to the fabricators who have been in business the longest and who own the high dollar machinery.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:24AM
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How about using a pretty good-sized roundover on the edge, like 1/4" or even 3/8? This removes the narrowest part of the top and side, and thus gives a lot more tolerance for waviness in the cut. Also, it makes the edge much less likely to chip. Finally, I doubt those enameled steel tables had very sharp edges.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:25AM
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Repurpose a red/white enamel table top?

Here is a link that might be useful: 1930s Table

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 6:44AM
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Wouldn't that be a fabulous island surface? Yesterday I went to Lowes to touch counter materials. I came away with formica samples and the knowledge that Corian feels too plastic. Granites are not my thing, and Quartz's are too modern and both are just too shiny and polished. Which leave me with soapstone, marble, wood and formica as my counter options.

Back to you and your porcelain enameled island table top. It has to be possible (because i want it to be). First you need to find a shop with metal stamping or rolling capabilities. You probably won't be able to achieve those fabulous edges. Then you need a shop to enamel it. The question is, do all of those vintage stove restorers do the enameling themselves or do they send it out? Avenues to explore: sign makers & auto paint shops.

Here is a link that might be useful: if only they did small jobs, hey maybe they do

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Thanks all.

In the sample I touched (I ordered one of my own) the pure white quartz really did read as porcelain enamel. However, I am very hesitant to act as a guinea pig.

I realize Corian has a proven record of being easy to design around, but it just feels too plasticky. It doesn't bother me in the Rain Cloud pattern but that won't work for the look I want.

I've already spoken to the Custom Ceramic Coatings guy, who does a lot of porcelain enamel work for stove restorers and such. They are almost the only game in town for small custom projects. However, that requires a lot of time and a lot of shipping clear across the country for a 3 x 6 countertop. On top of which, this top needs to accommodate water-impervious cutouts for sinks, faucets and whatnot. I was hoping to stumble across someone who had actually done this, but considering the fact that there are zero pictures on the Web, chances are slim.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:59AM
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This is a cabinet John made for his workshop. The top is plywood with a wood edge. The center part is stained red with polyurethane. The edge is painted. He used that green frog tape to separate the two colors during application.

Here is a link that might be useful: workshop cabinet

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:31PM
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The solution is to time travel back to 1915. If only...

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:41PM
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I think we'd crack the time travel nut if people just realized the shopping opportunities.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Fori is not pleased

Is the size needed not compatible with an actual old top?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:27PM
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Fori is not pleased

Oh, instead of mitered what about a "ring" of the black all around for a black rim and inch or two thick instead of the chunky thick mitering?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:31PM
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fori, I think the real issue about reusing an old top--besides a potentially tedious hunt--is the sink cutout. It is possible to cut through steel after it already has been enameled, but it is glass, after all, and the risks are high, especially for a unique piece. Then there's the question of how to finish the edges. A topmount sink would be needed (not my fave anyway) but stopping moisture penetration would be critical.

One thing about the ring (sorry, spent too long finding rhymes for Carly Simon songs) is that quartz is already kinda vulnerable around the edges. I can see a good whack separating the seam. Plus, maybe more importantly, the look is off.

Mitered edges are done all the time, so they're SOP. However, I have no idea if the work is fine enough to sustain a change in color while keeping a clear straight line and without looking like a drunk painted it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:23AM
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marcolo, I have no idea where you are with your kitchen right now, but today I saw this.

I have no use for it but its so cool. If anyone is interested in this, its in my neighborhood so I would be willing to help find it a good home.

I hope this link works.

Here is a link that might be useful: porcelain top table

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Marcolo you've said cutting a hole for the sink in an old table top is too risky and also requires a drop in sink which you don't want. Would you be open to having the sink part of the island be a different material? Kinda like alabamamommy (and I'm sure many others) where butcherblock is on one end and marble (or whathaveyou material) is on the other end.

You could have your vintage table top and undermount sink too.

Certainly would look lovely with the table that debrak_2008 found, especially since it's black and white...

just a thought


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:56PM
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