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Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock chips

Posted by oldryder (My Page) on
Thu, May 16, 13 at 9:26

This is a teaser. As a stone professional that also does a lot of quartz countertops it's been very annoying to see the posts by uninformed and/or biased individuals announcing the demise of natural stone.

In reality the most likely scenario is that stone will continue to be a preferred material for another 2000 years due to it's unmatched durability and beauty. There is a reason why the most popular quartz colors are those that most closely match a natural stone.

Quartz surface will probably go thru the typical product life cycle of a manufactured product. 10 years from now homes with quartz are likely to be viewed as dated just like "solid surface" products like corian are viewed today.

New countertop products with ceramic characteristics are just hitting the market that will have a look and performance much closer to natural stone. This is also likely to contribute to the demise of "quartz surface".


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

"New countertop products with ceramic characteristics are just hitting the market that will have a look and performance much closer to natural stone. "

For example??


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I think they will both continue to be options. particularly with clients who want certain colors or a uniformity not found in natural stone.

It really can't be completely predicted though, because natural stone was not a countertop of choice for most of the 20th century. Something could come along that blows everything else out of the water, like laminate dominated for many decades, particularly if technology creates something that is bullet-proof, not too expensive and captures the fancy of the consumer.

Until designers started specifying granite again in the 1980s many many granite quarries and stone related businesses were closed or closing.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Granite is for those still in the stone age; quartz is for us hipsters who love technology. ;)

I think you are misleading those who have never had quartz. Installed, it has a look and feel of "rock", not plastic.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

There are new ceramics/porcelains on the market that are very large format. As in a 4'x8' sheet. That can look almost like marble or other stones thanks to ink jet printing technology, but be porcelain. It's being used right now in architectural coverings for buildings. They are also being floated about to the industry as "slabs" for countertops. THey still need to be set in a mud bed, and are difficult to handle because of their size, but they are working on making it much easier. The only drawback currently is the undermount sink hasn't been developed to work with them. They're working on that as well.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Do I sense a hint of bias, oldryder?


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I agree that the next big thing are large-format ceramic countertops (Laminam, Kerlite by Cotto d'Este, TheSize by Neolith, Maximum by GranitiFiandre...).

They make slabs up to 300cmx150cm and only 3mm thick. They make solid colours and very convincing look-alikes of almost any material (calacatta, rusted steel, fabric, resin, concrete ...).

They are becoming increasingly popular here in Europe (as countertops, but we also begin to see a lot of dining tables made with these ceramics, and even kitchen cabinet doors in ceramics) , but it remains a bit difficult to find a fabricator who knows how to transform these products into countertops.

www.laminam.it

http://www.thesize.es/web/index.php

http://www.granitifiandre.biz/

Re. Corian, solid white Corian is considered contemporary/up-to-date here and leading architects like Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel really love it :D ^^ so you never know ....


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I agree with may_flowers. My counters are quartz. Visually you can usually tell the difference between granite and quartz...but a LOT of people can't, they don't even know there's a difference. However, my quartz counters feel like stone. They are cold in the winter and get very warm when the sun shines on them. They don't feel like Corian or laminate, not that there's anything wrong with either of those. :)


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I know I'll probably get burned at the stake for this....but I like Corian. I don't get all the hate just because it is "plastic". Various kinds of plastic are really quite useful.

I had Corian at my former house, and I really liked it.

I chose granite this time around. I wasn't sure what I was going to buy. I was shopping around, looked a various quartzs, was still considering Corian, but happened across a granite slab that stole my heart.

Now that I've had the granite for awhile, I still love it. But I don't see it as a necessarily superior choice to Corian or quartz. Like most things in life, they all have the pros and cons. I "get" someone not liking a particular pattern or look, but I honestly don't understand the "it's plastic" argument...? As I look around me, right now, I see all kinds of plastic in various things.

My phone is mostly plastic, and I don't find it at all offensive. :)


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Posts like this bias me against "natural" stone (which is rarely pure unadulterated stone).

The attitude...oy.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I actually really like Corian too, for it's relative resilience. We are temporarily renting a place with it, and it makes me want to use it in my next project.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Those ceramic links are certainly interesting! (The Laminam front page is hilarious, although unintentionally.) It certainly looks like one of those products of the future, sort of like laminate back in the day. They even make sinks out of it:

I wonder how much this stuff costs?


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

The slabs are sold between €80 and €200 per sq. meter. (that's about $10 to $25 per sq. ft ?), depending on the thickness and pattern.

This is the retail price, I have no idea how much fabricators and industrials pay for it.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

From a consumer's point of view, I've owned Corian, Granite, Ceramic Tile, Laminate, stainless steel, and now, quartz (not that old, just a lot of moves). The Corian definitely felt plastic, and the softness was marketed as a feature. It was a definite step up in ease of use compared to tile. I think it fell by the wayside as granite costs came down and as quartz offered a more durable manmade alternative.

Although I think the full sheet ceramic products are interesting, but don't they share the same issues with chipping and cracking that normal tile has? This may be a limit to their mass adoption.

The ceramic wrapped rocks (e.g. Pyrolave) are interesting, too, but need to come down in price to reach the rest of the population.

And concrete seems to be rising in popularity, as well.

This post was edited by gooster on Thu, May 16, 13 at 13:21


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I think people will always find a reason to tire of things. And whatever decently performing product is most affordable will prevail among the masses (even if their taste and preference is something else).


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

annkh: I have no bias against the material. It's a nice product that performs well. The point of my post was to highlight the similarly slanted and biased posts against natural stone that appear here quite regularly.

Just in the last few weeks we've had posts asserting that granite was "outdated" and another about radon, a scare which was underwritten by 2 very large quartz suppliers and was fully debunked years ago.

The value of forums like this is information. That value is decreased when the forum is polluted with bias and deliberate misinformation. Opinions vary. Facts do not.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Dyed blobs of plastic...definitely. You make it seem so much more appealing than that old, hard stone :)


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I agree with others--you do have a bias oldryder. The other day you were saying something about Cambria. Now this post.....

But everyone has their own biases--for or against white cabinets, for or against laminate flooring, etc. etc.

But most people don't announce it so blatantly in their posts!

I have had laminate, butcher block, Corian and recently installed Cambria. Each one has its pluses and minuses.To each their own, and please don't rain on my plastic colored blob countertop, thank you very much!


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

a scare which was underwritten by 2 very large quartz suppliers

That is a pretty hefty allegation.

The value of forums like this is information. That value is decreased when the forum is polluted with bias and deliberate misinformation. Opinions vary. Facts do not.

So can you provide a citation for the financial backing of the radon study?


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I can't see that the radon thread was a bash to stone. It's a valid health concern which was news to the OP who was looking for more information. Unless these people are working for Corian! lol

Simple statements about a trend becoming outdated isn't bashing either, imo, unless they include derogatory descriptives, such as, "dyed blobs of plastic" "oatmeal explosion" "dowdy" etc. Posted in a public forum, demeaning comments that refer to others people's choices, budget constraints, homes is pretty tactless and tasteless.

I didn't get that this thread was a play on some sort of stone bashing that is going on. That's one I have rarely seen (on GW) but I'm fairly new to reading on this forum.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Thu, May 16, 13 at 18:31


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I've read enough of oldryder's posts to know that he prefers granite. I also know that he has been extremely helpful to many people here who have questions and concerns about their countertops and installation. He's been very generous of his time and expertise when he probably has a very busy business to run. So if you don't know that about oldryder, you should.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I had soapstone in my last kitchen and loved it, but we did want it to look a certain way, which took regular oiling, and because we had a soapstone sink, we also had some breakage, particularly of glasses.

If I had a large kitchen, I might do several materials depending upon the area, but since I don't, I think this time I am going to do stainless because it is both heat resistant and a little resilient.

If there was a material as resilient as Corian et al, and as heat resistant as stone or quartz, I would use that.

If budget was no object I would have a lot of Pyrolave.

But again, I think people have short and selective memories. Granite was Not the classic perennial choice Ever, until probably starting in the 1990s. Granite yards were closing in the second half of the 20th c. until designers started specifying it in the 1980s. Before that granite was probably not used for countertops much since Pompeii or someplace like that.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Your title gave me a chuckle, Oldryder. I like both natural stone and quartz, depending on the look desired.

I saw a beautiful vanity with integrated sink made out of large format porcelain tile. The edges were mitered to look like thick slabs of stone. Unfortunately, I didn't get a very good picture (one of my tile samples is sitting on top). In person, it really looked like stone.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I think the first clue to the intent of oldryder's post was his first sentence, "This is a teaser." The second, which actually appeared first was "dyed blobs of plastic with rock chips." Personally, I thought it was funny and not the least bit serious. We can get way too solemn here sometimes. A good twist of the tail every now and then can put things back in perspective.

We've talked about stone vs. quartz before (just a little ;-) ), but I think both palimpsest and GreenDesigns added new thoughts to the conversation. I'd never seen the ceramic product GreenDesigns mentioned as a potential contender, and really appreciated barthelemy's contribution on that subject. I wonder if it would be practical for shower walls?

And second place for funny (after dried blobs...) goes to may_flowers for "Granite is for those still in the stone age; quartz is for us hipsters who love technology. " Made me smile. *snort*


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

None of these are really new as long as a standard kitchen counter costs several thousand dollars.

All are just variations on a theme, that come and go based on very silly fads. How many times have we read, "I've found my granite!" How many fine stone/stone conglomerate materials are gone "out of style" because the names they were marketed under have become dated? How hot was soapstone, a gorgeous, fine material, and how come hardly anybody mentions it? Stainless--seemingly on a fad upswing based on increased mentions.

All fine materials, all about as different at bottom line as doing a dining room in red or blue.

Now, tell me that a high-quality ceramic can be applied to 20 feet of existing counter, the way plastic laminates were but much better, for less than $1000--THEN we'll have something new.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

suzannesl: thx for recognizing the tongue in cheek intent of my post. I care a lot about consumers and countertops because it's how I make my living. My intent, here and with my customers, is to share accurate information and help people make the best decision for them.

I've said many times to my customers and here; "Pick the look you want because thats what you live with every day." Consumers don't really have to start worrying about material properties until they get away from granite and quartz surface and get into some of the natural stones that have exceptional beauty combined with somewhat less than optimum material properties (travertine, marble, onyx, schist, and others).


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Rosie, you are so right. I haven't heard anyone mention soapstone if quite awhile. It wasn't that many years ago when everyone was doing granite. Now we have so many choices. That's a good thing.

Not wanting to start singing kumbaya, but lets be glad there are so many choices. No need to put down any material. They are all different with different strengths and weaknesses. Of course we don't all agree on those but we don't need to all agree.

It's Ok to say I don't like the feel of granite/laminate/corian but not very useful to say "that's so dated/icky/whatever". If we stick to facts and real life experiences the forum would be better off.

So I sit here dreaming about the new house I will build when I win that mega lottery on Saturday (don't even have a ticket). I have no idea what type of counters I would put in the kitchen but I think there will be more than one type as none of them are perfect for everything.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I like granite, but it makes me sad to think about what happens to the counters when the kitchen eventually, inevitably, gets remodeled. Landfill? Recut and used...for what? I love the idea of granite in churches and palaces and buildings that will stand for centuries.

Of course, I'm the one who is always trying to salvage the reputation of laminate countertops. I figures millions of mid-century Americans can't have been completely wrong.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I have to say I adore Corian, especially Witch Hazel and some of the solid ivories, all of which I think are just classic. I have never owned Corian, but for our ongoing reno, I looked hard for a color that would work for me. But I needed something with a dark brown-red in it and that took me to Cambria, and though it isn't in yet, I think it is going to look nothing like blobs of plastic. ;-)

I had no wish to give up my granite, but I just could not find a slab with enough red. Part of it was just bad luck so far as what was in the yards at the moment. Bottom line -- I think they are ALL great options. Everyone has to choose what's best for them.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

Our house (and laminate countertops) are 25 years old. While the color is horrible, there is not a bit of wear on them. DH and I were planning to go with laminate in our remodel - until we found a quartz color we both adored. We continued to look at lots of options, and kept going back to the quartz.

Of course we are fortunate to have so many choices, and they almost all look stunning in kitchen reveals. But more choices makes for difficult choosing! Some days I wish I only had to choose among 3 or 4 - life would sure be easier!


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

We are using both quartz and granite in our kitchen. Granite for the island, quartz for the sink counter.

I wanted glass for the sink counter but it is too expensive and too "new" as a counter top.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I saw Neolith ceramic tops at KBIS, really liked them. Price appeared to be good, sinks were really nicely integrated. I personally like granite but think they have a serious place in the market.

As to the rest- pick the one you love, be aware of it's downsides since they all have some but generally minor, ignore the scare tactics and above all ignore trends.

I'd heard the same thing about the radon scare.


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RE: Beautiful, natural stone or dyed blobs of plastic with rock c

I like granite, but it makes me sad to think about what happens to the counters when the kitchen eventually, inevitably, gets remodeled. Landfill?

I'm sorry, cawaps, but this just tickled my funny bone. ;)


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