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What countertop for my island?

Posted by fori (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 11:50

The spouse and I are having trouble picking a countertop for our island. The cooking wall will have a stainless steel counter, but because the island will serve as the border between the kitchen and family rooms, I think we need something less businesslike.

It's a little large for a slab of anything but we can probably live with a seam. We had almost settled on tile but finding tile we like WITH appropriate trim pieces to undermount the sink and do the proper edging is challenging. Our backup is this, from Fireclay, which I really like:

The concern is that it might be a smidge fragile. It's fairly easy to crack the glaze, although it doesn't show much (and you can leave stainy liquids on the cracked spot all night without penetrating). It does pass the stain test but hey, it's crackle. It might not hold up well on a horizontal work surface.

We want a nice bright green stone, tile, or plastic--or anything. Only requirement is the potential to undermount a sink and be fairly durable.

Any suggestions? Floor will likely be a medium gray slate with little variation, cabinets a natural cherry or similar.

I guess I could put in the tile and remove it when it breaks too badly but then I'll be back asking the same question. And maybe that question is actually, "can I put stainless steel countertops on an island that is halfway in my family room"?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What countertop for my island?

I wouldn't do the tile, especially around a sink, and especially if the glaze is at all delivcate. The one saving grace to a tile counter is the durability and heat tolerance. If you lose that, you lose the pros and get all the cons of grout cleaning and maintaining. I understand epoxy grout makes that better now than what I've had, but you still get an uineven surface that can rock cutting boards, be impossible to work dough on, etc. I much prefer something smooth.

You can certainly put stainless on the island. You might then use the crackle tile for your splash and put the color there. Don't know what your cabinet and other choices are. More photos for those and even one with the family room would help you get specific suggestions.

The color you are looking at will be gorgeous with stainless -- very cool and serene. If you are open to marble, ming green would be gorgeous. I don't know if it is more, less or equal with white marble in terms of etching or how you would feel about that. Surely there is a solid surface with a similar look. I haven't looks at them lately, so hope someone else can make a specific suggestion for you.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

It's not too popular here but we did our countertops in Corian and I absolutely LOVE it. Ours is Witch Hazel witch is a marble-ish sort of pattern but they have some beautiful greens too...Jasmine and Cilantro are the colors that come to mind. The Cilantro is really similar to the tile you posted.

I'll see if I can post a pic.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Here's a Silestone quartz that might do the job

or this from Caesarstone


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RE: What countertop for my island?

We're using Mesquite granite for our counters on our natural cherry cabinets. It can go from very green to very taupe and everywhere in between. I wouldn't call the green bright green though. There is some green that's on the blue-ish end and some on the brownish-end. Ours in particular has a river of white things going through it that will (fingers crossed) be on our island.

That being said, I haven't seen much on Mesquite granite and one of the experts on here even said it's not granite. We're getting it from Arizona tile (we've seen it in Ontario and Anaheim). There was an exceptional slab in Anaheim that someone snapped up just before we could. Ours is very different. Luckily I don't even remember the other one now. Hadn't thought about it and how we landed on Mesquite until this came up. :)

Here's our slabs (not our doors). Lighting/coloring is awful.
 photo granite4843_zpsf92561be.jpeg

We considered two other granites that were greens. One was Mombasa. The pic on the Arizona website makes it look gold and brown but green was the main 'highlight' color on what we saw. The other was Seafoam Green. It was the greenest of them all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arizona Tile granite


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RE: What countertop for my island?

This is the Corian Cilantro...

 photo Corian_Cilantro_690x345_690x345_zps683a4be8.png

and the Corian Jasmine...

 photo Corian_Jasmine_690x345_690x345_zps1737b920.png


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Thanks for the input, all. The room is currently just on paper--we will be sticking it onto the back of the house but no photos.

I don't mind marble, etches and all, so maybe I should look there. We've passed through the slab sections of any stone shops we've been in but haven't seen anything exciting. The spouse wants something BRIGHT on the island--the tile above just barely squeaks in as bright enough.

The apple green Ceasarstone and Silestone (I think) were really close and we thought we'd go that way, but they are just slightly not the perfect shade. When it's that obnoxious, the color must be perfect!

I have had Corian in the past and am in the process of getting some samples from Corian knockoffs as well as Corian, but they are just a little too sensible. :) I could probably be happy with plain white Corian though. It matches everything (and was my original choice, come to think of it). I haven't liked their greens in person though. I mean, they're fine, just not for THIS.

Those are pretty, Cal. I guess I'm going to have to do more slab browsing after all. The kids looove that! (not!!)

I am trying to find a suitable farmhouse sink, which should spare tile (or whatever) from some abuse; in theory, the stainless counter can be used for prep, but I would expect messes to be everywhere.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

That Corian Cilantro looks very similar to your tile color. I remember the Witch Hazel -- its gorgeous. Softer color, which will allow you to put some brighter colors in things in accessories, your linens, etc.

The sink isn't the problem with the tile. It's the water, the food, the gunk, the movement and activity on the counter that get into the grout, rock and roll about, make cleaning more difficult, etc. The sink choice is the least of your issues with the tile.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

I'm really only concerned with banging a chunk off of it with a cast iron pan. Otherwise I'm mostly satisfied that the tile can handle the job. I shouldn't have said the glaze cracks easily; it takes a fairly substantial smack.

I do have tile now, so I'm familiar with the ick factor of it. :) It has a lot going for it, actually!

I didn't like the Cilantro for my job in person. It's sort of dull and grown-up. Very respectable.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Should I just do a two-level island, and keep stainless on the business side and something fancy on the other? It is 4 foot deep (x 12' on the sink side and clipped to ~9' on the family room side) so I guess I could raise the public side to hide the sink. Would that just solve all kinds of issues? Or be bad?


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RE: What countertop for my island?

I love my 2 level peninsula. Again, another choice we made that is not popular here but it really works in our space. The breakfast bar has become the hang out for us to sit and talk to the person cooking but it also hides the kitchen mess from view while we are eating.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Thanks, DC. Very good to know. It does make sense. We are very messy! I think it was in the original plan from our architect and I flattened it out without even thinking.

What is a good depth for a bar? 20"? And...can I use....cubbies?????


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RE: What countertop for my island?

What about a green glass countertop for your island? I've seen pictures of them and they look beautiful. Check out the ones here for inspiration: www.thinkglass.com


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Another solid surface color not mentioned that I think looks great is Corian Aqualite. It's a little edgier as the flecks appear metallic through a translucent top layer. Only problem is it reads bluer to me than green, but perhaps you'll like it.

And can't knock your solid white choice--our Glacier White Corian counters are being installed tomorrow!

Here is a link that might be useful: Corian Aqualite Island


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RE: What countertop for my island?

I am surprised by this post bc it seemed that you really wanted tile. What is your hesitation on getting tile? Durability? Every option will have it's cons. The tile posted above is lovely.

What is the feel you want to achieve? Slick modern, soft modern, perky and eclectic, warm vintage, industrial, transitional with kick?.... (What are the other finishes: cab color and style, bs, lighting, wall color, window treatments etc?)

Fwiw, I don't mind tile a bit if it's fits the house and kitchen. In fact, I like tile counters often and sometimes even love them.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Thanks for the suggestions!

My hesitation on tile is that I have been unable to find tile that (1) I like, (2) has the necessary trim pieces to finish off a sink and counter edge (I like the look of old-fashioned Formica with chrome strips, but except for a very few styles I think the Schluter tile trim pieces look bad), (3) is durable.

My concern with this tile is that it might not be sturdy enough for a cleanup sink. It seems to be stain resistant enough, but there's a lot of banging around a sink.

The house is a '50s ranch. Not atomic. This is what the kitchen originally looked like (this is a different home in the development--my tile may have been another color, but I do have this tile in a bathroom still...and that is probably carpet):

If my house still had THAT kitchen, I'd be working with it. But I don't, so I'm not.

This is in a new addition that has yet to be constructed. We don't have many finishes selected at this point. Most likely natural cherry slab cabinets and cherry trim for windows, doors, trims, etc. (I don't want the headache of sourcing to match the original Honduran mahogany throughout the house). Medium gray floor (the golden oak dog will have to stay in the old part of the house). BS will be tile unless we don't use it elsewhere in which case just paint. (The above green tile comes in interesting shapes--we probably wouldn't use anything with right angles.)

There will be some recessed lighting but if I can avoid having other fixtures, I'm okay with that. Perhaps something retro-modernish.

Paint color not yet determined, or even considered. I'm going to have to pick paint? Ack!!

No window treatments. The kitchen doesn't even have any windows, but is stuck in the back corner of a larger room with windows. Naked naked windows.

No particular feel. Probably conservative 60s if anything. After all, we're updating!


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RE: What countertop for my island?

check this out. green tile. I was just in Mexico where they make this stuff and have a big outlet for seconds. I wanted to find someone to buy this color!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: walker zanger vibe


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RE: What countertop for my island?

sorry you have to go to "colors" to see the key lime.

there is also a kitchen in the gallery with the key lime as the backsplash


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Here's some pretty greens, I love the wild river
I think the two level Island is a great idea, with the stainless on the work surface and the green tile on the top level. You might consider using the green tile on the front face of the island too. That way you could see the pop of green from other areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Fori, you know I love tile, but that one just isn't a good choice for a kitchen worktop.

Your two level counter makes sense. You can do a six inch wide bar top, just wide enough to set a glass, and keep the rest work space. For seating you need a couple of inches less than for counter height because the knees hang down. :) As you know, you lose the ability to use the island for two sided work (school projects, cutting patterns, wrapping a hundred presents, etc.). If you have a big table elsewhere, however, it's not dire, but counter height is usually more comfortable to stand at. (duh)

Did you check out Architerra-NW? That's what I have. The quality of the bisque is outstanding and they do all the trim pieces. They might even be able to do a custom color for you . If you don't order extra long pointy narrow tiles, or a bazillion different colors, or a glaze that changes from pink to green when it hits a certain kiln temperature, you won't have any of the delays that I did. :)

Or check around the area some more. Call the crafts centers. You might find a local artisan who can make your counter exactly to suit.

I like a lot of the solid surface looks people have posted here, but those are a lot harder to get the exact right color for.

I hesitate to suggest slab glass for a counter because it can nick and corners can even shatter, but granite can crack and you can etch a hole in marble if you work at it. Studio L does custom reverse color and other really cool things.


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Here's some pretty greens, I love the wild river
I think the two level Island is a great idea, with the stainless on the work surface and the green tile on the top level. You might consider using the green tile on the front face of the island too. That way you could see the pop of green from other areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green


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RE: What countertop for my island?

Thanks for all the great ideas and links!

I'm really starting to like the breakfast bar concept--not for eating, but for hiding the messy but unbreakable cleanup area. We can go crazy with backsplash and tall counter treatment (and now we have many more good things to go look at).


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