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Choosing laminate counters

Posted by this_old_1969_ranch (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 8:30

Dear Kitchen Forum members,

We are in the middle of a new cabinet project. Our remodel is not as amazing as many that are posted here, but I'm looking forward to the new cabinets and trying to be reasonable about the amount of money we spend.

So basically, we have kept our 12 year old laminate plank flooring (kind of a warm orangey oak), our black kitchen aid / bosch appliances. But we have gotten rid of some upper cabinets and our soffits, and added can lighting and we will have under cabined lighting -- hallelujah! We also have a new kitchen window.

I thought I had picked out a nice color for the countertop -- Wilsonart Winter Carnival -- but I saw a larger piece of it (a 4 foot counter) at Lowe's yesterday and I mostly hated it. I had seen a large sample at the cabinet maker and it had wowed me, but at lowes it looked bad. Different lighting? But I noticed all the rusty brown in the laminate. This would look pretty good with our flooring, but I had a strong negative reaction to it when I saw it yesterday.

So�. back to the drawing board? Our colors are:

-- creamy cabinets (much more warm cream than white)

-- black appliances

-- drywall painted SW Tony Taupe (walls) and Eggwhite (ceiling)

-- warm orange/brown mid-tone oak look laminate plank flooring. It sounds horrible but it looks nice, is super easy to care for, get lots of compliments on the floor and it was not cheap when we bought it (thus I did not want to rip it out)

-- oil rubbed bronze pulls
-- stainless steel sink and chrome or brushed faucet
-- Oak trim on windows and doors.

Our layout is only slightly modified from the original, it's an L kitchen that is open to our family room.

OK, back to laminate. Any suggestions? Our contractor bid for the laminate was not cheap --- $2600 for roughly 30 square feet of laminate counter and $850 for an integral sink (in the laminate).

I do not like granite. Not at all. It is pretty but I do not want to live with granite counters. However, I like granite look laminate.

We love the smooth feel of Corian but I don't think we'll get a nice color that we want. The textures are very small and the colors are a little blah.

I had seen a small sample of Formica Black Fossilstone that I liked very much. I am a little shy about it because of potential hard water stains on the counter.

I am not sure about the integrated sink.

I am also interested in light countertops, but not sure if a light counter on a cream cabinet is going to be too light looking and washed out. Will our black appliances look strange?

I had thought about getting soapstone and installing ourselves (eek!) or also getting black walnut butcher block (which might look strange with our laminate floor).

Thanks for any advice or encouragement. Our cabinets are arriving on Thursday. We are fatigued from having the kitchen torn apart and I need to have a decision soon to keep things going.

Thank you!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Yesterday at Home Depot I saw some very pretty precut slabs of laminate with an ogee edge. It looked and felt like anything but yesterday's laminates. This is not your mama's laminate. They had two colors in the precut counter sizes of several feet, one was a soapstone look and the other was one of the Juperana granite pattern. I was impressed. I think either of these would look nice with your colors so far. I haven't seen a laminate sink so not sure what that would be. I had no idea that 30 square feet of laminate would be so expensive. If you are not feeling 100% satisfied with your choice $2600 for counters and $850 for a sink is a healthy budget and as you mentioned would open many doors for other materials if you are not finding what you really want in the laminates. My sister put in a walnut counter just on her raised bar area in her kitchen and just that one piece was $3000!!! It was thick with a beautiful edge and curved but yikes! That was only $2000 less than my entire granite kitchen of 80 square feet. But I must say it is gorgeous and she loves it but they are now putting their house up for sale. But that was a few years ago so she did get to enjoy it for awhile.

Here is a link that might be useful: Choosing countertops


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

$2,600.00 for 30SF is over $86.00 per square foot. You could have quartz for that and get a decent sink undermounted for half of $850.00.

I'd start fabricating solid surface again if I thought I could get over $80.00psf.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

was that price for one of the FX formica counters?

have you looked at both Wilson art and formica?


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

30 square feet of counter would be a very small condo kitchen. Average kitchens are around 50-60 square feet of counter. I'd bet you are confusing linear feet with square feet. 30 linear feet of laminate comes out to 75 square feet of counter, if you are using tbe attached backsplash, or 65 square feet if you are doing a flat deck counter. That's $35-$40 a square foot, which is right where the premium laminates with a specialty edge run.

If you want to lower your laminate costs, then get out of the specialty patterns and finishes and choose a standard matte finish with a waterfall edge. Skip the sink in favor of a drop in. That will halve the quote.

Or, learn to love granite. It's very hardness ensures that it will be a durable choice. It's popular because it's functional. It will be CHEAPER than your laminate quote as well for a Group A color. You don't have to love every element in a remodel. Sometimes you make choices because that is what works, both functionally, and more importantly, budgetarily.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

we looked at laminate too but found the cool new patterns are pricey. we got a quote for 50 sq ft at $2000. the undermount sink was really costly as well. the only way to go cheap on laminate is to stay away from the fx180 or hd wilsonart. the stock/ basic colors cost less.
we went granite for perceived resale value. it is pretty but i have already had a chip filled after 3 months. i had laminate for 15 years with no chips.
i personally love my silgranite sink that was made to be a drop in and would absolutely do that on a laminate instead of an undermount.
good luck!


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Don't normally post on these - but wow, those prices for laminates are a bit crazy.

You can have access to the full line of laminates (all of them including the HD/textured stuff) in a post form counter for less than $45 per linear foot installed. Regular laminates should be around $30 per foot installed (or cheaper). That includes all the fabrication and a hefty markup on the wholesale list prices from companies like VTI or Hartson-Kennedy. If your counter runs are mostly straight - you should be looking at much lower than that.

The price for the sink is a bit high - but at least there is a bit of fabrication time going on there. The sinks are nice and a bit different from what people are used to seeing. If you take a look at the Formica website - they have some good info on under mounted sinks on plastic laminates.

For the Corian - don't get too hung up on Corian and think solid surface instead. Companies like Samsung (Staron), Formica, WilsonArt (Gibraltar), Meganite, Livingstone, Avonite and a half dozen others are readily available. There are hundreds of colors and patterns to choose from between the different companies and the functional properties of them are all pretty close to the same. Maganite and Avonite both have some particularly granite looking patterns.

When it comes to the colors though - keep in mind that Lowes and Home Depot are about the worst places in the world to select colors in. Not because they are Lowes or Home Depot (nothing against big boxes myself) but because the lighting is horrible. Get samples of the material to take a look at in your home. Ideally with the same lighting that you will have in when all the remodeling is done and if possible with the paint on the walls. All those things will impact how the color will actually look that you can very easily see something in the store or looking at a small sample chip that looks good but then be disappointed because of the lighting or wall colors you also decided to go with.

I do like the dark counters with light cabinets and Fossilstone has an interesting pattern to it.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

We have Formica fx180 counters, can't remember exactly what we paid for them, but not as high as your quote. Yes, the premium laminates cost more. But some granites are more expensive than others too. We chose the laminate because we liked the ease of care, durability, etc. Not that I don't love a beautiful stone counter, but laminate was the right choice for us. Our cabinets are light, and the countertops are dark (antique mascarello) Probably from a resale perspective, I should have gone with granite but we are happy with our choice and I don't think it will be a deal breaker if we sell the house in the future.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I agree that your pricing seems way high. The top end laminates through Home Depot were running about 30/sq ft and the low ends 18/ sq ft. And here top of the line Corian was as expensive as quartz or granite.

What I really want to say, though, is if you really love a material and can afford it, do. My biggest regret was letting DH convince me of quartz (granite or marble would have done him, too,) instead of butcher block or laminate like I wanted and at a fraction of the cost.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

"...but because the lighting is horrible. Get samples of the material to take a look at in your home. Ideally with the same lighting that you will have in when all the remodeling is done and if possible with the paint on the walls. All those things will impact how the color will actually look that you can very easily see something in the store or looking at a small sample chip that looks good but then be disappointed because of the lighting or wall colors you also decided to go with."

Some of the best advice that's been given here in a while. Thanks Sean_OBrien.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I have about 10.5 linear feet (all my counters are straight, no corners) of Wilsonart Black Alicante with no backsplash and I paid $400 total. I had a GC who installed my kitchen and he ordered the counters from someone and installed them. It was approximately what Lowe's had quoted me and I know he ordered them from a counter guy, not Lowes.

I really didn't think granite or quartz would fit in with the house or neighbourhood, nor would it fit with my budget. I guess I could have scouted around all over for remnants, but I liked this. :)


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

We got a large 12 x 12 sample of the formica we were interested in, much better than trying to choose from a tiny piece. Fortunately for us though, the local home improvement store (Not one of the big boxes) had some sample kitchens on display and they had our laminate in one, done with a similar cabinet color to ours, which really helped us to decide. The 12 x 12 sample came in handy when we went to choose backsplash tile and paint colors, we took it along when shopping for them.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Hi Everybody, thanks so much. Yes, we have very few counters -- 2 feet on either side of the range, a corner sink and a 5 foot peninsula that is a little deeper than standard.

Thanks for letting me know that the laminate price is high -- my contractor has a markup for sure. And we were choosing the newer and more beautiful designs from Wilsonart and Formica. However, I only have the one bid from my contractor and I will look into other bids and other materials.

Our cabinets are being installed today! Woo hoo! I hope not to make a big hang-up with waiting on counters. However, I do not want to throw money around -- we want to pick nice counters that we will like and enjoy and not break the bank either.

I will make some calls. Any suggestions for finding a good laminate company?

Thanks!


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Head to a Big Box Store and see what they have. I know I am often overwhelmed by the laminate choices! If you know approximately what you want it is easy to narrow it down and the folks there can speak to the differences in quality between products.

It is okay to take your time and get the counters you know are going to be happy with. Even the relatively cheaper coat of the laminate is still a good chunk of reno budget, so ne happy with your choice. The only thing it would truly hold up in your reno (I think) is backsplash installation. You would not be the first ones to throw some plywood on your cabs and wait it out, lol!

When I was planning on laminate Winter Carnival was on my short list, although I never saw a big sample in person. The Home Depot websote lista photos of all their available laminate samples, at least that can get you started.

Have you done any searches on Houzz for inspiration?


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Home Depot used to have larger samples of their Wilsonart laminates (something like 3" x 5"). I picked up at least 4 of each and taped them to a sheet of paper to get a better vision/feel of the colors.

I got a rough estimate on Wilsonart several years ago from Lowes, but ended up buying from a local, one-man cabinet maker here in our tiny little town. I saved a few hundred dollars that way. I know that I got much better installation this way. I have an older ranch house with a few defects (imagine that). I remember he loaded one large section back into his truck and took it back to his shop to "trim a little off the back" to accommodate for a slight bow in my drywall so that I wouldn't have a crack where it butted against the wall.

Check small building supply stores, small cabinet shops, etc for better pricing and perhaps better installation.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Well you have approximately the same amount of counter as me. I have a 5.5 foot straight run on one side and a 9" and two 24" runs on the other side, for a total of about 10.5 linear feet. No corners and all standard depth, so that would make a small difference I imagine. My guy ordered the counter top and then installed it himself. The actual counter for me was $400.

I did what hpny2 did. I ordered the large samples (free) from both Wilsonart and Formica, and then brought my sample with me everywhere. Really only just to get the backsplash, because I'd already chosen the cabinets.


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The last time I had counters put in, they were Jamocha granite formica and were $350. This was when our counters were a little more standard and it was a cheaper Formica. Right now I am looking at Wilsonart Typhoon ice but it is still a premium laminate color.

Translated into granite it would be Typhoon Bordeaux? I don't know if I should call a granite shop or not…

We like the feel of solid surface / Corian. That is the material we like the best, even if it's not so popular. I will check into those options too.

Thank you!


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I have to say a huge thank you because I was so worried that there would be no replies when I first posted. You all are great!

Today the cabinets are going in! I am excited and a little nervous. Our old cabinets were very old, anything will be a wonderful improvement.

I am re-using some hardware from Resotration Hardwaret that I bought about 10 years ago and I have enough pieces. We have used them on our old cabinets and they are simple and feel good in your hands and I hope they are still nice on the new ones. Maybe I am worrying too much about saving money but re-using the handles will save like $200? And they are nice.

I think what I don't like about granite is the polish. Maybe honed would be fantastic. Still I want a nice look without spending a lot. Or if I spend a lot I want it to look great and be amazing. :)

It will be so interesting to see cabinets in our kitchen again!


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

The cabinets are in, and they look wonderful!!! Oh yeah! Oh yeah! This is very exciting. The hardware is on, oh yeah!! Woo hoo, we are going to have a kitchen again!!!

I love it. I had second guessed a lot of my choices, but I strongly liked everything that I picked out and think it's really wonderful-looking. Wooo!

And, I visited a stone yard and they had some beautiful pieces of brushed granite -- I think that the granite price may end up to be less than the cost of laminate countertop w/integrated sink. The stones were very beautiful -- this is exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need to pick the countertop, pick a sink and faucet, pick some carpeting for the family room. Then, we will be done!


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So exciting! Don't forget to share pics when it is all done!


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Excellent! Feel free to post progress pics!


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For what it's worth, I started out with the intention of getting laminate counters to keep costs down. Our carpenter pulled a fast one, did a poor job on them and installed them!
I couldn't stand the thought of starting over with someone else making laminate counters and bit the bullet and chose granite the second time around and can't say how glad I am. LOVE the under mount Swanstone sink I ordered online for less than $300 and faucet from Lowes for $225 which so both less than the plumbing store wanted for just a Blanco sink.
I thought the quote for laminate was awfully high and glad you are considering granite. You will not be sorry. There are lots of deals to be had out there and online shopping makes it so easy to shop and find good pricing.
Have fun shopping and don't feel bad second guessing as it is a necessary part of the process. Keep guessing until you feel it is just want you want and your results will be so worth it. People here are all such great support too.
Can't wait to see the pics when finished.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I agree with Trebruchet, way to expensive! I fabricate solid surface and laminate. Look at a company called Affinity. Very cool colors that mimick granite. undermount acrylic bowls or stainless bowls are no problem.

In my area, your 30 sq ft would cost approximately $1900.

Food for thought.....


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Here are some photos of the cabinets that were installed yesterday:


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Photo 2. Overall I am very happy with how this is turning out!


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Very nice! You are going to have a nice big space!


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So, that's where we are at so far. My husband put some board down on top of the cabinets as a rough top / placeholder and it looks even more exciting.

Now back to work. I went to a very nice stone company and they said a basic counter in a basic stone would start at around $1700 installed for 30 sq. and a free 16 ga. sink included. They have a few styles of sinks. I know I want a brushed stone and we walked the yard and I was able to see and select about 4 different granite options that I liked to get firm pricing on. This might be a really great option if the higher level stones don't get too pricey.

I'll try to remember the names of the ones I liked -- White Springs, Sienna Bordeaux, Sienna Beige, something river and another one that was really pretty that was like Sienna Bordeaux but lighter with a little hint of blue/gray.

I also asked Home Depot for a comparative estimate in laminate for our layout to see how it comes back. I would like to figure our most economical option for reference. (Although I am very pleased with the initial info. from the stone co.)

Now, about sink and faucet -- I don't know what to do. I almost think that a sink is a sink, and I want something that is a good value / economical. I would also like a nice looking, functional faucet that is also a good value. Any suggestions? My husband wants a double-bowl sink and I have heard that some sinks have a low center divide. I prefer stainless steel.

If we go with the granite company, I might just take their free sink and have it done, you know? It would not have a low divide. What do you think?


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Thank you green haven! This forum has so many amazing kitchens, I am happy to hear good feedback! :)


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

This is the sink I chose because of the low divide and 70/30 size. Can wash pans or dishes in the large size and stack in the smaller side to drain and no need for a dish drainer. I have black which they call Nero.

Ordered from Home Depot dot com for $264 but appears they no longer have it. Worked out great as a "dual mount" and had it mounted in the laminate we had to remove and then able to reuse it as an undermount with the granite we ended up with.

This is one of the favorite things in my new kitchen. I would be careful of the quality of a "free sink" from the granite company. Even if on a budget, the sink is important, mounted to your granite investment so not an area to skimp even when on a budget.

Good luck and your cabinets are really nice!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Swanstone low divide 70/30 sink


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I would definitely want to see the "free" sink before signing anything. You said it was 16 gauge, which is great, but the other factors are just as crucial. I just redid my kitchen and could only fit a 30" wide sink cabinet into my layout. I wanted a double bowl sink but I also wanted one bowl to be big. With that size sink cab, I couldn't have both those things so I went with a single bowl. And deep--because I'd been living with a 6" deep sink for 2.5 years and HATED it. I now have a huge, deep sink that I really like.

Anyway, point being--the wrong sink will be a daily annoyance, believe me. Find out exactly what this freebie looks like and then decide.


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i too thought i would just go with the free sink but my sink base is 30" andi wanted a big sink so their sinks didn't work for me. if you want ss and their sinks fit, go for it. i ended up buying a blanco silgranite that fit as a drop in 70/30 configuration ( mixup at the granite place undermounted it but that's another story) so i way overthought the whole process and while i still love the 70/30 split for some things, i would have been better off with a single bowl since i couldn't do a trash pullout under the sink and my kitchen is pretty small.
re faucet i got the delta trinsic and it is hands down my favorite thing in the kitchen! it was so much less than the grohe but not cheap in feel and delta has a lifetime warranty. i got great prices on the sink and faucet at a local plumbing supply place. they had tons of displays too so i could see and touch.
re white springs, sienna bordeaux; you are falling in love with the pricey stones. i made a mistake by allowing myself to look at stones without knowing the prices and then disliked all the basic stones afterward! granite can be reasonable but not if you shop with your eye, lol! good luck!


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

"granite can be reasonable but not if you shop with your eye, lol!"

Possibly the truest words ever spoken, lol!


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OK, here is the update.

-- Took husband to granite yard today. We both have expensive eyes because he strongly prefers the Sienna Bordeaux, the most expensive at $3,800.

I hoped to sway him towards the White Springs, at $3200 but he likes what he likes. I think WS is perfectly nice and I like saving $600.

Then we went to Lowes and a nice associate priced out laminate and solid surface for us.

An LG Hi Macs(?) with integrated sink would be about $3,000,

And from Lowes, a premium HD laminate would be about $1800 before sink, a more basic laminate is a couple hundred less. For the Hd + a top mount -- maybe $2,000 - $2,300 (I like the Kohler Vault if we have to top mount a sink). An integrated into the Formica sink would be in the neighborhood of $800 and that is a lot. So $2600 with an integrated-into-the-laminate-type sink. It is not as nice-looking as the smooth solid surface or an under-mount though.

I honestly don't know what to choose. But we need to make a decision sooner than later so we can finish this kitchen!!!! I want to use my stove and dishwasher again!

The Formica is nice but


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Are there any countertop fabricators in your area? Lowes uses subcontractors. Sometimes you can find them and go direct. Your laminate/ solid surface price will be better by going direct.


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i was in the exact same spot you are in now. we fell in love with cambria but it would have been $5k for 49sq ft so it was a big no. the 180fx i liked was about what you were quoted. it felt like not a very good deal since we thought we could find a cheap granite. of course we fell for the anticos, delicatus at $100-$110 per sq ft. i couldn't justify that cost so we kept looking until we found a granite we liked at $80 per sq ft. still not the bargain i was hoping for but at least closer.
my point, everyone loves sienna bordeaux hence the premium price. if you keep looking you may find a granite that is almost as lovely and a little less $$. when i was looking, river white had the white springs feel. the lighter granites are more costly as a rule of thumb.
good luck with your search.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Your kitchen is going to be beautiful. Take your time and pick what you like best. Yes, the difference in cost is important, but you are going to be living with this granite for a long time. Is 800-1000 dollars over 20 years worth living with something you don't really like? If you are the primary cook, you will be spending many hours per day looking at this. It is not something easily changed and really is one of the most permanent parts of your space. Skimp on something else if you need to. Appliances? New table and chairs? these are things that will be changed a few times over the lifetime of the granite. I am having to make the same compromises and I know how hard it is.
I really wanted a MIele induction cook top but will be getting a Bosch or Sears cook top. I also will be compromising on the Fridge and hood. It is ok though because the permanent elements will be the ones most noticed by me and appreciated daily.
Gayle


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I don't envy you your decision! Sometimes we have an extra thousand to throw around and sometimes we don't. If you can afford it get what you really love. If you need to save the money and get laminate there is nothing wrong with that, either. Except for four years in a vintage home with tile counters we have always had laminate and never gelt like we were missing out, somehow. Didn't always like the pattern but never minded laminate.


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hard decisions... from the outside and someone who doesn't want granite (tho I think so many are beautiful) go with what YOU both want. if the cold and hardness of granite doesn't bother you, go with it. will a few extra 100 $ take food off of your table (it might for some), if not - go for it! when will you do this again?

also, be careful on the sink. a SS sink is another thing I don't want but I do know from on here that many have ones they don't like. (I have one I don't like!) Also, if it's an undermount, you don't want to be having to replace it!! what a mess that would be.

faucet - again you can get a cheaper one but you want it to be in there a long time. paying to have it replaced in a yr isn't a good thing. or having it leak... I plan to splurge a bit when I replace mine - up to about 250.00 (in my area, that's a spurge! my handyman thinks that is way too much to spend on a faucet.) I'm particular on a faucet. Don't want a really high one. have to have the right space from set point to spout etc and I want SS.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I am not sure what part of the country you are in but the granite prices sound high too for 30 square feet. There are so many nice ones and I agree to keep shopping and maybe another one will catch your eye.

If you keep going back to the same surface or pattern it is happening for a reason and you will enjoy for many years to come.

DH and I laugh and shake our heads EVERY time we do a project in this old house and say that it will always end up costing more than we thought. (I have that expensive eye too, older homes are a challenge but I am also a good "bargain hunter" so can make up the difference somewhere else).

Good luck and can't wait to see it when finished.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Thank you so much for the conversation, it helps very much to be able to talk about it.

I had tried to look for a fabricator and don't know where to go. Most places I have found are more like cabinet places who will also outsource. With the granite, I definitely have a fabricator / do-it-all stone yard kind of place.

re: money, it is a tough call. We have the money, but do I want to spend it? Do I want to spend it on a counter? Our home has a list of projects that could also be tackled (ex: I still have a harvest gold bath tub, 40 year old windows, etc.) I also have 3 kids, and I want to be mindful about the money. $1,000 can do a lot of other useful things in our lives too.

I live in an area of old late 1960 - 1970 homes. Really none of these will have granite unless they are updated with it. Most owners here are older and have original kitchens.

If we have our druthers, we do not plan to sell for another 15+ years, so who cares about resale anyway?

I like the brushed style granite, not the shiny. I would never want to do the shiny. I am not sure how well the brushed granite will wipe up, but I am guessing it is just fine. It has a fine texture to it. Texture??

The Corian/ solid surface is so smooth feeling, it is wonderful with an integrated sink, but the colors are generally not very good looking.

The Formica is nice looking but would need a top mount sink.

I am thinking that our home is not a "granite home", and that is OK.

We also have a special concern that our home has very hard well water (even with a softener) and the water has left calcium deposits that will be noticeable on a dark counter. I want to pick something where these marks will be (more) camouflaged if they occur. (they also mess up the sink). It is no fun, and I have had our softener looked at, We just need to wipe the heck out of it, but realistically, the counter will get wet spots around the sink and this can build up.

Anything will be nice in our kitchen. I do not want to obsess. With our cabinets for example I could be second guessing everything right now, but they look nice, a heck of a lot nicer than what we had, and it feels better to be happy than worry over whether it was the very best option and whether I missed certain details or considerations.

Lastly, our home will never be really "finished", like "designer-finished", and that is OK too. I want to be able to keep it clean and picked up and have it generally look nice. It does not have to be on Houzz.com, just a friendly and functional place that is comfortable and easy to get along with.

Hmmm.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Old house-
Have a look at " affinity solid surface". Domain Industries sells it to fabricators. They have a website, and I'm sure if you call them they will direct you to a fabricator that can show you samples.
They have some very cool color's compared to other solid surfaces.


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this_old-1969_ranch:

You are smart to be concerned about the hard water. It tears up granite and most stones, I see it all the time. It has no effect on solid surface.

" Is 800-1000 dollars over 20 years worth living with something you don't really like?"

footballmom has given some of the best advice on this thread. Yes, you have other things competing for your dollars, but very few things that you're going to see and use up close for the next 20 years or so. I've been in this business over 20 years and I've yet to hear a customer complain they spent too much on countertops.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

if you decide to go laminate and do a top mount sink, i highly recommend blanco silgranite. my sink is the diamond line and can be either top or under mounted. even though i went with granite, i wanted top mount. my fabricator messed up and cut my sink for undermount so i let them undermount but i love the sink, think it is beautiful and would have been very happy with a top mount! it is so much prettier than my ss. i have very hard water and have no problems with spots on the anthracite sink ( black with sparkly bits)
re granite cost in my neck of the woods, sienna bordeaux runs about $110 per sq ft. we are north of albany, ny and an expensive materials area. it sounds like things are costly where you are too


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Hard water? Definitely avoid darker counters. Also dark sinks and ORB faucets. I won't even have chrome, too many water spots. You are right to avoid shiny granite, the hard water will leave dull wipe marks. Solid surface does come in a lot of nice colors, we considered it, but since we wanted darker counters, rejected it because it scratches fairly easily and we were told the scratches would show up as white. If you want a light color, I think its a good choice.(The light color won't show the wipe marks too much) We chose premium laminate, not a popular choice here on GW but we liked the low maintainence of it. Our last laminate counter wore like iron, 28 yrs and 3 kids later, with barely a scratch, so we decided to go with laminate again. I'm not sorry, I do love my new counters. Will it matter for resale? Possibly, but I doubt it would be a deal breaker. Yes I do have a top mounted sink, which I am fine with but I believe you can get undermount sinks with laminate too. (By the way, you should look into a better water softener, hard water can do some damage to your pipes, maybe a new softener can handle the extreme hardness of your water)


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I have no idea what happened to my last post! That is twice this week I have "lost" a post.

Anyway, Treb, *I* feel we spent too much on our countertops. DH is glad we did but I still do.

To the OP, make sure and head to Home Depot to check out the Martha Stewart line of Corian designs. There are a couple there I am in LOVE with, but they are pretty spendy. Check out the product Sfoster mentioned, and send for lots and lots of large samples of laminate products. There are plenty to choose one, and I am confident you will find one you like. Do be aware, however, that some come in a glossy finish, some in a matte, and some with an option for either.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

hpny2 i have to disagree. i have hard water and my ss sink showed so many water spots but my silgranite does not. also have the delta artic stainless faucet that shows tons of water spots. i think with hard water, spots are the norm.
i have light granite and you are right there are no wipe marks but it has a lot of pattern so that makes a difference


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I love the lighter granite counters, quartz and solid surfaces for my own counter. Now seeing my tiles on my floor, I see how beautiful and busy they are so now I have to choose some counters that are less busy. This_Old_1969_Ranch, please do share what counter that you end up with.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

I too have medium to dark granite & a brown silgranit sink & have no problems with hard water stains. I've had the counter top 2 years & I am so not careful. We have had no problems at all.


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

Your new kitchen will be fabulous!

As a bit of perspective, find something you like and can afford. PERFECT is not a requirement. Please don't over analyze your choice. It will be fresh and new and pretty.

It's like a paint color that is good, but not totally great. It's like getting a ding in your new car, or a tiny chip in a piece of furniture. It's that appliance with non-stop bells and whistles you desire, but cannot afford. At first you notice it all the time... in a bit, these things become invisible. The important thing is the function and convenience of your new room.

Bottom line, ask yourself... in the scheme of life, how important is it?


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RE: Choosing laminate counters

this_old_1969_ranch , Just wanted to chime in and say I love your cabinets! We're redoing a kitchen an decided to reuse most of ours. Spending thousands on a countertop has me shell shocked, and there are so many choices, so I feel your pain. Trust your gut. You've chosen great cabinets, kept a beautiful floor, and your counter decision will be the right one, too.


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