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Old 21-02-2007, 20:47   #1
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New Counter Tops

We're looking to replace our original formica counter tops with Corian or perhaps Granite or maybe Marble.

We live in the Caribbean and would like to find a place within the triangle of Puerto Rico, Panama and Venezeuela to get the job done well at an affordable price.

Ideas?

Thanks,

Kirk
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Old 22-02-2007, 05:00   #2
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Just to add to the surface selection confusion. How about countertops made from?
Stainless-Steel
Engineered Stone
Solid Epoxy (or Phenolic) Resin

A recent study by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management measured the bacteria resistance capacity of six common countertop materials. Each surface was contaminated with E-coli (nearly 2 billion of the microorganisms), washed and rinsed with soap and water and then sanitized with a vinegar-and-water solution. The results are show in the table below.
Surface Microorganisms ELIMINATED by Cleaning (more is better)
Stainless Steel 85,113,804
Granite 79,432,823
Plastic Laminate 498,884
Tile 293,765
Concrete 32,810
Wood 2,080
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Old 22-02-2007, 06:20   #3
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The weight, the weight

Some Laminex or Crea product's give a similar effect and weigh nothing

Laminex :: Home

Crea

Halifax Vogel Group

surely there is a US version of the same.



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Old 27-02-2007, 01:58   #4
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Go with Corian. It's light, hygenic and easily shaped to weird hull profiles. It can be mended - sinks can be built in, drain channels as well. Stuff dropped on it won't smash. Corners can be easily rounded for safety. It isn't cheap but on a boat you're not installing acres of it either.

Stainless Steel: Good stuff but expensive.
Granite: Too heavy + all boats flex & that may fracture the stone.
Marble: Unsuitable for kitchens, it's a sponge (plus the above concerns weight etc)
Laminates: OK but they're bonded to plywood substrates and in a marine environment they'll eventually delaminate & they'll also chip if something smashes into them (maybe not likely at home but on a boat...)

Cheers.
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Old 27-02-2007, 02:49   #5
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Take a look at “Durcon” molded epoxy resin & “DURCON-R” blended polypropylene resin mixture countertops;
DURCON Company Home Page
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Old 27-02-2007, 03:57   #6
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Another choice in the solid surface category is Swanstone. It is lighter than Corian and visually indistinguishable. They have Swanstone sinks at Home Depot so you can get an idea of how they look. We've had ours for about 3 years, and although they can scratch, the scratches can also be buffed out.
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Old 27-02-2007, 11:51   #7
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Swanstone is basically Corian - which is an acrylic blended with natural stone chips etc. There are a number of good generic versions out there. The advantage is that any kitchen contractor in the world can do the work. And if they don't get it right (or you damage it), it's easily fixed.

Epoxy based materials like Durcon etc. are really good but I wouldn't recommend them for a residential kitchen (or galley). You're limited to Black, Grey or White and you sure won't be able to walk into your local kitchen contractor and get it done.

My last project had 1200 kitchens - hence the rather detailed knowledge of countertops!! Bottom line - for a boat, go with a Corian type product.

Cheers.
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Old 27-02-2007, 15:44   #8
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Muskoka said,

Laminates: OK but they're bonded to plywood substrates and in a marine environment they'll eventually delaminate & they'll also chip if something smashes into them (maybe not likely at home but on a boat...)



For the average Joe a laminex style bench top is the go IMHO.

I have never had a problem with it delaminating if it is done correctly and with a mould-proof white silicon bead around the edge to prevent water ingress.

I also have never had a problem with it chipping or dinging and I have dropped rum bottles on it. unintentionaly of course.

It is a fraction of the cost of Corian and similar, it is also a fraction of the weight and is easily installed by anyone who is remotely handy, therefore one could refresh the appearance of the galley every few years with the latest colour's/pattern's if this get's you off.

I have done one where the surface was abraded and cleaned and the new laminate was glued over the top of the old.

Worked a treat.

Did I mention it is inexpensive and light.

Light being important in a Multihull.

Dave
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Old 27-02-2007, 16:07   #9
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Quote:
therefore one could refresh the appearance of the galley every few years with the latest colour's/pattern's if this get's you off.
LOL, I can come up with better ways to get one off.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:14   #10
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I prefer laminated countertops more than granite
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:15   #11
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Home Depot now carries a special laminate countertop paint for $20. It can be tinted to 16 different colors -- most of which are creams and greys.

That's what I'm going to try on mine before I even consider replacing them, but I haven't gotten that far into the project yet.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:20   #12
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Marble Tops

I am installing Marble tops this week. What I have done is glue 16x24" 3/8" tile together with a colored epoxy, a very thin joint. I did this on a perfectly flat surface with a plastic sheet to prevent the epoxy sticking. I laid up a layer of 1700 biax cloth on the back side with epoxy and let it cure, to make a solid slab. When we took it to the water jet outfit they freaked out when I started to pull it out of the truck, thinking for sure that it would break being so thin. It cut fine and it has some very narrow places. Prior to taking it to be cut I laid up a test slap and was able to stand on top with a 2x4 under one edge without it breaking. The plan is to trowel on 5200 to the 1/2 ply substrate and set the slabs onto this to provide a pillow to allow for expansion and vibration. I believe that the weight of the stone is less than 1" thick Corian top. My friend imports marble and limestone from eastern Europe and has done all the honing and edge finishing. He did tell me that marble is usually not used in kitchens as the treatments to seal it are attacked by the acids in citrus etc. We will have to be careful with that and re-seal it every couple of years. Jack
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Old 20-05-2011, 00:55   #13
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Re: New Counter Tops?

When it comes to solid surface countertops, we alway get our material from a company named i-LAST AG in Switzerland. They have a brand called Startop (www.startop.ch) which is a great affordable alternative to Corian, Staron and Hi-Macs. The ship worldwide and offer great service. Steve
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Old 20-05-2011, 01:07   #14
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Re: New Counter Tops?

Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
Go with Corian. It's light, hygenic and easily shaped to weird hull profiles. It can be mended - sinks can be built in, drain channels as well. Stuff dropped on it won't smash. Corners can be easily rounded for safety. It isn't cheap but on a boat you're not installing acres of it either.

Stainless Steel: Good stuff but expensive.
Granite: Too heavy + all boats flex & that may fracture the stone.
Marble: Unsuitable for kitchens, it's a sponge (plus the above concerns weight etc)
Laminates: OK but they're bonded to plywood substrates and in a marine environment they'll eventually delaminate & they'll also chip if something smashes into them (maybe not likely at home but on a boat...)

Cheers.
+1

Corian and all of the similar solid-surface counters are even more wonderful on the boat than they are at home, for all the reasons stated above.

I would just add that the resilient nature of Corian is a plus when cooking at sea with stuff banging around in the galley. I can't imagine cooking on natural stone counters at sea (I admit, however, that I don't like them anyway), and like the poster above, I doubt they would last long.

Likewise, the fused in edges prevent spilled liquids from soaking down where they shouldn't. It's the perfect material IMHO for this application.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:52   #15
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Re: New Counter Tops?

We thought about just renewing the laminate counter tops, but it seemed a lot of work just for new Formica - we eventually decided on a solid surface like Corian, and glad we did! Nothing is simple though - The New Counters - preparation - This is the old - preped for the new:
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