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Old 07-12-2007, 21:25   #31
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Originally Posted by Windgeist View Post
In addition, when they installed our counter top at home, they came out with fancy equipment to get accurate measurements before the cut. After all, with what that stuff cost, you don't want to screw it up
While I'm sure the fancy equipment is nice it can easily be done with a template of cardboard or even better door skins.
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Old 08-12-2007, 04:57   #32
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We replaced our laminate counter tops with WilsonArt Solid Surface material a little over a year ago.
Yotboss, did you use the standard 1/2 inch counter top Solid Surface or the 1/4 inch Solid Surface normally intended for walls?
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:15   #33
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You don't use counter tops as a surface for cutting so this is a nonsense concept. You use a SEPARATE cutting board and wood is certainly fine.

We have two cutting boards of butcher block, one that has slots and lives on a about 1/3 of the gimballed galley stove. It is removed for use ON the counter top for cutting. It also fits into the smaller of the two sinks which allows food prep where to mess can be slid off to the main sink to be discarded. Having a gimballed surface on the stove top is perfect for pouring hot liquids underway, making coffee or tea.

The second wood cutting board fits into the larger sink with a quarter round cut out so that the rotating faucet spout can be used and drain into the sink. Cuttings can also be pushed into the quarter round opening.

Both of these cutting board have rabbeted sides so they fit over and into the sink and stay in place even heeled.

The underside of the smaller butcher block is used as a "shop" work surface for drilling and so forth as the grooves for the grates support cylindrical shapes and so forth.

Since counter top surfaces are NOT used for food prep, critter concerns are not especially an issue. But this means that one has to be very vigilant about keeping chopping blocks clean.

DON'T USE YOUR COUNTERS FOR CUTTING SURFACES EVER.
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:11   #34
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defjef has it right. There shouldn't be any knife cuts in your countertop because you don't cut on it!

I replaced laminate in my house with granite and liked it very much. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again.

On my boat (liveaboard) I have Corian. I have less staining issues and easier cleaning with the Corian than I had with either the laminate or the granite. My fiddles are mahogany (as is the rest of the woodwork below).

The only issue of concern with Corian is that very high heat can scorch it and in extreme cases cause it to fail. If I need to move something hot off the cooker it goes into the stainless steel sink or onto a cutting board.

I have cutting boards that fit into the sink cut-out as mentioned above which is very convenient as well as a larger board with a fiddle and opposing alignment braces to fit in the cut-out over the cooker. Cutting boards get cleaned with vinegar water and wiped down with mineral oil. There is discussion about plastic v. wood and about proper care all over the Internet (including credible, scientific and regulatory sources). My choice is wood for cutting surfaces because my reading indicates it is as good or better than plastic for hygiene and definitely gentler on my knives.

Although I did not do my Corian installation, I have worked with it on a very limited basis before. Cutting it is a DIY job. Bonding it is a stretch. If you can get it cut to your spec by a vendor you can easily do cutouts for sinks and such yourself. Regular wood-working tools seem to be fine.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:03   #35
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Yotboss, did you use the standard 1/2 inch counter top Solid Surface or the 1/4 inch Solid Surface normally intended for walls?
In order to do the build-up for the edge, fiddles and cove inside the fiddles, 1/2" material was necessary. I guess if you were just doing inserts without an exposed edge you could get away with using the 1/4" material.
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:16   #36
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Sea Treks tile counters
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:53   #37
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Attachment 2179

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Sea Treks tile counters

I LIKE THAT! What's the scoop?
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:01   #38
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Removed the old Formica, or whatever it was, glued 2"x2" ceramic mosaic sheets that come 12"x12", cut to fit around the edges. Added thin teak strips around all opening compartments, grouted with sanded grout to make it stronger and less likely to crack and that is about it.
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:51   #39
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No tile for me....don't like how much more difficult it is to clean the grout and the icky stuff that starts growing in it..
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:56   #40
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You mean DuPont Corian?
I wondered about that but got advised that it can scratch?
This thread indicates that
Countertop material: granite vs. solid surface (corian) vs. engineered stone (silestone) - Cookware - Chowhound

We have Silestone in our house and love it..tougher than Granite, and less expensive.. runs something like $50 a foot..guess for such small countertops that some of us have that would not be bad, but there sure are a lot of nice looking colors in good old inexpensive laminate...plus you can do it yourself.
Doesn't laminate actually hold up better than Corian?
Laminate is just so easy to go over existing surfaces too.

I have Corian on my cat. It has performed very badly, crazing near the heat of the stove and cracking due to the slight flex you always get in a cat. It'll now be replaced with something a bit more flexible. Mine isn't an isolated case, the manufacturer of my cat has now dropped Corian completely.
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Old 08-12-2007, 13:34   #41
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You can go out and buy a slab of polished marble or better yet polished granite at a discount place that specializes in it for not all that much. Rent the right diamond cutter and you can do all the work yourself. I think it really is better than installing less durable and harder to clean materials.
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Old 08-12-2007, 14:28   #42
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Thanks for the feedback Yotboss.

Regarding the comments from others on heat damage to plastic type finishes what we did is inset tiles into the lid of the top loading freezer as a place to drop hot pans onto. It is right beside the cooker so handy but still on a quiet corner of the bench not used for food preparation, washing up, etc.

In my opinion if appearances and weight are not issues the best material for bench tops is stainless steel. Quite common on larger yachts where the galley is isolated from the "pretty" parts .
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Old 08-12-2007, 14:37   #43
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David, Since my wife tends to keep the counters clean we only have to do a good thorough cleaning maybe once a year. Don't know about your counters but we find that the keeping them clean process does not allow yucky stuff to grow as it can also on granite, formica or other surfaces.This is after all a counter top and not a shower stall in a public restroom
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Old 08-12-2007, 16:25   #44
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No tile for me....don't like how much more difficult it is to clean the grout and the icky stuff that starts growing in it..
where have you been in the past 20 years? Today's grout sealers are wonderful and they don't allow anything to penetrate. My grandson spilled grape juice on our kitchen tile and it just sat there and beaded up on the grout. Wipe away and not a trace of purple.. The grout is a very light gray. I tiled every counter top in our house and 1/2 the floors.. Tile and grout have come a long way since your daddy did tile!
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Old 08-12-2007, 22:35   #45
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Where have I been?..in a house with 50 year old tile that has its own self-sustaining eco system within the mortar! I don't dare wipe it with bleach because I may cause the extinction of the only organism that might contain the cure for cancer.

That's probably why I did not know about the new grout.
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