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Old 09-03-2021, 10:41   #1
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Galley countertops

I'm tackling a variety of project simultaneously on my boat, with weather, time, supplies, and unexpected issues dictating which I get to tackle on any given day.

My current focus is on the galley. I had to rip out everything so that I could retab the bulkheads to the hull. In the process I decided to take advantage of a blank slate and redesign the galley. I'm almost ready to start installing the stove and refrigerator and sink, but am stalled as I consider what material to use as the countertop. The original was formica over ply. Though I'm using formica to finish the insides of the cabinets and the bulkheads above the countertop (easy to clean!) I'd rather have something less utilitarian-looking for the countertop. I'm considering either a composite like corian, or butcherblock. Does anyone have either on their boat? I'm leaning towards butcherblock because it is inexpensive (I can get a 6' x 39" slab for $350) and easy to work with. My hesitation is how well it would hold up to the marine/boat environment. Any first-hand information gratefully received!
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:48   #2
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Re: Galley countertops

You can get corian precut to your design at reasonable prices. This might save you a lot of work.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:53   #3
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Re: Galley countertops

When I get around to replacing my Formica counter tops, I think I'm going to go with ceramic tile. They have floor tiles today that are huge (1m x 1m) and come in a variety of colours and textures. It would be easy to cut them to size for counters. It's a durable, inexpensive, fairly light option that is also easy to clean.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:54   #4
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Re: Galley countertops

I have looked at getting the corian pre-cut. I'm just nervous about the accuracy of my template! I want a snug fit, but not so snug that there's no room for error.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:56   #5
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Re: Galley countertops

You can get some really beautiful laminates if you want to dress up your galley. Check out your local cabinet-makers supply place for what they carry. It's inexpensive and bonds to ply with contact cement. There are a lot of videos that explain the process so you don't get bubbles.


For myself, I've never understood why people don't put SS countertops in the galley. Heat resistant, won't peel or chip, and scrubs clean easily.
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:07   #6
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Re: Galley countertops

My '02 boat came with Corian with a teak lip and I like them in that they don't show wear etc. Makes the refrigerator lids pretty heavy, don't want to think it will stay propped open at sea and let it land on your thumb. She made me take her for x-rays and it wasn't broke but I get my own beer now.
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:14   #7
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Re: Galley countertops

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
When I get around to replacing my Formica counter tops, I think I'm going to go with ceramic tile. They have floor tiles today that are huge (1m x 1m) and come in a variety of colours and textures. It would be easy to cut them to size for counters. It's a durable, inexpensive, fairly light option that is also easy to clean.
I had tile counters in a house, and cleaning the grout was the issue for me. Unless I used whitening products it never looked clean!
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:15   #8
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Re: Galley countertops

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
You can get some really beautiful laminates if you want to dress up your galley. Check out your local cabinet-makers supply place for what they carry. It's inexpensive and bonds to ply with contact cement. There are a lot of videos that explain the process so you don't get bubbles.


For myself, I've never understood why people don't put SS countertops in the galley. Heat resistant, won't peel or chip, and scrubs clean easily.
I hadn't thought of stainless steel...hmmm
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:17   #9
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Re: Galley countertops

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Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
My '02 boat came with Corian with a teak lip and I like them in that they don't show wear etc. Makes the refrigerator lids pretty heavy, don't want to think it will stay propped open at sea and let it land on your thumb. She made me take her for x-rays and it wasn't broke but I get my own beer now.
That's my thought with either corian or butcherblock: the weight of the stove cover. I have an Engle fridge, so thankfully I don't have to worry about thumb injuries for a cold one!
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Old 09-03-2021, 12:16   #10
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Re: Galley countertops

Granite ...
- No fear of putting a hot cast iron pan on the counter.
- Also use it as a chopping board (keep knife sharpener handy.
- Undermount sink makes clean up extra easy.

Some will critique the weight but you are really talking about a very small area which is easy to compensate for. We've had ours for 6 yrs and love it.
Ours cost less than your butcher block.
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Old 09-03-2021, 12:23   #11
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Re: Galley countertops

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Granite ...
- No fear of putting a hot cast iron pan on the counter.
- Also use it as a chopping board (keep knife sharpener handy.
- Undermount sink makes clean up extra easy.

Some will critique the weight but you are really talking about a very small area which is easy to compensate for. We've had ours for 6 yrs and love it.
Ours cost less than your butcher block.
That granite really does look good! The weight is a concern, though, as she's 34' and the counter top will be almost 6x3
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Old 09-03-2021, 14:26   #12
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Re: Galley countertops

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That granite really does look good! The weight is a concern, though, as she's 34' and the counter top will be almost 6x3
Boat is 38' X 12', full displacement (round hull) our countertop is 10' X 2.5 minus cut out for stove. it gave us a very, very minor list so I moved my tools to the opposite side ... now sits level.

Check the weight of granite then get someone of same weight to stand on that side and see what happens.
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Old 09-03-2021, 14:38   #13
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Re: Galley countertops

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I had tile counters in a house, and cleaning the grout was the issue for me. Unless I used whitening products it never looked clean!
My idea is to use a single piece for each counter top, so no grout.
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Old 09-03-2021, 14:39   #14
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Re: Galley countertops

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanFox View Post
I had tile counters in a house, and cleaning the grout was the issue for me. Unless I used whitening products it never looked clean!
We had tile counters (which we installed) on the boat for 25 years and are SO HAPPY to have ripped them out. Heavy, dated-looking, and impossible to keep clean was our experience. We're replacing with Corian which is almost ready to be siliconed into place.

Corian is no weight savings, as far as I can tell so far - and the cutouts are very heavy, as was mentioned earlier. Still looks 1000% better.

I'd have loved to go with butcherblock for ease of a cutting board everywhere, but was worried about delamination in a wet environment.

Good luck - galley refits take a while but are so satisfying.
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Old 09-03-2021, 15:02   #15
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Re: Galley countertops

We have white corian. Installed by PO back in 2006. It has some cracks. And chips. Its white so this show up as dirt. The top load fridge cover is darn heavy, but I rigged a way to retain it securely. I have purchased some epoxy to make repairs but have not gotten to it yet.
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