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Honed Granite-opinions

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We are doing a kitchen renovation and are thinking of granite counter tops. We like the honed finish look, but have been warned off because of maintenance and appearance over time. We don't want the counters to appear dirty all the time or to have glass rings showing up from to many wine spills.
I was wondering if anyone has experience with these counter tops.
I have heard good things about the standard polished granite counter tops but they seem a little glitzy for our smallish kitchen.
We have considered soapstone but are concerned about the soft nature of the stone. We would be klutzy and drop something on it within the first couple of days, for sure.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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  1. Soapstone is VERY forgiving. It is becoming more widely available as the South American sources are learning that there IS a market for this. SOFT is relative term -- it is not soft like balsa wood, it is STONE. It will take DECADES of heavy use to really show any appreciable wear, and even then it is a slow, even wear - practically the dictionary definition of " a patina of age". It is like a great western saddle, each 'ride' makes it fit the user a tiny bit more...

    Another great option that I am just getting in more quantity is the high quality Vermont slate. This is the same stuff that has been used for roof shingles for centuries, but quarried in a manner that now gives BIG uniform sheets suitable for kitchens. Harder than soapstone. As impervious to wine, acids, water as ANY stone. A bit brittle, but not a problem as long as you don't want some fancy edge treatment. OH yeah, ONLY available HONED. Looks terrific from day one, does not need ANY sealants.

    Granite is not a bad product, but there are literally guys selling it they way you'd expect an illegal drug to be sold. Very scary. If you do decide to go with granite you MUST find a company that has been doing it at least as long as you hope the stuff to last --i.e. if you want the stuff to be in service at your kitchen through 2017, make sure the company was around back in 1997!

    1. we redid our kitchen 2 yrs ago. hated granite since EVERYONE seems to do granite. so we opted for corian. love it. softer look and beautiful. the wear on it is part of its beauty. would recommend checking it out.

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      1. re: foodwich

        Thank you all for your input. Very interesting about the soapstone info.