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Help: What's the Right Countertop?

Hi - I am new to this website and am searching for countertop suggestions. We are installing a new kitchen from floor to ceiling, and are going for a classic country style (in-frame cabinets, range cooker etc). I really love to cook and cook all the time but am hopelessly messy, which leads me to think that I need a very durable and easy to clean countertop. (We also have little kids). But I strongly dislike granite (too hard, cold and shiny and I'm not really into the patterning). My favorite look so far is Pyrolave (enamelled lavastone) but it seems like its going to be very expensive and would take too long to obtain from the supplier. So, I guess I like a more matte, opaque finish, as Pyrolave provides. Any suggestions? Wood would be great but I'm afraid I just can't take care of it properly. Thanks so much!!

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  1. Actually stainless is the easiest to clean, but you will hate it because it will be absolutely anti-country style.

    http://kitchenideas.com.au/stainless_...

    It is, however, very easy to clean which is why many restaurant kitchens are stainless.

    1. for any years we had formica as we didn't havee the dollars to upgrade. i considered corians my next countertop but after careful pricing, monitoring for care, etc. i chose granite. i am completely satisfied. hot pots can be put on the surface. i don't have the extra shiny type, but have a busy pattern with a very low shine. i can go days without applying anything more than a sponge. i highly recommend it and it also blends well into most kitchen redesigns.
      just my opinion

      1. We have quartz, it's actually a reconstituted quartz product, which you may not like for the patterning. Recently I saw some "makeover" show which used soapstone, which was gorgeous but cost-prohibitive in my part of the country.

        1. The best countertop is what you can afford without going into debt.
          An additional limit is how long you plan to be in the house, does the cooking lay out you have now work in your for-ever kitchen or does it need tweaking?
          You don't have to drop thousands of dollars for the fanciest surface.
          It's your kitchen and the colors and styles should make you feel good, not guilty.

          1. If you don't like how hard granite is, then by all means don't get one of the many rock-hard options (including all natural stones, quartz, tile or concrete). The hardness was a major consideration for me in my recent remodel, too, so I compromised on half soapstone and half butcher block. I have the stone from the range to the sink, and everything else is wood.

            I've retrained myself to use the block for most of my prep, and I love it. No worrying about chipping or breaking glass items. If it were practical to have the main sink in it, I'd do all butcher block, but I have two friends with their sink in **extremely** expensive wood that's delaminated after years of use.

            I don't know if the look works for you, but it sounds like one of the Corian-style plastic products might be best for you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with plastic laminate either, except the edges, which are prone to chipping and delaminating also. There's no 100% ideal, I finally decided.