new kitchen counter tops!
Just starting - so it probably will be about a year before it comes to fruition - but I am wondering about what you feel is the best kitchen counter top to go with. I am replacing the old formica. Will also be doing floors - can I ask about that here too? I love my new Samsung french door refrigerator - with the extra subdivider in the freezer to keep things organized! Also have the new GE double wall oven with convection - it's an oven. My fridge on the other hand is like my BMW in the kitchen!
How exciting! We did ours last year, and it was a long time coming. We went with quartz, rather than granite, for the countertops - that was more for the look than any cooking-related concerns. The floor is ceramic tile, and I haven't had any problems with knee/leg pain, even when I spend all day cooking (e.g., for big family dinners) - this is on a slab foundation and we don't have mats or rugs or anything on the tile.
Sounds just like the kitchen I remodeled a year ago. Quartz countertops in black to match the black glass top on my new stove. Ceramic tile floors - a logical choice on a poured slab foundation - I carried the flooring throughout the first floor and it looks spectacular. Ceramic tile backsplash which looks elegant. So far nothing has shattered on the counters or the floor.
I don't have time to get the link right now, but there's a really long, thorough thread all about countertops. It'll give you a ton of perspectives.
Quartz and granite are the best choices. Both are durable, easy to take care of, and best of all, you can take a cookie sheet out of the oven and put it right on the countertop.
Quartz has a fine grain, and a consistent color, and comes in lighter tones than granite does. Granite has some amazingly beautiful colors, streaks and veins that can't be duplicated by factory made tops.
My suggestion is to go to a stoneyard and look through the slabs of granite. See what colors and patterns you like. Look through kitchen magazines and note the countertops that you like the look of in each kitchen.
If you look at brochures for manufactured tops, you will often see that they say granite is more work to care for than quartz. You can, if you choose, wipe a silicone sealer on the granite every couple of years, just to fill in the tiny 'divots' in the grain of the stone. It takes a few minutes to wipe on and wipe off, but it's no different than wiping them down with soapy water! I've had granite in my kitchen and master bath in a couple of homes, and never did a thing to them except keep them clean.
Pricewise, you'll find that granite is less expensive than quartz - but it all boils down to the look you want. Quartz has beautiful colors as well, and there are several brands to choose from. One is no better than the other, they all just make different colors.
Oh, and another consideration if this pertains to your lifestyle - granite is a totally natural and low- environmental- impact substance. Other than the equipment used to mine, cut and polish the stone, water is the only product used to make the countertops.
Hope this helps. I am a kitchen designer and have had plenty of experience with all these products. Which is best is up to you!
Our kitchen is next, but we have done two baths, one with Quartz the other with Granite. The wife likes the Quartz, I like the Granite. However, the plan for the kitchen is . . . drum roll please . . . granite. Compaired to quartz, grnaite has some knock your sox off colors and patterns and Mrs. Mikie wants a knock your sox off kitchen. The kitchen has a large penensula that protrudes and seperates the "working area" from the eating area and that is going to be the focal point of the counter top. Both the quartz and granite have performed admirably in the baths with no real issues, the granite gets the nod for pazaz in the kitchen.