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Feb 9, 2011 11:36 AM

Countertop Questions

I have had Corian counters in two different condos for 20 years. Am about to replace and am thinking of granite but I wonder about a few things and would appreciate hearing others' experience. 1) When I bake I roll pastry directly on the Corian and it scrubs up nicely, especially with the adjacent integral Corian sink. Bad stains like blueberry come right off with a little AJAX. I am thinking that with granite none of this would be true. Right? 2) Isn't granite somewhat porous---wouldn't flour etc get into little crevices in the surface? 3) The Corian has been somewhat subject to gouging---a dropped knife landed point-down---but damage can be ground down and repaired. What about granite, if damaged?

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  1. I would say in principle, you need to be careful on who is supplying any type of stone counter-top, whether it's fabricated or natural, because of how they're treated with different chemical. Either as sealers, color enhancers, both and whatever else they might use it for to "fix". I would say that when you're satisfied with the contractor and/or material, you may want to get the granite honed or polished. You may have to use sealer once in awhile.

    1. This is a past CH topic "Countertop material: granite vs. solid surface (corian) vs. engineered stone (silestone)". If I knew how to link it, I would have done so. There's a lot of good information, experiences, opinions, etc. in it which you might find helpful.

      I'm a granite countertop owner and lover for the past 8.5 years. I've used my kitchen pretty hard over this time and have never re-sealed the granite. There are no stains. I bake bread regularly and have never found your concern about flour getting into "little crevices in the surface" to be true. Heck, I can't see any crevices at all.

      I'll be blunt, we looked and looked for the granite slabs. They did not come from a big-box store; did you know you don't get to choose your slabs? They install what they have as long as it's the same pattern. The granite I chose was quite pricey, very thick and cut in expremely large pieces which have been a joy and delight to me [the island is over 12 ft long without a seam]. They're full of movement & colors, I never tire of finding something new. Make sure that you see as many different types, styles, and colors as possible. Find an excellent fabricator, this is key. They can make or break your installation. When your heart sings, buy the slabs and store them until needed. Otherwise, there is no guarantee you will find what you love when the time comes.

      Lifting a hot pot out of the oven or off the cooktop and putting it directly onto the granite has spoiled me for life. I do not cut directly on the granite, but I wouldn't cut directly on any countertop unless it was butcher block so that is a non-issue. I do use a bench scraper when I'm baking and, so far, nothing has happened - no scratches, no nuthin'. I clean the counters with a soapy cloth and wipe it dry.

      Yep, put me solidly in the "Pro Granite" camp. I'm a very satisfied, happy owner.
      Edit: I should also mention that we have granite in our bathrooms and on the bar top as well as a desk. I thought the bar might be a problem but it's been a dream.

      1. Many thanks for responses. Very helpful.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Querencia

          We put in speckled grey/white/beige polished granite two years ago, it was the cheapest grade at Home Depot and was just what we wanted. We have used these counters to death and they still look like new. My husband makes bread directly on it every few days as well as all his pastry crusts and scrapes up the bits with a bench scraper. It is easy to keep clean and I love it. The people who have told me they hated granite were ones who chose the black and shiny granite. Never looks clean, shows every problem...sometimes we don't even realize ours is dirty until we run a hand across it that's how forgiving our quiet pattern is.

          1. re: escondido123

            I think we have the same design. It's called Santa Cecilia. I made brownies the day after our counters were installed and got crumbs EVERYWHERE. I didn't know til I set something down on them and they smushed all over the bottom.

            While it's great because they always look clean, it's frustrating because sometimes you think they're cleaner than they are!

        2. Depending on your area you should be able to go visit some granite yards. In my experience they will only sell to fabricators. Once you establish the granite you like you choose the slabs you want and put them on hold. The fabricator then purchases them for you and completes the installation process. Most people I have spoken to love their granite and have had no staining problems, Of course you do not want to let oil or red wine sit on the surface for any length of time, as the material is porus. The cracks and nooks will have been filled so no worries there. I seal mine every 6 months to keep it in top 'working' order. I clean it first and then wipe on the sealer as directed. Granite is one of the hardest surfaces around and should not crack or break unless abused. You can roll pastry and doughs on granite without hesitation, it is nice and cool for this purpose.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JEN10

            A bottle of red wine, wet around the bottom, got left on our granite counter overnight. It wiped away as if it was water, the same for a puddle of oil. I find mine to be indestructable, and I think the speckled pattern hides a multitude of possible sins.

          2. One thing to keep in mind is that stone of any kind is very hard and I have lost a few pitchers and glasses because people set them down and they shatter. Not a reason not to get it but I had to make a board to set glasses and pitchers on.
            I would look at silestone. One of my neighbors had it and raved about it. It was a totally different look than what I wanted but I found a matte finish one I liked and paired it with soapstone.
            Consider how much pattern you want and if you find it distracting.