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flamed granite countertops

greencatcook Jun 24, 2011 09:41 AM

I am looking at flamed lido granite for the countertops in my new kitchen. However, I am concerned with using this as a baking surface. Our island will be butcher block, but this will not be a good surface for baking and I think the flamed surface, although not tremendously rough, will not work for pie crusts and the like.

I like the durability of granite but hate the sheen. I want natural stone and all the other choices seem too delicate (marble, soapstone, etc.)


1. Does anyone have flamed granite or other finishes such as honed that they can comment on?

2. Are there any other granite color/finish options to suggest? I am looking for shades of grey.

3. Has anyone taken a stone that is imported with gloss finish and then altered the finish with the stone cutter?

  1. m
    mikie Jun 24, 2011 12:06 PM

    Soapstone isn't that delicate, it's been used for years in chemistry labs for the lab table tops. It may be a little higher maintance, but it will hold up for years. It also may scratch a little easier than granite, for example, but it's a good natural stone option.
    Another option is the quartz counter tops, these are not natural stone but stone bonded with resin. They are excellent for cooking surfaces as they are not porus at all like granite is. I'm not sure other than polished what surfaces they come in. The down side in my opinion is they don't look like real stone, the coloring and such is extremely consistant.

    Finally, yes the stone cutter can provide whichever finish you want regardless of what is on the stone now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mikie
      greencatcook Jun 24, 2011 01:55 PM

      thanks, both replies are very helpful. i will definitely be looking at soapstone as i love the look and was only concerned about ruining it. can you expand more on what the maintenance would entail? i believe it needs to be oiled, how often?

      1. re: greencatcook
        wekick Jun 25, 2011 11:10 PM

        You can oil it but you don't have to. I have it on the perimeter counter tops and I don't oil it. I have silestone on the island.

    2. BiscuitBoy Jun 24, 2011 12:29 PM

      Soapstone is the way to go, especially if you don't like the look of a nicely dressed granite...While the "flamed" finish works well to make a smooth cut look more natural and grippier for steps and such, I think it would be a major pain in the kitchen. It'd certainly be a cool look for a magazine kitchen-mahal, but for real use, not so much

      1. erica Jun 24, 2011 03:01 PM

        I am very happy with my honed granite countertops in a color/pattern that is often called "wild west."
        They have required not one minute of maintenance in 8 years. And they do not show stains or flecks of food or crumbs.

        I would suggest choosing a raw slab at a stoneyard if that is an option where you live, and then having it honed, or finished to your taste.

        I would suggest some kind of pattern rather than solid color, so the tiniest crumbs will not show.

        1. danna Jun 27, 2011 01:52 PM

          I have a friend who installs concrete countertops. I don't know much else about it, but it would be grey, and seems like it would be durable.

          1. BIGGUNDOCTOR Jun 27, 2011 11:00 PM

            Some concrete has colored glass added to make interesting patterns.

            Ask if the granite has been checked for radiation levels. Some from Brazil was higher than it should have been. Granites makes a Geiger counter tick,tick, tick.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR
              SWISSAIRE Feb 28, 2012 03:13 PM

              I would not suggest flame-treated Granite for your countertop.

              This is a treatment-effect common to buildings for walls that the Architect wants visitors to see but not touch. The Granite is given flame treatment which expands the granite crystals into expanding and popping. It usually produces cavities with sharp, open areas. Sharp and hard to clean.

              I would suggest high-polished granite, and considering your food may touch the surface, without sealer chemicals. Read the labels on those; Not for contact with food, fruit, & vegetables.

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