I have a kitchen needing 18 linear feet of countertops, standard depth. I am leaning toward butcher block vs quartz vs corian. Does anyone have best/ worst advice for me. What are the price differences and what should I avoid? Granite is out. Thanks in advance.
I have Gibraltar, Wilsonart's brand of the Corian material. It's a relatively soft composite and prone to scratching, both minor and major. If you don't think you can live with the "patina" of scratches and don't want to refinish it every couple of years, don't go there.
I am of the understanding that quartz costs nearly as much - if not as much - as granite. No?
Seems butcher block has not been seen much here since the 70's, and other counters are more forgiving.
Placing a hot pan or oven dish directly on wooden butcher block could leave a scorch mark, and knife cut marks were very common. And if you have wood tone cabinets and flooring...well then you sure have a LOT of wood surfaces and they tend to absorb and not reflect light.
Quartz may be the toughest surface of what you mention, and least prone to damage, but most costly.
Corian, Swanstone and other similar plastic/composite types can be re-sanded and repolished if need be. I would probably prefer a matte finish with no gloss, as it would continue to look the same rather than shiney/dull areas.
If you want butcher block, I'd look to do it on a limited basis, say on the island if you have one. And do laminate elsewhere. I don't think I'd do butcher block near the sink or by the stove for the reasons Conrad mentions.
Of the higher end finishes, granite can be cheaper than Corian or Quartz provided you don't go real exotic on the granite. It can start around $35 a square foot installed here, exotics can be much, much more expensive. Quartz goes for $65 a square foot and up, same with Corian. The quartz stuff looks nice, but I'd probably go natural stone if I were going to spend that kind of money on counters. To me Corian looks like the plastic it is. Quartz looks more like stone. When we built our house in 1998/1999 solid surface in our price range meant Corian. Now granite has come down in price and almost all homes in our price range that have been built in the last 5 or 6 years have granite. Tile counters are pretty much unheard of in our part of the country. They seem more common in California and Florida and possibly Texas, though I suspect natural stone is edging out tile in those markets as well.
I'm in the process of redoing my laminate counters with new laminate counters (you can them in pictures in post on this board). Many of my neighbors have gone the granite route and while I'd love to do granite,it just didn't make sense to me to put $4K worth of granite on my 14 year old builder grade cabinets. I suspect we'll do granite when/if we completely redo the kitchen after the kids are out of college, which should be in 6 or 7 years. The oldest heads to college in the fall, his younger sister is a HS Sophomore.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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