What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10
414 Views

The day has come to change the laminate countertops that came with our cottage. I have hated them since the beginning. They pretend to be stone (they aren't) and they have a fussy edge which does not gel with the super rustic, un-planed reclaimed wood cabinets. They are also surprisingly difficult to keep sterile as things stick to them and are hard to see due to the color. The pros are they have been beat up by guests and it really doesn't show much except for the edges starting to wear.

 

What do you recommend as far as a countertop material in your ABB? Looks and durability are of equal importance. We have ruled out:

marble (too delicate),

concrete (our old handmade cabinet boxes won't hold it)

and more laminate.

 

In our other houses we have butcher block (beautiful but burns easily and needs oiled), quartz (great but a bit too modern looking for the space) granite (a possibility in a solid color honed finish, but not sure how that holds up.)

 

30 Replies

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Laura2592 I have granite in all three of my apartments (although one kitchen might be quartz.) I've had no issues to date. They are super easy to clean/buff and they look clean even when they aren't. I can't really imagine them being damaged in any way, except by a sledgehammer. 🙂 Go with granite, there are so many different color options. 

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Laura2592  I think that leaves only granite, quartz or maybe stainless steel, although that might be too modern.  Granite is hard to destroy.  Marble is definitely too delicate.  

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Mark116 there are a dizzying array of countertop materials  lol. We have samples of 

 

Soapstone 

Limestone 

Hammered copper 

Zinc

Slate

 

And a few other more traditional choices.  Also there are things like recycled glass and even some kind of recycled paper material for very green spaces. 

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Laura2592 @Mark116 @Emilia42 We have granite in two apartments and laminate in the other. All seem to work fine but the granite is much nicer to look at.

BUT when we had granite in our old house Jane dropped a heavy glass and chipped the edge of the counter top. The glass, of course, survived the experience!

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 Wow! Every single dish that's hit our granite counters has shattered and the granite has been fine. That's the first thing that popped to mind with granite in an Airbnb, is all the broken dishes, lol @Laura2592 . 

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Laura2592 

 

Our cabin has oak butcher block countertops that I made myself.

 

They have held up for 30 years but one very annoying thing is that, although they are finished with a durable floor varnish, some people insist on using them as cutting boards.

 

We have provided three high-quality cutting boards, one of which is built in, but it doesn’t help.

 

There is a section of limestone which I used for pastry and breadmaking. Someone managed to crack it.

 

Our condo in Panama has granite, which looks good, but can be broken if not supported well.

Some granite is porous and will absorb oils or stains and needs to be cleaned and sealed annually.

 

 I looked at Dupont Corrian which is supposed to be nearly indestructible but it was very expensive.

 

 You might go to Home Depot and talk to someone in the kitchen cabinet department.

They could recommend something that might stand up to abuse at a reasonable price.

 

We want to replace the ugly formica countertops in our house and I’m thinking of using butcher block from Home Depot and covering areas next to the stove and sink with shatterproof tempered glass.

 

Another option would be ceramic tile over a Hardi-Board base. 

 

 

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

Old house nerd that I am, I had a butcher block counter made for the island in our main house out of reclaimed barn beams from a place down the road. Though I love it, it would never hold up to guests and I would cry. Our cabinets are also hand built a ND very rustic at our ABB so I worry about an overdose of wood. Screenshot_20210909-183937_Instagram.jpg

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

OMG that kitchen looks stunning @Laura2592. Would die to have a tour of your house. You are clearly a very talented designer.

 

Yes, if you would cry, then it's not a safe bet for the Airbnb. Ugh..

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Colleen253 aw thanks. I think I missed my calling. I love doing remodeling and restoration. 

 

But yes,  I don't need something else to stress about at our cottage. We need to walk the line between good looking and indestructible. I was all excited about zinc until the one I liked was $200 a square foot. Nuh uh. I'll spend a bit but not THAT much. 

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

"Some granite is porous and will absorb oils or stains and needs to be cleaned and sealed annually". @Brian2036 That's another consideration with granite. I have granite in one bathroom that is horrible at absorbing things and needs regular maintenance, but the granite in our kitchen absorbs nothing, and never needs any special treatment or care. 

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Colleen253 Could that be because of how it was installed or treated?

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Emilia42  and @Colleen253  do you know anything about the matte finished granites? Leathered or honed? @Brian2036  and @Mike-And-Jane0  as well.   Any idea?

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Laura2592 @Colleen253 @Emilia42 

 

All granite is not created equal.

 

Some of it is extremely dense and can be mechanically polished to the point where it won’t absorb liquids. (Or so I was told.)

 

Some of it is very porous and if you pour water on it you can watch it slowly disappear.

 

 The granite we bought in Panama was incredibly cheap, produced locally, I suppose, and it is porous. If I remember correctly we paid about $3.00 a square foot, installed, so I’m not about to complain.

Re: What kind of countertops do you recommend?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

In simple terms the lighter the colour the more porous the granite is. We have a black granite in our apartments which is not very porous but is extremely heavy!

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