Kitchen Beginnings – Countertop Question!

Did I mention it yet, that I’m embarking on a kitchen mini-remodel??  Well I am!  And I need help picking a counter.  But first, here’s the “before”:

 And I don’t normally blog in “real time” (like I usually write my posts several days ahead of time) but I had to share what I spent the morning doing – – doors are all off!

 So I can delve into this – yep, I’m painting the cabinets – gray.  Ever heard of Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations?  Well, it looks great and so much cheaper than replacing cabinet, so I’m going to give it a go….I’m sure I’ll do a whole review post for you..

But for now, I need your opinions – on Countertops.  Obviously the teal has overstayed its welcome.  I was leaning towards solid surface (like Corian) because there would be no seams – that’s huge – it would make cleaning easy, etc.  But we want a dark counter and I just learned that dark Solid Surface scratches white – wha??  I’m sure we’ll have scratches, so now I don’t know….Here’s the options:

Solid Surface – smooth, no seams, but scratches white…

Granite – cold, hard, seams (we’ll need 2) and you have to seal it and do maintenance…

Quartz - a little pricey-er, seams, but maybe better than granite.

Does anyone have any tips for picking??

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  1. says

    We have granite because it was much cheaper than quartz. Ours is light with dark specks and it does stain. We’ve had 2 red wine stains and a blue marker(those kids!) stain. We were able to get the red wine ones out but the blue has stayed. We haven’t had any scratches or problems and once a year you just have to put a spray on to seal it, it’s just like cleaning it, not a big deal. I like how it looks and would get it again. I hope that helped!

  2. says

    In our last home we used Silestone throughout the house. It was less expensive than Corian and I really liked it. I never scratched it, so I am not sure about that. We ordered ours through Lowes. In our current home we used Granite and I love it. We used a 15 year sealer, and it has been in almost 5 years and I haven’t reasealed it yet. I use Pledge orange oil to polish and it still looks new. You have to look really hard to see the seams. We do have dark green (verde butterfly). I love it ~ it is beautiful, but I would not go dark again. Every crumb shows……that’s my only gripe about it.

  3. says

    I kind of laugh when I see people redoing their kitchens when I would LOVE to have what they have! I have a 1960’s kitchen with lovely counters that have a built in backsplash, and any type of remodel is about 10-20 years down the road. But when I get there, I am choosing corian counters hands down. With a sink that’s molded right into the counters so I can just wipe everything into the sink!

  4. says

    We put granite in our kitchen and I love it. I am not a huge granite fan. It looks fine for others but too shiny and everything shows. I have kids who don’t like to clean up after themselves. So everything would show on the shiny granite. We found a antique granite that hasn’t been polished so it doesn’t look shiny and nothing shows. I love it. You might want to look at it also. I will tell you it does get cold. Good luck.

  5. says

    So funny that I read this today. You see we are redoing our kitchen…cabinets and all. RIGHT now, I am having my counters wet grinded after he poured cement on friday! I got to pick out how dark I wanted it to be and how many rocks I wanted in it…he will seal it and it will be similar to granite…soooooo excited. :)

  6. says

    I saw a kitchen remodel on and they used recycled glass, it was gorgous, but I don’t know what colors it comes in, another person used concrete. You should check them out I think the series is called I hate my kitchen and they show videos.

  7. says

    I have samsung staron in pebble gold (solid surface) and 2 teens that don’t really care that mom just shelled out tons of money on a counter top and wood floors etc. I was concerned about scratches w/my son who slams things around but we’ve yet to get a scratch. They’re pretty tough and I love the no seams and the edge I chose. So much better than the stock counters and homemade seam that was in when I bought the house. My vote is solid surface- but I’ve never heard of them scratching white…. did the manufacturer say that?

    Oh, and I just used that rustoleum kit in chocolate since my cabinets are only 6 years old. Wonderful! I hope you love it. (We didn’t even take the doors of.)

    Good luck!

  8. says

    My husband and I live in a rental house with solid surface countertops that were installed 20 years ago. They are black with lighter colored flecks. I’m sure there are plenty of scratches in that countertop but I haven’t noticed that any are white. It seems to me that they are black the whole way through. Maybe you should check with a countertop expert or call the manufacturer. I think our countertops look great despite the abuse they have undoubtably gone through.

  9. says

    We built 2 NEW homes and have since sold them and NOW I’m re-doing a 70’s kitchen…I’m gonna be putting in butcher block counters from Ikea…..I also just linked you because I too make a GIANT canvas for my ‘farmhouse’ kitchen area


  10. says

    Hi Mandi! We are doing a kitchen update too. We have tropic brown granite and love it. I have never had to seal it and the seams are seamless ;) We have had it 8 years :) Good luck!
    Tracie @cleverlyinspired

  11. says

    I am starting a kitchen update in a couple of weeks and have been researching this very thing. I am going with Ikea butcher block, just because I love the look and need to get it out of my system, but I would seriously consider the concrete. I am adding so much white and tile to my kitchen, I want the warmth of the wood. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  12. says

    we have swanstone in the kitchen and bath. i like it a lot. i have a dark color in my bath scratches don’t seem to be a big issue. i was told scratches are very easy to buff out with a fine grit sandpaper…

  13. says

    We have a solid surface countertop that came with our house and it’s a gray color with specks and it doesn’t have any white scratches in it. It does get scratched from use, but they can be buffed out. Granite is nice too and if you went with a dark color you wouldn’t have to worry about stains. Quartz is also quite lovely as well.

  14. says

    My favorite countertop and what I have now is soapstone. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. It scratches a little bit, you can’t use it as a cutting board, but it is beautiful! Really. You should think about it. About the same price as granite, it isn’t shiny, which I HATE. google it. It’s what most high school chem tables are made of–it’s tough.
    And it’s beautiful. Did I mention that?
    About the same price as granite.

  15. says

    My uncle and aunt recently redid their kitchen and used a black solid and it looked so great…..for a week. You are right, it scratches white. They don’t even have any children in the house. It is SO noticeable. It’s so bad that I’ve told them they should get a refund. My mother-in-law used the same solid surface but only in a medium grey speckled color and I’ve never noticed anything on hers.

  16. says

    We currently have a dark (almost black) granite with colored flecks in it. We do have a seam but I don’t find it particularly difficult to keep clean. Also, I just sealed it myself a few months back. I really did it as a precaution because I had no idea how the previous owners had cared for the granite prior to us buying the house. With all that said, we love it and find to be really easy to maintain.

  17. says

    We are currently remodeling our kitchen. Our cabinets were the color of yours and we painted them cream. We replaced our laminate countertops with tuscan brown granite. I LOVE it! I am super picky about stains, chips, etc. We have one seam and it is difficult to find. The installers told me that they recommend sealing once a year, but it isn’t really required. They said if it gets to where you can see water rings, you should seal it. The sealer that they use is one that you wipe on and buff off like car wax.

    FWIW, I really thought I wanted Silestone until we seriously started shopping. Silestone is much more even colored than granite and here (Nashville) it was more than twice the price of the granite I liked. We have about 70 feet of countertop, so the $40/ft price difference was significant.

    I would go to a stone yard and check things out there before you make your final decision. We got an undermounted Silgranite sink (single bowl, dark brown) and it is AWESOME! My stove is just like yours, too. :)

    Have fun!

  18. says

    We have Silestone in our bathroom and love it! I’ve never noticed any scratches but I would be surprised if we didn’t have some with two little kids!

  19. says

    We have Silestone in our bathroom and love it! I’ve never noticed any scratches but I would be surprised if we didn’t have some with two little kids!

  20. says

    Like many others, I love my granite. We also have one well-hidden seam. Our granite is Venetian Gold (tan with flecks of black, ruby red, and iridescent light tan). The installers actually used a black sharpie to blend the seam. Brilliant and worked well. We have had our granite for 5 years and haven’t done anything to it as far as maintenance. No stains with 2 young kids. I love not having to worry about hot pans, etc.
    I can’t wait to see how your cabinets turn out. I want to paint mine (that look just like yours, actually)!

  21. says

    As someone who worked for a builder and sold and lived new construction for years, here is my 2 cents. Our first house we had corian (brown specked) and I loved it. It was my favorite of all. Next we had granite. It was dark so it never stained and we never sealed it in the 2 years we owned that house. Next we had quartz and I hated it. It was black and it never looked clean to me – I always felt like I had water streaks and spots.

  22. says

    We did our kitchen last year. We put silestone in and I LOVE it! Our kitchen is not that big, but it cost over 4500.00. I was looking at the picture of your kitchen at it doesn’t look like you have much counter space. One thing that will cost you more is that your sink is in the corner. That will add on a few hundred dollars because of the 45 degree angles. We have tanish countertops with black cabinets. I will never go dark again. Black shows everything. The lighter something is, it shows less dirt, and dust.

  23. says

    I don’t have a new idea to add, but if you are doing the work yourself the best choice may be the IKEA butcher block. If an IKEA store is not in your area, I would try to find it at a lumber yard. My first thought was to suggest concrete. That is what I am seriously considering. Concrete countertops can be a DIY. For a more mainstream idea I believe soapstone is worth considering. It is softer than granite so it can also be a DIY with the right saw blades for cutting it. Plus black soapstone would look great with gray cabinets.

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