Countertops for kitchen- what to choose? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
pixiesmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: From NC, living in IL
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We're rebuilding our kitchen and trying to make it more eco-friendly. I'm stuck on counter-tops. What do you have? What do you love about them or hate about them?

 

Ideally I would like something that is natural and safe for us, but also is not mined and trucked from halfway across the world either :(


::Mommy to Pixie : 9-3-00 and Peri 11-15-07
pixiesmommy is offline  
#2 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 03:27 PM
 
JamieCatheryn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SW Pa
Posts: 5,104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)

Our current ones are formica, bleh. For our house we're going to build I'm looking at concrete, maybe limestone concrete. I recently read about this, http://paperstoneproducts.com/ was interesting but I think I can do cheaper and more my style. Tile is another good option but I like a nearly seamless counter if possible.

JamieCatheryn is offline  
#3 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 04:48 PM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not white.
zinemama is offline  
#4 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 05:02 PM
 
cristeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14,791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Id research what might be locally made. I know near me theres a company that makes countertops from recycled glass and concrete. They're gorgeous, local and green.

The paper countertops are also very nice, but not local for most of us. For most of us, something local like the above, pouring concrete countertops or a locally made tile are probably the greenest options.

If you do go w tile, use the largest possible (12 or 14 inches), with the narrowest grout line (width of a quarter). And be religious about sealing your grout. I cant do anything on my countertop (knead bread, roll pastry, etc) because the grout pulls up into the food.

Cristeen ~ Always remembering our stillheart.gif  warrior ~ Our rainbow1284.gif  is 3, how'd that happen?!?! 

We welcomed another rainbow1284.gifstillheart.gif  warrior in May 2012!! 

2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012

cristeen is offline  
#5 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 05:23 PM
 
babyfarm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: On top of a mountain out in the middle of nowhere
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've seen the concrete ones and they look pretty cool, plus they can be a DIY.  Dh was going to make me some new counter tops out of recycled church pews we got for free - they would be kind of primitive, but that's a look we like anyway - he built me a new dinning table out of some and it came out just perfect - like an old well worn farm table.  When we build our new place I imagine we will go with one of those two options.


Living the dream with my soul-mate and our 10 kids.....I'm one lucky lady.  My Blog ~ http://mysticmud.blogspot.com/

 

babyfarm is offline  
#6 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
pixiesmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: From NC, living in IL
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Yeah, I definitely don't want white OR tile!  I'm already choosing white cabinets, which I just KNOW I will live to regret.

 

SIGHHH  I really liked the brown Corian that Ikea sells- it's recycled pre-consumer, but it's acrylic which makes me feel iffy to begin with, and then I read a bunch of bad reviews about how Corian doesn't stand up to heat very well and chips, etc. 

 

I thought concrete was one of the most toxic substances on Earth??  I really love the look of them, and have been looking at the paperstone too, which looks neat. I think concrete might be too heavy anyway. We have an upstairs kitchen and we're expanding the footprint about 3x what it is now and adding a heavy wood stove too.  I'm pretty sure glass is out of the price range.

 

I really love butcher block, but don't want it alongside my sinks. The kitchen really has 2 parts- one is more of a dish-washing and grilling area where the sink will be along the wall, and the other is in an island that looks into (what will become) a dining/living room area.  I don't mind using two different materials, but still mulling over what those might be! teapot2.GIF

 

 

Going to look at local companies- that's a great idea.  Thanks, everyone! Keep 'em coming if you think of anything else or have reviews.


::Mommy to Pixie : 9-3-00 and Peri 11-15-07
pixiesmommy is offline  
#7 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
pixiesmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: From NC, living in IL
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Also, the recycled wood/pew thing sounds so awesome. My great-grandfather had a HUGE table like that in his farm house in NC and I was devastated to learn they auctioned it off w/his estate when he passed away. I think all the kids through the years had carved stuff into it and the benches here and there too with forks and knives LOL.


::Mommy to Pixie : 9-3-00 and Peri 11-15-07
pixiesmommy is offline  
#8 of 22 Old 04-19-2011, 06:14 PM
 
JamieCatheryn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SW Pa
Posts: 5,104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)

Concrete dust is terribly toxic to breathe and concrete can leech alkaline salts into groundwater, I think that's about it for toxicity. Cured and sealed it's an absolutely safe surface as far as I know.

JamieCatheryn is offline  
#9 of 22 Old 04-21-2011, 08:18 PM
 
kimmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We just built our counters in our cob home.. They are earthen (Sand, Clay, CaC03 and fiber), then sealed with linseed oil and Osmo hardwax oil as non toxic as you can get for counters and they will be durable and water proof.. Yes concrete is NASTY and the very least environmental part of our home though it was required in our foundation to pass code.. There are some pics on our website of our counters but I will add a few here too :)

 P1110101.jpg

P1110103.jpg


Mama to SDD (12), DD (8), DD (6), DD, (4), DS (3) and new little babe arriving Dec. We are in the process of building our cob home and homestead
kimmom is offline  
#10 of 22 Old 04-21-2011, 08:26 PM
 
joyfulheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: the beautiful Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Well, we have a tile countertop in a cranberry color with beige grout.  Oh, how I hate it.  The grout looks like crap and some of the tile has chips.  We bought our house with tile, but we are looking to redo our kitchen.  This thread has got me thinking!

joyfulheart is offline  
#11 of 22 Old 05-04-2011, 10:32 AM
 
lucyem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I love butcher block myself.  I have never had issues with it around my sink area but I guess someone could.  I also like using it and letting it get a more rustic used look to it.  Right now we have hunter green formica that came with the house - ick!  

lucyem is offline  
#12 of 22 Old 05-04-2011, 01:49 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,722
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would want butcher block too. Do they make counters out of bamboo? I like bamboo products.

mattemma04 is offline  
#13 of 22 Old 05-05-2011, 11:17 AM
 
Imagining's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmom View Post

We just built our counters in our cob home.. They are earthen (Sand, Clay, CaC03 and fiber), then sealed with linseed oil and Osmo hardwax oil as non toxic as you can get for counters and they will be durable and water proof.. Yes concrete is NASTY and the very least environmental part of our home though it was required in our foundation to pass code.. There are some pics on our website of our counters but I will add a few here too :)


Those counters are beautiful!  We plan to put in earthen floors, but I'd never heard of earthen counters.  Where there any helpful "how to" resources you could share for creating these counters?

 

Imagining is offline  
#14 of 22 Old 05-05-2011, 03:33 PM
 
talia rose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: on the river in so hum, ca
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We have Paperstone on our cash register counter in our store and I love it! It holds up beautifully. It would be my choice if I ever get to build or remodel a kitchen. If you're looking for bamboo, check out www.totallybamboo.com . I love your earthen pics! Awesome job!


Talia Rose - mountain mama to Grace and Xack::  h20homebirth.gif :homeschool.gif  goorganic.jpgwhale.gifchicken3.gif

www.organicgrace.com Products Healthier for Humans and Gentler on the Earth
 

talia rose is offline  
#15 of 22 Old 05-24-2011, 02:24 PM
 
greenmulberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have butcher block, I love it.

 

It does take on a character over time.

greenmulberry is offline  
#16 of 22 Old 06-14-2011, 07:53 AM
 
QueenEsther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Right now, we have granite. But we will be putting up our yurt soonish and I'm already thinking through finishes for the interior. Came across this neat concrete counter tutorial the other day:

 

http://kellymoorephotography.com/mooreblog/?p=7633

 

 

 

 

 

 


Loving wife to my hubby and mama to our 5 kiddos! homeschool.gifwinner.jpgcd.gifhomebirth.jpg
 

QueenEsther is offline  
#17 of 22 Old 06-15-2011, 07:12 PM
 
Erinz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: On a hill in California
Posts: 1,499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We have concrete and I love them. They look great and are completely indestructable. Smokin' hot pans, whatever. No problem.


Erin sharing life with a burly husband and two rad boys 7/06 & 5/09 : : Zone 9-ish
Erinz is offline  
#18 of 22 Old 06-21-2011, 10:47 AM
 
NatalieMaute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i have concrete countertops in the kitchen for 7 years now and they have chipped a little bit and losing luster and drying out..i started using the beeswax that we were advised to use every few months to maintain but soon realized that this was not healthy esp where we were eating..do you have any advice how to maintain the concrete? thanks

NatalieMaute is offline  
#19 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 02:11 PM
 
ZippyGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wandering, but not lost (yet!)
Posts: 721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We just finished a LEED certified renovation of our house, and went through a lot trying to figure out what countertops to use.  We ended up with Paperstone in the laundry room, which is great in that room, but the architects did not recommend it for the kitchen. They said they had gotten complaints about Paperstone in the kitchen.  It does scratch a bit, and my bottles of detergent and vinegar leave a mark on the counters, which is fine in the laundry, but it might bug me if the counters were in the kitchen.  People do love it, though.  It looks really sharp.

 

Concrete is not green for the reasons people report above, and I think there is some controversy about whether bamboo is really green.  FSC-certified wood (or FSC-certified bamboo) is a nice green option -- as is reclaimed wood as long as you are sure it is free of formaldehyde (at least urea formaldehyde...so many types of formaldehyde!) and other treatments.  For those who love stone, Danby Marble is a good option for those on the East Coast (but it is mined of course...).

 

In our original house, we had butcher block, and I have to be honest that I hated it.  It was a lot of maintenance, and we had problems with warping and staining (from the previous owners too).  Maybe I should have used a better sealer...beeswax and natural oils didn't do the trick.  I wish it had worked out better for us.

ZippyGirl is offline  
#20 of 22 Old 09-01-2011, 10:33 AM
 
Lovesong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sweden
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

How about looking for recycled granite counters? I know, they do come from a quarry from the beginning and you did not want that, but since they were not quarried for you specifically, but for another family, and you are essentially just re-using I think it is about as green as you can become and still have a good quality counter. The reason being that a granite counter you generally just have to polish gently, and reseal, and you have a counter that looks and functions as a brand new one with a minimal amount of usage of new natural products.

 

Wood might be an alternative, if you can find old oak or other hardwood counters from a kitchen being remade. Though, personally, I find wood cumbersome to care for. When we got rid of our plastic counters, we went for butcherblock oak. Which is really, I think, one of the most beautiful counter materials you can choose. Problem is, it is not really suitable in a heavily used kitchen because of its ability to stain. A wet teacup or coffee pot placed too long on it without thinking....and there's water damage. That if you are lucky can be polished and then oiled to be invisible. Baking on wood? Wonderful idea, until you have a really sticky dough, of some reason decide to do something than clean-up and return next morning...even if oak does not scratch easily, there's still spots after you've cleared the counter that requires oiling. Wood simply takes a lot of extra care in a kitchen, which I don't think desirable.

 

As for concrete...beautiful! But if you truly want to be green I'm not sure it is the way to go. For one thing, concrete just like stone or wood is a natural resource taken from somewhere. Be it your back garden, or from the other side of the globe.

 

For a minimum maintenance, sure to last generations, counter I would choose recycled stone. Even if it is not the greenest alternative when new.

Lovesong is offline  
#21 of 22 Old 09-01-2011, 10:58 AM
 
hildare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in-the-sticks-off-a-dirt-road, GA
Posts: 2,687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i live near the 'granite capital of the world.' i can assure you that granite workers make a very good living wage and the granite mines don't really seem to be polluting or horrible in any way that i've seen.  you might want to look at georgia granite.  it's pretty, too.


Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

hildare is offline  
#22 of 22 Old 09-01-2011, 12:26 PM
 
CrunchyJess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

wow the concrete tut looks totally doable.  Definitely something to consider. 

 

I LOVE butcher block counters though. Its going to be hard for me to steer away from them. The concrete is tempting though. 


jess-  capturing His creation from behind my Nikon and nurturing what bit of it He gave me when He made me a mother.

 

www.thehodgepodgedarling.blogspot.com

CrunchyJess is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off