Countertops...

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Registered: 09-05-2003
Countertops...
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Thu, 02-28-2008 - 9:32am

from http://www.rusticgirls.com/kitchen-renovation-tips.html

Counters

The counter you choose for your newly renovated kitchen is the landscape of the room. Counters are available in many materials, patterns and colors. Marble, fireslate, butcher block, concrete, acrylic and stainless steel are just some of the choices. In fact there are so many types of counters that you may become overwhelmed when attempting to decide what would look best. Be sure to choose a counter that will compliment your color scheme, yet be neutral enough to compliment a wide variety of color schemes. The counter will be in your kitchen for years, so be sure it is one that you can truly live with.



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Registered: 09-05-2003
Sat, 03-08-2008 - 1:39pm

from http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hm_rm_kitchens/article/0,2085,DIY_16833_3307595,00.html

There are literally hundreds of options for your new home when it comes to countertops. When choosing a large surface such as a countertop, it's a good idea to go directly to the fabricator to take a good look up close. It's hard to get an accurate idea of what the surface, color and texture will be like with a small sample.

Countertops come in many natural materials, such as granite and wood as well as man-made materials such as laminates and steel. And to reflect the range of options is a range of cost. You can actually plan, as a rule of thumb, anywhere from $75 to $125 per linear foot for a counter and backsplash to be installed.

• Granite is usually the most expensive. The main advantage of granite is it's not damaged by heat, it's completely fireproof, it doesn't chip and it has a high resistance of staining. The negative is weight and installation. In fact, granite is the heaviest choice you can make, short of concrete.The biggest caution would be to make sure that the foundation is properly designed to handle the weight of granite. 
The cost differential for granite is extensive. If you use a granite tile that's 12" x 12" in size versus a granite slab, the slab is going to cost approximately $75 per square foot. And the same tiles in low-end granite will run $5 to $6 a square foot. The installation is another $15 to $20 a square foot.

• If granite isn't your cup of tea you may want to consider a man-made product known as solid surface material. These products are extremely versatile and can be cut into unique shapes. More than 100 colors can be offered and with a seamless appearance. Compared to granite, these materials are a little more than half the cost.


• Laminate is a plastic material that is usually the least expensive choice. The plastic is laminated to particle board, which provides a durable surface that's heat resistant and knife resistant.

• Ceramic Tile is popular for covering kitchen counters. The disadvantage, of course, is the grout joints. They tend to stain and hold bacteria on the countertop.

• Butcher Block is another option for your new kitchen counter. It's becoming more popular, especially in traditional- or country-style type homes. The advantage is that it's easy to clean, easy to maintain and you can grind the knife marks right out of it.

• Stainless Steel is an alternative selection for kitchen countertops. It's used primarily when a high-tech or industrial look is desired, but you have to be careful that it doesn't end up looking like a hospital.

Countertop Installation

No matter which surface you choose, the process of installation is pretty universal.

• The installers will come in and make a template of the countertop itself and then make it for you and put it back in. This is usually done on any kind of countertop except tile. Everything has to be cut out and designed prior to the countertop being made and mainly because the process is expensive and you don't want the mess at the jobsite.


Constructive Advice: The code says there must be an electrical plug every four feet along any countertop, but in reality you need to have additional outlets. Be sure to have enough plugs so you don't have to string cords all over the countertop for toasters, blenders, etc.


• There's a continuation of the countertop that extends up the wall, which is called the backsplash. In fact, the walls in a kitchen are basically the backsplash. You want to complement the countertop with your backsplash. Some homeowners decide to use the exact same material that was used on the counter and others decide to use something different. A lot of surfaces are used for backsplashes such as the materials already listed for countertops (granite, tile, etc.) or a different man-made product such as corian.
 Always keep in mind that the backsplash is named for a reason -- splashing from water, oils and other cooking ingredients. You'll want to pick out something that will be easy to maintain.



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Sat, 03-22-2008 - 1:08pm

from http://www.renovatorsplace.com/dsp_articles.cfm?l_article_id=603

Add Kitchen Renovation Drama With Countertops
By Allison E. Beatty
Renovators Place Columnist

The kitchen countertop is one of the most important design elements in the room. As you select kitchen cabinets, why not shake up the design by mixing and matching countertop materials? A little contrast will make your kitchen renovation stand out.

With today's kitchen renovations, the old design guidelines are being tossed out the window. Just as you can mix and match cabinet heights and depths, many contractors are seeing home owners use different countertop materials, colors, and patterns.

This means that instead of using the same blue and white countertop pattern throughout the kitchen, you can use a contrasting color on the island.

Coordinate With Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen cabinets and countertop often go hand in hand, so it is important to coordinate these two products.

There are two approaches: blending or contrasting. If you have maple kitchen cabinets, for example, you may want a cream speckled countertop to create a soft, serene design. If all that light wood and cream countertop seem boring, add a deep burgundy countertop on the island.

Another option is to add contrast with a dark countertop to go with light wood in the main cabinet area. On the island, select a different color or pattern that falls in between the light cabinet color and other dark countertop.

The key to mixing and matching effectively is to focus on a design scheme. It also helps to know where your focal points will be and to work with a contractor who understands your vision. Most people select the main kitchen cabinet area or the island as the place to add some drama. If you try to make both too dramatic, the design becomes confusing.

The countertop can add interesting color, texture, and fun to a kitchen renovation. If you want a different look, why not mix it up a little?



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Mon, 03-31-2008 - 8:03pm

from http://ezinearticles.com/?Kitchen-Renovation-Tips:-Why-Beveled-Wood-Edge-Countertops?&id=138606

Kitchen Renovation Tips: Why Beveled Wood Edge Countertops?
By Carlo Morelli

Graceful and chic are the words that you will hear when you ask any home renovators what kind of look they want for the kitchen. Surfaces, including countertops, influence to a large degree the look of a kitchen. That is why chic graceful looking countertops are in demand. There are actually many home renovators who are designing and making their own countertops. One way to add a modern highlight to a traditional countertop is to create beveled wood edges for your countertop. Beveled edges on wood are relatively simple to make and there are other benefits as well.

The beveled wood edge countertop is most easily added during the replacement of an existing laminated countertop area. You can also opt to modify your current countertop by adding a beveled wood edge; but most homeowners find once they begin planning a kitchen makeover, a brand new countertop is a must have. Given the right tools and materials just about any one can renovate a laminate countertop with an elegant beveled wood edge. It is a project that can even be finished in only a few hours.

When shopping for supplies for this project, make sure your new edge wood matches the wood in other features of the room, such as cabinets, if they are unpainted. If most of the kitchen is or will be painted, bring a paint chip and make sure the color of the wood is one that will be harmonious with the room as a whole.

For making the bevel in your wood edge strips, the best tool is a compound sliding miter saw. This is an electric saw which pivots from side to side to create the miter cut, as well as pivoting left to right to create the bevel. If you don't own one, you can rent one, or alternately, have the store where you bought the wood size and bevel it for you. Be sure to do a few practice cuts on some scrap wood if you have not previously used one of these saws.

A nice extra to having updated kitchen décor details like this is that it is your beveled wood edge countertop probably will raise the value of your home. It might not dramatically go up in price, but it is the small details that homebuyers appreciate, and real estate agents like to point out such countertop designs when showing a home to prospective buyers. It is all the little details added up that make the sell.

Last but not least, once you’ve learned to successfully add a beveled edge to your kitchen countertops, you can also look to the bathroom and other rooms featuring built-in surfaces to further update your home.



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Tue, 04-08-2008 - 1:04pm








Replacing countertops can provide a dramatic facelift for your kitchen. Check out popular surface materials and find the one that's right for you.


Compare countertop materials
Know your bath countertop options
Considering granite? What you need to know.








appetizers

Cool Counters
Honed granite
Concrete tile
Slate




Great Backsplashes
Subway tile
Quilted steel
Tumbled marble tile



tree

Freshen with Color
Choose the right palette
Green kitchens


tree

Custom Touches
Leaded-glass window
Custom vs. stock cabinets
One-of-a-kind countertop



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Mon, 05-05-2008 - 10:38am
Information on installing a variety of countertop materials, including a couple that do-it-yourselfers can handle—laminate and ceramic tile countertops from http://www.hometime.com/Howto/projects/kitchen/kitchen_6.htm



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Registered: 09-05-2003
Wed, 05-07-2008 - 10:40am
Update Your Kitchen Countertops




Installing a new countertop will dramatically improve the look of your kitchen. With countless colors and materials to choose from, you’re sure to find the countertop your kitchen was waiting for.


Countertop materials and options

Consider an eco-friendly bamboo countertop

Where to buy counters & backsplashes












appetizers


Kitchen Storage

Determine your storage needs


Clever utensil storage

Maximize pantry space



Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lighting basics

Energy-efficient lighting tips

Shop lighting fixtures



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Registered: 09-05-2003
Mon, 05-26-2008 - 12:26pm

http://www.kitchenremodelideas.com/Countertops/countertops.htm

Elegant Kitchen Countertops

When you choose your countertop, select a color and texture that compliments your cabinetry, floor or paint selection. Don't be afraid to combine two or more countertop materials in one kitchen. Complimentary colors or textures on adjacent surfaces can create visual interest.

Remember also that it pays to select a material that will withstand years of use without extraordinary maintenance requirements and is easily repairable should an accident occur.

Your options:

Granite Countertops

Granite is…well…hard as a rock. Though costly, when buffed to a shine it creates a smashing look for kitchen counters. It is also riding a crest of popular style that began over 10 years ago. With granite tops, the experience and expertise of the fabricator is vitally important.

Marble Countertops

Granite, marble, and limestone, all popular for countertops, are beautiful natural materials. In most areas, you'll find a great selection of colors and figures.

Check out the WilsonArt Granite and Natural Stone Countertops,
http://www.wilsonart.com/solidsurface/index.asp
or the large choice offered by Dupont
http://www2.dupont.com/Corian_Global_Landing/en_US/index.html
or Formica (solid surfacing)
http://www.formica.com/?group_id=2

Wood Countertops

The quality of the countertop edge treatment is important. As an example, a solid surface counter is easy to clean and repair and will take years of use. It might look terrific with a wood edge to match the cabinets, but the wood will not withstand constant exposure to water and household chemicals like the solid surface material. Restrict the wood edge to an area such as a freestanding hutch and use matching or contrasting solid surface material for the front edge.

Consider combining quality decorative materials such as tile, granite or marble with solid surface. Many fabricators can create custom designs for a spectacular visual effect without compromising durability and easy maintenance.

When there are budget constraints, it makes sense to use the highest quality material for the counter areas that will sustain the greatest amount of use, specifying other materials to less often used areas.

Stainless Steel Countertops

Stainless steel countertops are not very elegant and look "cold". They do not absorb stains oils or odors, but it will scratch easily and scratches cannot be repaired. You can view stainless steel countertops on this page: http://www.soupcan.com/sscounters.html



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Thu, 06-19-2008 - 9:40am
Get Creative with Countertops


Granite is not the only way to go. Many eco-friendly surfaces — natural stone, recycled materials and hemp — look just as good and stand up just as well....
More »



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Registered: 09-05-2003
Sun, 06-29-2008 - 8:43pm
Check out
http://www.kitchens.com/02-Kitchen-Products/Kitchen-Countertops/countertop-material-comparison.asp
for a comparison table of various countertop material options!



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Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches



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Sun, 07-06-2008 - 10:26am
Choosing Granite: Get the Right Granite Color



from http://www.kitchens.com//Resources/Ask-the-Editor/Choosing-Granite.aspx



Granite colors don’t have consistent names. Countries of origin, importers, fabricators, installers and retailers



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