Friday, August 22, 2008

Countertop ideas

Here are two countertop materials we had been looking at...
"So why, on a post about countertops am I showing buildings?", you might ask. Well, both of these images use materials commonly used for countertops. The upper image is a building called "Seekoo"(more info here) and uses a skin of Corian. Corian is a composite of crushed stone and resin.
This is an image taken from the Paperstone website. Paper stone is pretty fantastic. It's a composite material available with a 100% recycled paper content.

It would seem that there is a push for materials that can serve multiple purposes. As a designer, that's commonly something I look for. I find it interesting to use a material in a unexpected way, however, if you do it enough it becomes standard and you have to look for another new use for a material.
I've also noticed that there are a number of newer products out there that are manufactured using composite materials and resins. Both Corian, Paperstone, Zodiaq, CaesarStone and countless others are made using some sort of natural material (stone, or paper) and are combined with a resin. This manufacturing process allows for a range of shapes and sizes. Do an image search for Corian and you'll find products ranging from countertops, to furniture, to sinks and tubs.
It's hard to tell from company's websites how quality of a product it really is. All claim to be the best. Dupont, who makes Corian and Zodiaq and other surface materials, has a countertop selector on their website that lets you choose what matters most to you in a counter and recommends one of their products.
I've know people who have Corian and they were surprised by how easily it scratches. I've seen Paperstone and Richlite and seen how easily water spots show up on it (at least in a horizontal application). I've made concrete counters and have friends who have them in their kitchen and bathrooms. When done correctly, so they don't crack, they seem to do pretty well, but they require some maintenene for sealing and such, as well as being labor intensive and hyper trendy at the moment. These were some of the concerns that we had as we were looking into counters.
Anybody out there have a prefered countertop material? Why do you like it? Do you have one that you really don't like?


The Bluths said...

We don't like our laminate. You know, the generic rounded edges ones.

Natalie said...

We have Corian and generally like it. However, we have learned to be careful when moving certain objects across the top (like a planter or other stone materials). Most scratches just rub out. I've had one that was bad but it has mainly disappeared over the past three years.

Rymin said...

We have recyled glass countertops. You can choose a variety of colors. , we choose browns, blues and greens. To see a few pics of our countertops check out
View pictures 4 & 5 in the photo gallery.