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Kitchen Worktops - Which Ones?


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Okay, so the 710 is demanding a new kitchen and an extension to house it in (keep an eye one sales corner....), but i can't decide what worktops to go for.

Granite is very nice, but very expensive and can be stained by coffee and red wine (which we drink a lot of both of those beverages!)

laminate looks cheap, and can be difficult to get for the island

Wood splits/stains and goes mouldy around sinks

We live in a 1960's semi and are looking at a country kitchen type oak units - so no stainless steel or very expensive finishes.

Has anyone got any suggestions / experience of alternatives?

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Have you looked at Howdens kitchens? Any of their Shaker style kitchen units with solid oak worktops could give you/wife the look your after.Howdens have large oak breakfast bar /island worktop that eliminates usual need to join two lengths together for an island. The oak can have metal pan rods fitted into it to prevent scorching. The Domsjo double butler style Belfast sink from Ikea helps prevent mould/water damage to oak worktops as it has a lip that sits over the worktop instead of being below it in most designs.

As you might gather i have only recently been through a similar scenario myself!!

Edited by ANDI
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Have you looked at Howdens kitchens? Any of their Shaker style kitchen units with solid oak worktops could give you/wife the look your after.Howdens have large oak breakfast bar /island worktop that eliminates usual need to join two lengths together for an island. The oak can have metal pan rods fitted into it to prevent scorching. The Domsjo double butler style Belfast sink from Ikea helps prevent mould/water damage to oak worktops as it has a lip that sits over the worktop instead of being below it in most designs.

As you might gather i have only recently been through a similar scenario myself!!

Just about to get there myself - good info all noted! :)

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The in laws have oak work tops, and they have split and gone mouldy within two years. I like your idea with the overlapping sink, which would help, but i'm not happy about oiling them every six months.

I'll look at howdens though. They hadn't made the list so thank you for the tip

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We have our Ikea kitchen fitted next week! We went for the solid Oak, and coincidently the Domsjo (?) double butler Belfast style sink ( I think, it's all a bit of a blur ) We know that it will mean more maintenance / oiling but it's no big deal really...... Now, who has experience of Induction hobs?

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We have our Ikea kitchen fitted next week! We went for the solid Oak, and coincidently the Domsjo (?) double butler Belfast style sink ( I think, it's all a bit of a blur ) We know that it will mean more maintenance / oiling but it's no big deal really...... Now, who has experience of Induction hobs?

Fitted the very same tops and sink about six months ago. I rubbed down the tops with very fine oxide paper before using teak oil - three applications with 24h in between, takes about 10 minutes. So far, so good, no mould, splits or stains of note. Any marks rub out pretty quickly...

The sink is brilliant, you won't have any problems as long as it's sealed well - it really looks the business. My soon to be mother-in-law is quite jealous of it, and she spent 20k on her kitchen!

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We have our Ikea kitchen fitted next week! We went for the solid Oak, and coincidently the Domsjo (?) double butler Belfast style sink ( I think, it's all a bit of a blur ) We know that it will mean more maintenance / oiling but it's no big deal really...... Now, who has experience of Induction hobs?

All I know about induction hobs is that the cooking pot/pan needs to be made of iron/steel and that you have to be very careful leaving anything near/on it that's made of iron or contains iron (including many watches :lol:)

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We have our Ikea kitchen fitted next week! We went for the solid Oak, and coincidently the Domsjo (?) double butler Belfast style sink ( I think, it's all a bit of a blur ) We know that it will mean more maintenance / oiling but it's no big deal really...... Now, who has experience of Induction hobs?

All I know about induction hobs is that the cooking pot/pan needs to be made of iron/steel and that you have to be very careful leaving anything near/on it that's made of iron or contains iron (including many watches :lol:)

Oh goodie..... I can get a kitchen GShock then..... Lol.... Or Titanium ...

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We have our Ikea kitchen fitted next week! We went for the solid Oak, and coincidently the Domsjo (?) double butler Belfast style sink ( I think, it's all a bit of a blur ) We know that it will mean more maintenance / oiling but it's no big deal really...... Now, who has experience of Induction hobs?

I have an induction job and like it very much. It looks sleek, the heat is very controllable and it heats up liquids very quickly.

The other point about the pan material is correct. Best check first as a new set of pans can cost a fortune (as can knives......)

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The 710, who is a professional cook, chose this stuff called Minarelle for the worktops, around 10 years ago. It looks just like Granite, is very hard wearing and can be repaired fairly easily if any cracks appear - for instance, where the mitres are in the corners. I'm not sure about the status of Minarelle as a company, or if it even exists any longer but a Google search should help with this. In fact, having done a quick search, it looks as if the company has disappeared :( . However, as a product, it's done us extremely well for at least a decade and still looks like new. It's like Corian but, where Corian is solid, this is a sort of laminate laid onto a chipboard base - therefore cheaper than Corian. Investigating "Minarelle" on the net brings up many similar products. As long as you have a layer which will withstand a certain amount of repair / repolishing (therefore at least 1mm thick) should do you very well. Hth :)

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I made myself a concrete worktop with [very] hard limestone panels in it - cheap as chips and solid! can be made to fit any space, colour or style. We've been thinking about the next one - perhaps setting glass marbles in and ground level on the surface with LEDs below them for a different touch....here's my kitchen: ceramic sink; 60 Euros from French DIY store [equivalent over here was £400+], splashback/fireback remaindered slate tiles 20p each, Rayburn £25 on the bay - painted with B&Q gloss, all openings mdf, floorboards are scaffold planks sanded and varnished. Hanging fish by daughter from cornflake box...

DSC_0048.jpg

I'd love to have a go at another kitchen??

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The in laws have oak work tops, and they have split and gone mouldy within two years. I like your idea with the overlapping sink, which would help, but i'm not happy about oiling them every six months.

I'll look at howdens though. They hadn't made the list so thank you for the tip

I've got Oak worktops on Howden's kitchen units, although I didn't get the worktops from Howdens. I found an onlione supplier who offered a higher grade (tighter grain) oak for only a little more cash than Howdens. The oiling (use Danish Oil) only takes about 20 minutes - the worst part is clearing everything away off the worktops. I do mine three times a year, roughly April, end August and just before Xmas. I do mine late at night and leave it overnight before putting everything back on it in the morning. It's not a big deal and I would cheerfully choose the same surface if I were to ever move house.

Rob

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Howdens are no longer that good. Ikea are now fantastic . but do not use their wooden tops. They will split even if you get the very thick one . Use ikea cabinets , bespoke top and some nice handles

saves a fortune and will last longer than Howdens .

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I made myself a concrete worktop with [very] hard limestone panels in it - cheap as chips and solid! can be made to fit any space, colour or style. We've been thinking about the next one - perhaps setting glass marbles in and ground level on the surface with LEDs below them for a different touch....here's my kitchen: ceramic sink; 60 Euros from French DIY store [equivalent over here was £400+], splashback/fireback remaindered slate tiles 20p each, Rayburn £25 on the bay - painted with B&Q gloss, all openings mdf, floorboards are scaffold planks sanded and varnished. Hanging fish by daughter from cornflake box...

DSC_0048.jpg

I'd love to have a go at another kitchen??

Will that fish be ok out of water ? !

Love the concrete idea. Will be doing a polished concrete course soon .AS i plan on using it a lot when i build our home in the Philippines (subject to sand quality been good !)

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I made myself a concrete worktop with [very] hard limestone panels in it - cheap as chips and solid! can be made to fit any space, colour or style. We've been thinking about the next one - perhaps setting glass marbles in and ground level on the surface with LEDs below them for a different touch....here's my kitchen: ceramic sink; 60 Euros from French DIY store [equivalent over here was £400+], splashback/fireback remaindered slate tiles 20p each, Rayburn £25 on the bay - painted with B&Q gloss, all openings mdf, floorboards are scaffold planks sanded and varnished. Hanging fish by daughter from cornflake box...

DSC_0048.jpg

I'd love to have a go at another kitchen??

I saw a TV DIY bod try to make concrete work surfaces and a concrete sink years ago. It would have looked really good polished up, but they couldn't get the air bubbles out of the mixture, so scrapped the lot.

Always thought it'd be fun to have a try. Concrete is much maligned, but done properly, it can look really attractive.

The National Theatre on the South Bank and parts of London Zoo were cast with roughened shuttering boards to leave a wood-plank effect, which I quite like.

How did you deal with air bubbles when casting those counters?

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Consider soapstone. A natural product which is easy to care for. You can put hot pots right on it. Here are pictures of our bar, stove area, and sink area. No time spent on "fluffing" for the photo: we use the kitchen rather than look at it. Similar price to granite here.

You can also sand it if you have a problem with scratches. Cleans up easily. You do need to oil it every now and then with mineral oil. My wife, who is easily satisfied with the very best, loves it. After 4 1/2 months of renovation hell I am glad that she does. Good luck with your renovations.

soapstone1.jpg

soapstone2.jpg

soapstone3.jpg

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I made myself a concrete worktop with [very] hard limestone panels in it - cheap as chips and solid! can be made to fit any space, colour or style. We've been thinking about the next one - perhaps setting glass marbles in and ground level on the surface with LEDs below them for a different touch....here's my kitchen: ceramic sink; 60 Euros from French DIY store [equivalent over here was £400+], splashback/fireback remaindered slate tiles 20p each, Rayburn £25 on the bay - painted with B&Q gloss, all openings mdf, floorboards are scaffold planks sanded and varnished. Hanging fish by daughter from cornflake box...

DSC_0048.jpg

I'd love to have a go at another kitchen??

I saw a TV DIY bod try to make concrete work surfaces and a concrete sink years ago. It would have looked really good polished up, but they couldn't get the air bubbles out of the mixture, so scrapped the lot.

Always thought it'd be fun to have a try. Concrete is much maligned, but done properly, it can look really attractive.

The National Theatre on the South Bank and parts of London Zoo were cast with roughened shuttering boards to leave a wood-plank effect, which I quite like.

How did you deal with air bubbles when casting those counters?

I put a coarse mix down first and as it was stiffening I then scraped it back to 10mm lower than finished then put on a fine paste mix and worked it in with trowel, cutting it to the finished level and then polished it with a heavy trowel - that gives a fine compacted surface - bit labour intensive but i like playing with materials!

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