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Countertops and floors


kiliki
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i hear a lot about wood not being good in a kitchen because of water and i wonder who leaves a puddle on the floor long enough for it to cause damage?

trish

My dog, Fred. In the middle of the night.

My cats, in the middle of the day when we're not home.

The water dish is in the kitchen...

And me, when I get frantic and forget that I did it. Or when I get tired and failed to notice. Oh, how I wish I were more anal in the kitchen. But it's just not in my nature.

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Have friends that cook a lot, and have a big kitchen complete with a long harvest table so that they can both cook and entertain there. Also, the wife gives cooking classes.

They had a wood floor put in and asked for a "gym finish." I'm not knowledgeable enough to know exactly what that means, and how a "gym finish" differs from other wood floor finishes, but they've given that floor extremely hard wear for at least ten years now, and it still looks as good as the day they got it. Cleanup appears to be a breeze.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Have friends that cook a lot, and have a big kitchen complete with a long harvest table so that they can both cook and entertain there.  Also, the wife gives cooking classes.

They had a wood floor put in and asked for a "gym finish."  I'm not knowledgeable enough to know exactly what that means, and how a "gym finish" differs from other wood floor finishes, but they've given that floor extremely hard wear for at least ten years now, and it still looks as good as the day they got it.  Cleanup appears to be a breeze.

Gym coating is an extremely durable epoxy resin used on wood flooring (and gymnasiums) hence the name

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Heh heh. Here I am, putting in a kitchen with peoples' least favorite surfaces: ceramic tile floors and granite tile countertops. For me, however, I did the research and went with what I like, what looks good, what's durable, and what's easy to clean. The ceramic tile floor may be somewhat hard on the feet, but I need to wear my shoes anyway. I can't stand on any surface barefoot for very long.

For the counters, I made a compromise, but one with which I'll have no problems. I would have preferred granite slab, but I couldn't swallow the $70 a square foot cost. I like the durability of granite and the color. I do put hot pots directly on my counter, and I plan on doing this with the granite. If it cracks, well, I have about 20 extra square feet of it ready to go! Plus, the granite tiles are 12"X12", so that's a lot more surface and less grout than I currently have.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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On last night's This Old House they talked about how great these new engineered wood floors are. The finish lasts for 25 years. I think any other wood would look odd with our fir floors, though, and we have dog and cat bowls that do spill quite frequently.

This is GREAT, you guys. It's interesting to see how many people love natural linoleum-I wasn't crazy about it at first but am warming up to it. It sure sounds practical and, importantly, comfortable to stand on. Thanks and keep the suggestions coming.

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They had a wood floor put in and asked for a "gym finish."  I'm not knowledgeable enough to know exactly what that means, and how a "gym finish" differs from other wood floor finishes...

Gym coating is an extremely durable epoxy resin used on wood flooring (and gymnasiums) hence the name.

:laugh:

Well, I got THAT part. I know it's used on floors in gymnasiums, which is why it's called "gym finish."

What I don't know is how that particular finish differs (in chemicals, components, method of application, etc.) from other wood finishes. Is it actually a different substance that they use? Or just a whole lot of applications of the same thing?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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While you can put hot pots directly on these surfaces, you really shouldn't.  A couple reasons

  1. Temperature shock.  If the pot is hot enough, or if you've just had something cold on the countertop and then put a hot pot on the same spot, you run the risk of cracking it.  Most companies don't warranty temperature shock.  Use a trivet!

    Agree, although I suspect palling is probably more likely than cracking, I would also avoid putting hot stuff directly on granite.
    I like these silicon potholders for this purpose. They are thin, flexible, easy to clean and non-skid. I also use them in the fridge to protect the glass shelves from thermal shock (as needed).
    -john
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They had a wood floor put in and asked for a "gym finish."  I'm not knowledgeable enough to know exactly what that means, and how a "gym finish" differs from other wood floor finishes...

Gym coating is an extremely durable epoxy resin used on wood flooring (and gymnasiums) hence the name.

:laugh:

Well, I got THAT part. I know it's used on floors in gymnasiums, which is why it's called "gym finish."

What I don't know is how that particular finish differs (in chemicals, components, method of application, etc.) from other wood finishes. Is it actually a different substance that they use? Or just a whole lot of applications of the same thing?

Aaaah Jaymes, why ya gotta get so technical on a friday - don't ya know it's almost happy hour. :biggrin: Well, it's usually multiple applications (3 or more ) of the same thing.

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They had a wood floor put in and asked for a "gym finish."  I'm not knowledgeable enough to know exactly what that means, and how a "gym finish" differs from other wood floor finishes...

Gym coating is an extremely durable epoxy resin used on wood flooring (and gymnasiums) hence the name.

:laugh:

Well, I got THAT part. I know it's used on floors in gymnasiums, which is why it's called "gym finish."

What I don't know is how that particular finish differs (in chemicals, components, method of application, etc.) from other wood finishes. Is it actually a different substance that they use? Or just a whole lot of applications of the same thing?

Aaaah Jaymes, why ya gotta get so technical on a friday - don't ya know it's almost happy hour. :biggrin: Well, it's usually multiple applications (3 or more ) of the same thing.

Google is a wonderful thing. http://www.essind.com/WoodFloor/00230SF.htm :laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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When we remodel (in a couple of years we hope), I want soapstone counters and linoleum on the floor.

jgarner53,

Knowing that you're a pastry person (I've been enjoying your blog, thank you) I should add that my soapstone is great for kneading and rolling out various types of dough. I used to have lots of dough anxiety and fussed with different pastry board materials but now I just roll on the counter and find it works best. Experience helps too, of course, but the stone stays cool and its satiny-smooth surface seems to release dough nicely. :smile:

Fern

[edited for clarity]

Edited by Fernwood (log)
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We did a big kitchen, dining room and basement remodel in the last year. I was torn between bamboo and cork for the floors upstairs, and the cork won out. I love it so far. It came in 1 x 3 snap together floating tiles already finished and we had the installer put another coat of finish on and it cleans up great, is resilient and warm on the feet. I was concerned about the gaps in the seams of the bamboo. The cork fits together super tight.

For the basement, we used marmoleum. I like it fine, but the installer botched the first job, saying it was too cold when he installed it. Whatever. He had to rip it out and start over.

Went with slab granite in the kitchen and I couldn't be happier. I do alot of baking and the surface is great for everything I do. Cleans up super easy. I was concerned about breaking stuff on it, but it hasn't happened yet. I got a set of Tritan wine glasses, supposedly 4 times stronger than crystal and had a guest knock one over on the granite and it didn't break. We were amazed.

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In planning for my new kitchen, I've been seriously considering linoleum/marmoleum - but have some concerns about the manufacturer's instruction to apply 2-3 coats of "floor finish" aka "polish" after installation and then periodically after using floor cleaner several times. [The prospect takes me back to my childhood chores in a rather unpleasant fashion.] I currently have some industrial vinyl tile that only requires a no-rinse cleaner weekly or so. One of my concerns is being unable to keep the entire surface at the same "shine/color" level due to different numbers of coats of "polish" - that concern is due to my intention to keep the metro shelving work table I constructed - the lowest shelf is several inches off the ground. Would I need to empty it and move it each time I applied the polish to get en even look? Or am I just worrying about nothing?

I like the give that these floors have, as well as the ecological and allergenic properties, but I may need to stay with a heavy vinyl tile to get my carefree needs met - I'm no spring chicken and this kitchen is intended to carry me through the rest of my days....

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In planning for my new kitchen, I've been seriously considering linoleum/marmoleum - but have some concerns about the manufacturer's instruction to apply 2-3 coats of "floor finish" aka "polish" after installation and then periodically after using floor cleaner several times.

We've had Marmoleum for almost 3 years now. We're not anal-retentive cleaners, but we're not slobs either. We use a product called "Brilliant" by Taski that is referred to as a "high speed floor finish." Essentially it's a sealant and a wax all in one. A couple times a year, we clean the floor with "Super 7 Natural Cleaner", and then apply a couple coats of the Taski product. Just use a string mop, and let the floor dry. Simple as that.

I was told by my flooring-guy that you really only need to strip the wax every few years. We haven't seen need for it so far.

A.

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We moved into a new house in August, the kitchen was newly remodeled for resale, ceramic tile floors, granite (Kashmir Gold) countertops-it's miles better than any kitchen I've had before, so I'm still loving it! That said, the ceramic tile has a very irregular surface, w/ 'pits', to make it more natural looking, I guess, & I don't like to clean it. Eventually, I'd like to tear it out & put in oak floors-my kitchen extends into a family room end w/ a fireplace & I'd like to have a continuous surface (although it kills me to think about the POs putting these floors in for me to rip them out).

I love the granite, although I would have liked green or blue, it's so cool looking, like cinnamon, pepper, & fish scales all encased in my counters-I love keeping them uncluttered & wiping them down. All gushing aside, though, I've lived in Army housing, with original 1950s linoleum floors twice (one of these was student housing, turned over yearly) & the floors were great, much better than the vinyl in one remodel. Also, laminate countertops hold up extremely well, judging from the kitchens I had. I think surfaces are a personal preference, to be considered after functionality...go with what makes you happy...

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As a testament to how well linoleum lasts, my back stairs are still covered in their original 1923 linoleum. (The pattern matched what was under all that vinyl in the kitchen.) Beige with darker brown swirls.

Was everything in that era beige and brown? We've found traces of beige (like café au lait colored) on the door trim, on the fireplace (grrr to people who painted over tile!)...

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Over the years, I have had probably just about every type of floor imagineable . . . Tile, sheet vinyl, wood, and Commercial Vinyl Tile (CVT). My hands down favorite is CVT. It is resilient, available in a gazillion colors and patterns, and just about drop dead easy to keep.

When it comes to counter tops, I am a cheapskate. My all time favorite is still laminate. I have friends that have granite and I really just don't like it . . . too cold and hard . . . or, something. I consider that a very personal opinion. Besides, in the new house, I could buy a pretty good luxury car for what granite or other stone counter tops would cost. (I do have to admit to being intrigued with soapstone. But I am very unlikely to shell out the bucks.) Also, I always cut on a cutting board and have never put a hot pan on a counter. I just don't do that so the laminate works out just fine. I also like tile and that may still get a look for the new house. I don't find grout a problem. Clorox fixes everything, even elderberry jelly making. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I'm also leaning toward ceramic tile countertops - primarily because almost all the houses I've lived in had a forties feel and tile says "home" to me - and I think the newest sealers and grouts are relatively impervious to staining. I also like the lower cost. Plus, it's something I can install myself, if necessary, if I decide to rip up the first tile and replace it down the road. I don't see me doing that with laminate or any of the other solid surfaces.

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I don't think you will be disappointed with tile. I lived in my sister's house for a while and she had tile counter tops. (The scene of the elderberry explosion.) There were these "bullnose" tiles along the front surface. This kept any spills from going down the lower cabinets and on to the floor. I really liked those counters.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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We spent Saturday going to showrooms. It is still hard to find a countertop that will fit our little 1908 Seattle bungalow-so many of the options, like tile and granite, even the honed kind, just don't "go." From the pictures I've seen (no one had it on display), soapstone might fit in nicely, but one salesman really badmouthed it-he said it stains super easily, that red wine and tea will destroy it. That was the first I'd heard this criticism (and I realize no surface is perfect, but I don't want one that stains THAT easily). Can anyone comment on this?

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one salesman really badmouthed it-he said it stains super easily, that red wine and tea will destroy it.

I think that the salesman was full of shit. Either he didn't know what he was talking about, or else he had an agenda to try to sell you something else, like granite. I have three samples of soapstone in my kitchen. I've tested them all with lemon juice, red wine, bleach, what have you, and none of them did a thing to it. There's a reason that soapstone was used for years in chemistry labs.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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My understanding is that soapstone is very dense, so I suspect the stains wouldn't be a much of a problem. However, it is also fairly soft, and that is more of an issue for me. I would assume that it will take on "character" as time goes on, like wood. If you are cool with that, it is probably a good choice. If not, you might be better off with a harder surface.

-john

Edited by JohnN (log)
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I think that the salesman was full of shit.

I hoped someone would say that! And yeah, patina, "character," that's all fine with me-that's one reason I think it will fit in with the house-but visible stains and scratches are not okay. I will try to get some samples.

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I don't "get" tile countertops or floors. I was helping a friend, who has large-tiled countertops in her kitchen, make a large amount of stuffed won tons. The countertop had a good coating of the flour on it by the time we were done and turned out to be difficult to wipe up, especially where it was on the rough grouting. We almost needed a brush to get it off the grout.

I would think countertops should be seamless/groutless for ease of cleaning and that would, logically, go for floors, too.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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