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by Jason Hammond last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:38 AM
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by Jason Hammond last modified Nov 28, 2007

A few years back we renovated the kitchen in our 1916 Craftsman home and for the first time in my life I had granite counter tops. Uba Tuba was the name of the granite we selected, a beautiful green and black speckled combination that worked well with the slightly red tones of the wood that [...]




 

 

A few years back we renovated the kitchen in our 1916 Craftsman home and for the first time in my life I had granite counter tops. Uba Tuba was the name of the granite we selected, a beautiful green and black speckled combination that worked well with the slightly red tones of the wood that ran throughout our house. The granite was a beautiful material and gave the entire kitchen a wonderful rich warm feel. However, as we quickly learned, granite also had it’s drawbacks. The edges were susceptible to chipping, glassware shattered into a thousand little pieces when dropped from the shortest of distance and every little hand and finger print showed up as a smudge on the surface.

When we decided to build this house we made the decision to put the majority of our budget into making the house as energy efficient as possible. This meant that we would needed to be open and resourceful when it came to the finish materials. Automatically we both knew that we would be OK with going with less expensive materials like laminates for counter tops. Not only was this a place to save some money but granite and many of the other solid surfaces felt a bit out of place with the modern design. To our surprise the options in laminates we far from what we had remembered or even imagined. Instead of the faux granite, or busy patterns with a 50’s nuclear age twist there were now a great range of options. We were also pleased to hear that not only were these laminates better looking then those of years past but they’re also more durable as well only helping to validate our decision.
Solid colors, semi-transparents, and even some based from recycled scraps are now options for counter top materials. Companies like Abet (an Italian manufacturer) offers some great looking options in the semi-transparent laminates with their Diafos line and another truly green friendly line called Tefor which is made from processing scraps. Although some of these new options are still a bit pricey. For us however, we were looking for simple flat colors with low sheen and there were tons of options in those. Formica a Canadian company whose name is almost interchangeable with the word laminate and Nevemar a US company based on the east cost, seemed to offer some of the better range of colors in simple matte finish products. We found a couple really nice gray’s in both lines that will work for both the kitchen and boys bathroom. While in the master bath and powder room we’ve decided to use a completely recycled, low cost material that we found at the local home improvement center — HDPE. I hope to have some images to show of these next week when the cabinets and counter tops are installed, a really exciting step in the process.


 

 

 
 
 
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