Kitchen worktops

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by Joe_SP, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Joe_SP

    Joe_SP Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Location:
    Wokingham
    Car:
    2013 E250 & 1999 M3
    Hi all

    This is VERY off topic - sorry!

    Does anyone here know anything about granite kitchen worktops?

    I am thinking of updating our existing kitchen with new worktops with granite or similar. I have to use a solid material as I have a belfast sink - so laminates are not an option.

    I believe that you can get composite materials that look like granite as well - are these any good and what is the price differences?

    Thanks

    Joe
     
  2. Simon_M

    Simon_M Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    3,597
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Garden of England
    Car:
    Mini & Porsche
    Granite is king, but pricey. Avoid a very pale colour like white as it will stain with oils etc. used in cooking.

    You can get manufactured stuff like Corian which looks like it but is not shiny. The attraction of Corian is that it can be moulded into shapes so you can get the sink bowl moulded into the worktop if that is your thing.

    Corian is even more expensive than granite, but granite prices vary depending on colour etc. The 'cheaper' transformations stuff that fits over your existing worktops normally costs as much as regular granite.


    Shop around, some businesses may be suffering right now and be keener to deal.

    Simon
     
  3. kjay

    kjay Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    998
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    buxton, derbyshire
    Car:
    C200k Coupe 2003
    Yeah, lots of different composits available. Some very nice ones too !!

    Prices vary. some 'slightly' cheaper than granite and some a lot dearer.

    Best thing to do is visit some showrooms in your area.

    .
     
  4. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

    Messages:
    16,399
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2002
    Location:
    Nuneaton Warwickshire
    Car:
    Lots of Mercedes!
    We are having a new kitchen as we speak.. We opted not to go for granite in the end..

    Its very cold, its very expensive and cant be shaped as easily..

    We went for something almost as expensive but looks amazing... Ill find out what its called but its bacially a kind of plastic fused onto wood.. unlike laminate, the plastic layer is probably around 20-30mm thick.
     
  5. carnut

    carnut Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    699
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Somerset/Dorset borders
    Car:
    SL400 & audi A1
    Its one thing buying the worktop....its another getting the dimensions right and getting someone to fit it. Its not as simple as it looks;)
     
  6. Howard

    Howard MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    18,624
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Location:
    Toad Hall
    Car:
    CLS 500 / A 150
    Send Mudster a PM , he imports granite for worktops . :)
     
  7. kjay

    kjay Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    998
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    buxton, derbyshire
    Car:
    C200k Coupe 2003
    Getacor.? Nice stuff!

    .
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Joe_SP

    Joe_SP Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Location:
    Wokingham
    Car:
    2013 E250 & 1999 M3
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I guess it will be worth getting a pro to fit it then - I fitted the kitchen myself a few years ago including the solid timber worktops - much lighter and easier to work than granite!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Joe_SP

    Joe_SP Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Location:
    Wokingham
    Car:
    2013 E250 & 1999 M3
    I would be interested in hearing what this product is.
     
  10. AbbieCadabra

    AbbieCadabra Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    334
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    in the Middle...
    Car:
    E350CDI
    we had granite tops fitted by these guys about 3 years ago, MisterMarble, great price & quality & we haven't had any problems. we had the Star Galaxy & it looks stunning when it's clean!
     
  11. verytalldave

    verytalldave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    3,595
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    Car:
    W203 C200K Cubanite
  12. Mudster

    Mudster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    2,509
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Surrey
    Car:
    2008 A150 SE Classic, 2007 Saab 9-3 Sportwagon
    (At the risk of this appearing to be an advert- Joe has already sent me a PM)

    The granite counter top industry operates in two distinct ways:-

    Bespoke

    This is the traditional method. A fabricator will buy granite in slabs (also known as scants) from a supplier, these can be as large as 3000mm x 2400mm in size and are unprocessed other than having a polished face.

    Your fabricator will then have premises, machinery and fabricators and will produce a bespoke item for your kitchen that will be top end quality and top end price.
    .

    Pre produced (this is what we do)

    * Note - We are wholesalers, I don't get involved with the installation at all, in fact I supply some of the fitter that Mister Marble sub out to.

    Not everyone has upward of £5,000 to spend on kitchen worktops so there is an alternative.

    We pay to have blank sizes produced at source (in India) where the products are quarried and produced. We then import these and hold them in our warehouse and supply the fabrication industry.

    These tops are not quite as high a production quality as the scants (which are produced by gangsaws) and sometimes the thickness of a granite top will fluctuate by 2mm to 3mm however it’s all produced from the same quality blocks of granite and is far cheaper. Anything over this is classed as unacceptable and is generally rejected or sold off a little cheaper.

    The upside of having preproduced tops is they can be handled by 2-3 guys, collected in a van and fabricated on site. So you’re saving the costs of having to pay someone with staff, machinery and premises overheads. There is however a restriction to what can be fabricated on site.

    To give an example of what this costs we charge £170 sq/m + vat for the smaller standard width tops, you then have to find someone to fabricate and install (we can recommend many of our customers). A regular “L” shape two piece kitchen would cost as follows in Absolute black or Star Galaxy:-

    2400mm x 610mm x 30mm = 1.464 sq/m @ £170.00 = £248.88
    2800mm x 610mm x 30mm = 1.708 sq/m @ £170.00 = £290.36

    sub total £539.24
    Vat £ 94.36
    Total £633.60

    You then need a fitter, they will charge to collect your granite, cut and fit, plus any special requirements.

    With granite the expensive things are curves and polishing, they are just time consuming.

    So if you have a two piece kitchen with a simple over mount basin and a simple over mount hob, the fitter will charge around £60 for each cutout, plus collection, plus their time, so your fit could come in at around £500 to £600 giving you a two piece granite kitchen supplied fitted for around £1,200 or so.

    On the other hand if your good lady likes the look of an under mount Franke one and half sink with matching tap and drainer grooves, the sink fabrication alone will be £400 - £500, so you can see where the costs are.

    This still has it’s limits. We supply sizes of up to 2600mm x 1220mm x 30mm (this will weigh nearly 400kg) for island units. If you have an island this size with a hob and butler sink then you’re going to have to pay a reasonable amount for handling and fabrication....it will still be cheaper than bespoke though.

    I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has and if youre curious you can pop in and look at our stock and say hello (I’m right by Gatwick Airport). We are completely out of stock right now but I have two containers docking on 12th Nov which are holding around 300 counter tops.

    There is a snobbery in the industry towards the pre produced market as it’s actually quite a new industry. However I’ve noticed a lot of these guys are starting to buy from us for there simpler fits. However in some respects it just more efficient – we’ve just supplied 275 kitchens for a contractor in North London, 14 different types of kitchen all pre produced abroad and supplied directly to site.....this just can’t be done with slabs, it’s prohibitively expensive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  13. Mudster

    Mudster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    2,509
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Surrey
    Car:
    2008 A150 SE Classic, 2007 Saab 9-3 Sportwagon
    There are some misunderstandings and generalisations in the above article...for instance:-

    Cheaper granites are more widely available now in the UK from India and China. The best granites come from South Africa, Belgium and New Zealand. Think of your granite like a diamond: the price reflects the quality you're getting and the pleasure you'll get over the years.

    Some of this is correct, some of it isn't......A lot of the granite coming from these three countries mentioned has come from elsewhere before it gets there. Many granites occur in only place on the planet, some of those countries have costs of living that mean it's simply not viable to produce in that country.

    Common examples.....

    Star Galaxy (probably the most popular granite right now) occurs in the Ongole region of India....that's it...it simply doesn't occur anywhere else...

    Blue Pearl and Emerald Pearl...these are both Norwegian stones, generally quarried in blocks and shipped to India or China for production then back in via Italy, Belgium or directly to the UK...

    I wouldn't place too much bias on the above article, it's been written by someone in the UK industry that probably doesn't buy from source, but from an importer and doesn't have a full grasp of what's what.

    However some of the blacks vary tremendously....Zimbabwe used to be the benchmark (now refered to as South African black)...however for obvious reasons this hasn't been particularly plentiful of late.
     
  14. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

    Messages:
    16,399
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2002
    Location:
    Nuneaton Warwickshire
    Car:
    Lots of Mercedes!
    Think its this stuff

    http://www.hanex.co.uk/
     
  15. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    South
    Car:
    GL 420CDI
    Had a kitchen with granite worktops installed some 10 years ago. Worktops look exactly the same today as they did on the day the were installed.

    Take things out of the oven / off the hob and put them straight on the worktop? No problem.

    Cut on the worktop? Only if you want to blunt the knife.

    Spill things on it, red wine, food colouring, paint brush cleaner…nothing seems to affect it.

    When we chose the granite we looked at marble, Corian, wood surfaces and none offered the advantages of granite.

    They all seemed to have one or more disadvantage. Not really heat resistant needing metal strips inserted to put things on, susceptible to staining, easy to scratch or mark with a knife. Of course things may have moved on and there could be better alternatives.

    Just got this off the hanex site:


    • Avoid cutting directly on Hanex, use a cutting board
    • Never place hot pans directly on the worktop. Even though Hanex can withstand temperatures up to 350° F, prolonged or extreme heat could cause permanent damage.
    • Strong acids, such as those found in drain cleaners should be flushed with water immediately. Some of these items, when left on surface may cause whitening, which can be difficult to remove.
    • To remove persistent stains, cigarette burns or scratches: Scrub with an abrasive cleanser and green Scotch Brite pad.
    • Deep scratches can be removed by carefully sanding lightly with 120 grit sandpaper, followed by 220 grit and finishing with 320 grit sandpaper. Complete by rubbing the surface with a wet, green Scotch pad in a circular motion to restore the finish. Note: different methods can be used depending on the finish.
    • For deep scratches and/or other damages which may require expert repair, please contact your Authorised Hanex Fabricator.

    Wouldn’t see that as an alternative to granite.
     
  16. 94mattda

    94mattda Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    535
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Hove
    Car:
    E220 Coupe, Porsche Boxster
    Hello, We have black Luxor ( crystalite ).... Glossy black and very sparkly. Supposidly harder than granite and does not scratch. Although Granite is very strong years of use can cause it to dull. Had block beech worktops before around a belfast sink and would never have them again. It went black and absorbed water around the sink and started to split.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.