Over the summer we decided to put our tax return towards a 10 yr dream…new kitchen countertops!!!! We wanted to cut down a stepped up bar top, that was absolutely useless, and make it a counter height peninsula. Much work went into that process but that is a story for another day. There is still much to be done like the subway tile back splash as you can see in the following pics. When I was making my decision I couldn’t find any information on these counters. I love to read reviews, I won’t buy something if I can’t read a review and yet I never write them. I am changing that with this post. I hope that it helps someone making this same decision.
We still needed to be frugal as we didn’t have enough of the green stuff to make an extravagant choice. While marble or another light colored stone was my first choice, there were reasons why that wouldn’t work….
First, they were out of our budget. Secondly we had an unusual design with a corner sink which did not offer enough support to hold the weight of stone. It also made DIY butcher block or concrete complicated and impractical. I started to hunt for a marble knock off or faux marble in our price range. During our search we were told that because of our layout we would have upwards of 5 seams that would be very obvious even with quartz, so solid surface was our best choice.
Here’s the pros with solid surface:
- almost invisible seams
- can be made in any size or configuration
- more cost effective in our case
- non porous, which makes it anti-bacterial
- decent stain resistance
- can be repaired
- matte finish
Here are the cons:
- not heat resistant, must use a hot pad
- shows surface scratches in certain lights
- they are sanded at time of install or repair resulting in an awful mess all over your whole house…yes I’m still bitter!!
Next step, price and pattern comparisons. I loved Corian in Rain Cloud but I did not love $70 a sq ft. Lowe’s came out on top. Their prices were far better than Home Depot and other specialty shops we visited.
We decided on Allen Roth Solid Surface, manufactured by Sage Surfaces, because they had the pattern and price that I wanted. Lowe’s was having a 20% off sale which put us in the price range we were hoping for in the low $40’s per sq ft. I wanted a marble look but couldn’t find one. I was going to settle for Chalk white or Mendenhall. I went back a couple days later to look around and I spotted a board behind the desk and there it was, a marble looking sample called Tularosa. It was more expensive and I had to pick it from a 4in sample but I love it. People ask me what it is with a confused look because it feels soft and warm to the touch but looks like stone. Here is a detail pic.
We went with a stainless steel low divide sink. I wanted single vessel and the bread winner wanted to be able to stack the dishes on one side….so we compromised with low divide so that I could still wash my larger items. Our last sink was stainless steel and I liked it because it is resilient, you can really abuse it and it’s not expected to be perfect. I also went with undermount and I am thrilled with that. Clean up is so easy and it looks so streamlined.
We went with eased edge and I think that is what makes it look more like real stone. I’m really pleased with it.
I will now tell you what I don’t like.
The inside corners are rounded. I asked for squared but they said that it is a warranty issue because they could crack if not rounded. I was disappointed, but it doesn’t bother me as much now.
The other thing that I was very unhappy with and would make me hesitate to do solid surface again was the sanding they do in place. I am telling you that you have been warned. It was like a dust bomb exploded in my entire house. I had to have help to clean it up. The Lowe’s in our area uses a third party installer and this is where our trouble was. They left areas that still needed sanding. So they had to come back and we had to do the whole dust bomb explosion… clean for the rest of my life game again. There was also an area that didn’t fit correctly and had to be reinstalled. It is something to keep in mind, make sure it is right the first time and be prepared for dust.
The other draw back is that you can’t set hot things on the counters. That’s why I keep this slate board right next to my stove. I set spoons and pan lids on it while I’m cooking. It works out perfectly.
In conclusion I am happy with my choice and it has turned my kitchen into the heart of my home. Lowe’s was pleasant to work with, they were attentive and friendly. I do hope that our Lowe’s will use a different installer in the future. It was still a good experience.
This is not a sponsored post and I am not receiving any compensation (although I wish that I was, just sayin!) This is my own experience and opinions.