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I want to replace the counters in my kitchen with a
heat-resistant, stain-resistant, easy-care eco-friendly
material. I don't want to have to seal them or do any
special deep cleaning. The material has to be hard enough to
withstand scratches and dents and not chip, so soapstone is
Don't want Vetrazzo or anything like it because it is 'too
busy'. Has anyone used Richlite, Icestone, Paperstone, Squak
Mountain, Silestone, Caeserstone, or bamboo? What do you
like about your countertop material? What don't you like
What source did you use to get your materials? Who installed
them for you? Would you recommend that person? If so, I'll
appreciate getting their contact info.
We just put Ceaserstone countertops in our kitchen and
bathrooms. We absolutely love them! I really can't think of
any downsides. They look great, clean off easily, and, so
far, have not been damaged by my very careless husband, son
or brother-in-law. We got the polished finish because it
holds up better than the honed finish.
We used Sullivan Countertops in Oakland and they were great.
Super professional, on time, and they did exactly what they
said they would.
We got a square edge with a 2' overhang (rather than a
typical 1 1/2') and it looks unbelievably amazing. We stuck
with neutral colors go that the countertops won't look dated
in a few years. Ceaserstone Lover
go to Sullivan's Countertops in Oakland. They have
everything in terms of countertops. I know many people who
have used them. Prices are good, service is great. just had
We started out looking for a green countertop and
caesarstone was recommended by two stores. By the time we
were ready our budget was Corian so we got one with
post-consumer recycled content and we love it. Sullivan
Countertops sold and installed it. We got a great price and
the installation was almost perfect (one tinty scratch that
was covered by the tile backsplash that Sullivan would have
repaired if it hadn't been covered). Sullivan also sells
quartz countertops, although we went there to check out
Corian on the advice of an appliance installer who said they
were the best Corian installers. There were customers there
looking at quartz as well. They are on 65th at San Pablo
in Oakland. Their salespeople can give you a quote from
drawings and a rough measurement by e-mail. The man who
came out to measure was extremely thorough and told us what
type of faucet would work with the countertop. Good luck
with your search! Anon
We installed Squak Mountain countertops in our kitchen a
year ago. Although they look(ed) wonderful and we like the
feel of them, I would highly recommend against using them.
We were prepared for them to need some care, along the lines
of wood countertops, but they stain incredibly easily; a
drop of water left on the counter for a few minutes leaves a
mark. They also are quite soft and chip/scratch easily too.
We take good care of them but even after a year they're full
of watermarks and scratches. If I had to do it again I'd use
butcher block with some kind of stone around the sink.
Alexandra Sheets Saikley is a green architect. I have seen
before and after photos of many of the homes she has worked
on, including her own. She specializes in green living and
understanding exactly what her clients would like. I would
turn to her for advice and/or to contract. She has also
designed restaurants - so i imagine she knows kitchen
materials very well. 510-749-0675 www.asarch.org Tara
I'm looking at recycled glass countertops, and want to hear
from anyone who knows about this technology. I like the
look, and the sustainability. Some seem to be mixed with
concrete, while another said it was glass and porcelain.
Can anyone comment on the differences? Do these need to be
sealed? Do they scratch? Are they long-lasting? ANYTHING
you can tell me here is appreciated. I've looked in the
archives, and have not seen anything specifically about
recycled glass counters.
This might be of some help.
We live in a fairly high end house in Lamorinda. We are
thinking about updating our kitchen and are trying to match new
perimeter countertops to a pretty busy granite pattern that is
currently on the center island that we don't want to replace.
It's hard to find a granite color that matches without being
too busy so we've narrowed it down to either a black honed
granite or soapstone. Does anyone have any experience with
either a dark honed granite or a soapstone countertop? I'm a
little conerned about the upkeep of the soapstone (needs to be
wiped with mineral oil regularly) and heard that it chips
pretty easily. Also in terms of resale value will people think
it's too weird? Haven't heard much about honed surfaces one way
or the other. Any comments about either surface appreciated.
I also live in Lamorinda and just had granite countertops
installed. I loved the look of honed granite, but was
recommended away from it, because the honed finish shows
fingerprints (and basically anything else with oil on it), and
will almost always look mottled and/or dirty. I was not
thrilled with the polished look, but eventually was swayed by
the fingerprint issue. Go view some honed granite slabs and
put your fingers on it - you will see right away.
I don't know anything about soapstone, unfortunately. All the
kitchen design magazines lately mention that having a few
different countertop surfaces is all the rage, and doesn't look
weird at all.
If you like the ''honed'' look, you might want to consider
concrete - I believe it is in the same price range, and you can
have it stained in a color that compliments your existing
We recently remodeled our kitchen (new cabinets, appliances, and
countertops). We chose a honed dark green slate countertop and it
looks great. We looked at the non-honed and it was too rough for
our taste. Our neighbors re-did their kitchen recently as well
and they chose a black honed slate countertop. Slate looks great,
costs the same or less than granite, and holds up well. We are
supposed to oil it occasionally but we haven't had to do it yet
and it's been several months.
Love the slate
Soapstone is not recommended for kitchen countertops since it is
so soft, absorbs everything and scratches easily. It will not
enhance your resale value. Honed granite is a little harder to
maintain than polished granite and shows hand and grease marks
that need to be cleaned up regularly for aesthetic reasons.
Beware that some cheap black granite from China is not granite at
all but is a stained, painted and polished base stone that you
will regret purchasing. I recommend that for the best information
you visit Point Richmond Granite on 250 South Garrard Blvd,
Richmond CA, one block off 580 going toward the Richmond Bridge
at the Canal Street exit. Telephone 510 307 7800. They have
beautiful colors that will probably match well and can give
competent advice. Good luck!
Loves my granite countertops!
We are also working on remodeling our kitchen and I have done a
lot of research into both soapstone and the black granites,
including black honed granite. Re: soapstone, yes it does chip
and scratch easily, but it also depends on the type of
soapstone you choose. There are many different kinds out there
and they can really range in look (dark green to fairly black,
lots of veining or very little) and in how hard they are
(easily scratched vs. fairly hard). There is a soapstone place
in SF that you should check out before you decide. I really
liked the look of soapstone, but my husband didn't. Soapstone
is very popular right now, so I don't think that people will
think it's weird. It has a very old fashioned, farmhouse feel
to it. About the black honed granite, I would advise against
it. I have heard horror stories about the upkeep of honed black
granite (not all honed granite, just black). People complain
about the maintenance, as it shows stains and fingerprints (oil
on your hands) and you can't get rid of them. If you like the
look of a matte black granite, look into the black granites
that are ''antiqued'' or have a ''satin'' finish. They are treated
differently (stained and resined?) and have a deeper, richer
color than the honed black, which looks grey, and are easier to
maintain. Most importantly, go out to slab yards (there are
many in the San Leandro area) and look at them, touch them, and
ask about how they wear. We ended up going with marble (talk
about maintenance!), but I just love the look of it. Good luck!
We put in soapstone counters when we remodelled our kitchen 3
years ago. We live in a 1912 Craftsman so we were looking for
something that fit with the style and time of the house and
didn't look too slick or modern. I'm really happy with them. We
used a Brazilian soapstone that is a deep slate color with
grey/green veining. Most people think it's marble. It looks
beautiful with the original fir floor and trim in the kitchen. It
does not stain or absorb spills, etc. You can spill wine on it
and just wipe it up with no staining. However, soapstone is soft,
and as time goes by it become covered in a network of fine
scratches, so if you are looking for a smooth unbroken surface,
this is not the material for you. I like this effect because it
makes the counter look like it's always been there. Soapstone
can be sanded and smoothed out if desired. I do occasionally oil
my counters, which deepens the color and makes them shiny for a
couple of days.
We have soapstone countertops and love them. They have a really
lovely quality that is different from the honed granite I've
seen--hard to put in words but I think it's a more organic,
natural look. They do scratch, but those easily go away with a
wipe of mineral oil. We have not applied mineral oil regularly,
just as needed for spot applications, and they look great. (The
fabricator did pre-oil them). No problem with chipping-we had a
few very small ones around the sink edge, but again, a touch of
mineral oil and you don't notice. I think the small amounts of
wear are what gives it that natural look. And they don't stain
at all, which I understand can be a problem with honed granite
a soapstone fan
I will be remodeling my kitchen. I have looked at Corian,
Silestone, and Zodiac stone. I would to hear pros/cons
about any of these substances. I like corian because it is
seamless, but I know it is a softer material than Zodiac
stone. Also, who or where did you order your counters from.
We live in Berkeley and would like to use local companies
if they have reasonable prices.
For the person who was wondering about countertop materials, we remodeled
our kitchen a year and a half ago and went with Corian for the majority of the
countertops. Like you, I loved the seamlessness of the material. I love that
our sink can be cleaned perfectly (no lines where sink joins countertop).
HOWEVER, our Corian hasn't worn that well. I already see scratches and
sometimes it's hard to clean the countertops perfectly. They just don't look
*sparkly* clean even after wiping them down or even spraying them down. I
know people say that you can get someone in to sand out the scratches, but
come on, who's going to do this on a regular basis?
We also built an island and used Zodiac for that. I thought I wouldn't like the
Zodiac as much as the Corian, but now I love it even more: cleans well, wears
well (no scratches anywhere) and just looks great. Next time around I might
forego the seamlessness and go all Zodiac.
As for where to get these made, we went to Sullivan Countertops in Berkeley
off San Pablo and really thought they were fantastic. The owner, Tom, was a
We recently underwent a major kitchen remodel; I offer the
following in response to recent postings.
Zodiac: we chose it because it comes in bright colors (we
have red). I got about 7 estimates, and Sullivan
Countertops was the cheapest. I think they did a good
job. The one surprise is that the counter is not really
polished in the same way as granite ones are, and it really
shows dirt, water marks, etc. To keep it looking nice, I
have to clean it with some kind of cleaner or soap, and
wipe it dry it with a towel. Just wiping with a dish
sponge does not really do the job. If you just want a
natural stone color, I would say go with granite. It you
want bright red or blue, you have reason to go with Zodiac.
Can anyone provide input regarding the pros/cons of the various surfaces available for
kitchen counters (tile/Corian/marble/granite)? We currently have tile, but need to replace it.
I love the idea of a single surface (as opposed to tiles with the concommittant plague of dirty
grout)--but I think I'd miss being able to put my hot dishes down.
Is corian a good product? Does it wear well? Are marble or granite worth the significanlty
extra cost? Thoughts/experiences would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know much about the various materials, but I can give you a GREAT source for
really inexpensive granite: Best Tile in San Francisco. It has a limited selection of granite,
but if you like one of them, it's an amazing deal. The pieces are pre-cut and shipped from
China (so politically incorrect). You buy sizes that work for you and have a specialist cut
them to fit and install them. We spent about $2,000 on granite for our fairly large
kitchen--it would have been around $12,000 through other sources, we understand.
With regards to the Kitchen Counter Surface. I have Granite and I love
it. You can still place hot pans and such directly on the surface. It
doesn't show any dirt, it always looks clean. It is the most durable
surface I've ever had. Marble is a softer stone than granite. It stains and etches very easily.
It is very good for bathroom countertops. Corian is a hard plastic and you can not place hot
pan on the surface as it will burn.
I also may be a bit biased since my husband is a granite/marble fabricator. If you decide on
granite or marble and would like a bid from him, his work number is 510-215-1866
I went with Granite on my counters and I love it. You will find that
granite is not that much more expensive than Corian. It's tough nice to the
touch and let's face it they first came out with Corian to imitate granite.
My parents remodeled 4 kitchens with Corian and then went to granite and
like it better as well. They claim you can sand out Corian. A friend of
mine accidentally put down a hot pan on her Corian and had it professionally
sanded out. It always bothered her that she could still see a ripple in her
counter. As far as marble goes stay away from it for a kitchen counter it's
far softer than granite and can stain easily.
My husband and I built a home last year and selected granite tiles for the counters. At first
we were certain we would use ceramic tile, but then changed our plan when we found some
very pretty granite tiles at about $5-6/sq. ft. (at Sacramento Tile in Pacheco). This was
actually less expensive than a lot of tile we looked at, much nicer, and much, much less
expensive than a slab of granite. The granite can be installed with very narrow seams and
from a distance looks like a single piece. We chose a grout color to match the main color of
the granite, which is a tan/peach(?) shade. We have spilled coffee and other dark liquids on
it numerous times and nothing has stained the grout (we didn't seal it, but that would offer
more protection). I prefer the tiled look over a large continuous surface (for most kitchens),
and thought that Swan Stone (?) and Corian products look "plastic-like" (depending on the
color). I was also surprised to see that many kitchens in remodeling brochures used granite
tiles instead of a slab - so I guess it is an acceptable alternative. Marble is not something to
consider for kitchen counters, better to use it on floors and bathrooms. One more thing
about granite - the side that is on the front edge of the counter needs to be polished so it is
rounded. It can cost between $5-10/tile for polishing (e.g. if you have 20 linear feet of
counter to cover, 20 tiles need to be polished, so plan on $100-$200). The tiles behind the
front row don't need polishing, and corners need to have two edges polished. Well worth it
for the value it will add to your remodel!
I am a big fan of granite slab, even though it is one of the most expensive surface options. We put
it in the kitchen
we remodeled in Berkeley, and then in the bathroom in our second house. It is maintenance-free,
and if you pick
the color right, it always looks clean (even when it isn't). I am pretty sure you can put hot things
down on it
(though I didn't). It also is gorgeous, makes the kitchen look elegant, and probably won't go out of
style. The only
downside we found is that it is very hard and so unforgiving if you drop things (glasses, plates,
pottery) on it or
knock things into it. Good luck.
I love my new corian! Super easy to clean and always looks great. Don't cut
directly on it, though, as it will scratch. If you use Sullivan Countertops
to install, they give you a good size finished peice that you can use for
cutting and putting hot stuff. I was told you can put hot plates down, but
perhaps not something right out of the oven. I haven't experimented with
that, finding it easy to use the additional piece, a cutting board, the
stovetop or my kitchen table. Compared to tile, it's a dream.
My mother in law has just bought a house with tiled kitchen countertops which are a couple of inches thick. This isn't a problem for the taller people in the family, but there aren't many of them and she particularly has difficulty working comfortably in the kitchen. Apparently the previous owners built them this way to accomodate a small and quite deep feature tile in the design.(genius) The cabinets are in great condition and are attractive, so she'd rather not replace the entire kitchen. What are her options.
Has anyone ever had counter tops lowered? Is it possible? if so what was your experience? Is it simply too much trouble - should she just replace the counter tops entirely?
Any advice welcome.
for the person with the thick tile countertops that make the counter too high: are you sure that it's only the thickness of the countertop that's making it too high? A couple of inches doesn't sound like that much, and any countertop will be at least 1 inch, so replacing the tile might not make enough of a difference. Most kitchen cabinets are not sitting directly on the floor; they're on a little - what's the word - pedestal or riser, and when you install them you can choose the height of the counter by how high the pedestal is. You can see how high the cabinets were originally raised off the ground by how high the "toe space" at the bottom of the cupboard is. (My counters are low -- 35 inches -- and you can't even get your toes (or a broom) into the space at the bottom.) I don't know what would be involved in taking the cabinets out and reducing or removing the riser, but if it's not too complicated, that might be your solution.
I'm thinking of installing concrete countertops in my kitchen and am looking for recommendations for a contractor.
The best in the area is Concreteworks Studio in Oakland near International Ave. Their showroom is substantial and everyone very knowledgeable. You choose what you like, then they will come to your house to measure. Call for an appt. with Betsy or Mark.
I am interested in having concrete countertops in my new
kitchen. The archives don't list any recommendations for
folks who do this work in the area -- I would be
interested in folks who specialize in this work rather
than general contractors.
I would try Karl Mulligan for bathroom/kitchen concrete
counter tops. He is a general contractor by profession. I
know that he has scaled back his jobs/hours to spend more
time with his son, but I believe he's still working on
smaller, craftsman/artistic type projects like this. He can
be reached at 415-871-8398 and can provide excellent references.
I would like to have concrete countertops installed in my
kitchen. I have spoken with several concrete specialists in
the area, but would like to get some other recommendations
for concrete countertop artists/contractors. Also, if you
have concrete countertops, please tell me how they've held up
and what you like and dislike about them.
we just did floors & countertops in kitchen & shower/tub
in bathroom. The range of prices & tech is all over the
board, some make molds at their shop & install large
pieces, but we wanted concrete for the seamless look
not a tiled look. We found one to pour in place for
decent price. This is our 1st remodel & our contract
didn't specify a finish date or discount. Contractor said
would take 2 wks to finish, & took over 14. More
unhappy with work ethic than actual job. Workmanship
was OK. I love floors, counters are ok, not the color I
picked, but job took so long I no longer cared, just
wanted it done. Keep in mind, that the finished product
is completely dependant on the workmanship,
supposed to be a bit rough & the coloring process is
COMPLETELY dependant on the contractors artistic
ability, his interpretation of what you want & the how
concrete takes stain. Look very closely at the contractors
whole portfolio for style themes. I have pics if you want
to see them, tough to see colors, but may give you an
idea. What contractors are you talking with?
I want to install Corian countertops in my new kitchen, but
was told that Swanstone is virtually the same as Corian, as
far as quality, ease of maintenance, and durability, but
costs half as much as Corian does. I heard from someone
else that Swanstone has a flimsy feel to it because it is
half the thickness of Corian and does not hold up well over
time. I would like to hear from people who have used
either, or both! Thanks.
Hi. I don't have either that you mentioned, but looked a
lot at Corian and it has a great quality which is it can
be refinished; you could find out if the same is true for
the cheaper one (say 10 yrs. later and you want to sell
the house or not pay for new countertops ever again) Our
friend, a carpenter, has refinished older corian for
clients and says it comes out looking great. (we were
priced out of everything so holding out with old ugly
formica) Sullivan Countertops (Emeryville) was extremely
helpful with lots of info. on various materials and very
low-pressure about buying.
Need a recommendation for a formica fabricator and/or contractor
(not Home Depo). If you have redone your kitchen with formica
and have suggestions, please share!
We used a small family countertop fabricator, Richmond Plastics
on Carlson, 234-7701, to replace our kitchen counters and
backsplash with Formica about 15 years ago, and are using them
again this year. We have to replace the leaky faucet and reseal
the sink anyway, plus I now want a medium-dark color with a
fake-granite pattern so the dings don't show. They also have
quite a selection of manufactured stone countertops, and are
great about allowing you to take samples home. Prices quite
We recently discovered that our new house's granite countertops
have not been sealed. We were told that we need to find a
professional granite ''sealer'' but some installers won't just do
this.. Suggestions please - in the e-bay please.
Why would you need to seal a granite countertop? I've always
wondered why people do this since I studied geology at college
and to me granite is a very hard rock. Do you know what type of
rock your ''granite'' countertop is? Not all so-called ''granite''
counter top material is actually made of the rock called granite
which mostly contains feldspar minerals (usually white or pink -
though can be rarely green) with some quartz (colourless) and
dark minerals (black or brown). True granite probably has a
melting point above 550 degrees C and is very hard so I doubt
that any foodstuffs or anything else might cause damage to a
granite surface. However, if your ''granite'' countertop is
actually made of limestone or dolomite which is comprised of
calcium and magnesium carbonates, it can actually dissolve when
in contact with acidic food materials such as vinegar, tomatoes,
lemons etc. I would recommend sealing that type of countertop
material. As for granite - I really don't understand why people
seal it! We have a honed basaltic (black ''granite'') countertop
which we have never sealed - and it is still holding up well.
We are looking for a reliable and affordable person or company
to restore our kitchen granite countertops. We need to have the
seams regrouted and we would like the finish to be buffed up to
its best shine. Thanks in advance for your referrals. We have
had a hard time finding anyone to do this work.
I highly recommend Armando Freitas 510.432.3070. I really liked
him and he was recommended by a stone place. We used him to
remove a HUGE rust stain in our stone counter. He was extremely
knowledgeable - he told us that the rust remover chemical would
burn/etch the stone and that it needed to be sanded out. We
decided to do the work our selves and he told us exactly what to do.
We just had our granite counters cut & installed by Wen. Not only did he do a good job,
he was also reasonably priced, picked up our granite for no extra cost and is a very
pleasant and hardworking young man. He also does flooring. You can reach him at:
Re: Feedback on kitchenworks.com or homeworks.com?
I'd recommend a company we used for
granite countertops called Kitchen Experts. These people used
to work for Kitchenworks and they are about half the price.
They were still more expensive than going directly to the
granite yard on your own, but they did do good work. Their
number is (925) 362-8200.
We recently had our granite kitchen counters installed by Gillman
Granite 510-763-8313 and they did a fantastic job. He and his
stepson do the work themselves, and do meticulous work. He was
very responsive and his price was reasonable. He is also a
sculptor and loves stone, which comes across in his work. I
highly recommend him! Monica
We remodeled our kitchen, bathroom, and added fireplace surrounds. We used a great granite installation company called Geological Designs (owner is a soft-spoken, easy- going artist/craftsman). They returned calls promptly, showed up to the site and completed the work as promised. We had no problems. After being introduced, they worked directly with our designer/contractor to complete the job.
Rodney at Geological Designs 510.910.5537 cell or 510.763.6221 office.
Web site www.geologicaldesigns.com
We are looking for a good place to get granite countertops
and installation for our kitchen-I have looked at the old
listings and there is very little. Any suggestions?
I would like to recommend Sterner Marble and Granite for
you kitchen countertops. They will fabricate and
install. They are professional and do a great job! You
can reach them at 510-215-1866.
We just put in new granite kitchen tops and used Creative
Stoneworks. Laura was the person who helped me and she was
so wonderful. She was very patient with me (I changed my
mind alot!)and the crew was very professional and did very
quality work. I would highly reccomend using them. They
have a small stock of granite at their wharehouse to chose
from at excellent prices or you can pick your granite out
elswhere and have them fabricate it. There number is 510-
428-2202. Good luck!
Hello -- Can anyone recommend a granite fabricator that
does good work at a decent price? I've looked in the
archives and there isn't anything current. Thanks!
Also, we like the matte or honed surfaces and are
considering honed granite, slate, fireslate... any opinions
out there on matte counters? Thanks again!
confused by counters
I have recommended in the past Sterner Marble & Granite
and I will recommend them again. Yes the owner is my
husband but he's been Fabricating Granite for years and he
does it well. With regards to Home Expo, we were in there
a month or so ago and my husband said there displays were
pretty good, but they were pretty expensive. Not a whole
lot of Granite to choose from either. It doesn't cost
anything to get a bid. I would encourage you to do so. SM&G does a lot of work through out the bay area. They
can be reached at 510-215-1866. You won't be disapointed!!
We used Expo's kitchen design services in Emeryville but
decided to use other sources for the granite and tile
because of price (fyi, granite prices at Home Depot are the
For the granite, we decided to go with a source that did
prefabricated granite counters, meaning they have pre-cut
lengths of countertops that work with all standard sized
cabinets. Price includes a bullnosed edge. The only thing
is that you are limited to two styles of bullnoses (which
in our case wasn't a big issue since we liked the styles
they had). We found the exact style of granite we were
looking for (they have a wide selecton). It took them a
week to install it, compared to Expo's 6-8 week estimate.
We saved about a thousand dollars on our counters. They go
by two company names: Amazing Stone (www.amazingstone.com)
and Heng Seng (or something like that). They advertise
extensively under the latter name in the Home and Garden
section of the Chronicle. They are located in San Leandro.
They were quick, friendly, and the prices were really good.
For tile purchase and installation, we used the Floor Store
in Richmond (on Jacuzzi St. off 80). They contract out the
work to tile installers. We did our floors and the
backsplash. We again saved a lot of money compared to Expo
and were very satisfied with the results.
I have a recommendation for an excellent contractor who
specializes in granite countertops, tiles, etc. as well as
honed stone. He does excellent work and is a great bargain.
I have used him for granite countertops, slate bathroom
installation, and other smaller projects. He is very
reliable, shows up when agreed upon, and best of all -
works extremely fast, which is always a plus when you are
remodeling and want contractors in and out as fast as
His name is Dimitar and his number: 925-285-7643.
Hi - Does anyone have recommendations (or places to avoid)
for a) obtaining at a 'reasonable' price, and b) cutting
and installing granite counter tops, for the kitchen and
bath. We saw the earlier posts on the web site, but are
looking for more recent recommendations. Where did you
get yours, and who installed them? How did it compare
price-wise to Corian or other solid-surface?
For those who have installed granite counter tops in
previous years, how are you finding them as far as look,
wear, etc.? What alternates did you consider, and how did
you decide on granite? (are you glad you did). Any
advice or recommendations will be appreciated.
Poised to remodel
We put granite coutertop on our last house because we knew
we were going to sell it and that's what was recommended by
our contractor for best resell value. We ended up loving
it. We are now remodeling our current house and will have
granite countertop again. We are using Glenda (925 454-
1497). She works from her home and beat all prices we got
directly from manufacturers. She is fast, efficient, came
to our home in Oakland on Friday evenings. Definitely worth
a call. Also to convince yourself wether you like it or
not, go to a granite/marble provider and look at slabs. You
get a better feeling about the material that way.
I''m giving my kitchen a ''facelift'' rather than a complete
remodel and need some advice on a couple of things.
I will be getting a granite countertop and would like
recommendations on places to get a ''good deal''. I checked
the archives but there was only 1 place recommended in SF.
Has anyone used Home Depot for this??
My husband is a granite fabricator, and although I my be
bias, his work is exceptional. The name of his company is
Sterner Marble & Granite. I suggest you get a least a few
bids and ask for references. I have heard some not go
great stories about Home Depot. You can reach SM&G at 510-
Where can one purchase uncut granite slabs to be used as
kitchen countertops? I've heard that this is less expensive
that buying pre-cut granite.
We got our granite from a company called Integrated
Resources in South San Francisco (near the airport).
They were reasonable (as far as granite goes) and had a
HUGE selection of slabs in a warehouse with a variety of
prices. They won't quote you exact prices, as they only
quote to the granite/marble installer (your contractor or
subcontractor that is going to pick up and install the
slab) but they can give you ballpark numbers. Note, the
installation can be as much or more than the material as
it's a highly specialized trade. If you don't have someone
to install for you, they can give you recommendations of
contractors. Walker-Zanger in Hayward is pretty big and
(seem to do a high volume)has a similarly set up warehouse.
My husband is a granite fabricator (Sterner Marble and
Granite) with his shop in Richmond. He has slabs at his
shop that are left over from jobs that he would sell,
depending on how much you need. You could call his office
(510-215-1866) and they will give you names of places that
just sell uncut slabs. I know of one, Alpha Marble and
Granite. There in San Leandro. Hope this helps.
I'm planning a kitchen remodel and I'm intrigued by what I've
read about soapstone countertops. They sound like a really nice
alternative to granite & like they would look good in a simple,
traditionally styled kitchen. Does anyone out there have
soapstone countertops, and if so, have you been happy with them?
Sounds like there is a lot of maintenance at first as far as
oiling them, but does the need to oil them decrease over time?
Have your countertops aged nicely? Thanks for the help,
I posted a very similar question a year ago when we were getting
ready to do our kitchen remodel, and did not get any replies.
Guess soapstone has gained ground in the last year or so! We
ended up going with honed verde butterfly granite; a dark
green/black. I can tell you that most of the comments posted
about honed granite and what people have ''heard'' are incorrect.
I am very happy with the honed granite, but I loved the look of
soapstone too. For an excellent source of information, check out
the Garden Web forums at
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath/#. Do a search on
''soapstone'' and you will find an incredible amount of
information. There are also links to the finished kitchen blog
that someone put together to show off pictures of completed
kitchens that have been posted, and are also very helpful when
you are planning a remodel.
Hi, We finished a complete kitchen remodel one year ago and installed soapstone
countertops. They are gorgeous. Very earthy, no shine, matte finsh with beautiful
veining. We adore them. Soapstone is really interesting too, it is the most dense
material available, and is made into talcum powder too (!?!)
They need to be oiled intensively in the first few weeks, and then not at all after
that, although if we are having a party we do oil them the day of because it deepens
the color and shows the veining more in contrast. When you oil them, you wipe the
oil off entirely and it is still working, but i mention this b/c you will not brush up
against them and get oily.
We found ours through M. Texeira soapstone in SF, they are easy to find on line.
They are extremely knowledgeable. We cut it and installed it ourselves which saves
money, but they will do those things for you as well.
Good luck. Feel free to email if you have more questions.
a & e
We are remodeling our kitchen in North Berkeley and need
someone who can make stainless steel countertops. We would
appreciate any recommendations or leads.
I'm putting SS countertops in our kitchen. Here are the
manufacturers I've found. Each works a little differently,
so it's worth talking to more than one.
American Metal Products
1320 Underwood Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124
Walter Mork Co.
2418 6th Street
Berkeley, CA. 94710
TGW Metals Inc.
150 West Trident Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
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