Kitchen Countertops, Counter Top Solid Surface, Quartz, Resin & Glass Options--a comprehensive list

 

Natural Stone Countertops     Solid Surfaces---Man-made   Recycled Glass Counters

Solid Surface Countertops---Man-made

dupont corian countertopsCorian Solid Surface is distributed and sold by DuPont worldwide. The new Corian Select Series features 20 popular Corian colors at lower prices. Select retailers will be featuring up to 27 colors in this special collection. Corian was created for a lifetime of easy care. Because the solid beauty of Corian goes all the way through, Corian surfaces are completely renewable. You can remove minor cuts and scratches. There are three types of countertop finishes: matte/satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss*. Most countertops are finished with a matte/satin finish. All sinks have a matte/satin finish. Soapy water, ammonia based cleaners or commercially available solid surface cleaners will remove most dirt and residue from all types of finishes. With over 100 colors and varying hues some colors may appear to require more frequent cleaning to maintain a uniform finish. Darker colors tend to require more attention than lighter colors. Over time through care and use your countertop will acquire a patina, changing the appearance of the finish. You may restore the look of the original finish by following the Dupont Corian refurbishing guidelines.  The Illumination Series includes five new icy tones that allow much more light to pass through than other Corian® colors. www.dupont.com/corian

compac marmol counter tops Compac Marmol & Quartz-- This Spanish company offers its website in five languages. Compac is a major international company. Compac Marmol & Quartz is the leading company in Spain specializing in the manufacture and distribution of agglomerate marble products. They have provided material for projects in France, the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Samsung buildings in Korea. They have plants in both Spain and Portugal. Compac Marmol & Quartz offers two products: Technological Marble and Technological Quartz, which are marketed under two brands: Marmol Compac (95% marble plus orthophalic polyester resin.) Marmol Compac Antibacterial is a special product for specific applications with properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria. Quartz Compac is an elegant product of exceptional hardness and resistance to impact is ideal both for areas that have to withstand intense foot traffic as well as for kitchen environments. Its minimal absorption, ease of cleaning and low maintenance make it a highly recommendable choice for bathroom counter tops or kitchen counters, as it is extremely resistant to abrasion, acids, oils. www.compacmq.com 

swansong kitchen counters and sinksSwanStone is a great product at a great price. I personally have a SwanStone sink in my kitchen. I got it at Home Depot and was really happy to find a cool colored, speckled finish, solid sink that was almost an exact match to my Formica and at a price I could afford. I have used that sink for about 3 yrs now, and it is totally carefree and never looks dirty !!! So in future home additions, I will see if I can afford SwanStone solid surface countertops. I am a happy customer. SwanStone makes what they call Everyday Plus Countertops & Sinks for the Kitchen. It’s the simplest way to put the beauty of Swanstone in your kitchen. Backed by their 10-year limited warranty, you get durability and seamless edges. Countertops are available with matching sinks in a variety of solid and granite colors. And at a price so affordable, you’ll forget all about laminate countertops. Swanstone offers Custom Countertops & Sinks for the Kitchen in an amazing combination of endless design options and real practicality. The solid surface of Swanstone gives you the flexibility to choose the size, shape, color and even the decorative edge treatment you’ll find in your dream kitchen, not to mention the durability to resist stains, scratches and extreme heat. www.theswancorp.com

Resin Countertops--resin countertops can look like translucent colorful jewels. They can even be lit from underneath to glow. Matte surface counter tops can be resurfaced...probably best in a bathroom or buffet. This is one cool website where you could spend hours looking and their past projects and creating your own design ideas. 100 percent is an exciting, design-driven material made entirely from post-consumer recycled HDPE. 3form Design Stories allow you to search the unique colors, patterns, textures and hues of 3form materials by thematic groupings. www.3-form.com 

Fireslate counter top and sinkFireSlate--Fire slate is a synthetic product that is made from concrete, sand, water, fillers and a ton of pressure. It doesn't' have any veining like natural stone but it weighs less. It comes in custom edge shapes and several colors. This product is heat resistant but requires regular treatments of finish oil to resist stains. Consisting solely of Portland cement, silica sand, water, and fillers, formed under 400 tons of pressure, steam- and air-cured, Fireslate is a man-made material. Like slate and other natural stone, Fireslateis dark, rich, and has a solid depth of character. But unlike slate and other natural stone, it has no veins or strata to delaminate. It handles heat and weighs 40 percent less than natural stone. Even with its natural ingredients and stone-like beauty, Fireslate costs less than the plastic design materials on the market.www.fireslate.com 


formica solid surface countertopsFormica Corporation now offers an exquisite yet durable, high-polish, stain-resistant natural quartz surface, Formica Stone Natural Quartz Surfacing is a new material for kitchen countertops. It not only offers the elegant look and durability of granite and it's virtually maintenance free. Nonporous so there's nowhere for bacteria to hide. More heat resistant than solid surfacing and high-pressure laminate. Formica Stone never requires sealing, buffing or polishing. Formica Stone contains 93% quartz - the 4th hardest mineral in nature. The high quartz content creates a superior surfacing material with remarkable flexural strength, preventing much of the chipping, cracking and breakage that can be common with other natural stone surfaces. Formica Stone Natural Quartz Surfacing lets you have the look of granite, with exceptional durability. It's not only scratch resistant, but more impact resistant too. Available in12 warm natural stone and rich jewel colors. Formica Stoneis consistent in color and texture from slab to slab. Plus, Formica Stone has a 10-year warranty. Formica Corporation is a huge global company with over 100 years experience designing and manufacturing surface materials. 
Formica® Solid Surfacing is manufactured in two formats ready for fabrication.
www.formica.com

dupont zodiac countertopsZodiaq Countertops quartz surfaces is a new category of surfacing material from DuPont made with natural quartz for interior use in homes and commercial buildings. Combining the strength and beauty of natural quartz with technology to create a palette of dramatic colors with consistency, tone and strength. DuPont Zodiaq quartz surfaces captures the radiance of quartz crystals with depth, clarity, radiance and strength. The quartz used in Zodiaq is combined with high-performance, stain-resistant polymers. The result is a durable, nonporous, chemical-resistant surface. Zodiaq is also heat- and scratch-resistant, but not heat- and scratch-proof. Use of a cutting board is recommended when using a knife. Zodiaq keeps its glossy smooth surface without polishing. Because it is nonporous, Zodiaq does not require sealants or waxes. DuPont backs Zodiaq® with a 10-year limited warranty. www.zodiaq.com

dupont simplicity countertopsDupont Simplicity Countertops--Simplicity® comes in a select range of over 20 popular colors, including neutral tones designed to coordinate with most cabinet finishes and flooring. Nonporous surface does not promote the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria.Simple scratch repairs can be done by you. Two edge treatments are available, Simplicity® offers both single and double sinks that resist mold and mildew as well as stains.A "set-on" backsplash of Simplicity® protects your kitchen from the usual spills and boilovers. Dupont Simplicity

Okite Italian Quartz  Surfacing material is made in Italy. This Italian countertop material comes in bright primary colors as well as natural stone colors. Okite is a specially developed quartz based stone surface material. It is 93% quartz and 7% polyester resin. It comes in several thicknesses and slabs 120 inches x 55 inches. Okite is suitable for kitchen countertops or commercial uses like restaurant wall paneling. Okite is 5 times stronger than granite and comes in translucent colors as well as opaque colors Okite has both English and Italian language on it's website. www.okite.com    

caesarstone sink and counterCaesarstone is a man made stone with all the properties of natural stone. Caesarstone is cool to the touch and has the same type shine of other natural stone materials. It is an engineered product. Caesarstone is 15 times harder than granite and 5 times stronger, enabling it to withstand just about anything. Caesarstone is also scratchproof and stain proof. Taurostone is the UK licensed importer and fabricator in UK. Caesarstone comes in three ranges Micro, Standard and the Stunning Nova range. Each one is available in 20 colors with additional color particles and mirror chips www.caesarstoneus.com

wilsonart countersWilsonArt Earthstone: the look and feel of natural stone countertops. Now there’s a surface that boasts the beauty of natural materials with the easy care and performance of solid surfacing. A surface that's easy to maintain, easy to repair. More and more, people are demanding the look and feel of natural stone countertop materials. That’s why Wilsonart® has created Earthstone™. This half-inch thick surface product boasts the beauty of natural materials with the easy care & performance of solid surfacing. It also features eight stone-like patterns.
WilsonArt Gibraltar Solid Surface from Wilsonart. From custom creations like drain boards and soap dishes to coordinating seamless Wilsonart sinks and bowls, the design options are infinite. Gibraltar is also renewable and repairable, heat- and stain-resistant, and it's backed by a 10-year, installed, transferable warranty. With a wide array of colors and stone-like patterns. Nothing sets off the look of your countertop like a well-chosen edge treatment. Edges made on Gibraltar Solid Surface countertops can be elegantly sculpted into a wide range of details. Earthstone can be shaped or molded into a variety of designs. It also coordinates seamlessly with Wilsonart sinks and bowls. It’s renewable, repairable, bacteria-resistant and easy to keep clean. See photos of kitchen designs on Wilson Art's site.
www.wilsonart.com

Wilsonart Laminate puts the look of marble, tumbled stone and stained glass within reach for every consumer.
Three new laminate collections provide affordable luxury with an upscale look. The budget does not have to determine who has a dream kitchen and who doesn’t -- style is now the determining factor. Thanks to Wilsonart Laminate’s newest introductions -- three collections that rival time-worn stone (Roca), elegant marble (Fusion) and transparent crystals or stained glass (Oasis) -- a chic, upscale-looking kitchen can be a reality for every homeowner. While the cost of stone and marble countertops runs into thousands of dollars, laminate countertops made with pearlescent inks, high-tech digital photography and a variety of finishes to replicate natural materials only cost hundreds of dollars by comparison. Wilsonart collections: Fusion, Roca and Oasis. Wilsonart has several series of Decorative Metals clad kitchen surfaces. They are: METALAMINATES™, A-Look Mirror Quality, Anodized Aluminum, Artisan Group, and Galvalume Steel. You can achieve a very high tech kitchen look.  

rembrant countertopsRembrandt Countertops - Solid Surface for the Kitchen, Bath. Featuring Royal Stone Solid Surface Countertops. Royal Stone features a kitchen sink that identically matches the solid surface color. Royal Stone manufactures the sink at the same time as the countertop, insuring an exact color match. Royal Stone Color Matches to other solid surface brands are also available once a match is created, matching sinks, shower pans, etc can also be provided with no minimum quantity requirements. Rembtandt Countertops is located in Phoenix, AZ. If you live in the U.S. west, I'd definately check out this company. www.rembrandtcountertops.com

megantile kitchen countersMeganite--Luxury for less, produced overseas, in a 100% Acrylic countertop material produced in 64 different colors of solid, mist, or granite and is for both residential and commercial applications including; kitchens, bathroom surrounds, vanities, hotels, theaters, office buildings, shopping centers, hospitals, etc. Meganite acrylic solid surface can be bent under heart which will offer you infinite design options. Meganite sinks can be coordinated seamlessly with their counter tops. There is a good page of maintenance and care info for acrylic countertops on their site. They offer all sorts of colors and options, they just do not have good photos on their website.   www.meganite.com

LG Hi-Mac CountersLG HI-MACS Acrylic Solid Surface Engineered solid surface material. Its non-porous surface is easy to clean and is completely renewable. And because LG HI-MACS is thermoformable, it can be molded or shaped to fit any design you can imagine with a 15-year fully transferable warranty. LG HI-MACS solid surface was introduced in 1995. Since then, LG HI-MACS has been installed in homes and businesses all around the world. LG HI-MACS has been a solid surface of choice in Europe and Asia for 7 years, available in North America since 1997. Founded in 1947, LG Group is a global company with regional headquarters around the world and a home office in Seoul, Korea. www.lghi-macs.com

LG Volcanics solid surface countersVolcanics Collection--attains the performance of all LG HI-MACS products, backed by the only 15 year warranty in the industry. The Volcanics collection has incredible colors with depth and semi-transparent chunks that seem to glow. Applications include any interior, horizontal, or vertical surface where the properties of solid surface enhance form and function. Residential applications include kitchen countertops, tub surrounds, vanity tops , wet bars, built-in desks, entertainment centers. The LG HI-MACS Volcanics collection has large translucent chips that intensify the clarity and elegance and unique and luxurious colors. www.lgvolcanics.com

Staron countertopsStaron 100% acrylic solid surface countertops  can enhance the appearance of any kitchen or bathroom. Available in more than 50 colors and a variety of edge details and inlay options, Staron is a division of the Samsung Co. , you know the name in electronics. Headquartered in Seoul, Korea, Samsung is a world-class leader in technology.
Established in 1938, Samsung employs approximately 220,000 people worldwide and has sales revenues of $130 billion. Samsung has five business areas: electronics, machinery, chemicals, finance, and trading and services. Staron is a part of Samsung’s chemical division and is manufactured by Samsung’s parent company, Cheil Industries. Despite Staron’s elegance, it’s a surface that’s practical and easy to maintain. Staron is composed of acrylic resin and aluminum tri-hydrate. Pigments and stabilizers are also added. If the surface is ever scratched, it’s easily repaired with a mild abrasive cleanser or a light-
duty kitchen scrubbing pad. Staron is also nonporous with smooth, impenetrable seams,
so germs and dirt have nowhere to accumulate. Sinks and countertops are available in Staron product. www.staron.com

Arpa USA --Strata-Kore is a laminate with a solid phenolic core made of alternate color layers. The designer can chose from 100's of colors for the top surface. www.arpausa.com

Mystera solid counter topsMystera is a nonporous surface that is easy to clean, renewable, and mold and bacteria resistant. Mystera can be purchased through an extensive networks of distributors and kitchen and bath showrooms across the country. Mystera Terrascape has brilliant and deep colors that harmonize perfectly in a wide range of design applications. The colors of these surfaces go all the way through each piece. The Gallery Collection is the first solid surface material with the look of natural granite. Some of the patterns are made to look like exotic woods. www.mysterasolidsurface.com

Hanex countertopsHanex countertop material and sink lavatory bowls are specially manufactured with durability for the purpose of having resistance to stain, acid and bacteria. Hanex is not affected by general household detergents and chemical products. Hanex is available in single-tone, fine-grain, coarse-grain, pearl-grain, transparent-grain, ripple-tone, wood-tone and huge-grain patterns in 85 colors. Made in Korea. This porduct can be used for all sorts of residential and commercial applications such as countertops, window sills, wall coverings, etc www.hanex-i.com

Dovaé solid surface is a unique blend of resins and mineral fillers creating a non-porous material that looks like stone but cuts like wood. The grain pattern goes completely through providing a surface that is always renewable. Cuts and scratches are easily removed with light sanding. Dovaé solid surface is extremely durable and stain-resistant, ideal for kitchen countertops, bath vanities, tub and shower surrounds, restaurant interiors, hospital areas, furniture and more. The non-porous surface will not support the growth of bacteria like natural products, such as granite or marble. It is easy to clean and is not stained by ink, coffee, or other similar. Dovaé is backed by a 10-year warranty. Made by Chemcore Industries. Chemcore is the manufacturer/distributor of DOVAE Solid Surface. Dovae has over 100 colors and patterns from which to select, sold directly to fabricators. Chemcore has wholesale warehouses in Austin, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia. www.chemcore.com

glass kitchen counter topsGlass Counter Tops--You might not have thought of thick glass for counter tops but merchants have been using it for years in retail. You can get glass countertops with various surface textures and edge treatments. A textured bottom surface helps hide fingerprints and scratches. Glass cones in a lot of colors and can be made in unusual shapes. www.thinkglass.com (very cool but ...noisy website)

Concrete Countertops--Concrete can be very tough and comes in lots of colors. It can be stamped, stained, or can include embedded trinkets but it is not good for hot pots or cutting on. A concrete countertop requires regular sealing. Look in your phone book for a local concrete counter top craftsman or go to www.sonomastone.com 

Granite Transformation countersGranite Transformation--I love this idea. Granite Transformations makes slipcovers for tired looking counters. They have created a thin version of cool solid surface products that comes in lots of colors and can be fabricated to give you a whole new look in your kitchen, bar or bathroom. Their recycled glass countertop line has some colors not often found in solid surface counter tops. I am thrilled with the new Blue from their "Trend Glass' series. Itis the first product we have found that is a perfect match for our patterned cement tile floor from Villa Lagoon Tile at our waterfront Italian style home. And they have a lifetime warranty ! Pretty pricey tho. -www.GrantieTransformations.com

Dupont has a nice comparison page of all their solid surface countertop materials.

Natural Stone Countertops

There are several different types of natural stone available for solid surface countertops, walls like shower walls, or flooring.

Granite
is an a type of real rock called igneous rock, which means it was once molten and it formed as it cooled deep within the earth. Different minerals within granite typically appear as small specks and flecks throughout the stone, creating the salt and pepper look. Other types of granite may have veining similar to marble. Granite is extremely hard and durable, and is practically scratchproof. It can be highly polished and shiny or finished in a variety of other ways. Granite countertops are easily cleaned because of its low porosity. Granite is available in a wide range of colors.

Quartz--Unlike granite, you never have to seal or polish quartz countertops.

Soapstone--Soapstone countertops in your kitchen are a natural, non-porous material, which means it won't stain and isn't affected by chemicals, acids, temperatures, etc but is is darkened by mineral oil. For this reason, some people pre-treat soapstone with mineral oil.

Pyrolave is enameled lava rock. This is a natural rock that has had an additional heat treatment finish applied. Read more below.


Marble--an age old counter top material. Some people say it stains too easily or is too soft for a good conter topmaterial, but others dissagree.

Gem Surfaces countertopsGem Surfaces--I have found a source for fabulous gemstone countertops--I adore the Amazonite blues and really plan to look into this product for our next counter top project. The colors and fossilized shapes in these slabs are incredible. www.gemsurfaces.com

  • Tips on Caring for Granite or Stone Countertops:
    *Wipe up wet spills immediately, especially acidic liquids like citrus juice, alcohol or soft drinks.
    *Use recommended cleaning products that are pH neutral. Never wipe your table or countertop with an acidic         cleanser (like vinegar or lemon) or harsh chemical/abrasive cleansers.
    Also, use soft cloths to wipe the surface instead of an scratchy or abrasive pads like Scotch-brite or steel wool that might scratch it.
    *Remember that many types of natural stone can be damaged if a hot dish is placed directly on it. Use trivets and place mats under dishes or hot pots. Granite is pretty much heat proof.
    *Some natural stone countertops need or benefit from a protective sealant. Your countertop supplier or installer will apply the correct sealant based on the type of stone you choose what you will be using it for.
  • granite-shield-countertop-finish.jpg (22429 bytes)
  • Granite Shield forms a stain-proof barrier on and in the surface, smoothing the uneven nooks and crevices of your countertops. This barrier stops water and stains from entering your stone. Granite Shield will last the lifetime of your countertop. The Granite Shield™ process utilizes the Catalyzing Polymer Carbon Crystal coating system invented by Granite Shield chemists. They then carbonize the surface pores with Crystasheen™ leaving a harder, smoother, glossier surface inside and on top of your natural stone. The Granite Shield process is under warranty for the lifetime of the coated surface against any adverse change to the coated surface, including appearance, visual clarity, and staining of the coated surface. If any such adverse change occurs after the Granite Shield process has been applied, Granite Shield will repair and recoat the applicable surface at Granite Shield's expense. Flooring is under warranty for 5 years. *Etching of marble/travertine/limestone due to acidic liquids is not under warranty. Warranty may be transferred within one year after the Granite Shield application. Granite Shield is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. If you have granite countertops or granite flooring you want sealed, you will need to contact them for an installer in your area or more info. www.graniteshield.net

Do it yourself granite countersDo It Yourself Granite Countertops - is a supplier of discount wholesale double-bullnosed granite countertops, finished backsplash and tiles in a new modular system. The website is a rather rough and tumble place but there might be bargains there.They are a direct importer and supplier so that of various granite stone. They say that almost any kitchen or bath countertop can be constructed just like the pros without any expensive fabrication. Do it Yourself Granite has developed a number of tools for their customers like the Seamstone kit and the kwik-korner jig that make the job of installing easier and better. They will do undermount sink holes for you and reinforce them with steel. Also they do custom bullnosing for smaller islands and special corners.  You will need is an a circular saw and grinder and our product. You could install double-bullnosed 3/4" slab granite countertops in your kitchen or bath for less than half of the price than even the warehouses charge according to their website. Because they sell mostly to novices and homeowners, Do It Yourself gives you the personal advice and service you will need. Looks heavy and tricky to me--but hey--esp. for a small job, I think I'd give them a try. They were featured on a DIY Network show--they have links to the DIY Network web pages. Their website loads slowly--BTW.
www.doityourselfgranite.com

cambria counters CAMBRIA - Natural stone quartz countertops
Cambria is a natural stone quartz surface that can be used for kitchen countertops, bathroom shower surrounds, vanities and more. Cambria is both elegant, practical. Cambria is virtually non-absorbent, greatly reducing the potential for bacterial growth. Unlike granite, you never have to seal or polish Cambria and it comes with a 10-year limited warranty. It is completely non-porous and will not absorb food and liquids like granite can. And best of all, it is maintenance-free. Cambria introduces the Quarry Collection with the look and feel of granite and the high performance of quartz. Cambria is the only producer of quartz solid surfaces in the USA. Generally, Cambria prices are comparable to granite and other high-end countertop options. www.cambriausa.com

Silestone countersSilestone natural quartz stone countertops-- WOW!!! The natural quartz in Silestone delivers a distinctive depth, brilliant clarity, glimmering radiance and cool, solid feel unique to natural stones. Because it is non-porous, Silestone’s polished surface doesn't’t need to be sealed. Granite, marble and limestone, on the other hand, must be sealed on installation and resealed regularly to prevent staining. Silestone offers benefits that outperform other surfaces, such as scratch and scorch resistance that can't be matched by plastic or solid surfaces, and resistance to stains that can't be matched by even sealed granite or marble. Silestone can be used in virtually any indoor surfacing application, including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, tub and shower surrounds, backsplashes, floors, walls, wet bars, tabletops, desktops, fireplace surrounds, and more. SileStone has widespread availability, and with over 48 colors available in the U.S., and virtually unlimited edge designs to choose from. In North America, Silestone is available through approximately 3,500 retailers including all EXPO Design Center stores, Home Depot locations, e-counters.com, as well as a variety of kitchen and bath retailers, cabinet shops, tile/flooring outlets, designers’ showrooms, architectural firms, builders. Only three other natural minerals — diamond, sapphire and topaz – are harder than quartz, making Silestone naturally scratch-resistant. Quartz is a seven in strength on Mohs Hardness Scale (diamond is a 10). Silestone requires very little maintenance. Simply wipe your Silestone surface with soap and warm water on a regular basis to maintain its beauty and shine. www.silestone.com  or www.silestoneusa.com
You can actually order these incredible Silestone countertops online !! www.e-counters.com

Soapstone is actually a talc quarried product such as granite or slate. Soapstone is from Vermont or Brazil and the cost is comparable to granite or slate. Soapstone countertops in your kitchen are a natural, non-porous material, which means it won't stain and isn't affected by chemicals, acids, temperatures, etc. You can use mineral oil to darken soapstone if you wish. Sinks and countertops are cut to size and fabricated at a mill for custom kitchens. Since 1856 Vermont Soapstone has been the nations leading fabricator of soapstone sinks, countertops and fireplaces. They stand by their warranty of a lifetime guarantee. Soapstone is the stone-of-choice for luxury kitchen and bathroom countertops. It is a metamorphic stone with a soft, warm feel. Soapstone is resistant to chemicals, acid, water, and heat. No foods will stain it. You may take hot pots off the stove and sit them right on the stone without burning it. Light sanding will remove most scratches. Soapstone has a blue, green, or gray cast when mined. If it is treated with mineral oil the color deepens to its more typical rich, veined, charcoal gray.  

Catherine Lagot, Artisans of France-- imports French Enameled Lavastone for kitchen countertops and tabletop uses. The natural stone is extracted from ancient volcanic lava flows overlooking villages in France. The slabs of stone are then covered with enamel and fired. Available in various colors, the surface is fireproof and perfect for food preparation and cooking both indoors and outdoors. www.catherinelagot.com

Wood Countertops--hardwood kitchen counter tops can be more durable than most people think. It resists water, heat, and stains when sealed with oil.  Scratches or stains can be sanded away and the whole thing re-oiled. www.craft-art.com  

Pyrolave is enameled lava. It is hardened at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and has a natural hard enameled finish. Pyrolave was created in 1987and is now located in Castelsarras in (France). The most modern techniques are used both in the computer-aided drawing, design and manufacturing systems, the self-adapting firing control and the décor creation and reproduction methods. Pyrolave only manufactures to order so very unique countertops and kitchen surfaces can be achieved. Constructed from natural lava rock from the volcanic flows from Volvic in France and then hand enameled, Pyrolave creates the ultimate luxurious worktop surface. Each lavastone slab is unique since the pores of the lava gently change the pigmentation of each piece. Meanwhile delicate crazings, which enhance with use, 'lace' the surface giving Pyrolave an appearance that is something like the look of fine ceramic. It can be used both indoors and outdoors for applications such as countertops, floors, walls, and decorative motifs. Because of its inherent hardness reinforced by the firing process, the surface is one of the most resistant to shock and scratching. It is also unaffected by thermic shocks, frost or direct contact with flame and is impermeable to water, greases, alcohol and cleaning products. The surface also requires zero maintenance with cleaning completed with a wet sponge or light detergent.   Pyrolave products are distributed in several countries, the main ones being: Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, etc. An unlimited choice of colors with more than 5000 registered !  Pyrolave, is available in the UK exclusively from Taurostone.   http://www.taurostone.com/html/pyrolave.asp  

Granite emitting Radiation--

New information about possible hazards of granite and stone countertops. Recent article in NYT told of countertops of granite emitting unacceptable levels of radiation. "Allegations that granite countertops may emit dangerous levels of radon and radiation have been raised periodically over the past decade, mostly by makers and distributors of competing countertop materials. The Marble Institute of America has said such claims are “ludicrous” because although granite is known to contain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat.

Health physicists and radiation experts agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon at extremely low levels. They say these emissions are insignificant compared with so-called background radiation that is constantly raining down from outer space or seeping up from the earth’s crust, not to mention emanating from manmade sources like X-rays, luminous watches and smoke detectors.

But with increasing regularity in recent months, the Environmental Protection Agency has been receiving calls from radon inspectors as well as from concerned homeowners about granite countertops with radiation measurements several times above background levels. “We’ve been hearing from people all over the country concerned about high readings,” said Lou Witt, a program analyst with the agency’s Indoor Environments Division.

The E.P.A. recommends taking action if radon gas levels in the home exceeds 4 pico curies per liter of air (a measure of radioactive emission); about the same risk for cancer as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes per day."

Something to consider when choosing a counter top material...

Combo--Natural and Resin Solid Countertop Materials

Granite Transformations Stone CountertopsGranite Transformations--this is a company with franchised offices all over the USA. The first Granite Transformations franchise opened in 1996 in Perth, Australia. The product line of  Rocksolid Granit™, Cristallino™ and Mosaics is manufactured from stone and granite slabs that are approximately 95% natural granite stone with specially formulated polymer. They measure your existing counter tops and make thin, perfect-fit countertop coverings of granite to attach over old countertop surface. People in forums that have used them all seem pleased, altho their prices are not especially inexpensive. Color choices are somewhat limited, IMHO.  Some people seem to think they could get real solid thick granite counters for the same or just a bit more, but then not everyone wants to rip out what they have underneath. That is a bigger job requiring more down-time. Granite Transformations can come do your whole job in one day ! www.granitetransformations.com 

Technistone is a world leader in quartz surface innovations with an international reputation for excellence and unparalleled quality.
Technistone's colors are considered by many as the most beautiful in the industry. This isn’t by chance. The 20 colors are the result of over 1000 colors developed and test marketed by Technistone. Technistone is made using a combination of 93 % Quartz, Quartz Silica, Granite or Recycled Mirror*, combined with 7 % resin, colors and binders. Unlike Granite, Technistone is much stronger having a flexural strength of over 4 times that of natural stone. Technistone is 99.9% solid; zero porosity means no place for dangerous bacteria or microorganisms such as salmonella to grow and accumulate. Oil, sodas, wine, water and common household chemicals have no effect on Technistone. Technistone is literally a “Super-natural stone”. Unlike plastic based Solid Surface materials like Corian, Technistone is highly scratch and heat resistant. Technistone comes standard with an easy to maintain high gloss finish not possible with solid surface.  www.technistone.com

quartz-countertop.jpg (11940 bytes)LG Viatera--LG Viatera is composed of quartz blended with polymer resins and colorfast pigments. The manufacturing process takes place under intense heat and pressure. LG Viatera is 93% natural quartz providing an extremely durable surface. Launched in 2004, the LG Viatera brand is trying to make its name in the surfacing industry. LG Viatera does not need topical sealing, allowing for very little maintenance. LG Viatera appeals to those who prefer the elegant look of stone, but desire a product that is easy to maintain and like all LG countertop surfacing products, is backed by a 15 year warranty. Currently available in 12 countertop colors. www.lgviatera.com

HanStone--Composed of natural quartz, HanStone from the Hanwha L&C Corporation is the perfect surfacing material for today’s design-savvy consumers who demand effectiveness and low maintenance combined with an authentically natural and elegant stone look. HanStone has already been successfully launched in Asia and Europe under the brand name Khanstone. HanStone will offer this engineered stone technology in more than fifteen colors to the U.S. market in starting in 2005. This is a non-porous, harder and stronger alternative to granite that will be available in the preferred 55” wide slab. HanStone is backed by a 10 year limited warranty. Hanwha L&C Corporation’s parent company, Hanwha Group is an international conglomerate based in Korea. The U.S.A. offices are in California. www.hanex-i.com

Solid Surface International Expo--The International Expo of Kitchen Counters----March 16-18 2006Las Vegas, Nevada  www.SolidSurfaceExpo.com  

Suppliers:


CHINA NEWSTAR STONE CO. China Exporter and manufacturer of various granite, marble, slate, sandstone ,quartzite, pebble, countertops, vanity, worktops, stone sinks & bowls, tub surround, window sills ,tiles, slabs, fireplace etc and accessory stainless steel sinks, ceramic sinks, faucets, and cabinets www.stone-export.com

A Cost Saving Alternative:

Kuehn Bevel -- a manufacturer of quality decorative edge molding products -- including laminate bevel edge, solid surface edges and hardwood accent edges for laminate countertops. Decorative edges can be used to give a custom look and be creative in your designs. Countertops, table and door edges, chair rails, window sills, and baseboard can all be color coordinated. Laminate is manufactured in thousands of colors and KUEHN Bevel allows you to personalize your edges by mixing and matching any color combination from any manufacturer. Decorative bevel edges allow you to mix and match any brand laminate in any color to create a distinctive custom look of solid surface without a custom solid surface price. www.kuehnbevel.com

Kitchen Accessories, Faucets, Hardware

 

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