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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017 edited
    Posted By: Victorianeco

    Is there a preferred supplier for wodden worktops? Preferably cheap?

    A few eBay sellers do 4000 x 620 x 40 beech worktop lengths for 130 delivered, 170 for oak

    Get an over mount sink.. Or dissuade her by pointing out the potential for getting splinters in h
    We have a wooden worktop in the bathroom and I wouldn't do it again. You need to be very careful mopping up splashes from the sink as others have said, otherwise we find it stains quite badly.
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
    I used bamboo flooring as a worktop in my last bathroom. That worked very well. Epoxied it all together and used some extra coats of varnish over the bamboo for good luck.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
    I was going to say bamboo. Rock hard.

    What about plywood, can it be treated to be similarly tough?

    Is plywood a sub-type of cross laminated timber?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
    Posted By: gravelldI was going to say bamboo. Rock hard.
    What about plywood, can it be treated to be similarly tough?
    Is plywood a sub-type of cross laminated timber?

    Plywood, theoretically can be made from any timber but usually, commercially, isn't. The laminations in the main are relatively thin veneers.
    Bamboo, botanically a grass, is usually laminated up for worktops in thicker "veneers" , than is the norm for standard timber plywood. Worktops in bamboo @ 40mm often are made up of 9 cross plys i.e. about 4.5mm each.
    Plywood too can be obtained as "technical" panels where thicker external constructional veneers with a solid engineered core are used.
    Worktop suitability for all such laminated products often rests on the adhesive used in manufacture and the surface protection after fitting, plus of course the natural porosity of the material itself.
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
    The bamboo I used was 'stranded' flooring, so individual fibres held together by some resin or other. I 'laminated' two pieces together with epoxy, each was 14 mm or so thick. Purpose made product may very well be different of course. Note that stranded bamboo is way harder than hardwoods let alone plywood, and is sold explicitly as suitable for bathrooms and other wet environments unlike most timber products.

    So whilst there's no way I personally would consider a wood worktop, I would be happy to consider a bamboo one. In reality though, I went with another Duropal laminate one. The last one we had wore sufficiently well that I was happy to go for the same again, and my carpenters were very competent to do the installation.
    • CommentAuthorGotanewlife
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2017 edited
    Posted By: djhNote that stranded bamboo is way harder than hardwoods let alone plywood
    All my floors are stranded. The DWalt 2nd fix nail gun couldn't get a nail into the skirting let alone through it. Left a little scratch!! BUT it is the finish that is the problem. Don't use wood for kitchen worktops is also my advice.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2017
    IMO laminates are fine for straight runs where there are no cut outs or shaped ends or ideally maybe even joins,- period.
    For the rest you need to look at stuff that can be shaped, effectively bonded, is naturally sealed, (i.e. mineral) either natural or man made,
    I've never used bamboo worktops but I'm investigating it for a current project. I'll probably end up using granite or quartz. I like some marbles but I'm worried at their susceptibility to acid, and scratching.
    I work wood for a living,- love the stuff, and I've installed several wood worktops but you have to accept its limitations and vulnerabilities and design accordingly, sink styles etc.
    • CommentAuthormuddy
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2017
    I persuaded my wife that corian was the best for a worktop. We'd previously had staved beech, but you had to be meticulous cleaning up spills and reoiling. Use timber for the doors. The clean lines and no joins that you can do with corian make it easy to clean and you can get stone like finishes. The best bit is you can pick it up on eBay and you can use wood working tools to cut and polish it. Joints are glued using a 2 part adhesive and are polished out to be invisible. So even if the eBay bargain doesn't configure your design you can chop and change and reglue it. So in that respect, it's recyclable!
    • CommentAuthormuddy
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2017
    By the way, corian is the trade name. I think solid surface is a more general term.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2017
    'Composite stone' worktop (or just 'composite worktop') is the generic term I've come across...
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2017
    Corian an acrylic polymer usually with mineral additives, is the original solid surface, there are numerous copycats, e.g. Wilsonart, Avonite and many more that have popped up; since Du Ponts license ran out; I think.
    They are mostly bonded to MDF or Chipboard or to themselves to build up worktop thickness or machining thicknesses. They can be thermoformed.

    Composite agglomerates, a mix of resins and usually Quartz, Granite, Marble or other minerals, or a mixture up to 95%. It is cast, sawn and polished, often to mimic natural granite or marble. Many are vey good indeed, and to the layman you could be forgiven for not recognising that they are man made. Some like Silestone, Caesarstone and most others others have mainly quite even, small granular appearance. Others especially the marble agglomerates can have relatively large chunks in their make up. They are treated like granite for machining and cutting purposes and usually sold in 20,30 and occasionally 40mm thicknesses. Not usually bonded to substrate simply used as a rigid slab. No thermoforming.

    I suppose they are all "solid surface" in that the structure goes all the way through.
    Solid Surface -

    I've not had it myself but good friends have. Too pale and it stains (creamy white wasn't a good idea in a family that did a lot of Indian cooking). It's fairly soft which means you can scotchbrite out stains but it also means it scratches. Other friends have a mid grey that seems to be wearing well, if appearing a bit uninteresting.

    The dark colours look great in the showroom but lots of warnings that they scratch pale.

    Posted By: owlmanThey are treated like granite for machining and cutting purposes

    Though not for drilling - I had a Rubi diamond tile drill that fits to an angle grinder for dealing with porcelain tiles (excellent by the way). The resin in Silestone destroyed it in a single hole.

    Very happy with our Silestone - looks good, cleans easily, impervious to lemon juice etc, haven't stained or chipped it in 18 months at least.

    We had an area of granite in the last house which was fine but most of kitchen was custom stainless steel (which we've used in the utility room this time). It gets a patina of scratches over time but very easy to live with. Price for custom stainless seems to vary a huge amount. Ours came from DSM Engineering in Nottingham who came in nearly half the price of the most expensive quote I got.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2017
    Did you use water as a lubricant when drilling?
    I have a few diamond hole cutters and use them successfully on marble agglomerate 12mm tiles. I place the tile on a plywood board on the floor and direct a constant slow hose onto the area with a pilot hose drilled first. For shaping I use a special dry diamond disc in my angle grinder.
    I have heard that the Corian type products can be difficult to rout even with the special router cutters. I guess the polymer may melt if you go too fast, It'll be all about getting the right "feel" for the material. Not dissimilar to wild grained wood.
    Posted By: owlmanDid you use water as a lubricant when drilling?...
    I have heard that the Corian type products can be difficult to rout ..... I guess the polymer may melt if you go too fast, It'll be all about getting the right "feel" for the material.

    No water - these http://www.buybrandtools.com/acatalog/Rubi-Dry-Diamond-Drills.html are meant to be used dry, with an angle grinder, so at very high speed. They are very effective and quick on super hard porcelain but obviously generated far too much heat/melted the polymer/whatever with the Silestone. I only had one hole to drill so didn't get a chance to find out. I did have to buy a new drill to put a few more holes in our Porcelain tiles though.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2017
    Corian is great in my experience. We had a darkish grey one, slightly flecked, a bit like concrete. Scratches were rare and when it did scratch you just rubbed it a bit with some olive oil and it disappeared. Or waited a few days and it was gone.

    Very cool because you can melt on site and have upstands blended to the counter, plus sinks etc.

    It is definitely not composite stone, it's a polymer plastic thing.
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2017
    We have an ex-chemistry-bench-top timber worktop (and a shelf) in our kitchen. It's on its second house now, so I guess we've had it 15 years. It's beautiful and still in excellent fettle. It has some tung oil about every 5 years. I don't know what it's made of - something like iroko. I do like a wooden worktop myself. One day we'll get round to a kitchen refurb and will have to decide what to do. 50s chemistry benches are probably hard to come by these days.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2017
    Quite possibly Teak, wookey. I picked some up years ago from a classroom re-furb, I knew the caretaker and they were being scrapped. I made a nice shipboard dining table for a boat mad friend from some of them, and a few quid for myself in the bargain.
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2017
    I've fitted beech several times and would always use it again. Lots of sources and it's very good value. I treat it with Ikea "Behandla" which is very easy to use, water based and no solvents. Maybe another coat 6-monthly. Once a year a quick going over with wire wool takes it back down enough for a re-coat. The latter takes seconds with a rag.

    It develops the odd mark, - but so do we. So that's fine for me. A few marks are in fact desirable, since a usable kitchen is much more use than a precious one :)

    Current kitchen has a re-purposed victorian marble fireplace back as a "wet area" for kettle and drinks prep.
    I also wouldn't recommend letting a sink into it since water will affect it. Go for an onset-type sink.
    I built a fully steel peninsula sink top area with an old commercial stainless sink, so the beech areas never really get any water on them - other than a wet lettuce.
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