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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020
     
    On final stages of our build and exploring options for kitchen worktop. Was thinking slate though found out the stuff more in my budget (less than 1k) is from Brazil. We live in West Wales and is wondering if any stone or composite options which are both durable and easy on eye. We are going with an inset stainless sink so any top must be cut to fit and also include drainage grooves. Any advice or recommendations welcome.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020
     
    I pondered long and hard about ours, and eventually chose granite, CNC cut, no regrets and I'm well pleased with the result. I went for a simple, large rectangular inset sink ( no drainer ), it's excellent for oven trays and the like. I then fitted it with a loose perforated tray which sits on the sink rim and can be slid left and right. It acts as a dish drainer, veg prep. drainer etc., for extra dish draining space we use a simple folded tea towel direct on the worktop; no drain grooves to mar the granite surface.
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020
     
    For an off the beaten track alternative with a lower co2 footprint, I went for a worktop put together from sheets of recycled plastic provided by Smile Plastics. Many different (custom!) designs available, temperature resistant up to 140 C, so you don't have to be overly careful. It looks great and is very easy to clean.
  1.  
    We went for Oak Plank last time, stainless sink with drainer - opening for sink about half way along, cut out by kitchen fitter, lifted very carefully into place by me and him!
    Supplied by Norfolk Oak and very nice it was too. We intend to use them again this time but with a different sink; (ceramic multi-sink type thing - see pic below) and full depth of the worktop front-to-back so no hole to cut, just 2 straight lengths of worktop that butt up to it.

    Not sure about drainer though, might use Owlman's suggestion, or jut use one of the sinks.
      kitchen sink.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLF
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020
     
    Plastic does not drain very well from experience. I thought at first the grooves were not sloping but they are.
    We have a solid surface with underset stainless sink but surface tension is too high to let it drain well and it takes a long time to dry as water does not spread out to a thin easily evaporated layer. Bit like plastic stuff in the dishwasher.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020
     
    Re inset sink, I think that you might mean underslung

    I hate underslung, unhygienic, problematic, hard edges round bowl can cause breakages, grooves do work but water tends to lie between them :(
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: LFPlastic does not drain very well from experience. I thought at first the grooves were not sloping but they are.
    We have a solid surface with underset stainless sink but surface tension is too high to let it drain well and it takes a long time to dry as water does not spread out to a thin easily evaporated layer. Bit like plastic stuff in the dishwasher.

    I disagree. My plastic worktop looks almost hydrophobic. After wiping it with a cloth it is almost instant dry. But there is plastic and there is plastic, of course.
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020
     
    Thanks all. I forgot to mention that we are off grid relying on solar and fuelwood for our power. As such we do not have a dishwasher. So drainage is important, as is sink size. Nothing definitive yet, would welcome more comments and photos. Cheers!
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: owlmanI pondered long and hard about ours, and eventually chose granite, CNC cut, no regrets and I'm well pleased with the result. I went for a simple, large rectangular inset sink ( no drainer ), it's excellent for oven trays and the like. I then fitted it with a loose perforated tray which sits on the sink rim and can be slid left and right. It acts as a dish drainer, veg prep. drainer etc., for extra dish draining space we use a simple folded tea towel direct on the worktop; no drain grooves to mar the granite surface.


    Owlman, the granite sounds interesting. I'm not sure it's within our budget though will check it out. Have you had any problems with your inset sink as Tony suggest? Any chance of seeing a photo with the drainer? Cheers
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: bhommelsFor an off the beaten track alternative with a lower co2 footprint, I went for a worktop put together from sheets of recycled plastic provided by Smile Plastics. Many different (custom!) designs available, temperature resistant up to 140 C, so you don't have to be overly careful. It looks great and is very easy to clean.


    Possible to post a photo os the plastic work top? You are right to say that there are different types of plastics. Done well it's a remarkable material.
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020
     
    Oh dear now I have to find out how to post photos. Hope this works...
      IMG_0293.jpg
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: bhommelsOh dear now I have to find out how to post photos. Hope this works...
      IMG_0293.jpghttp:///newforum/extensions/InlineImages/image.php?AttachmentID=7695" >


    Nice, thank you!
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020
     
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: tonyhttps://www.dropbox.com/s/kg1jpvb5ajldu3t/IMG_0542.JPG?dl=0" >https://www.dropbox.com/s/kg1jpvb5ajldu3t/IMG_0542.JPG?dl=0


    Nice, thanks Tony. We may need a larger drainer as we don't have dishwasher. What type of material is your worktop?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020
     
    Granite, I am our dishwasher 🙂
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020 edited
     
    Apologies for the sizing.
      DSC03614 (2).JPG
      DSC03613.JPG
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2020
     
    Here's the drainer I spoke of.
      DSC03617 (2).JPG
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2020
     
    Posted By: owlmanHere's the drainer I spoke of.
      http:///newforum/extensions/InlineImages/image.php?AttachmentID=7698" alt="DSC03617 (2).JPG" >


    Nice big unit, I see that your sink lip sits over the worktop rather than fixed from underneath. Was there any particular reason for this? Looking online seems there a trend for undermounted.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2020
     
    The trend for undermounted is waning and there is a move back to the more hygienic inset versions now
  2.  
    I think we've had most of the options over the years. My view -

    Quartz/composite (Silestone etc) - Practical and easiest to live with - looks great
    Laminate - CHEAP, practical and easy to live with. The good quality stuff looks good too.
    Wood - Looks great when new but stains and marks easily, especially around the sink
    Granite - fruit juice etc will mark/stain
    Corian type stuff (haven't actually had it but stains in light colours, scratches show in dark)
    Stainless Steel - can have fully integrated sinks and drainers, practical but scratches. Ideal for a utility room.

    Sinks
    - by far the most practical is a 'sit on top' stainless steel with proper draining board
    - grooves cut in stone simply don't work very well and definitely not if you're not going to have a dishwasher so are going to be doing a lot of washing up.
    • CommentAuthorLF
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2020
     
    Agree with Tony - the undermount sink create a nice wet crease for stuff to grow in if not continually cleaned.
    We are about to move kitchen and will be going for a stainless drop in like his. Or maybe we should have resiliconed to fill the crease up. As previous ours does not dry quickly.

    Our solid surface is acrylic based but does not drain and takes a while to dry as a result.
    Other plastics different as per Bhommels. I would always test now. It is brilliant away from sink area and any scratches are easy to sort with a couple of pads and compound. We will reuse when we move the kitchen well over 10 years old. It is 3mm layer - so like a thicker laminate.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: bardo
    Posted By: owlmanHere's the drainer I spoke of.
      http:///newforum/extensions/InlineImages/image.php?AttachmentID=7698" alt="DSC03617 (2).JPG" >


    Nice big unit, I see that your sink lip sits over the worktop rather than fixed from underneath. Was there any particular reason for this? Looking online seems there a trend for undermounted.



    As I said I'm very happy with my removable drainer arrangement because I still have access to the large sink when required. without having to take up valuable worksurface with fixed drainer. The sink itself is a Blanco model one of the few with a strong, rigid, thin-ish rim. Originally I wanted the rim CNC recessed into the worktop to produce a totally flush surface but my choice of granite didn't allow it. However, in the end the 1.2mm sit on isn't noticeable and the underneath screw fixing clamps provide a really tight joint.
    As for fixing methods, undermount is a flawed concept IMO, not only for all the hygiene reasons, mentioned but in the case of 30mm usual thickness granite you can only get about 20mm depth with any sort of epoxied fixing holes to the underside into which you can insert the fixings themselves, and whoever first thought of hanging something as heavy as a ceramic sink from underneath must have been on some sort of drug at the time. I know some build all sorts of supporting substructure or design cabinets just to act as extra support, but why.
    In the case of wood worktops you usually end up with exposed end-grain and all the problems that creates simply for some debatable aesthetic concept.

    P.S.
    Simon says granite stains,- I've not experienced that at all and I've never cleaned it with anything other than water.
  3.  
    Posted By: owlman
    1. Simon says granite stains,- I've not experienced that at all and I've never cleaned it with anything other than water.


    The warnings I had were that acids (lemon juice for example) will dissolve granite. We didn't have it happen, despite our granite worktop being over the drinks cabinet so it must have had a good few G&Ts made on it. However, its very noticeable that lemon juice marks/dissolves our polished concrete floor.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2020
     
    Dissolving the concrete wow! How many freakin' G&Ts are you drinking Simon. :shocked::bigsmile:

    P.S. I heard the acid warnings too re: my stone floor, but I think it must get neutralised in the muddy dog paw prints; or, maybe it just gets licked up along with anything else food related by said canine.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2020
     
    May be thinking of marble which is dissolved by acids as it is composed of CaCO3

    Granite is pretty inert.
  4.  
    I did a surface mount sink and Vicostone for all the good reasons people mentioned so far!

    Paul in Montreal.
      kitchen-sink.jpeg
  5.  
    The OP is looking for something within a budget and also something sustainable.

    We had laminate and granite and beech in various different kitchens and I would definitely go for oiled beech again. It was warm and pleasant to touch and work on, looked great and was locally grown and will be easy to recycle someday. We had heard the stories about how it would stain, but at the time it was a lot cheaper than granite so we thought we could afford to replace it - but that wasn't necessary. We reoiled it every 5 years or so and used glass protectors around the cooker. It still looked great after 14 years when we marketed the house. The sink was a normal stainless job with integrated stainless drainer.

    The worktop, splashback, cupboard doors and flooring need to look good together so should ideally be chosen together - no good having polished high gloss doors with a rough rustic worktop and floor.
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThe OP is looking for something within a budget and also something sustainable.

    We had laminate and granite and beech in various different kitchens and I would definitely go for oiled beech again. It was warm and pleasant to t Ji ouch and work on, looked great and was locally grown and will be easy to recycle someday. We had heard the stories about how it would stain, but at the time it was a lot cheaper than granite so we thought we could afford to replace it - but that wasn't necessary. We reoiled it every 5 years or so and used glass protectors around the cooker. It still looked great after 14 years when we marketed the house. The sink was a normal stainless job with integrated stainless drainer

    The worktop, splashback, cupboard doors and flooring need to look good together so should ideally be chosen together - no good having polished high gloss doors with a rough rustic worktop and floor.



    I’ve been offered some kiln dried beech thick enough and long enough to make a good worktop. I was put off wood Because of previous experiences though if it was treated right I can imagine it would work. What did you use to treat your top?
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
     
    We have a beech block kitchen counter too - it was originally installed by MFI 19 years ago. I've always maintained it, and added an extra bit when we knocked kitchen through to the dining room, and then a small breakfast bar. The add on bits look the same - 40mm thick beech block with 40mm "staves", and it's easy enough to work with a router. I'd take a piccy, but RobL junior is on kitchen-tidy, and, well, it's not so photogenic right now....
    I use "Junckers Clear Rustic oil". I think originally I gave it 4 coats, then I've given it an extra coat on worn parts followed by a full top coat every 5 years. It takes the kitchen out of action for 2-3 days as the oil takes a while to dry. We've had a few accidents - a heavy glass shelf fell on it, corner in, and numerous little cuts. The solution is just to sand it down locally by hand, re-oil. It still all looks good. It is susceptible to water damage at joints I think, so try & keep them away from the sink.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
     
    Not had one myself, but I've seen some recycled glass worktops that have looked very good - as well as being green (or at least greenish).
   
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