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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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      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2020
     
    Posted By: RobLso try & keep them away from the sink.

    Do you have a sit-on sink or an undermount one?
  1.  
    Bardo: >>> "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?"

    We got some special homebrew worktop oil from a renowned local cabinetmaker (couldn't afford a kitchen from them, just the oil). Probably based on linseed oil.

    Just to clarify, the worktop was laminated beech blocks like Rob's, I don't know if solid beech would warp in a kitchen environment, but it would look fantastic.

    We were in discussion with the cabinet makers to give them some of our elm trees that had DED and needed to come down, they would swap for some sawn elm they had already seasoned, but it came to nothing.
  2.  
    We had a wood worktop, despite warnings from a mate who had had one previously. You always swear to keep on top of the oiling routine but life gets in the way. It looks a real mess now and we are looking to replace it (and so I'm happy to steal ideas from your thread).

    I saw your post above:

    Bardo:>>> "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. "

    I saw this a while back on Treehugger. It wouldn't help us as our sink is positioned in front of a window, but if yours isn't it could be worth a go:

    https://www.treehugger.com/kitchen-space-saver-dish-drying-closet-above-sink-4857124
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2020
     
    It seems like anything and just about everything has been turned into kitchen worksurfaces. Wood, Concrete, grass (bamboo), shredded banknotes, etc. etc. and each has its own merits, be it price, longevity, colour, novelty, practicality, ease of maintenance, sustainability, availability, and ease of fitting, to mention a few.
    I've fitted plenty of worktops in my time here's my shortlist:-

    For price:- Go laminate on a particleboard core, but, choose good quality branded stuff. Downside are the joins, plus not much scope for overall design, curves etc., great for straight runs.

    For seamless, waterproofing;- Go Corian and the like, professionally fitted, seamless sinks and upstands, limitless design possibilities. Downside price and price.

    For the rest they come in-between as far as price is concerned; Wood, Granite, Bamboo, the thin laminated solid surface stuff, homemade shuttered stuff, - concrete, poured resins and the like, or metal, I like them all in the right place, but I don't like wood anywhere near water. I like non-absorbent surfaces for food prep e.g. pastry baking and bread making, cold stone is great for this.
    I chose slightly wider worktops than the standard 600mm and I'm glad I did. Choose your sink and tap very carefully they are the weak link.
    I deliberately chose not to position the sink in front of the window, I think that idea is a bit dated. I left the window view for a generous, plain top working area. My sink is located on a plain wall with good overhead lighting.
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2020
     
    Just to add to the economic end of this discussion here's a laminate on particle board. Been in 7 years and still lookng good. Hate draining boards, always make a kitchen look untidy.
      Worktop2.jpg
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: owlman.
    I chose slightly wider worktops than the standard 600mm and I'm glad I did. Choose your sink and tap very carefully they are the weak link.


    This is great advice. We've done it for all our kitchens over the last 20 years and never regretted it. Yes, you lose a small amount of floorspace but unless you're really tight it's well worth it. Much easier putting all services behind as well - less cutting of cupboards.

    Ours is 660 in current house - it's not much, but it means theres space for, say, a washing up liquid bottle behind the sink.
  3.  
    Posted By: Simon Still
    1. Ours is 660 in current house - it's not much, but it means theres space for, say, a washing up liquid bottle behind the sink.


    Just measured mine. The regular countertops are 655mm deep (standard 600mm cabinets) and my sink countertop (in a peninsular) is 710mm.

    Paul in Montreal.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2020
     
    I went for a Corin type 7 years ago. Dark and needs resurfacing now as it has gone a little dull (will look like new once done).

    For me the advantages are,

    will never warp because damp got in the joins.
    Joins are invisible.
    Sanded/polished to a slightly satin appearance
    Odd shapes can be accommodated easily.
    Looks like it will last for ever.

    Disadvantage is that it does scratch but they are not hugely visible.

    One thing I did do that I would always do again now, is put a small (25mm) upstand of the same material along the back, on the wall, then tiled down to that. No little crannies for the muck to gather and spoil the grout - just brilliant.
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2020
     
    Thanks all. Final question. No one here as mentioned slate probably because I said I'm looking for an alternative. As it happens I've been offered some 20 or 30mm slate work tops at a relatively low price. I'd welcome feedback on this.
  4.  
    Posted By: bardoThanks all. Final question. No one here as mentioned slate probably because I said I'm looking for an alternative. As it happens I've been offered some 20 or 30mm slate work tops at a relatively low price. I'd welcome feedback on this.


    Slate can make lovely worktops.
    • CommentAuthorbardo
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2020
     
    Posted By: Simon Still
    Slate can make lovely worktops.


    Have you used it Simon? If so what thickness? Downsides?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2020
     
    A relative has had slate for around a decade and it still looks good, although a lot of the heavy duty work is done on a separate wooden table. All edges and corners are rounded off for safety. They're happy except with the 'draining board' channels next to the sink which, as someone pointed out above regarding stone in general, don't work.

    If you choose to go for a draining area, I'd suggest having a channel cut around its perimeter to at least limit the water spread, and be prepared for the associated mopping and cleaning.

    I guess the other potential downside is that it is very dark, so could make a room lacking in natural light a bit gloomy.
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