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Choices for kitchen countertops?

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  • Charlene
    In light of the news surrounding granite countertops, I ve decided against installing them. I would like to hear from other CRL members about what kind of
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 31 1:54 PM
      In light of the news surrounding granite countertops, I've decided against installing them.
      I would like to hear from other CRL members about what kind of countertops they have installed in their kitchens and the pros and cons now that they have used them for awhile.
      I'd prefer to only consider alternatives that are readily available in Costa Rica.
      Thank you




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    • villaslaspalmas
      Good ol Formica is available at EPA in Escazu. Huge color selection, durable and cut resistent, easy to work with, very inexpensive.
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 31 3:01 PM
        Good ol Formica is available at EPA in Escazu. Huge color selection,
        durable and cut resistent, easy to work with, very inexpensive.
      • Kayo
        Charlene, What is the news abiut granite countertops you are refering to. I have them now and am thinking of installing some more in another house I have.
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 31 3:06 PM
          Charlene,
          What is the news abiut granite countertops you are refering to. I have them now and am thinking of installing some more in another house I have.
          thanks
          kayo



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        • Jim
          ... Kayo, I hadn t heard of any negative news about granite, either. However, a Google search led me to an article that indicates that some granite countertops
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 31 3:37 PM
            > What is the news about granite countertops you are refering to? kayo
            >


            Kayo, I hadn't heard of any negative news about granite, either.
            However, a Google search led me to an article that indicates that some
            granite countertops emit a very high level of radon, and there may be
            cause for some concern. See the following:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/garden/24granite.html

            Jim P



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          • adriennesgrandma
            ... kayo ... Perhaps the kit mentioned should be used before one buys granite...
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 31 3:53 PM
              --- In CostaRicaLiving@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <costaricaslim@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > > What is the news about granite countertops you are refering to?
              kayo
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >From snopes http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/granite.asp

              Perhaps the kit mentioned should be used before one buys granite...
            • elle
              This news has been around for some time in the building and living green communities both on the web and in real life. Though some granite countertops show
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 31 4:00 PM
                This news has been around for some time in the 'building and living green' communities
                both on the web and in real life. Though some granite countertops show no radon when
                tested, others, especially some of the exotic coloration-ie:the really pretty ones, have
                areas where radon and radiation levels are more than the 'allowable' exposure to radon
                and radiation that a human should be exposed to. There are blogs with the actual data
                but I havent saved the url's.

                A couple of years ago, my upwardly mobile eldest son installed beautiful granite
                countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms of his new home. I had read the articles and
                bought an inexpensive radon detector, took it to his house and set it up in his sons
                bathroom-where the countertop is right at gonad level if you get my drift. Though
                actually I think radon is inhaled and decays in the lungs and thats where the major cancer
                issues are, not sperm cell exposure, but my son freaked out when the thought of that
                popped into his head.

                He pulled 15K worth of counters out that weekend and installed poured concrete.

                He is also in ligitation with the counter top company that sold and installed the counters-
                though I doubt he will get his 15K back.

                Just my FYI

                elle in oregon
              • Jon
                This is news to me so I googled granite counter tops in Google News. The first one I read, Aug 11, 2008, reads: To properly measure radon, one must
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 31 7:01 PM
                  This is news to me so I googled "granite counter tops" in Google News.
                  The first one I read, Aug 11, 2008, reads:

                  "To properly measure radon, one must calculate the emission rate in
                  connection with the area of granite and the volume of air in the
                  home," he said. "Much like paint fumes do, radon generally will dilute
                  into a home's air. These concentrated emissions will generally dilute
                  down to harmless levels. To get even close to the type of dangerous
                  levels of radon exposure that's been reported in news articles
                  recently, a consumer would have to completely seal off the room and
                  stay in that room 24/7 -- for 72 years."

                  http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/experts-research-agree-granite-countertops/story.aspx?guid={E8DDE5D2-0D84-4663-81F3-898B9FCBED2B}&dist=hppr

                  That's enough for me not to lose any sleep.

                  Jon
                • Charlene
                  Someone mentioned poured concrete counter tops..............anyone have them and what do you like or not like about them? I know that there is formica but you
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 31 7:04 PM
                    Someone mentioned poured concrete counter tops..............anyone have them and what do you like or not like about them?
                    I know that there is formica but you can't put any hot pots down on it because it burns and I've heard that formica scratches terribly.
                    Any thoughts?
                     
                    Charlene Fertig
                    Sales & Rentals of Apts, Condos & Homes 
                    Home/Office (506) 2-220-0361 Cell (506) 8-825-2604





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                  • Jon
                    Hi Charlene, Another option would be stainless steel. I haven t used it and I don t know who would install it, but I m sure it has to be available in CR
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 31 8:37 PM
                      Hi Charlene,

                      Another option would be stainless steel. I haven't used it and I
                      don't know who would install it, but I'm sure it has to be available
                      in CR because it's what most restaurant kitchens have.

                      Here's a general link :

                      http://www.stainlesssteelkitchen.com/countertops.html

                      To tie in the granite/radon discussion to Costa Rica, I would think it
                      would be less of a problem in CR because of the way the homes are
                      made. They are not airtight so there is more airflow compared to a
                      house uses air conditioning and heating. My ceilings are gypsum, so
                      that is sealed pretty well, but I have nothing under my doors to
                      prevent the 6 legged creatures from visiting. And we have the doors
                      and windows open 365 days of the year during all daylight hours.
                      Pretty common in the central valley I would think.

                      Jon
                    • costaricabygps
                      ... I was considering poured concrete and did a small scale experiment. It looks pretty if done right but not super durable. Hard to repair scratches AND
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 31 11:08 PM
                        > Someone mentioned poured concrete counter tops...

                        I was considering poured concrete and did a small scale experiment. It
                        looks pretty if done right but not super durable. Hard to repair
                        scratches AND possible to chip.

                        Decided against it.

                        Wave,
                        GPSGary
                      • ojochal1
                        ... We are getting the Florida house ready to sell and researching counter tops for the kitchen. Here is a quick reference on the pros and cons of different
                        Message 11 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                          --- In CostaRicaLiving@yahoogroups.com, Charlene <gringuita_nyc@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Someone mentioned poured concrete counter tops..............
                          We are getting the Florida house ready to sell and researching counter
                          tops for the kitchen. Here is a quick reference on the pros and cons
                          of different types.

                          http://interiordec.about.com/od/kitchencounters/tp/tp_countertops.htm

                          Personally for CR I like tile, but without asking us our contractor
                          substituted granite (it was a "surprise" gift for us) for the tiles we
                          spent so much time selecting and we have had to smile and live with it
                          (its nice, but not what we had wanted). Tile work is so nice in CR so
                          often, and I think fits the decor, easiest to repair, etc. Just seal
                          the grout well. Formica is not the Formica of old by the way. Hope
                          this list helps some.
                        • mrlee@email.com
                          we have built two homes here, and both had/have concrete countertops throughout. we are very happy with our choice. using your imagination can customize them.
                          Message 12 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                            we have built two homes here, and both had/have concrete countertops
                            throughout. we are very happy with our choice. using your imagination
                            can customize them. we put sea shells in the concrete and when the final
                            sand/polish was done, found the colors really neat. we also have no
                            ceramics on the floor; all poured concrete in patterns and colors. you
                            can put virtually anythng on a concrete counterop, and we have never had
                            anything chip. using rounded corners helps.

                            mrlee in jaco

                            --
                            Nothing says Labor Day like 500hp of American muscle
                            Visit OnCars.com today.



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                          • John French
                            We installed granito countertops in our new home. Expensive, elegant, remarkably hard. The cost is high, and depends to some extent on the color, and even
                            Message 13 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                              We installed "granito" countertops in our new home. Expensive,
                              elegant, remarkably hard. The cost is high, and depends to some
                              extent on the color, and even quarry. There are a number of dealers
                              and installers.

                              John French
                            • John French
                              Regarding radon contamination of granito -- i use saccharin. There are so many risks from so many exposures that you would either have to stay out of your
                              Message 14 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                Regarding radon contamination of granito -- i use saccharin. There
                                are so many risks from so many exposures that you would either have
                                to stay out of your house to avoid the risks in it, or never leave to
                                avoid the risks outside. Your choice.

                                I don't remember how far i took my examination of this question, but
                                i took it far enough to assuage my minimal concerns. But i suppose
                                you could get the specific granito you have chosen tested, and make a
                                decision based on that. And factor in the expected length of exposure.

                                John French
                              • soon2banexpat
                                ... there was a report a few weeks ago that said granite emits radon and therefore causes cancer. who knew? certainly not me because i installed 21 linear
                                Message 15 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                  --- In CostaRicaLiving@yahoogroups.com, "Kayo" <vivache@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Charlene,
                                  > What is the news abiut granite countertops



                                  there was a report a few weeks ago that said granite emits radon and
                                  therefore causes cancer. who knew? certainly not me because i
                                  installed 21 linear feet of granite in my kitchen. what do i do now,
                                  rip it all out? is this just another stupid scare? thankfully my
                                  granite is not in the color range that was deemed to be more dangerous -
                                  - those colors being the pinks and purples (the ones that emit the most
                                  radon). sheesh. it's always something.
                                • Kayo
                                  Hello, Do not worry about problems with granite counter tops for two reasons, one Jon is correct here houses are not weather trimmed and tight as in the
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                    Hello,
                                    Do not worry about problems with ''granite'' counter tops for two reasons, one Jon is correct here houses are not weather trimmed and tight as in the states. The other reason is in Costa Rica they do not even sell granite... they sell ''granito''....
                                    simple huh.
                                    Kayo :)




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                                  • henry kantrowitz
                                    ojochal mentioned tiles.  we have had tile in most places we have lived.  it is inexpensive compared to granite and is generally easy to clean and very
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                      ojochal mentioned tiles.  we have had tile in most places we have lived.  it is inexpensive compared to granite and is generally easy to clean and very durable.  there is also a huge variety of tiles to pick from. 
                                      another option is marmol.  i think it is similar to granite in looks but is less expensive.  you can contact this company:
                                      La Casa Del Marmol, Costa Rica 
                                      Contact Person: Mr. Christian Hernandez 
                                      Address: 100 Sur 75 Oeste Iglesia Sagrada Familia, San Jose
                                      Telephone: 3827896
                                      henry




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                                    • Alys Esmond
                                      I guess Radon could be a concern, but in an airy house I don t think it s a significant one. I love the way that the granites look but will not consider them
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                        I guess Radon could be a concern, but in an airy house I don't think
                                        it's a significant one. I love the way that the granites look but will
                                        not consider them because of their porosity: it requires special
                                        cleaners to keep them sanitary and you can ruin the counter by using
                                        common household cleaners.

                                        I thought about tile and love the way that tile looks, but that grout
                                        can be an issue. Even sealed you've got all these little channels that
                                        are difficult to maintain clean and sanitary.

                                        Couldn't even fathom stainless steel, the sound and feel of them makes
                                        my skin crawl. I clearly have spent too much time in vet clinics and
                                        grooming salons.

                                        I like composites like Corian and quartz Silestone. They both have that
                                        gorgeous look and are non-porous and you can use regular household
                                        cleaners on them. They are not cheap, you can find cheaper granite
                                        (perhaps that's the radiating one???), but their life expectancy will
                                        make them very viable. They are also both very durable.
                                      • thepeatman
                                        Does anyone have any leads on who makes concrete counter tops in the central valley? I would ask our building s developer, but generally the answer is eso no
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                          Does anyone have any leads on who makes concrete counter tops in the
                                          central valley? I would ask our building's developer, but generally
                                          the answer is "eso no existe"...

                                          pjk
                                        • Jon
                                          ... I ve heard this before, implying there is a difference. Do you know what the difference is? Jon
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                            > in Costa Rica they do not even sell granite... they sell ''granito''....


                                            I've heard this before, implying there is a difference. Do you know
                                            what the difference is?

                                            Jon
                                          • henry kantrowitz
                                            it was mentioned that you can do different designs with concrete countertops including using sea shells to add to the beauty.  it was also mentioned that the
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Sep 1, 2008
                                              it was mentioned that you can do different designs with concrete countertops including using sea shells to add to the beauty.  it was also mentioned that the grout in tile can be unsanitary and last granite countertops only produce small amounts of radon.
                                              i would like to respond to these comments.  i am sure you are not surprised.  yes the sea shells do look nice in the countertop.  i have seen mr. lee's counters.  i would like to suggest using something else.  sea shells serve a purpose to many creatures living in the sea or on the beach.  hermit crab populations are extremely threatened in costa rica because of the removal of their homes, sea shells.  we don't need another reason to take sea shells from their natural habitat.  there is also some type of law that prohibits the removal of sea shells on certain or all beaches here in costa rica.
                                              the grout being unsanitary might be true but i have never known anyone getting sick from the dirty grout on the kitchen counter.  it might be a problem for someone that is ocd but for others don't worry you will live.  probably 90% of tico homes have tile countertops.
                                              as for radon, we say it is such small quantities that it isn't harmful.  i think what is harmful is all of the chemicals that we inhale, drink and eat all add up.  when you have small amounts of lots of different toxins it can't be good for us.  we underestimate all of the harmful environmental factors we absorb daily.  maybe that is just one of many reasons cancer rates, heart disease and new mental problems are occuring more and more.  i would think twice about adding radon to your environment.  remember asbestos?
                                              henry




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                                            • jessicab522
                                              Are Quartz countertops available in CR? I prefer them over granite, as far as maintenance goes.
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Sep 2, 2008
                                                Are Quartz countertops available in CR? I prefer them over granite,
                                                as far as maintenance goes.
                                              • Alys Esmond
                                                Are Quartz countertops available in CR? I prefer them over granite, as far as maintenance goes.... I saw them in Escazu at Interiors Costado Sur de
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Sep 2, 2008
                                                  Are Quartz countertops available in CR? I prefer them over granite,
                                                  as far as maintenance goes....

                                                  I saw them in Escazu at "Interiors"
                                                  Costado Sur de Perimercados
                                                  20 m. oeste de Pizza Hut
                                                  San Rafael de Escazu

                                                  They had the name brand Silestone and others.

                                                  Alys
                                                • orosi_riley
                                                  For concrete work, check out: http://www.kemiko.com/index.htm If they don t use concrete for counter tops, they can tell you who does. Regards, Steve Riley
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Sep 4, 2008
                                                    For concrete work, check out:
                                                    http://www.kemiko.com/index.htm
                                                    If they don't use concrete for counter tops, they can tell you who does.
                                                    Regards,
                                                    Steve Riley
                                                    www.paradisepeak.com
                                                    www.vrbo.com/97733
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