Galley counter top material - Page 7 - SailNet Community
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post #61 of 66 Old 10-11-2012
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Re: Galley counter top material

I'm surprised no one has mentioned ceramic tiles yet. I installed mine(2" X 2" tiles) over plastic laminate about 15 years ago and they are still in great shape. They add little discernable weight, resilliant, whatever color you want and attractive. If your laminate is in sound condition, sand with 36 grit paper, use a good waterproof adhesive mastic and epoxy grout and you'll be loving life!
My grout joints have yet to crack or discolor due to it being epoxy grout.

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post #62 of 66 Old 10-11-2012
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Another alternative is soapstone (saratoga soapstone) kinda in between a corian and granite, very elegant looking
But very soft I would imagine.

One of the advantages of granite is that it is very hard, making it pretty much scratch proof and long lasting. I'm thinking of going with granite when I re-do my galley. It's very cheap in Brazil (starting at USD100 per 10 sq. feet, installed).
That is why mentioned saratoga soapstone, it is specifically used in custom counter tops.

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post #63 of 66 Old 10-11-2012
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I built my own soapstone counters at home. Glued up a farmhouse sink and everything.

I'd do my boat counters in a heartbeat out of soapstone.

It is not light. But I doubt you have tons of counterspace.

It does scratch but you just re oil it and you are good to go. Develops a great patina.

Got it from alberene soapstone south of charlottesville va.

They also do soapstone tiles. Sad but no one in the usa can cut stone tiles. They ship their soapstone to China to be cut into tiles and ship it back. It isn't cheap.

The soapstone countertop pieces are very reasonable all things considered and with our weird shapes and dimensions we likely would be able to use some remmnants and off cuts.

You work it wet with diamond blades and it cuts like butter. The dust is epic! Do not do upwind of anyone you like.

You can carve it,turn it,sand it and I do love the stuff.

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post #64 of 66 Old 10-12-2012
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Re: Galley counter top material

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I think lower grade SS can become magnetic, based on how its molded, but I don't think you can rely on a magnet to assure you it is 316.

I know you said, "odds are", but can't really say you would know what odds you were working with.
Actually "odds are" was a manner of speech. It's the iron that rusts in lesser alloys of stainless and it's the iron that the magnet reacts to. No magnetism, no iron, no rust. It's actually a very good test, probably better even then trusting a chandlary that says it's 316. Got this trick from a Pardey book and confirmed it once with a friend who has a masters in metallurgy.

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post #65 of 66 Old 10-13-2012
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Re: Galley counter top material

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Actually "odds are" was a manner of speech. It's the iron that rusts in lesser alloys of stainless and it's the iron that the magnet reacts to. No magnetism, no iron, no rust. It's actually a very good test, probably better even then trusting a chandlary that says it's 316. Got this trick from a Pardey book and confirmed it once with a friend who has a masters in metallurgy.

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Med, I was trying to acknowledge that I understood what you meant by, odd are. Sorry, if I was confusing.

"No magnetism, no iron, no rust" may be helped with some clarification. All stainless steel has iron. Its only a matter of how much chromium has been added or other minerals that will affect its grade. More chromium is generally more resistant to iron oxide. Ironically, the reason it avoids iron oxide is the chromium on the surface actually oxidizes (rusts) in the presence of air first. The layer is so small, you just don't see it. As a protective layer it prevents the iron from oxidizing. This is also why SS, including 316, that is not exposed to air will decay, as the iron does begin to rust without its chromium oxide protection.

While 316 is highly resistant to magnetism, lower grades may become magnetic, but are not inherently magnetic. Your buddy with the degree in metallurgy would be able to explain better than I, but magnetism is the result of the alignment of the molecules, not just the presence of iron. When you mix other minerals, you change that alignment, just like you do when you heat a metal. When you mix chromium with iron, I understand you realign the molecules to a lesser, imperceptible magnetic state.

I understand it is possible, with lesser grade SS and lesser chromium to recondition it to be magnetic, depending on how it is processed into a screw or fitting. I also understand that it can also be heated and returned to non-magnetic.

In the end, this was always my rule of thumb. If a magnet does not stick, it is stainless, you just don't know the grade. If a magnet does stick, it is not a high grade stainless, if stainless at all.
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post #66 of 66 Old 10-13-2012
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Re: Galley counter top material

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All stainless steel has iron. Its only a matter of how much chromium has been added or other minerals that will affect its grade. ....

...Your buddy with the degree in metallurgy would be able to explain better than I, but magnetism is the result of the alignment of the molecules, not just the presence of iron.

In the end, this was always my rule of thumb. If a magnet does not stick, it is stainless, you just don't know the grade. If a magnet does stick, it is not a high grade stainless, if stainless at all.
Right! Thanks for the clarification. Of course all stainless steel has iron it it or else how could it be steel at all? I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that. As for magnetism being a complex process, I do recall THE most boring lecture I EVER attended was a college level physics lecture on magnetism. That was a long time ago and obviously I wasn't paying much attention.

My metalurgist friend said that I could use the magnetic trick to verify that something was 316. I'll have to run that last paragraph of yours by him and see what he says....

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