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Old 03-29-2010
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countertops

what materials have you guys used to re-do galley countertops? corian? formica? stainless? wood? anything else? any pros/cons of each or a mitigating factor why one is superior?

thanks
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Old 03-29-2010
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Corian is rather heavy...but on a monohull, that isn't an issue. stainless is very expensive, wood is a PITA to maintain. Formica is probably the best in terms of weight, ease of maintenance, appearance and cost.
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Old 03-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
what materials have you guys used to re-do galley countertops? corian? formica? stainless? wood? anything else? any pros/cons of each or a mitigating factor why one is superior?

thanks
QM,

Corian has become the countertop of choice in many European boats. Usually the relatively small counter space of a boat keeps the cost manageable and it can be easily repaired from burns or knife cuts.
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Old 03-29-2010
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We replaced our galley countertop last winter. After some thought, we went with Formica. The actual laminate application part was the easy one -- contact cement and a heavy roller. Getting the underlaying plywood fit, and then cutting, trimming, and dry fitting the laminate before gluing it down was the trying part.
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Old 03-29-2010
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I see lots of Corian on newer boats, and some very nice ceramic tile on older ones
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I'm facing this choice too. I've done enough building/remodeling on homes to know the curves of a boat would be a PITA to redo the tops of the counters if I wanted to do Formia and even then it will simply be old fashion. New but old fashion.

So I am going with Corian tops and in 5 yrs I'll still be glad I did for the new fashion looks alone.
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Where can you buy a small piece of Corian? I just want to replace the lid to my fridge - I don't care if it matches exactly.
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Old 03-29-2010
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Mick, whatever makes you happy. Corian is a nice work surface and impervious to moisture, but then again, it isn't as durable as real granite. Yeah, that's too heavy for most boat owners but if you consider the other virtues and don't race......

Formica and other "sheets" are cheap and easy to refresh and if you are careful to use a cutting board and not cut directly on it, not place hot pots on it, it lasts well enough.

All depends what you are looking for. Cheap? Light? Durable? Instalation skills? "Superior" just depends on how you are keeping score.
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Two other materials that might work quite well, are Starboard or PVC.
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Old 03-30-2010
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I read about "old fashioned" and I wonder whether there has been any research done. There are Formica patterns that are hard to discern form real granite and people are paying a lot of money on new boats for real granite.

Making complex formers for Formica is relatively easy if you only concern yourself with the outside edges of the former. What I have done before and am about to do again is use strips of compressed board about 25mm wide, a sharp knife (box cutter) and a staple gun.

First start with the curves and corners and fit pieces of board as closely as you can. Don't try and fit one piece into two corners - do each corner seperately. Then cut the straight pieces to a suitable length. This will result in a puzzle of pieces lying flat on the surface and touching the pieces on either side.

Then, while ensuring that each part of the puzzle is in it's spot, lay another piece of compressed board on top straddling two pieces of the puzzle and staple it to the puzzle. You should end up with a former that matches the shape of the top exactly.

Place that onto the Formica sheet, mark around the outside with a sharp pencil and cut along the dotted line (so to speak). Don't use a saw, use a tile cutter with a wedge shaped carbide tip.

If you want, practise using the former on a piece of cardboard before taking a chance on spoiling the Formica. This process is easy, try it.
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