Countertops - Oh The Choices

I want a really groovy, funky, fun kitchen.  I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it or sacrifice my retirement.  After all, part of our 10 year plan (Yeah....apparently I was supposed to have these throughout my life.  Oops.) was to get out of debt as quickly as possible.  Hence the downsizing to a smaller home.  The fact that this home has been part of the family for 47 years and we are buying it from the family - bonus.  The fact that this puppy needs upwards of $60K in INFRASTRUCTURE alone, BEFORE we even touch a remodel on all the rooms, well, that was a surprise-ish.  Wait...what was my point?

Oh, I want a really groovy, funky, fun kitchen.  I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it or sacrifice my retirement......

Part of this kitchen plan that Mr. I and I have thought up (design is such a fancy pants word), was something really different for the counters of the island/peninsula that coordinates with the other counters, but doesn't match.  We ran through many ideas.  One of the many was to have an under-lit counter with L.E.D. lights and a translucent top.  Oh, the ideas that ran through my head.  Mr. I thought this would be really cool.  I did to.  But, the materials to make this happen, well....actually I found many sites that talk about this.  There is glass, acrylic, Corian, quartz and many other translucent materials that would make it work.  However, how much money can you afford?  Take a gander at some of the products I found just through the magic of Pintrest and Google (I have linked the images from whence they came for both your convenience and to send these fine companies business):

Corian Under Lighting and Illumination
Corian by Dupont

Glass Counters with Illumination Under Glow

Back to cost.

Corian: the translucent and solid surface can cost upwards of $120 per square foot.
Glass: Tempered to be used as counters (the thicker the more expensive) is upwards of $200 - $250 per square foot.
Avonite: Acrylic engineered translucent solid surface around $50 per square foot
Quartz: $120 - 175 per square foot
Compare that to granite which is anywhere from $30 - $300 per square foot depending on the grade, design, thickness....yada, yada, yada. (Note to reader, I'm not a fan of granite, however, there are a few pieces that have stopped me in my tracks.  But to turn my head, it usually cost my wallet dearly.  Read on for details.)

Needless to say, all of this stuff is EXPENSIVE.  I know there is a creative way to accomplish this effect, and I haven't given up on it, but I think I will start small.  A small bathroom vanity top or even a DIY side table or coffee table would be a good place to start to experiment with this idea.  Probably a better idea than trying to do a counter first.

I visited Creative Countertop Solutions in Nashville today.  This is the place in Nashville to find the most creative and luxurious countertop materials.  They had their front counter in under-lit Corian.  They had a beautiful quartzite bar with under mounted lighting.  They sell glass counter tops, recycled glass countertops, counters made of everything from Avonite to  amethyst.  Prices from $50 per square foot to $700 per square foot or more.  If you want something different, you have a nice healthy budget, and you need some ideas for residential or commercial applications, visit their showroom.  Ask for Don Gill.  He's quite the renaissance man who tells great stories and shares wonderful ideas and a few pictures of his past art adventures.  Although we went a more affordable know that damn 10 year plan and all....if I had the money, I'd just go let Don sell me all the gorgeous counter solutions that money could buy.  And they have more WOW stuff than you can shake a stick at.  But.....I have to be practical.  I don't need to go down with the black Aphrodite granite strapped to my back.  I want to live to be debt free.  But DAMN are there some beautiful solutions up in there.

So, we'll see how my cost effective solutions make my kitchen unique, comfortable and user friendly. Won't be long now before we start the project.


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