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Old 10-09-2009, 10:42 PM   #1
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Granite Counter Tops

I have been considering adding granite counter tops to our '06 28SE. I am not concerned with weight issues only whether it is feasible from an installation and cost perspective.

I have a source to get granite left over from bigger installations that will be very cost effective. The counter tops in the 28 are really quite small when you consider the large cutouts for the sink and cooktop in the kitchen and the small footprint of the bath counter.

I am concerned with what is under the existing laminate. I have been told there is a plywood underlayment that would likely work as a base for the granite. I am concerned that the granite may be thicker than the OEM laminate thus requiring plumbing changes rather than just a remove and replace operation. I am also concened with what type adhesive to use to mount the granite. Obviously something flexible and able to withstand the movement and vibration of the trailer while being towed.

The factory is nearbye and I have visions of them removing the existing laminate and then taking it to have the granite shop use it as a template to shape the new granite tops. Returning the finished granite to the factory for the install.

Any thoughts, warnings or encouragement?

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Old 10-10-2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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I think your plumbing changes would be minimal if you are only adding about 5/8 or 3/4 inch to the countertop height and thickness. The stove will be affected, which may require spacers on the bottom by the amount as the countertop thickness. You may want to have the countertop supplier take a look at the existing countertop while it is still in place--he can make a template from the top where it sits, and let you know if you are going to have any "challenges" at installation time. I used to sell kitchen cabinets many moons ago, so I had to measure up for countertops all the time. There are a dozen unexpected things that may need to be considered before ordering. Good luck--I still have the 1977 laminate (tired of hearing "it's so retro!"), so I've been dreaming of granite in my A/S as well!
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:35 AM   #3
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:42 AM   #4
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What about a product called "granitcrete":

Granicrete International, Inc. > Product<br/>Systems > Countertops

Or granite transformations:

Installation | Granite Counter Top Overlay | Granite Transformations

They are options that are light weight with the "look" of granite

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Old 10-10-2009, 06:04 AM   #5
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Granite, at 1 1/4 inches thick, weighs about 20 pounds per square foot.
It is also very weak at the points where you make cutouts and it sounds like you have plenty of those. The stress and vibration of rolling down the road will likely crack your countertops apart. At the very least, have the granite guys apply the mesh and epoxy to the underside to strenghthen it before installation.
Good luck.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:14 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.

Cantrell - I think you have the most compelling reasoning to avoid the granite. The cutouts will cause there to be more than one area where the width of the remaining counter top will be very narrow, only a few inches. That is a scary proposition when the thought of transporting the counter top before installation and flexing after installation is considered. I made a table with a granite top for the patio that measures 5' x 3' and was cautioned to beat the band about how to transport and carry it so it would not flex because of the possibility of it breaking.

Maryw164 - I checked both sites you mentioned. It appears the finished product is only about 1/8" thick. I don't see that holding up well to the flexing either.

vinstream - yes...yes...yes... weight is a factor. But believe it or not I prefer to add weight to my set up to allow the trailer to work the suspension of the tow vehicle a little more. F250 longbed diesel, it actually makes for a smoother ride for my application. From my calculations I will be adding less than 150 lbs.

4slice - I don't want my 'dream' to turn into a 'nightmare' so I will proceed cautiously. I may have to cosider other alternatives. I don't know whether something like Corian is lighter and or able to flex a little without breaking. But the laminate has to go at some point (so much for the ability get get a good deal on granite!). I have the mental image of 'cheap' for that look rather than 'retro'.

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Old 10-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #7

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Make sure they have been checked for Radon.

Like others, IMHO way to weighty.

"It is more wiser to ponder all things with diligent suspicion, than follow with blind assumption."
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Perhaps you should look at that new high definite (HD) laminate, by Wilsonart, that has the look of granite. I know, it's not granite. But, having seen it up close, it is very nice looking, and certainly a different look from "retro". Not to mention, very durable for a trailer.

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:18 AM   #9
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All the issues about weight are certainly true. More weight inside the trailer would only load its axles, not help smooth out the ride of your F250. There is also the issue of side-to-side balance that is almost never discussed.

After searching for a source of solid surface material for a project, I found a local supplier that would sell me some. It is normally only sold to "trained" professional installers. The person the owner assigned to helping me with the order told me that she and her husband considered using it in their boat, but because of the weight and other issues, they chose laminate. So did I, and ended up buying elsewhere, since they didn't sell laminate.

The fragile nature of real stone, or masonry faux stone, makes them even less suitable for applications that move.

I ended up using the Wilsonart HD laminate (see: Wilsonart® HD® High Definition®) in the Deepstar Mineral 1817-35 (Deepstar Mineral 1817-35) pattern.

The results have been excellent! I used cabinet grade plywood instead of particle board, so the new tops are actually slightly lighter, not to mention much more durable. The new dinette top is here:, and the new credenza top is here:

The credenza top was the reason for the new tops, to give me a place for the new 37" flat screen TV/Computer Monitor.

They are not real granite, but everyone who visits comments on them. I have been using these every day for over 2 years and they still look great. If I were to change anything, I would use an aircraft honeycomb panel instead of plywood to reduce the weight even further, but there is a very large cost to the aircraft panels.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cstar View Post
... I don't know whether something like Corian is lighter and or able to flex a little without breaking...
this is what the a/s FACTORY has used for almost 20 years, so C is field tested with good results in streams...

the C is compatible in weight to laminates glued to glue soaked ply...

the C material a/s uses is thin, about 3/8s, maybe thinner.

it does flex, but can crack. (check the running gear or get rid of the counter top mounted anvil)

and IF you are planning to have the work done AT the factory service center,

they obviously have experience with the material and construction and custom fitting...

a/s only offers 3 colors on new units but no doubt could order from the full C palate.

it's basically a fancy plastic but with the look of granite, but MUCH less weight and MUCH easier care...

here's a pic of my galley, followed by an unrelated thread with more shots...

some options/views on color choices...

some general threads on the issue, with pics of white in use by a diy retrofitter...

rkmoe's ivory C can be seen in his galley pics here....

and the story of a member HERE who traded a brand new safari, partly because of the LESS than ideal glued laminated counters...

(more pics in that thread about this..)

i've been very satisfied with the C.

easy to clean, minor scratches buff out quickly and once waxed again it looks as new.

major scratches can be buffed or filled and TRIVETS or protectors must be used for HOT stuff, because it can melt...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:31 PM   #11
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Despite the real concerns brought up regarding granite, it is feasible if done right. As far as weight goes, it depends on the total area to be covered--in my A/S, there are about eight square feet of top (after removing the sink and stove area). Most granite tops are actually 5/8 or 3/4 thick, with a doubler strip added to the front edge to make them look twice as thick. Eight sq ft at 20 lbs per foot is 160lbs of added weight. As long as you take that into consideration when loading your personal effects and water, you would be fine. Some people pack light, while others load up to the gills (I'm the sole user of my trailer, so I tend to pack light).

The other issue is flex, and having the top crack. It can crack at the weak points such as the corners of the cut-outs, or the middle of the strip that runs in front of the sink (as that is a point where one oftens puts hand pressure). The fix for that is to use control joints. The top is made in two to four pieces and fixed to the plywood base with caulking. The control joints are micro-beveled and a matching colored caulk (or clear silicone on dark granite) used to hide them. That way you have the flexibility needed without cracks, yet still have the look of a one-piece top. As an added bonus, a few smaller pieces can be salvaged from leftovers from a large kitchen job, and you may get them at "rock" bottom prices....
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:31 PM   #12
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The Corian type solid surface has worked well for me. I replaced the old counter top with a Corian type solid surface and installed an undermount sink. I have traveled over 4000 miles and no sign of any flex problem or cracking. Here is the link to the thread on this project. Towards the end is a pdf with pictures of the before, during and after project.

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Old 10-28-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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Besides the excessive weight of the granite, I'd be concerned about the construction of the cabinet bases and whether or not they can support the granite.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:34 PM   #14
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I would look into having a stainless steel top with integrated sink custom fabricated. I had one done for our sons condo and the end cost was very reasonable. They built a rectangular sink into the top along with backsplash.

The square corner sink with no lip really saved an amazing amount of space in a tiny kitchen.

I have used granite in homes, and echo previous post about cracking and weight.

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:31 PM   #15
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I do like Formica, i do have granite at home and love it for daily use. I do know someone who has it in their rig and does not like it. It is a heavier look than granite.
If you are full timing in your rig it may be worth it to you since you like it.
good luck
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:41 PM   #16
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We have been thinking of replacing our countertop with Formica brand solid surface in "citron ice". Would this material hold up or be subject to breakage? Thanks!

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Old 12-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #17
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yes our formica has been in our rig for 50 years. GReat color, keep a cutting board near by. Holds up perfect, easy to cean but you can not cut on it.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:48 PM   #18
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we also had formica is our 71 caravel that we sold. always looks nice.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:50 AM   #19
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I know that a lot of new high-end motorhomes use a granite look material for counter tops. Maybe it is granite but I suspect it is Corian or something similar. I think that would be the best material to use regarding any weight and flexing issues.

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 4slice View Post
Despite the real concerns brought up regarding granite, it is feasible if done right.
If you are really into food, a granite counter top is much more useful than the alternatives. (If you're not into making your own pasta, pastry, or candy, the this won't matter--move along, corian and other materials are quite adequate. )

As you'll see from others on this forum, using granite or even marble is a reasonable alternative; all you have to do is have it fabricated and install it correctly (see postings above).

I wouldn't install stone unless the size of my Airstream allowed a surface area capable of the aforementioned pasta, pastry or candy fabrication.

I will say that preparing pasta, pastry or candy in your Airstream and presenting the finished product to your wife and her gal pals will get you a lot farther into their affections than any macho TV, trailer, or sporting goods management skills will get you. You pull off a stunt like that and you've got a free pass for as many early morning fishing or late afternoon tavern sessions as you want.

And isn't that what it's all about?

(Tim of Tool Time will back me up on this).
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