Galley worktop material

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by mpe, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. mpe
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    mpe Junior Member

    Hello, I am about to replace the galley worktop in my Colvic motor sailer and because of the size plan to use a sheet of marine ply.

    Does anybody have any ideas on a surface that can be applied to the top? I don’t like the idea of a wood finish because I have a lot of varnished bulkheads etc.

    I am looking for a light non-homemade look; I have seen some terrible ones.
    Is something like Formica suitable? Any suggestions would be most welcome.
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I suppose you could use granite, but on second thoughts, no. Formica sounds good to me.
     
  3. Wavewacker
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    Wavewacker Senior Member

    I would not be concerned about my galley top being marine ply, but you can. The plywood can be topped with any countertop material, formica, tile, butcher block, stone or acrylic stone including metals like copper or stainless. I'd use stainless if you don't modify the design to have compound curves on the edges. Formica is fine and could look very nice, it would be my second choice and easy to apply in such a small area.

    If metals are used take care with electrical issues.
     
  4. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I used a material called Wilsonart. It's high pressure decorative laminate or HPDL similar to Formica brand. The difference was that I could get a granite like pattern that mimics the real thing in Wilsonart that I liked better. It's pretty easy to apply and you'll need a few router bits and a decent router to get a nice edge. I'm pleased with it.
     
  5. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    I'll 2nd, 3rd and 4th the formica/wilsonart. It's fairly easy to work with and comes in a multitude of patterns. I even found some metallic patterns that were quite interesting. If you face the edges of your counter with a hard wood before applying the laminate, you'll get a nice pinstripe effect when you route the edge of the laminate off. On my most recent tops, I put a full round over on the lower edge of the hardwood and then set the round over to half depth for the upper edge. I thought the results were satisfying. If you face the hardwood with the laminate on the front also, a chamfered edge router will give you double pinstripes with a hardwood inlay between them. Sorry no example on that one.
     

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  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Wilsonart is a Formica manufacture. Formica is a good choice. It's relatively light, easy to work with and durable.

    You could also use flexible stone veneer, which acts much like wooden veneer and is bonded down to a substrate. It's still stone, so it feels and is treated like stone. Wooden veneers are another option, though less durable then the previous two. Tile can be used, metals (copper under epoxy looks nice), the choices can be endless.
     
  7. Deering
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Deering Senior Member

    I have a plywood galley tabletop that I'm planning to cover with a nautical chart of the area. I'll spray the back of the chart with spray adhesive, set it in place, then cover it with a clear-coat epoxy finish, like the ones used on bar tops.

    Seems like that might make for more interesting dinner conversation than a piece of formica would, but that's just me...
     
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  8. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    What a great idea Deering.:idea: Now I'm going to have to replace my settee table!
     
  9. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    Where do find the stone veneer, Paul? I've not heard of it, me thinks. How thick is it? How do you work with it?
     
  10. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I collected a box of old National Geographic maps in my younger days, and carried them around the country for years. I always figured that when I finally settled down and got my own place, I'd use them to wallpaper the master bath or den and varnish over them.

    But when I did wind up with a house in my early 40's, it came accessorized with a wife who isn't the least bit impressed by old maps. And if there's anything I've learned over the years, it's to pick and choose my fights. I don't even know what eventually happened to the box....:(
     
  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I vote for Formica. We have a mix of granite and Formica in our kitchen, the Formica is much nicer to work on, it is inexpensive and easy to install (contact cement), it is tough, water proof and fade resistant. And easy to replace: you use a heat gun to soften the contact cement and it will peel up starting at the edge with chisel or stiff putty knife.

    I have had or used other types of counter tops: stainless, tile, granite and Formica is the most pleasant to work on, and install. I would not hesitate to use in a boat galley.
     
  12. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Some 30 years ago now I built a child's desk with a map of the Florida Keys imbedded in Polyurethane Varnish. It is a durable finish.
     
  13. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Maybe I'll resurrect my map wallpaper idea for the head in Cindy Lou; it'll give folks something to read. But I'm willing to bet those maps I painstakingly saved and toted around for years have been thrown out while I wasn't looking; I'll have to find some more. Shouldn't be hard to do; half the estate sales in Southern California have National Geographic magazines.

    The old maps are the cool-looking ones....
     
  14. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Sheet copper can look good and with a little ingenuity you can blend it in and make the sink of it also.
     

  15. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Flexible stone veneers are actually thin veneers of real stone, boned, usually to a 'glass backer. It's very flexible and conforms to simple, tight curves well. It can be cut with a hefty set of scissors and acts, feels and looks like what it is, for a fraction of the weight.
     
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