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Thread: what kind of clear plastic to use in kitchen

  1. #1
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    what kind of clear plastic to use in kitchen

    We have an island in the kitchen and the top is made of beautiful, thick walnut. Its so nice, we don't want to use it, nor did the previous owners for 15 years. I was going to make a cutting board to place on top of it of either walnut, ash, white oak or oak to be able to use it. The wifey does not want it covered up. So maybe that leaves some sort of clear plastic. The question is what kind of plastic (probably 1/4 - 3/8" thick) can we set a hot pan on and cut on it also without damaging the plastic? Know there's lots of different kinds of plastic out there. Were looking at approx 27"x32". Thanks. Randy
    Randy Cox
    Lt Colonel, USAF (ret.)

  2. #2
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    For cutting, use cutting boards, either wood or plastic. For hot pots...always use a trivet that keeps the hot metal up off the surface. Plastic is not a good product for that.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    I'm with Jim on this...you can get tempered glass trivets that will let the top show through. Some places call them tempered glass cutting boards but cutting on glass dulls knives instantly, so stick with wood or plastic for cutting, or put a silicone cutting mat down on the glass trivet when you want to cut on it.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  4. #4
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    Plastic will look crummy really quickly. Low-iron tempered glass is the best. Low-iron will be purer/clearer than standard glass. That said, all of my customers prefer wood because of how it feels. So they'd rather plan on getting it refinished some time down the road, be able to feel it with the hand, than cover it with an obstructing layer.
    Timberlight Designs

  5. #5
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    ok, plastic is out. Low iron tempered glass huh. Can you put a hot frying pan down on it without making the glass explode from localized heat expansion? As a woodworker, I would prefer wood too but the wife doesn't want the walnut covered up. Here's a pic of island (showing up sideways unfortunately). We have a second island that is granite. Randy
    IMG_5573.jpg
    Randy Cox
    Lt Colonel, USAF (ret.)

  6. #6
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    Time for a new wife

    Seriously though. How would one not cover up the countertop and still protect it ? Glass will dull your knives in short order.


    Use a cutting board when needed and put it away when finished. You could also buy/make a drawer that has a maple cutting board built in that you’d pull out when needed. I assume that island has a top drawer in it.

  7. #7
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    Get1/4" thick glass... make a few small cutting boards (6"x6" or 8"x8") to set your hot pans on...
    Made daughter cherry bedroom set and put 1/4 glass on chest & dresser as she likes to burn incense...

  8. #8
    I would use it as is and refinish when necessary. 2 inch thick gives you a lot to work with.

    Hot pans on glass - what could possibly go wrong?

  9. #9
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    I use silicone trivets for hot pans, but I have stone counters.

    This is one of those things where one really does have to choose between the visual and the practical, IMHO. And if these things are only on the counter when in actual use, the wood is always fully visible at other times.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
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    Plastic will look crappy right from the word go and go down hill from there. Just use cutting boards and trivets and don't let messes sit for long. I've done 3 wood or bamboo countertops with undermount sinks and years later they all look great. So go ahead, use and enjoy it.

  11. #11
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    Glass will take a real beating on a kitchen counter. I wouldn't use it.

  12. #12
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    I was thinking a roll of flexible clear silicone cutting mat. Did a quick Google, but didn't see anyone selling a bulk roll.

  13. #13
    I agree with the others to use and refinish when needed. Sounds like itís not an option though, so my vote would be to build a few cutting boards and trivets like others mentioned. Best of luck with your decision.

  14. #14
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    Make a Walnut cutting board with a colour/figure match as close as possible to the counter top. You really do not want to be cutting onto anything other than wood or hard plastic (and the latter is not a good match). If you cannot match the Walnut, then make an endgrain Walnut board. This is not to dominate the counter top, but seen as an accessory.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
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    Think I have ruled out glass also, not practical. Talked at length with wife, think I will make a larger walnut cutting board that sets on top with silicone feet. Still will be lots of countertop to see and also have a place to set hot pans and cut on. Won't finish it, will use mineral oil though to bring out some of the grain of the walnut, otherwise it will look kinda washed out I think. As Derek said, hopefully will look like an accessory and not dominate the top. Thanks for all the input, I know there's lots of wise counsel on this forum. Randy
    Randy Cox
    Lt Colonel, USAF (ret.)

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