My I trying to improve my kitchen with tweaks rather than a complete redo (wife is against complete redo). One of our gripes is with the island that contains two cooktops (main and a grill unit). It is a white laminate on top of an MDF like substrate. The islandt has 2 glass "cutting boards" on either side of the main cooktop, embedded in the surface so they are essentially flat with the laminate. Cutouts exist in the laminate/mdf surface and aluminum frames fit down in the cutouts and hold the glass panels.
There are 3 problems:
1. the frames are not liquid proof, any boil over or water from using the cutting boards drips down into the drawers below.
2. the frames act as a dirt trap making it very hard to clean the glass surface completely. The frames are about 3/32" proud of the glass and of the laminate, a nice little wall.
3. the dirt/grease lines the edge of the frames and turns black which really stands out and makes for an unappealing site while preparing food. Very hard to clean it completely.
I would like to remove the existing cutting boards and frames completely, and embed something new completely flush with the laminate (no aluminum frames) and that is water tight. I can add a new support structure below the mdf to hold my new "cutting boards". I doubt the existing cutouts were done with high precision since the aluminum frame hides any errors, but I can probably make a template and route and nice accurate opening.
Question is what can I put in there. Would granite or some type of stone work? That would go nicely with the style of the house. How would I seal the gap between the cutout and the new embedded surface? It has to be water tight and look nice.
Any ideas? Thanks