My wife and I iyH will be moving into an apartment that we purchased from non-Jews, and we spent a lot of time investigating different renovation options for the countertops (this type of stone, granite, etc). Then it occurred to us - why do they need to be kosher? Why not just leave the kitchen as is, replace the oven, sinks, and dishwasher, and use it exactly like we do now - we cut food on cutting boards, we never put anything hot directly on the counter (because that can crack the countertops)...am I missing something? Is there any reason to switch them?
The only things that I can think of that we would need to be careful from would be:
- d'var charif coming into contact with the countertops
- washing dishes with very hot water and creating some sort of "treif splash zone" at the edges of the sinks (not entirely sure how to do avoid that, lmaaseh...but how much "taam" do countertops really have? And anyways it would probably be batul with water and dishwashing soap...)
For us, this is a very big expense - probably in the range of 30-50k shekels, so we want to avoid it if we can. And don't worry, I will be speaking this out with a competent Rav... but it's always worth it to understand things before going in to speak to a Rav, I think.
Thanks for the help.