Author Topic: Put granite in kitchen remodel?  (Read 9795 times)

KBecks2

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Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« on: August 17, 2014, 07:43:51 AM »
We are doing a kitchen remodel, which has included replacing 40 year old cabinets, removing soffits and changing some electrical and plumbing.

For counters, should we go with laminate, solid surface or granite?

Estimated costs

Reg laminate $1600 no sink, probably $2,000 w/ sink
HD laminate $1800 no sink, probably $2,200 with sink
Solid surface $3000 w/sink
Brushed granite 1 $3200 w/sink
Brushed granite 2 $3800 w/sink

My husband prefers brushed granite 2.  Our home is not fancy pants, it is a nice older home that was very outdated when we purchased it.  We have been making some minor improvements but cannot do a whole house remodel, it is in bits and parts.  For example, I still have a harvest gold bathtub.  We will deal with that later.

I can't remember if MMM has granite in his kitchen.  I am a little torn between choosing economy or luxury for our home.  We can pay cash and our only debt is our mortgage.  We plan to live here for at least 15 more years.


MayDay

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2014, 07:51:58 AM »
Our house came with granite, and I love it because of the undermount sink. Other than that I could take it or leave it

I wouldn't do solid surface. I would either do granite or laminate.

Another Reader

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 08:37:16 AM »
Granite or quartz are generally required for middle or upper end homes in a resale today.  Who knows what things will be like in 15 years.  Corian and the like are considered dated and buyers think about replacing those countertops immediately.  You would get no value in a sale.  Plus they are easy to damage with hot pans or knives.   I would go with the base laminate with an eye to replacing it before sale or the quartz or granite in a neutral color and pattern.

justajane

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 08:40:32 AM »
What surface do you prefer? I would choose that, regardless of how it will or will not improve the saleability of your home. I actually prefer laminate for its ease of cleaning and the fact that dropped things don't shatter as easily.

J Boogie

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2014, 08:41:02 AM »
As someone who is very into modern design, I wouldn't do granite.  It's declining in popularity and while it still looks pretty, I think its too expensive and traditional for how little it offers in performance over other surfaces.

 I think you can't go wrong with white quartz, even if the rest of the house isn't modern.  It's a really versatile look that will go with anything.  Wood also works with all styles, but it requires a little more maintenance.  Very affordable if you buy from Ikea and DIY. 

I'd also consider concrete.  I think its badass surfaces if the rest of your house features modern design elements so it wouldn't look out of place.  Stainless steel can work with certain kitchens as well.

Just my two cents, good luck!

Jules13

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2014, 08:48:56 AM »
We did a reno a few years ago and some minor upgrades in our kitchen.  We couldn't afford to replace the cabinets, but did replace the laminate countertops and sink/faucet.  We put in quartz countertops and an undermount sink and cool, more updated faucet.  Made a world of difference to our kitchen, even with keeping the older cabinets (which were only about 10 years old, so not too bad)  It looks much nicer and we love the quartz. 

If you are going through the expense of replacing the cabinets, I would definitely spend a little bit more and go with something like quartz for the countertops.  But, also consider your preference and your neighborhood.  It might not matter in your neighborhood and you might not care either. 

Good luck!  A kitchen reno is no fun while it's happening! :) 

briandougherty

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2014, 11:22:03 AM »
I'd consider the practical aspects of your choice.  We moved into a house with older laminate and any time it gets too wet some of the liquid will seep into the edges and start expanding it.  Not a huge issue and the edge seals should last a while.  I prefer preparing meals on a hard, stone-like surface.  It keeps cool and often makes it easier to knead dough, etc.

Emilyngh

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2014, 11:34:19 AM »
IMO granite (at least the very swirly type that's been popular) is already outdated and will date your home.

I personally am super impressed with the high quality HD laminates and would seriously consider these (in a solid looking, non-fake granite finish).   The price seems considerably higher than when I priced them, but our kitchen is small.   Does the estimate include the removal of your old counters?   If so, you may want to consider DIY the removal (at least getting an updated quote for it).

Also, do you have plans for the backsplash?   I find that counters look much more updated without those little mini backsplashes, and if you were planning on doing some kind of splash above the mini one anyway, extending it down to the counter and not having the mini counter backsplashes could save you a little on the counter price as well.

KBecks2

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2014, 11:53:51 AM »
Well, we plan on staying here for another 15 years, so there is not much to worry about pleasing a buyer. my style isn't modern, it's more transitional. So, I would prefer a granites or a fake granites style. There are some solid surfaces that are more variegated but not a granites replica that are nice. It is hard to make a decision. Mainly, I wants to get something that we're going to be happy with and that looks good to us.  But I am not sure if I should spend extra or go with the cheapest option.

KBecks2

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2014, 11:54:54 AM »
We are not putting in any type of tile backsplash. It will be drywall. So we will have a 4 inch backsplash. This would look better in real granites and then in Formica. Solid surface might be okay.

mrigney

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2014, 12:01:54 PM »
How many square feet of counter do you have in your kitchen? We just finished a reno last week and our laminate HD counters  were $715 installed. Add in the sink and faucet and it was $1000. Granite started at $1800. I love the laminated HD and can't imagine paying over twice as much for granite. Maybe for quartz. But not now. When my stache is bigger maybe:-)

rmendpara

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2014, 12:09:31 PM »
Whether you plan on staying or not, your upgrades (all upgrades) should be commensurate with the rest of your property (or what you expect your property will be  once you finish the updates).

Putting granite counters and high end efficient lighting in a $100k house is probably not going to make much sense, but putting those things in a $275k house is probably a smarter decision.

Primary consideration: what you like. Since you'll be there for over a decade, $1k difference isn't much for something you use almost every day.

Also, I'd consider durability. Conservative (not fancy or weird styles, as they can go out of style just as quickly as they came in) and contemporary designs with quality granite are hard to mess up and should stand the test of time. Imagine selling your home in 15 years and your kitchen is ready to go!

I'm not a home expert, but do you know how the durability of other surfaces compare to granite? If less expensive options are comparably durable, I may consider them more strongly.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 12:17:18 PM by rmendpara »

Catbert

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2014, 02:19:26 PM »
What do you have now?  Do you like it?  I'm not suggesting that you try to reuse it, just that it's a starting place for know what's important to you.

I have tile in my kitchen (very dated, I know) and like it.  If was re-doing my kitchen I'd go with quartz or concrete.

Cassie

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2014, 03:17:10 PM »
We used prefab granite which is much cheaper. It is real granite. The only difference is that instead of them measuring and then cutting the slabs the slabs are precut. Ours did need a seam because one countertop was really long but you can't see it. It was half the cost. Also there was not as much choice as with the other granite.  No one wants to see laminate when they buy a house even in a house that is not in a fancy area.   Laminate also damages so easily.   

KBecks2

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2014, 03:27:24 PM »
I grew up with laminate in the kitchen and I've had laminate in my kitchens too. When we bought this house, it was very, very dated. From 1969. Not in a good way. LOL. We've made some small improvements a little bit by little bit. and making cheapo changes, but not anything major like this. I replaced the old laminate with a newer laminate about 10 years ago and painted the old cabinets and got new appliances. Now this is definitely a fancier change.

Right now, I am leaning towards solid surface with an integrated sink, or a granite with an Undermount sink. Needs to consider the color. I think the cost will be okay, but I hate spending so much money.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2014, 04:27:46 PM »
It's not on your list, but we're planning on DIY butcher block for our kitchen reno (will commence Jan 2015!).  Ikea has some unfinished butcher block that after we DIY finish it will be < $200/6ft.  I think it'll look great with our planned white cabinets. 

RichMoose

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2014, 06:21:59 PM »
I would recommend the HD laminate. It looks great, is quite durable, and relatively cheap. The only thing is you shouldn't go with an undermount sink if you choose this option. In 15 years, you can always rip it out quite easily and update to whatever's hot at the moment to squeeze some more resale $$$ out of your house.

Emilyngh is bang on. I know people ripping out granite because it's too outdated for them (obviously not Mustachians).
 

labrat

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2014, 06:39:33 PM »
I'd go with quartz.  So much easier to maintain than granite and very durable.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2014, 06:45:04 PM »
We did a remodel last year. I initially didn't want granite because of what others have mentioned here - it's overused and I suspect it's going to go out of "fashion." But where I am, it priced out cheaper than quartz and it looked better with the style of cabinets we chose.

We don't live in a super fancy-pants neighborhood - most people have laminate. Granite is the "upgraded" counter-top here. We did a neutral granite that had a lower price.

I don't regret it. It looks great. People compliment it all the time. I don't think people in my area are ready to be on the cutting edge of counter-top fashion.

JustTrying

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2014, 09:55:00 PM »
I think it comes down to what you like. I agree with others that granite is on its way out. We plan to update our kitchen at some point, and when we do, I'm going for durability and easy maintenance, which makes quartz the best choice. Do what you want!

Doaner19

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2014, 11:43:51 PM »
I like the industrial look of concrete, thought I currently have granite.

SewingmyStache

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2014, 12:05:01 AM »
I would strongly recommend either an under-mounted or integral sink.  It's just so much more practical and easier to clean.

former player

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2014, 02:01:23 AM »
A slate slab is traditional and practical, and looks timeless.

happyfeet

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2014, 07:27:45 AM »
I'd go with quartz.  So much easier to maintain than granite and very durable.

I feel stupid.  Have had granite in last two houses - and I have never done a thing to maintain it.  Other than wipe it down with a dish cloth.  It was already installed when we bought each house.  I do love it tho.  No staining or chipping - both problems with laminate.


usmarine1975

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2014, 08:12:36 AM »
I have made and installed laminate counter tops.  I don't like them.  The last Kitchen reno that I paid for I used a solid surface counter top.  It wasn't a popular make but it was a knock off of corian.  It cost about 1,800 and was a typical L shaped kitchen with the sink being mounted by the counter top guy.  The same counter top in Laminate would have cost me if I made it myself around $600 not counting my labor etc...  For that kitchen it has been a great selling point with it being in a rental.  We get lot's of comments when we do actually list it for rent. 

Caution with Concrete and granite, you need to be aware that you are adding extra weight to your kitchen.  And in most cases this is not a problem but obviously it is one you should consider.  More so with the Concrete then with granite. 

My vote is for a solid surface that YOU LIKE as you are going to be staying for 15 years.  I wouldn't feel bad about spending on a descent counter top.  Does it really matter what Mr. Money Mustache used?  I think his point and what he would say is the fact that you are asking the questions he has been successful. 

Scandium

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2014, 08:23:18 AM »
What are the costs of quartz vs granite?

We have (I suspect) cheap granite in our kitchen and it's pretty crappy. Full of tiny pits and doesn't clean up very well. I would be pissed if I'd paid $2k+ for that (which in some sense I guess we did). Not about to switch it out for no other reason though.

greenmimama

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2014, 09:21:42 AM »
It's not on your list, but we're planning on DIY butcher block for our kitchen reno (will commence Jan 2015!).  Ikea has some unfinished butcher block that after we DIY finish it will be < $200/6ft.  I think it'll look great with our planned white cabinets.

It will look great, our friends have white cabinets and the Ikea butcher block, it looks lovely!

AH013

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2014, 09:36:27 AM »
I'd vote quartz.  Cost-wise I don't think it's much more pricey than granite, but it is much lower in maintenance (no bi-annual sealing required) and is more forgiving for kitchen applications (oil and grease don't ruin it as easy as they do granite).

Buyers are trending towards ultra-low maintenance & longevity, which makes sense given the rise of the dual-career family.  Do yourselves (& future buyers) a favor by installing something that plays into that.

goodwalkspoiled

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2014, 10:09:07 AM »
Well, I have a 40 yr. old townhouse in an 8-unit building.  Just did my kitchen countertops last week.  The price difference between granite (or quartz) vs. laminate is huge.  For example, Home Depot and Lowes has pre-made laminate countertops, in stock, that worked just fine for me.  The laminate material only cost $165.  Plus I paid a carpenter $250 labor to install.  We pulled out the old tops, put a new sink in, and end caps, and it looks just fine. 

Although it's trendy to use granite or quartz, I would have paid $2,000 for that.  To me, it's just not necessary. 
And granite will stain!  You need to seal granite tops every year or so - more $, time, and work.

When I sell the place, whoever buys it can install granite if they want.  I use a cutting board to avoid scratching the formica (duh), and a piece of tile with felt pads for hot pots (duh). 

Jack

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2014, 10:52:36 AM »
Another vote for quartz here, since it's the most durable and maintenance-free finish you can pick.

(IMO, laminate is only good if your house is a mid-century-modern ranch... and in that case, it should either be brightly colored or have a boomerang pattern on it!)

Putting granite counters and high end efficient lighting in a $100k house is probably not going to make much sense, but putting those things in a $275k house is probably a smarter decision.

In my neighborhood, things like granite and lighting can be the difference between a $100k house and a $275k house...

I'd go with quartz.  So much easier to maintain than granite and very durable.

I feel stupid.  Have had granite in last two houses - and I have never done a thing to maintain it.  Other than wipe it down with a dish cloth.  It was already installed when we bought each house.  I do love it tho.  No staining or chipping - both problems with laminate.

You're "supposed" to re-seal granite once a year. Having never had granite myself, I'm not sure how required such a thing actually is.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2014, 11:37:57 AM »
We've never sealed our granite countertops. Some types of granite are more durable than others -- often the cheaper ones are better than the more expensive ones. Also, granite that's either very dark or very light shows more damage and discoloring than speckled granite. We got the kind that's called Giallo Ornamental -- sort of an off white/gray with brown and black specks and touches of blue/silver. It wasn't more more expensive than good laminate, and after the last laminate counters that fell apart within a few years we didn't want to go that route again.

Cassie

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Re: Put granite in kitchen remodel?
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2014, 12:24:27 PM »
I have had the pre-fab granite in 3 different homes-only sealed it once and still looked great years later.  No stains, etc. Very durable, can put hot pans on it.