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Old 06-17-2009, 05:09 PM
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Kitchen remodel.... I did it!! W/ pics!

I have been having a debate with myself over the past few days. I have decided i want to update our kitchen. I have been only thinking of granite or concrete countertops because of the popularity. But they are VERY expensive. I figured if I was going to update might as well go with the most popular option(for resale eventually). I love granite but it isnt a must have for me. I mostly just want a updated, cleaner more modern kitchen.

What we have now. A 12 year old home with basic white tile countertops, white tile floor and standard oak cabinets that are faded and need to be refinished. Our 2 baths are similar.

My hesistation now with going with granite is that we will not and probably will never have enough money to upgrade the whole house. We unfortunately bought at the wrong time and our area (as has others) is completely upside down in value. So my latest thought is why put the expense in granite and cheap out on other areas? Maybe do a fun and modern tile countertop but also be able to redo the cabinets, floor and appliances.

I have had 4 estimates already and the way my kitchen lays out reminents or prefab will NOT work.

My rationale is that eventually the people who will buy our house would like granite but it wouldn't be a must have. For those that granite counters and expensive upgrades like that would buy a brand new house and not ours. Our area is flooded with new houses. Our house is older, but we have a great floor plan, larger lot and pool and established neighborhood.

Basically my thinking is why spend serious cash for one item but cheap out on the rest? Like just painting cabinets. Whereas we could go middle of the road but do the whole kitchen. And maybe do an island too.

Kinda like flying first class but staying at super 8?

What do think? For those who have bought homes or are thinking of buying... would you rather have granite counters but maybe an older tile floor etc. Or a nicer updated kitchen but more modest upgrades like just tile counter but brand new everything?
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:15 PM
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As someone who will soon be in the market for a home (and as someone who has rented homes instead of apartments), I think it's better to split the money up and update as many things as possible as opposed to going with the granite.

Sure, granite is lovely. But there's a LOT of nice houses without granite. I think people also go with granite because it tends to be durable, and heat/stain/scratch resistant. However, if I was looking at a house (and this is just my opinion), it wouldn't be solely the granite that sold me or was the deciding factor. It would be more likely to be a combination of other things.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:19 PM
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Thank you! That is now my thought also. If someone was basing a purchase or not bc of granite.... they would not be wanting the rest of my house anyways! I am thinking just a overall better kitchen would be better than just the one upgrade.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:19 PM
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I love the countertops in this kitchen:

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Old 06-17-2009, 05:21 PM
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Oh, I like those floors!

ETA: I think tile countertops are dated, but I also think that choosing granite with the idea of reselling is hard b/c people's taste in stone varies greatly (high contrast, low contrast, earth tones, black/grays...).

If a house were 'upgraded' with things I disliked, it would be more of a turn-off than my knowing I would need to take care of those things myself. But, I am weird...

Last edited by sam.i.am001; 06-17-2009 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:31 PM
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i personally can't stand granite. everyone has it and i think it's ugly, imo. my mother just redid her kitchen and she has quartz (i think) countertops. you could look into that. i'm not sure if it's more or less than granite
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:32 PM
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Or a nicer updated kitchen but more modest upgrades like just tile counter but brand new everything? In fact when we bought a house five years ago I remember tat I loved the granite countertops. I did not purchase that house, I bought the one with more modest upgrades.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:34 PM
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what about corian?
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by igawtscammed View Post
what about corian?
Thats pretty expensive too.

I did see a home show where they did counters in concrete but some special kind and its high polished and it was pretty cool looking.
I think it can be dyed/tinted or whatever.

Update as much as you can.
Better for resale eventually.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:42 PM
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Yeah I had an estimate a few years ago to redo my kitchen. It was $12,000 not including floors. That was a home depot estimate.
My house was built in the 50's and I have effing boomerangs on my counters but guess what? That is back in style now.

I think though to update all around the house but not go "all out" if you know what I mean?
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:42 PM
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An updated kitchen always adds value to your house. Granite is kind of old-schoool for countertops even though they're preferred. Along with the kitchen, bathrooms are the next selling points of a house. I updated my kitchen a few years back and didn't hold back. Went with quartz countertops, new cabinets, new laminate floors and a Viking range. I know I'd probably sell the house in a couple of years and no doubt this kitchen will get it done.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igawtscammed View Post
Yeah I had an estimate a few years ago to redo my kitchen. It was $12,000 not including floors. That was a home depot estimate.
My house was built in the 50's and I have effing boomerangs on my counters but guess what? That is back in style now.

I think though to update all around the house but not go "all out" if you know what I mean?
I bet I have the SAME countertops in my apartment.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:50 PM
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Mike, is that derfshit's kitchen?
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:51 PM
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I will look into other options too.

Joan- Concrete countertops are very "in" right now, esp in my area. Big in the home shows. They are very cool. Can get them polished and made to look anyway you want them. Can make them look like granite even. But pretty pricey also... similar to granite. My quote was about $4000. Just for countertops!

This is some info on concrete...
Heritage Bomanite - Architectural and Specialty Concrete in Central California


Whenever i hear corian i think cheap. But i know its not. Hmmm... lots to think about!

I even know there is laminate that looks like granite.

HGTV here i come....
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:52 PM
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Mike, is that derfshit's kitchen?
That is the first thing i thought about... the kitchen that was "in a magazine".

LOL. I promise my house is not winning any awards. I would be embarrassed to even show pics of mine!
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:53 PM
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Best advice I have been given about any renovations is don't overcapitalise. E.g. would spending X thousand on a granite benchtop add >= X thousand to your resale value?

Personally I think granite is overly expensive and you can get just as good a look with laminate surfaces Countertop.com (I'm not in the US - but I don't imagine its too different)
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:08 PM
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Have you gone to ikea to price out a cabinetry upgrade?

My husband and I sold our house last year. We actually sanded and restained our 15 year old GROSS oak cabinets ourselves (it took forever and be CAREFUL with the sander .) We were able to replace all our appliances with stainless steel for $2k, and were able to use a granite reminent for our counters, which I negoiated to include a free kitchen sink. After all that we sold our house the next day after our granite was installed. YAY!

You can always get granite TILES and install as your countertop, but make sure to reinforce your substrate or else your counters will dip, and to push the tiles as close together as possible (NO SPACERS!), or else you can get crazy stuff under your tiles.

Ultimately, I would say to do what makes you happy. You're the person living with it.

ETA: Do not go to Home Depot for granite pricing. You can get awesome deals at quarries or independantly owned granite yards. They're hurting for business and are more willing to deal with you. Home Depot wanted almost $3000 for a basic granite, but we were able to get an upgraded stone, with an upgraded profile/edge, AND my awesome kitchen sink, installed for $1300.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
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what about corian?
Beth, Corian has a deal right now called The Magnificent 7 (their top 7 selling colors) that is just around $40/sq ft. Regularly Corian runs about the same as granite, $88-99/sq ft. Granite is considered more "high end" but Corian has benefits as well, and imo looks significantly nicer (and is definitely an upgrade from) laminates and/or tile. We just built our new home and put Corian in our kitchen and basement bar. It's LOVELY! One thing I really like about it is that it has some antibacterial properties built in!! WOO! Good news with a preschooler! If you want a big upgrade but don't wanna spend for granite, I'd look into it! We're totally happy!
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:16 PM
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Mike, is that derfshit's kitchen?
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:17 PM
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Mike, is that derfshit's kitchen?


I think it is

Or what she CLAIMED to be hers...
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:22 PM
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is that really the derfshit pic? lol

it is funny that this should come up today, because my bf has been freaking out for the past day because his mom told him that granite countertops emit excessive radon now he's convinced his kitchen will kill him
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:24 PM
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Beth, Corian has a deal right now called The Magnificent 7 (their top 7 selling colors) that is just around $40/sq ft. Regularly Corian runs about the same as granite, $88-99/sq ft. Granite is considered more "high end" but Corian has benefits as well, and imo looks significantly nicer (and is definitely an upgrade from) laminates and/or tile. We just built our new home and put Corian in our kitchen and basement bar. It's LOVELY! One thing I really like about it is that it has some antibacterial properties built in!! WOO! Good news with a preschooler! If you want a big upgrade but don't wanna spend for granite, I'd look into it! We're totally happy!
I will look into it! I don't know why but i always thought of Corian as cheap. I guess not.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:44 PM
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Have you priced around for discontinued granite styles? My in-laws used granite in their kitchen and all of their bathrooms, but were able to find discontinued styles that were significantly reduced. I am not sure if they lucked out or what, but everything turned out beautifully.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:35 PM
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I'm not sure if this is a possibility for you but if it's worth looking into, there are great deals on prefab granite. The only downside is they come in massive slabs so shipping and setting expenses are heavy and you may have to pay to get it cut to your needed dimensions. You'll likely still end up paying much less than retail from what I've heard. (and seen on HGTV )

Quote:
I have had 4 estimates already and the way my kitchen lays out reminents or prefab will NOT work.
Nevermind.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:51 PM
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We have granite in our kitchen and I love the natural properties of it. If you can get the corian for a deal like Colleen said, I think that's a good option because people will still consider it a really nice kitchen. I think the best thing about corian is that you can get the integrated sink whick is a much cleaner look than the under the counter sink you will need with granite. It doesn't have the crevices where things build up and look dirty. We have corian in all of our bathrooms and it's really nice.
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