Countertop Conundrum

smugsyApril 15, 2012

Good morning, all,

My boyfriend and I are in the process of building a single family home in a planned community. We are running into quite the debate over the countertops.

The standard is Corian. Zodiaq quartz and granite are also available as an upgrade (same price for each level). I know all the pros and cons of each. In my mind quartz is the stand out for durability. We currently have selected a level 2 granite. We have done some custom modifications to the kitchen so the additional price added up pretty quickly.

Here are the issues though:

- None of the level 1 or 2 granite "wow" either of us. They are all uniform and pretty "generic" as far as granite goes. To get a granite that I love, I would have to go level 4 or 5. (Not willing to pay that price)

- Granite is very trendy right now. I have concerns about whether this will date the house. We have no intentions of leaving this house until we outgrow it in about 30 years. My gut is that before then, we will do a kitchen remodel and replace the granite anyway with the next trend.

- I currently have Corian in my house. I am fine with it. I really just don't like how dull looking it is (dull = no lustre)

So, would you pay upwards of $3K for a generic granite just because it is the thing right now?

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Jack Kennedy

3k as only an upgrade sounds pricy. would they put formica in and give you a deduction? then you could rip it out after you close and get the granite you like at regular prices, rather than upgrade, contract, prices, which are prob. much higher than they should be.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Will they let you contract the countertops yourself? If not, I would go with glenwood705's advice--laminate counters now, then after you close & before you move in have the granite you like (probably at a more affordable cost without having to pay all the middlemen) installed. I would not upgrade any of the sinks if you go laminate now--it would be wasted money.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:47AM
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I don't understand why anyone would be concerned with what is "trendy" or why granite would be considered in that category.

Use what you like; no one can predict the taste of the next owner and I doubt it would affect the sale price.

I prefer the plainer granites and cabinets because they do not dominate the overall design of the kitchen which is what I concentrate on.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:31AM
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"So, would you pay upwards of $3K for a generic granite just because it is the thing right now? "

I really could not care less what the current "thing" is;
we do what we like in our house.

We personally like - and chose for our kitchen - quartz over granite.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Interesting discussion. I've specified face-grain maple, granite, and soapstone counters for 40 years. None of my clients has expressed an interest in any kind of synthetic or "engineered" material nor has the issue of trends or future resale come up. I've also found that some of the cheaper plainer granites are favored over the more expensive highly figured ones.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:46PM
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In the USA, granite became a mass market counter top material about 25 years ago. I don't think that I would call it trendy! In other parts of the world they have covered bathrooms & kitchens with granite since colonial times, so again not really trendy.

Get what you like and your budget can afford.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Thats seems kinda high compared to what we are paying. I'm in TN & for us to upgrade to granite from laminate countertops was $1,540.00 for level 1 which came with free faucet and ss undermount sink. Level 1 granites we could chose from were uba tuba, new caledonia or new venetian gold. I did price out the builder's price versus buying it once we got in and in this particular instance it just made sense to get it up front. Even the big box stores $39.00 sq ft specials installed weren't cheaper than the builders since their prices start to increase since they charge you for the cutout of the sink. Now as far as other upgrades from builder, thats a totally different story! :) I am still upset as we chose to delete the 4in granite backsplash because we are going to tile the backsplash when we move in. The builder would not give us a credit for the backsplash nor not install it and leave in the garage when we moved in(didn't want to go thru the hassle of trying to remove the 4in backsplash since we wouldn't be using it). We decided to go with NVG and didn't see any reason in spending more money on for a higher level. Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 11:32PM
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