Granite overlay countertops - Opinions?

khills28June 16, 2010

Hi everyone. I am dying to redo the countertops in my kitchen. They are an ugly deep blue/gray laminate. Ewwww. I'd love to do quartz or granite. Problem is of! We just re-did our floors and took quite a hit.

What are yall's thoughts on the granite overlays? The only company I've heard of so far is Granite Transformations. Will it be a lot cheaper than the traditional granite countertops? Or is a bad idea?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and/or opinions!


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Because they go on top of your existing counter they are very thick. So they look off-kilter and funny. I'm not sure what their pricing is but I think you'd be much better off replacing your counters with a less expensive real granite.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 5:04PM
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It's very close to granite in pricing and looks nothing like granite. IT looks more like quartz, but it's definately got a flat manmade look (which is what it is, it's NOT granite) that was offputting. There are plenty of places where you can find real granite for around $50 a square foot. There's no comparison in looks.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:04PM
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I concur that it is expensive and looks funny.

You can find granite you like for a decent price. Call around and get quotes.

If I truly couldn't afford granite, I'd go with something like the Wilsonart HD laminate.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:17PM
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A co-worker had countertops by this same company (in WA state), done in her kitchen, and has been very pleased. They did the entire job (including backsplash) in a few hours. I looks very nice and wasn't nearly as pricey as replacing the countertops with full granite. The choices are limited and it does look more like quartz (to me anyway), but if you want to refresh your kitchen without a lot of fuss or big $$$ (guess that depends on how much counter top), it seems like a viable option.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Other people who have looked into it on GW when I was doing my remodel found that they were able to get granite for the same price or even less.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 11:24PM
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I had Granite Transformations countertops installed in my condo before I sold it, and they looked as good as the granite I had installed in my new house. They were a little higher, but no one ever commented. The person purchasing the condo thought it was 'regular' granite~who knew? ;o)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 11:33PM
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My best friend's sister did this and I think they look stupid. I would rather have a pretty laminate with an updated edge profile than a granite overlay.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 11:40PM
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Our neighbor did it and it looked awful - might as well have done laminate. And she paid twice what my bid is for slab granite. I'd never do it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 1:27AM
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I do like the looks of it, it looks more like quartz I think. But when I priced it, it was highter than real it was a no brainer to me to get the real deal ;)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:00AM
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I knew someone who did it to sell their home and I thought it looked great. It was black, which may be an easier choice because the uniformity wont give it away.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:08AM
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Also, if you want granite and find slabs out of your budget, you may want to look at granite tiles depending on your counter size. You can get granite tiles in 24 x 24" sometimes.

Our neighbor is a contractor, and he did the tiles in his own home.

MIL's friend recently had Granite Transformations come in to do her counters and reface her cabinets. It was $10,000!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:44AM
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I agree about the cost being too high. When we were just starting out down this renovation path, and were looking at granite and other options, we found that these were more than going with a level 1 granite. And they did look odd.

Look at the lower level granites, there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, they are only "lower level" because they are more common. The place where my granite came from started their pricing at $39sq/ft (included the stone, fabrication, installation). And now with the economy where it is at, I see that they have all sorts of special deals.

So keep looking, and I wouldn't go with the Granite Transformations.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 9:27AM
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Wow, great feedback. Thanks everyone.

That's amazing that it can be the same or possibly more expenseive then real granite. That is definitely a no-brainer!

I've also heard to stay away from the big box retailers, as they usually charge much more then local stores. There are quite a few kitchen & granite stores in my area that I plan to check out.

When we begin shopping around, what are some of the things I need to look for and questions to ask? This is my first home and I know nothing about remodeling. I don't want to get screwed by looking like I am clueless.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 9:35AM
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Do you have any referrals from friends/work? Or else start calling some local companies to come out for estimates. You may also want to visit some showrooms to see what types/colors of granite you are interested in, but each estimator came to our house with a sample board. They will also show you samples of edges and any upcharges for certain edges.

You may also need to decide about seam placement and if you are going to upgrade your sink/faucet (I assume so). Some places will offer a "free" sink, but you may want something else.

Ask if they do the plumbing hookup, too. We were fortunate our company did everything for us, so no need to get a plumber.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 10:29AM
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Lots of good, no make that great advice in the Read Me if you are new thread. Scroll down to the part about counters. Lots of threads are linked in there.

Make sure to bring home samples to be viewed in your own space, it's amazing what your lighting does to the granite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me if your new....look for the granite part

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 10:42AM
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Thanks for the "Read me" link, that really gave me some great advice!

OK, so let me ask you guys this. I did a quick measure job last night of my countertops just to try to get a very rough estimate of what this would cost. The way our kitchen is set up is we have a long counter where the sink is, and above that is a bar top. Then on another wall, we have a counter where the stove is. So when measuring, I include my sink, but NOT the stove, correct? So really I'm looking at 3 sperate areas here (bar top, sink counter, and stove counter) that total about 53 SF (includes back splash and edges). So if I figure $60 for granite (installation included) (and I know thats the low end), i end up around $3,180. I know I'd have to add a little extra for edge finishes.

To me, this doesn't seem so bad! Am I missing something here? Am I WAY off base with the $60 for granite & installation? What else do I need to include that would make a big difference in price?

Thanks for all the help!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:48AM
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I'm not sure where you are located, but you can get some granite templated,fabricated, and installed for $2000, including the sink and faucet, up to 50 sq feet. This is from the place I used, and they are no fly-by-night company either.

so, $60 sq/ft is very reasonable estimate on your part. You will need to get out there and see what the shops are offering. You might find a $39sq/ft granite does the trick for you.

Good luck and happy granite shopping!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:59AM
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That's probably a good average price. I'm sure others can chime in. Of course, prices vary by region, level of granite, and sometimes there are upcharges for certain types of edges. The one advantage of having a not so huge square footage to cover is that it can be surprisingly affordable.

Not sure if the FAQ mentions this, but there might a charge for demo and removal of the old countertops. DH and I did not feel comfortable DIY'ing this. There is a method to the madness.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 10:09AM
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