5 Things To Consider Before Upgrading To Granite Countertops

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Every so often I get the renovate bug and we go about our renovation projects. Some projects are bigger and some are smaller, but each time we take on a new DIY, I learn lessons I can pass right on to you.  While we have a very new home, I still did not do all the built-ins I wanted when we were under construction. 

We had a budget to stay within and wanted to really gain more living space overall, and we did, but there are things I am still wanting to change up.  After all Adventure. Eat. DIY. Repeat. would not be complete without rolling along with changes and upgrades right?

Lately, my focus has been on new kitchen countertops, but there is a lot to consider before going full throttle into this project.  Who is ready to learn about the 5 things to consider before upgrading to granite countertops and lavishly live your fresh kitchen makeover out loud?

The Kitchen Renovation

Once I set my mind to a project, I press the gas hard and move it along, because non-stop progress definitely keeps me happy. Life is a checklist I just have to keep on checking to move it along! Like most of you, I consider projects fun and exciting when I know what to expect as an outcome and really have a scope of focus on the project.

My thoughts and opinions are based on my personal experiences dealing with contractors, renovators, and interacting with those that sell granite. Don’t just buy, shop and learn, everyone has an angle.

RENOVATION TRUTH 

Kitchen renovations can be a beast to live through between contractors not fulfilling their promises or jobs gone wrong, you really need to line your chicks and hens up BEFORE you begin.  Just because my husband is a contractor does not mean that he takes every project on, sometimes there is a time to say ‘when’.  Should we just be changing the cabinetry in the kitchen or should we just replace the countertops or should we replace both the kitchen cabinets and countertops?

While I would love him to handle this project, it is a bit more involved than we want to be, so we have done some soul-searching and thought processing to really focus on what we are looking for at the END of the renovation.

I want countertops I can revel in looking at, those that when the sun catches them, they shine, and always look like a mirror or glass.  My husband, Michael would prefer we not tackle the world on this project and we make enough subtle changes that we get to what we want, but we do not create MORE work than needs to be. Is there a line of compromise?

The Shop-A-Holic

Being called a ‘shop-a-hole’ in this particular scenario is not a bad thing because I can promise you that not only will I get the best price, I will harvest the best ideas, and find the best granite without wasting time.

Shopping is an education and for those of you that hate it, it is time to learn to love it, because being an educated consumer allows you to fill in the blanks that SOME contractors for granite don’t fill in for you. Granite is an education, an investment and a possible consideration.  Casa Vento needs a small upgrade, but for others, the upgrade I am doing may not be the path you want to follow.

Some package the granite pricing at ‘too good to be true’ pricing and trust me it is too good to be true. The sizes being offered for the prices don’t match up, quotes are not efficient until they come to your house and measure and then suddenly what starts at a particular price suddenly gets much higher. My suggestion, shop till you drop and find someone that YOU will be comfortable working with. Efficiency, pricing and how the contractor interacts are all KEY elements of having the work done.

5 Things To Consider Before Upgrading To Granite Countertops

Head to the granite companies, look at their granite, and hopefully, they will have your cabinets available for you to take around with you to match the color as you go.  Additionally, have your kitchen square foot measured (roughly) so you can get an idea.

Cabinetry

At this point, you might be wondering how cabinetry fits into all of this but let me tell you to make this your very first consideration before starting any renovation in the kitchen.  Step back and look at your cabinets. Any kitchen can be changed up with a great set of cabinets. If you did no invest in ‘better’ cabinets when you built, consider a cabinet upgrade.

Cabinetry can make or break the look of the kitchen and if you are going to dress the kitchen up with an investment in granite or quartz, don’t paint your cabinets, upgrade them and make the tuxedo come together.  Make the room look lavish, not hacked and pieced together. Or, if you are using the existing cabinetry really look at the colors in your kitchen so it all pulls together.

Cabinet Color Matters

Remember that cabinetry has to match and you can’t just slap any cabinets in there. You want to match the color to the cabinets and consider flooring options later. Make sure you think about your wall color that you will have, the floors that you have (unless you are changing them too) and make sure to touch and feel your cabinets.

Drop In Sinks & Cut-Ins 

Realize that the moment you change your countertop your sink is going to become a drop-in under mounted sink, so you need to factor in the cost of a new sink. While you are factoring this in, consider that your faucet should be updated and that there might be a charge for the sink cut in.  In fact, many companies charge per sink cut in starting at $150 and if you are buying from someone else they will require you provide the template before they cut. (food for thought)

Back Splash

Do you have a backsplash already installed? You are going to have to work around what you have then because there is a cost to undo and redo right? Also, the backsplash is another term for that counter lip that comes off the Formica and backs against the wall.  Many will have that granite made as well which is an additional cost.

Seams & Grains & Edge Finishes

Seams are something to consider carefully.  We have a 60 Square Foot Chefs Island, I simply felt that I should not have a seam, and one slab should do it. One company was totally formidable to the idea, while another wanted to simply install 2 pieces and wash their hands of the job and that is only part of kitchen granite countertops. I believe I am the customer and I should get what I want.

Next, if you are buying marble that has different grains, the grains have to go the same way or you will have a cheap looking, grain going the wrong way finish.

Last, Edges on the granite countertops cost extra. There are several kinds of finishes, every granite company is different about the pricing. Some build the finishes (basic ones) into the cost, others have you pay by the linear foot and yet others will give you a discounted price after so many linear feet, get the right story before you invest. Also, consider the edges all flowing and matching for a contiguous look, or so we have been advised over and over.

Installation Dates

How fast can you make it happen Captain becomes the question. From what we have learned after a long and tedious process, whoever puts the deposit down first, goes first and you will work from there to get on the schedules.

For the average 110 square foot countertop installation, you can expect 5-6 hours and 3-4 guys there installing.  Additionally, you want to know that the granite will be sealed as will the new sink and you should not use the sink for the first 24 hours so that the sealant can seal water-free.

Additionally, no food should be eaten directly off the counter for the first  72 hours as the sealant can absorb into the food. Last, while you may be able to use the countertops almost immediately you do not want to put HOT pots or very cold on the newly sealed Granite.

A Beautiful Kitchen

If you consider these 5 things before installing granite you will have made the best possible decisions leading you down the path of least corrections. It is better to know more about your kitchen than the contractor and to really study before you buy! Lavishly live kitchen renovation out loud and keep these  5 Things To Consider Before Upgrading To Granite Countertops bookmarked for future reference!