Replacing kitchen countertops (edit below)

Replacing kitchen countertops (edit below)

Postby WorkingMomx3 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:25 am

YIKES! I had no idea just how expensive this might be. I want to replace the countertops with silestone or similiar. It's awfully pricey right now. And then the whole measuring thing. The clerk at HD said that the installer comes to your house and pulls your old countertops (or maybe HD's people do that first, before the installer guy comes) to make measurements. And then you are without your sink/countertops for 3-4 weeks! Is that true? Then HD's people come back in and reset up your sink (although DH should be able to handle that)

So...anyone else out there want to share their experience in replacing their countertops? What to do to reduce cost? Tips to make the whole experience easier?

Thanks
Last edited by WorkingMomx3 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby April » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:40 am

I really don't see why they would have to take the old countertops out before they make the new ones. It makes no sense to me, but maybe someone who has BTDT that explain.


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Postby JulieB » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:41 am

Without your countertops for 3 or 4 weeks?? That is CRAZY!

I wonder if you would get a better bid from someone other than Home Depot. My guess is you would! There are a lot of local places that specialize in countertops around where we live and that is what we did.

And we were without our countertops for like 1 day! They took them out one afternoon and then installed the granite the next day.

I think we paid around $62/sq feet for fairly basic granite a year and a half ago.
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Postby WorkingMomx3 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:51 am

They were telling me that they had to take the countertops off to get the proper measurements and to make sure the counters were level. I guess they leave them in place, but they are not attached.

Right now, silestone is $79/sq. ft, which I think is outrageous. I only went to HD to get a quote because we can get a 10% military discount...not...I found out they discontinued the discount in January because they lowered their prices overall. Yeah, right. I guess I'm shopping Lowes...at least they still have their discount.
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Postby JulieB » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:59 am

Are you set on Silestone or would you consider granite? Personally I think granite is prettier and I know it cost less than quartz.

I really think you should get a quote from a local person too and compare with Lowes/HD. Even with your discount, you may get a better price!
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Postby RhondaS » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:19 pm

I'm with Julie, for that kind of work I'd only consider a local craftsman. Someone where you know who is doing the work and how to find that exact person should you have a problem. The large chains contract out all their installers and you can't be sure of the quality of their work. Surprisingly, a small local contractor will often be cheaper too, because they don't have the overhead.

We're looking at replacing our counter top this spring/summer. No one I've talked to told me we'd be without counters for weeks. Mom just had hers replaced, and it took two days. That's what I expect.
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Postby WorkingMomx3 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:33 pm

That's why I love it here! Great advice so far. I will talk to some local people and look at other surfaces. It's funny that silestone is now more expensive than granite. And of course, I picked an upgrade, so that added almost $2100.
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Postby mobetsy » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:41 pm

Our incredible money-saving deal on a bathroom Silestone countertop probably won't be transferrable, but you never know, so I'll mention it.

We had picked out the pattern we wanted and priced it at HD. We have a local Habitat for Humanity store that sells all kinds of used and new household construction materials--windows, appliances, paint, toilets, lights, etc.--at bargain prices. I happened to be there looking for something like doorknobs, and I saw a bunch of Silestone countertop slabs. Turned out to be exactly the pattern we'd picked, used only for a HD photo shoot. I bought an 8' piece for $125; we paid an independent counter guy another $300 to cut it to length, cut the sink hole and backsplashes, and install it and the sink (and we let him keep the 4' we didn't need). Saved us about $1800 8)

So while that was a good stroke of luck, and we didn't need a big piece, still it might be worth checking around to see if any place in your area sometimes has this sort of thing. With the amount they had at the Habitat store, one easily could've done an entire kitchen.

FWIW, we are very happy with Silestone; it is holding up great to the heavy use of two boys and their experiments, and it looks like new after several years with virtually no maintenance. However, finding an independent installer can be a little tricky.
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Postby wanda » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:07 pm

That's crazy! From past experiences, both mine and neighbors, I will never use Home Depot or Lowes for *any* installation other than basic appliances. They have "sale" prices and then nickel and dime you to death until the savings are eaten up - ie. my last experience was with blinds. There was a charge for measuring, another for the valance to hold two instead of one, and it seems there was yet another surcharge I've forgotten. Then there was the neighbor who used them to install laminate flooring. Delivery was left in the driveway even though the installation wasn't for a week - can you imagine what the Florida rain would have done to laminate flooring! Carpeting...price per foot for the carpet, another for the pad and then another for installation. All was included at my local carpet store and ended up much less expensive.

So.......find a local contractor or countertop company. They will measure with your counter's in place. Depending on your existing countertop construction, they may rip out the old stuff the day before, but you should be without the use of them for more than a couple days. Quartz prices have dropped and you should be able to find it for less than the cost of granite.

No question, granite is stunning with the "movement" within the stone and if you look at the stones side by side you *will* question your choice of quartz. I went with quartz in my kitchen and granite in the bathroom during our remodel and am very pleased with both. I chose quartz for the kitchen because I did not want to deal with sealing and I know how messy my family can be. That said, I was totally in a tizzy when I went to the granite yard to inspect my granite and saw the quartz up next to it. I actually went in to see if I could change my order. Ultimately, I am glad changing was not an option. The quartz looks extremely nice and I appreciate the lack of maintenance.
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Postby Nancy » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:27 pm

All I know is I have WHITE laminate. I think notebook paper might be a better alternative than that.
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Postby Sue » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:36 pm

Nancy wrote:All I know is I have WHITE laminate. I think notebook paper might be a better alternative than that.


Does your white laminate have gold squiggles in it? Ours did - I think it was installed around 1957 and we got rid of in in 2007. Someone sure got their money's worth out of that stuff!
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Postby Nancy » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:44 pm

No gold squiggles. Though that might actually be an improvement. That way, all the marks from the pots might blend in????
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Postby Anna » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:51 pm

We had already demolished everything so that particular part is moot.

I had my countertops done and they did come in and measure and left with wooden templates. It took him nearly three hours! We used a piece of plywood for a few weeks. No big deal when you had nothing there anyway. I mean, the cabinets were in and appliances, but nothing else. The plywood was fine for the short period.

I have to echo Wanda, don't go to Home Depot! Ugh, the horror stories. My gf had her counters done around the same time, and hers were from Lowes and they did a fabulous job. Even did some leveling. They were wonderful. I'm nosey and wanted to watch because her countertops were done with a material I had never seen before. They are gorgeous! It's some kind of recycled material, and the sink blends right in. As in, it's all one piece. I think hers were $2600, but she had much more counter space to cover. I have one nine foot wall, and then a turn around with the range. It was $1600 for granite. I love them and have no regrets. It's a beautiful piece of stone that always looks different depending on the time of day.

I also went to a smaller independently owned shop and it was fun to pick out my own slab. I did take a door front with me everywhere to match it up. There was one color of granite I was set on when I went to the shop, and put my door front next to it, it was horrible. I was crushed! I walked around holding my door up to different slabs and found a perfect match for me. I never would have picked it out spontaneously.

Good luck and shop around.
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Postby cherir » Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:38 pm

Linda, I know more often than not, your hubby talks about moving. If that is at all the case, I Highly recommend granite for resale purposes. Unless Silestone is all the rage where you live, granite is in the top three requests buyers want these days, even in price ranges where you would not see granite. lol

Because of the exorbitant expense, I would hate to see you move in a few years and not recoup that money.

Cheri, who can't stop considering resale value. lol
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Postby funnygirl » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:45 am

Betsy - Thanks for the tip on the Habit store. I am going to look into that for something I need to replace. :wink:
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Postby Angel » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:32 am

i need to replace my countertops soon too. i'm still undecided on what material i would like to use.

sue, i'll see that white countertop with gold squiggles, and raise it to white countertop with gold and brown flecks, that is also comming unglued in places so it pops up and wiggles in places! yikes, it's ugly! lol

i'm thinking seriously about butcher block countertops. i know they have more maintence needed, but i just love love love the look and feel of wood. :grin: if we don't do that we may go with granite tiles with no grout lines. cheaper, but still sort of a nice look. we'll see. maybe i'll do both in different areas.
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Postby WorkingMomx3 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:19 pm

Ok...I went to a stone place yesterday. Wow! Lot's of decisions.

Here's 2 pics of my kitchen. I need to get some from a different angle when I have time. What color would you suggest to go with my cabinets/current paint?
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The white microwave isn't on the counter anymore. It was just there temporarily when the other one died.

The maple cabinets look really red in these shots, but they aren't that quite that shade.

I was thinking of going lighter, more neutral since the kitchen is in the middle (no direct sunlight). I will also be doing a tile backsplash.

I need your help deciding!

Also, what about a sink????

PS The floor is a neutral 15" x 15" ceramic tile. I thought of going with something lighter that might go with that, but then I'm afraid it might be to monochromatic.
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Postby WorkingMomx3 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:45 am

After looking again this morning, I'm leaning towards a darker shade. I'm thinking that the gloss will reflect more light and make it seem brighter???
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Postby Tina » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:39 am

Linda- My cabinets are very similar to yours. At some point we're going to replace our countertops with granite. I want darker as well. I'll be watching for suggestions too.
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Postby Sue » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:55 am

Our floors are a darker oak and the cabinets are cherry. We also went with bisque appliances and sink (they aren't white, although they sort of look white in this photo). I initially thought I'd want darker countertops too. But we ended up with lighter granite.

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Here is a closeup of our granite which picks up the bisque in the appliances as well as the darker shade of the cherry. I originally didn't think I wanted anything this busy, but the more I looked the more I liked it. So even though DH picked it out in the first few minutes we were there it was a couple of hours before I came around to it. :oops: He's a patient man!

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