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View Full Version : Home improvement advice needed... counter tops


Rezarf
08-05-2008, 08:44 PM
Howdy-

Stacy and I are considering upgrading the kitchen in our place a bit and I was wondering if you had any opinions on counter top materials, likes/dislikes?

We are leaning toward the stone/granite top or similar, but we have to decide if we will get back the $$$$$ spent to put them in. We live in a town home so it is a reality to price our home out of the "going rate" of the other units. Is there other materials you have/seen and liked?

Also, is this DIY? I am not scared of doing it if it is within reason. I am somewhat handy and very overconfident. :blah::eek: :p:


Thanks!

farnhamstj
08-05-2008, 09:11 PM
A plug for granite tile. Not quite granite slab but looks good. I read something about 15% of granite containing unsafe radiation levels????. It can be done by yourself, and if you bugger a tile it's only one.

Romer
08-05-2008, 09:31 PM
You might also spend some time on craigslist and this site http://www.cohomefinder.com/Colorado-homes-for-sale.htm It's a buyers market right now out there and you can move up a lot cheaper than you could last year. Selling isn't great now but depends on the property on neighborhood.

If nothing else, looking at the pictures and "virtual tours" will give you some ideas.

You tend to not get your money back on interior upgrades, with the exception of new carpet and painting. Thats what Consumer Reports was stating in an article I read yesterday.

Romer
08-05-2008, 09:34 PM
Here is the blurb from the on-line article

Pick the right improvements. You might want to update your kitchen or a bathroom for your own comfort, but don’t expect to recoup the project’s whole cost when you sell your home. In today’s market, you might get the best return if you spruce up the outside of your home by adding a wood deck, energy-efficient windows, or new siding, according to a nationwide survey of real-estate professionals conducted last year by Remodeling magazine.

Hulk
08-06-2008, 12:31 AM
Treeroot scored some inexpensive chunks of granite for his kitchen. He put the seam in the middle of the sink -- I wouldn't even have noticed it if he hadn't pointed it out. I think he said he got them from Granite Depot.

rover67
08-06-2008, 10:50 AM
I did my last kitchen with Granite. It was not too cheap, but I really liked the look. I did square edges to keep it cheap. I bet you could find a pretty hungry granite guy right now... and if you have relatively simple/small shapes you could probably get by pretty cheap. I also ebayed nice fixtures for DIRT cheap.

Also, I've seen some pretty cool stuff done with concrete.. thats a DIY thing for sure.. and cheaper. (although yo uneed to buy th etools if you don't have them) check it out.

All that being said, I agree that interior upgrades (except for what was mentioned) don't *really* add to the value of the place. I guarantee that the folks that bought my place would have been ok with cheaper countertops.. It definitly wasn't the kitchen that sold it to them. BUT... I loved that kitchen, and it was great to be in and cook in.

timmbuck2
08-06-2008, 11:24 AM
x2 on granite tile...I did black granite butted up tight with black grout...looks great. Less than $8 a square foot at home depot...plus I had the edge tiles bullnosed for about $4 per tile.

T

Corbet
08-06-2008, 11:36 AM
We just did granite slab in our Frisco town home. The contractor was out of Denver. He was the most affordable we could find. If you want I can get you his number. It ran us $2500 for a small kitchen. He installed a new granite composite sink as well.

I would not install Slab myself but tile probably yes.

We plan to get out money back out of that upgrade but Frisco is a different market.

If I could do anything ($$$) I'd do soapstone.

treerootCO
08-06-2008, 11:54 AM
The crappiest WilsonArt (cheaper than Formica) was 600 and that was if I installed it myself. Granite Slab from Granite Depot was $300. You have to have the skills to install it and cut it but, for me, it was well worth it. Why would I pay 600 for Formica? Granite installed is thousands of dollars...

rover67
08-06-2008, 12:09 PM
I think my total bill was about $2500 for a small kitchen..

treerootCO
08-06-2008, 12:36 PM
More pics here:

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=4291&highlight=kitchen&page=16

$300 dollars for granite and installation cost only a $50 diamond dry saw blade and a $30 diamond bit for the pos rotozip.

Inukshuk
08-06-2008, 01:37 PM
Can't go wrong with granite. Prices do vary. Radiation is only supposed to be an issue with the exotic stones but its a real issue so do your homwework. There was an article on it in the NY Times a few weeks ago. My neighbor Byron has a fabrication business, Strata Stone, (303) 888-0739

Uncle Ben
08-06-2008, 03:13 PM
One hidden expense of Granite is the countless glassware you will lose! DAMHIK! :rolleyes:

CardinalFJ60
08-06-2008, 03:26 PM
One hidden expense of Granite is the countless glassware you will lose! DAMHIK! :rolleyes:

that's for sure...we put in a tile floor in the kitchen and promptly sacrificed many a glass and a couple bowls.

Sounds like you're wanting to go stone/granite, etc...however, we were looking at replacing the original crappy formica with some of the newer stuff that 'looks kinda like' granite. it's decent enough, and you wouldn't over-build your kitchen for re-sale.

also think about how long you are planning to stay there...if it's 10 years, do whatever you can afford to make it what you want. if it's just to spruce up to sell, then trim back on the budget, 'cuz typically you will not get it ALL back.

wesintl
08-06-2008, 03:35 PM
I had a friend that made his own concrete counter tops in va. They were really kick ass. His were a rougher surface so you couldn't really roll out dough etc and use if for baking but it depends on how you finish it. You can always buy the materials mix up a batch and pour a square to see how you like it plus you'd want to practice on one. Just use some plywood as a base and build a some 1x form.

timmbuck2
08-06-2008, 04:14 PM
I had a friend that made his own concrete counter tops in va. They were really kick ass. His were a rougher surface so you couldn't really roll out dough etc and use if for baking but it depends on how you finish it. You can always buy the materials mix up a batch and pour a square to see how you like it plus you'd want to practice on one. Just use some plywood as a base and build a some 1x form.

didn't that guy up in MN do that?? I remember his thread on Mud...those counters were awesome...

Uncle Ben
08-06-2008, 04:25 PM
didn't that guy up in MN do that?? I remember his thread on Mud...those counters were awesome...

Interesting! Crystal Google ball came up with..... (http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/countertops/what_do_concrete_countertops_looklike.htm)

MDH33
08-06-2008, 04:33 PM
We had concrete in in our Denver house. They looked really good, but it's not as durable as granite. We had a lot of chips after a few years of use. The surface finish tends to wear also which allows stains to set in.

wesintl
08-06-2008, 04:41 PM
yeah.. It can depend on how well you mix the concrete etc too. There are really alot of ways you can do it. It's come along way in the last 5 years or so. But really for the cost of materials which might be a couple hundred you can have some really sweet counters. If you can build that trailer you can build these counters. As far as stains I think you need to apply sealer every once in a while depending on what kind of surface you have. Problem for me with tiles is you have to have a kick ass, I mean the best do it cause 1 tile slightly off and I can see it and it drive me nuts forever. A friend of mine live in a house up in summit that was once owned by one of the best tile guys up there. The lines on his counters and floors are friggen amazing.

http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hk_cabinets_counters/article/0,2037,DIY_13942_2276354,00.html

You could always get some stainless steel and weld some counters together ;)

Rezarf
08-06-2008, 10:53 PM
Wow, thanks for all the responses. We are mainly thinking of the counters for our useage. We are there for several years more no matter what, and we currently have a tiled counter with a decent but not convenient tile. Stacy hates cleaning out the grout and having crumbs in the seams constantly.

We would enjoy the counters, that is why we are doing them. What about Corian? Seems easier to work with than the stone counters too. Mike, just how hard was it to istall your counters... they look great by the way! We have a small "L" and two little single counter units.


THanks :D

calphi27
08-07-2008, 12:08 AM
I have seen some great looking counters in concrete. You'd be amazed at what can be done. Seems like everyone has granite or other fancy stone. It is the new "stainless."