Granite: here to stay in home decor?

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  1. I have a fabulous, spacious townhome that I'm in process of updating when I'm not buying was built in 1980 which means it's very spacious but also stuck in a time warp in a few areas :p. I've already done a lot to update with paint, window treatments, plus I added a 450 sq ft deck off the back which is like adding another whole room! :tup:

    I know the most valuable areas to update are kitchens and bathrooms. In addition to the deck I've got brand new appliances (convection oven, microwave, fridge, w/d, new windows, etc) but am wondering what's up and coming as far as countertops.

    Obviously, granite is the way to go right now in countertops. Anyone in real estate/home decor know what's coming down the pipe or if granite is still a good investment??

    TIA! :heart:
  2. I think at some point it's going to look dated... that's just my opinion. I just remember when harvest gold and avacado green were all the rage too... I have seen some slate countertops that I thought looked much better.
  3. Yes, slate is cool. Also, there are some killer concrete counter tops which are custom "poured" and designed, they look AMAZING! We just remod. our kitchen last year and I went with Granite b/c I loved the slab we found. Another thing I just heard of and think looks great and is eco friendly are countertops made with recycled glass and concrete, sounds weird but it looks really, really, nice! If I were going to do it now, I'd go with the concrete, slate, or the recycled glass. I guess it depends on the style you want, though.....hth!
  4. I'm a realtor and what I'm seeing is granite but low key, more solid colors, less patterny and not as shiny. The stone surfaces are wonderful but very tough to maintain -- I have soapstone and it chips really easily though I love the way it looks. Slate would be the same, and it stains if you're not exceedingly careful. I'm not sure about the concrete as far as durability.
    Granite is still a good investment because it is so durable -- I think a lot of the less durable surfaces will not stay in style as long just because of that -- it's hard to work in a kitchen when you have to constantly consider the countertops.
    White marble has been popular lately for baths and kitchens but I think it's a bit tough to maintain as well.

    The other thing to think about is that countertops, even the stones, are not the hugest part of a remodel project -- I think mine were less than a 10th of the total budget. It's much more important to get the cabinets/layout right if you're changing any of that and the appliances -- as that's a huge part of the budget.

    Roo -- I remember the avocado/gold days too -- when I bought my house it still had the old appliances -- what a hoot. But nothing is quite as dated as the 80's grey bathrooms -- those have truly not aged well at all.
  5. I absolutely agree with this. One day stainless steel appliances and the super fleck-ed granite will be seen as "so year 2000."

    But I do think now that people have gotten used to using the higher end solid countertops, the trend won't swing back to formica. So I think the key is to stay neutral with it. Our friends have a Silestone countertop that looks lovely.
  6. I think you can't go wrong with anything that is solid surface. Whether it be granite, silestone, soapstone, travertine, concrete, etc., people tend to like solid surfaces. I did a kitchen with granite countertops 5 years ago and I loved it so much better than the tile that was there previously (grout, ick).

    The only thing that I would say about granite (and I don't know if this is the same for all the other surfaces but I believe it also goes for marble) is that it needs to be sealed every 2-3 years. This will ensure that it stays looking new longer, and it won't stain.

    Please post pics when you're done!
  7. Concrete must be sealed properly or it can be a nightmare to maintain. I have a friend whose husband is a builder/architect and her concrete countertops have not made her too happy. They've had to be re-done a couple of times. If you don't cook in your kitchen very much, concrete might work for you! LOL!

    Slate can also be a problem because of the natural variations in the stone. It's hard to get a perfectly even flat surface. Dirt and grime can build up in the indentations and crevices. It can be difficult to keep clean. My own friend/interior designer wouldn't let me use it on my own laundry room floor because of that.

    I personally like granite in the more subdued colors and patterns. I also like the solid surface products like Corian, etc. You can do a lot with those in terms of color, style and get countertops that can be kept sparkling clean. Then, spend some money on awesome tumbled marble or cool tile for your backsplash.
  8. Wow, thanks, everyone! Yeah as much as the formica on my countertops is super neutral and in great shape, someday soon it's gotta go.

    I definitely want something that is somewhat timeless and easy to maintain. As much as I loved the flecked granite, it would be too overwhelming for my kitchen I think. Compared with kitchens these days, mine is small! It is not an's more galley style, although it's pretty open with a bay window and slider on one side and an open bar area on the other.

    I too remember the avocado/harvest gold appliances, lol.

    I love the Corian or Silestone ideas with a tumbled marble backsplash!! Hmmm....

    Thanks, everyone!! XXXOO
  9. Hey,

    Sometime if you are not busy, I will take you to DeMar in Tukwila. They are a wholesale decorating place for carpet, tile, marble, hardwood, etc. Incredible stuff there to get ideas. My realtor set me up there with an account so I can bring "guests". They are only open weekdays but it is sooo worth the trip if you want to go sometime. I got carpet for my condo when I remodeled it and I saved about 50% of the retail price.

    Also if you need the name of a really good finish carpenter/painter/handyman, ping me. I met one who we hired to do work the Condo Assn. I hired him to do some work both on my condo and my house here in Issaquah. My old neighbor also hired him to do a semi remodel on her condo and he does excellent work.
  10. R, let's do it! :tup: My weekdays are pretty free these days when I'm not job interviewing and I'd love to pop down there and get some ideas. My carpet and vinyl are all new in here (well, new when I moved in 5 yrs ago) but the vinyl is so boring and barfy.

    Thanks for your generosity! PM me and let's find a time. :wlae:
  11. Granite definitely looks good on real estate listings, but I'm sure a lot of people don't know that you need to have it polished every year. You shouldn't use vinegar or any cleaners with harsh acids either. If you have a spill, definitely clean it up immediately and try not to leave glasses on the counter without a coaster or some kind of protection...glasses can leave a ring of discoloration on granite. Just some things to think about...
  12. You just let me know when you'd like to go. They have an incredible selection of marble, granite, stone, etc. there too.
  13. I think granite is in for the long haul.

    Avocado may have been cool at one time, but that's a color, not a product so I can't compare the 2 personally.
    Granite has been hot longer than people think and it's insane durability ensures it's longevity IMO.
    We put it in our first home close to 10 yrs ago and have been tempted by a few other products but they don't usually add up for us.

    We've had granite for 10 yrs and have never had it sealed or re-sealed.
    Our granite now is 6 yrs old and looks the same today as it did the day it was installed.
    You don't even want to know what I clean it w/ half the time.
    This stuff is idiot proof :biggrin:
  14. I didnt care much about what the rest of my house looked like (okay a little), but it HAD to have black granite in the kitchen and 12" spanish tiles in the bathrooms and hardwood floors through out. (carpet in the bedrooms). I also loved limestone in the kitchen but chose granite.

    HATE hardwood floors now. hate them, hate them, hate them.
  15. we have black granite with brown splotches on it, and the sun comes in our west shines like a mirror...which is not good when you have smudges on it. i get compliments on it all the time, but with the black/brown combination...i honestly can't tell sometimes if there is food/coffee grounds/or stains on the counter.

    it really bugs me, i have had these counters for 5 years, and they are practically indestructible...but i don't like them.

    i wish they were a lighter color, something less masculine, and something..where i could tell immediately by looking if there are crumbs on the counter.

    since i have kids, there always seems to be some kind of debris left on the counter.

    i do like the durability, but would really like to change the color of the granite to something less busy or lighter.

    i have a large kitchen and island, so this is a very expensive "whim" and my husband sees no reason to do this.

    i didn't get to choose the color, the developer had already selected this color for my home when we purchased it, and it was too late to change it.

    now i have confessed, yes i have beautiful granite countertops...but i don't like them that much.