We are going to replace our 10 year old kitchen countertops with
something more durable and attractive. We are considering granite, or
maybe silstone. We have 42 square feet to replace. The price for each
is about the same...around $60 a square foot. Can anyone give me some
pros and cons of granite and sistone, or another surface we should
Doug and Patty
I almost bought granite (black) recently, and changed my mind at the
last minute, to stainless steel. We love the way it looks. Our kitchen
is small, so the stainless is really an advantage. It makes the kitchen
brighter (reflective surface) and feel bigger. Looks fantastic with the
birch cabinet fronts we put in. And it goes great with the stainless
appliances we recently got. I can tell you it does not at all feel
industrial, and looks very contemporary, without being unapproachable.
Stainless is not for everyone for sure. If you want to ensure you will
always have a perfectly flawless looking surface, then perhaps it's not
for you. However, we went with what the fabricator called an "orbital
finish", which is basically a random buffed surface. Highly reccomended
for stainless. You can't see any fingerprints, and it hides any
scratches that might occur. Also, stainless is a bit less traditional,
although I can't imagine it would hurt resale at all (likely to help). I
guess i could imagine a kitchen/house that it wouldn't really work in
The one thing I love about it is the fact that the fabricator made the
sink, and welded it in. So that, as well as the backsplash, are
seamless. The coutertop is essentially one piece, which looks
incredible. And I got a coved edge on the backsplash, so it gently
slopes up from the coutertop. And when they make the sink, they can make
it any size, and make it completely integrated with the countertop.
Other nice things are the fact that it is easy to clean (can be
bleached), and is very functional. The minor blemishes are easily
removed with Barkeeper's Friend.
yeah sorry forgot to say that. It cost about $2800 (including 8.8% tax)
for ~37 sq feet, (including backsplash), BUT that included the
integrated sink. A decent sink costs $200-300, plus an extra $200 if you
want it undermount for the granite, so overall, I think it was about
$800-1000 cheaper than if we went with granite and a 6" granite
backsplash (and a separate sink), assuming ~$80 sq ft, which is what we
were looking at. Of course there are cheaper granite colors than
Doug & Patty,
We just redid our kitchen this year. I had the same quandry as you
about counter tops and explored everything from concrete to stone to
stainless to man made stone (Silestone, Caeserstone, Technistone &
Zodiaq, which are all the same thing made under license from the patent
holder). Ultimately, we went with Silestone, as the variety of colors
surpassed what was available in nature.
We initially though about a cobalt blue, but found a fire engine red
that we love.
It sounds llike your pricing is exceptional. I went through a half
dozen bids and none locally were less than about $110 per square foot
when everything was included. We finally went with e-counters.com and
were very pleased. For our "tier" of Silestone, it worked out to $65
per square foot, plus things like cutouts ($300 for undermount sink,
$20 per hole for the faucet, $40 each for outlets), and bullnose edging
($29 per lineal foot).
What I found is that counters are a lot like a base price car - the
initial advertised price is about 60-70% of the real cost.
Disclaimer - I have on financial or other interest in e-counters.com,
I'm just really cheap and want to get a good value. The weird thing
about e-counters and Home Depot, Lowes etc, is that they all use the
same "factory authorized fabricators" as listed on the products web
sites. They then mark up their bids to make a profit and everybody is
happy. When I had the local guys bid the project they were higher than
HD and everybody else.
I really wanted to deal direct with the local guy, but they were all
$2,000-3,000 higher. Go figure.
Oh hey I love the look of granite. It is beautiful, and has a great
look for most kitchens. I have seen several kitchens with granite
countertops, and it almost always looks great(especially variations on
the black colors, for me). I have it in my bathroom. I like it a lot
better than the manmade silestone (or certainly corian)
Stainless is not a look for everyone, but it can look fantastic in the
Silestone is man made and lacks the character of granite. I vote
Read that Silestone warranty very carefully. It does and will
scratch, contrary to what some of the adds lead the uniformed to
believe. It is NOT as hard as quartz ... it can not be since the
binders/resins are much softer than quartz.
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