Why You Should Rethink Granite Countertops

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However, there are some downsides to granite countertops. In this article, we are going to go over the cons of granite countertops and suggest some good alternatives. The process of purchasing, installing, and performing maintenance on granite countertops can be expensive and take a long time. For this reason, it is important to think about the investment carefully because granite countertops are simply not right for everyone. Granite countertops are not cheap, and while they do add value to a home, there are some better choices.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Installing Granite Countertops

If you really want granite countertops and you’re willing to pay the price for installation and annual/semi-annual sealing then go for it. However, if you want the look of granite countertops without the luxury price tag and extensive maintenance, then engineered stone countertops like quartz countertops could be the better choice for you.

Galaxy Black Granite offers strong contrast to the white cabinets in the kitchen by Mujimuse in Lagos, Nigeria. See full project here.

For homeowners who plan on living in the home for the next 10 years or so, then the price of granite may be worth it for you to have your dream kitchen. If your goal is to sell the home, then there is more to consider when it comes to installing granite countertops. It is generally believed that granite countertops raise the value of a home, but in some cases, it is not a good investment. Ask yourself these questions before you rush into installing granite countertops.

  • Is the property a luxury home?
  • What are the market conditions in the neighborhood?
  • Can you expect a return on your investment?

1.   Is the property a luxury home?

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before installing granite countertops. Because of the price and maintenance of granite countertops, it is a material that is generally reserved for high-end homes. If your home is located in a “high-end” neighborhood then people will likely expect there to be granite countertops.

A Modern Kitchen with minimalist granite countertop in India. See the full project here.

The luxury look of granite is what attracts many people to the material, but there are some more cost-effective options such as quartz countertops which have a similar look that is indistinguishable from natural granite to most people. In an average home in a middle class neighborhood, people are generally not looking to pay more just for a home with granite countertops.  

2.   What are the market conditions in the neighborhood?

So we have already established that granite countertops are a great addition to a luxury home where buyers hope to see high-end finishes in the kitchen and bathrooms, but even if the home is a luxury property the market condition at large is still an important factor to consider. During an economic recession, home buyers are likely looking for the best deal and are not worried about having the most high-end countertops in the neighborhood.

Grey granite slab countertop for a large family kitchen in Lagos, Nigeria. See full project here.

 Installing unnecessarily expensive and high-maintenance countertops could actually leave the home sitting on the market for longer while barely (if at all) raising the value. If the home is in a “bad” area, such as with high crime or a junky neighborhood then you should probably skip the granite countertops because they won’t help the home sell.

3.   Can you expect a return on your investment?

The main reason why resellers invest in granite countertops is to raise the value of the home. Adding luxurious granite countertops can improve the property value, but not substantially enough for it to be considered a good investment for most. Less expensive materials such as quartz, which offer a similar look and benefits, can help you have a greater return on investment.

Carrara white countertop pairs will with the dark cabinets in this London Home. See full project here.

Downsides of Granite Countertops

Now that we have established why granite countertops are not always the best for improving the resale value of a home, even in a luxury home, let’s go into more detail about the general downsides of granite countertops which may turn buyers off. Here is a list of the cons of granite countertops for you to consider.

Staining

Granite countertops can become stained, especially if they are a white or light grey color. If you live in a home with children, then granite countertops may not be the best choice for you since spilled juice or markers could leave the expensive granite permanently marked. Sealing the granite can help to prevent staining, but this also adds to the maintenance time and cost.

Cracks

Granite is a very strong and durable material, but it can crack under stress. One of the reasons why granite cracks are because it is not installed properly, so if you are considering cutting costs with a non-professional installation think again. If the granite cracks there is not a good way to fix it and your only choice will be a replacement. Replacing natural granite with a matching slab is very difficult because of the unique and one-of-a-kind nature of each slab of granite.

Maintenance

Cleaning granite is fairly simple. It is recommended to use a specialized granite cleaner or a gentle soap with water. The downside to maintenance for granite countertops is that you need to use a sealant on the surface to prevent staining and damage. Sealing the granite needs to happen once or twice a year, and the costs can add up over time. Quartz and laminate countertops do not require sealing which keeps maintenance low.

Conclusion

There are reasons to say yes and reasons to say no to granite countertops. If your goal is to resell the home and you are considering granite countertops to increase the value of the home, then you should carefully consider the questions we have listed here. Caeserstone is a great resource for doing research on the comparison between different countertop materials. Quartz (engineered stone) countertops are a really great alternative to granite because it looks the same and has the same benefits, but the maintenance is easier.