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Old 12-05-2007, 07:15 PM   #1
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Granite Countertops and Restaining


I am considering replacing my kitchen laminate countertops with granite. I have seen ads for Granite Transformations that says that the countertops can be placed over your existing counters. Has anyone had any experience with them or any experience replacing contertops and/or advice on what to look for when countertop shopping?

Also, I am wanting to darken the stain on my kitchen cabinets. They now have a shiny polyurathene finish on them over the existing stain color. Is this a project that would be reccomended for a DIY'r to sand and refinish? Or is this a long and dirty job that should be left to the pro's? Any advice on how to procceed with this job would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 12-05-2007, 10:08 PM   #2
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We install granite and for what we charge, removing the old countertops isn't much of a bother. Especially laminate. You can remove a laminate top in a very short time, an hour or so, so why try and lay something on top?

After looking at the website, they don't seem to be selling real stone but some sort of engineered product that wraps around the old top. It looks cheesy to me and comparing it to a solid stone top isn't even a contest. We sell and install 3cm granite. Many shops are doing 2cm granite. There are a lot of arguments about which is better, but I think if either is done by a good stone cutter and installer, then they're both beautiful. There are advantages to either one, so that takes some research to decide.

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Old 12-06-2007, 04:18 AM   #3
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Everything PK wrote is right on the money....
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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Granite Countertops and Restaining


Granite Transformation claims that it is real granite, from Italy, and is made at their factory and is measured and then brought to your home and placed over the top of the existing counter. They claim that there is a 10 yr warranty vs replacing the counter with regular granite comes with no warranty(is that true?).
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:02 PM   #5
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What I saw on the website was their "Granit", which is apparently ground up stone that is mixed with some sort of resin and applied to some sort of flexible backer. I wouldn't call that a granite countertop just as I wouldn't call mdf wood. Granite comes from all over the world with different regions producing different colors. Using the "Italian granite" phrase sounds like some marketing type hyping his product. Engineered stones lack the natural granites' randomness in figure and colors and generally look manmade.

I'm sure the stuff has it's place, just as mdf does, but to compare it to a natural slab of granite, they're just not in the same league.

I'm curious as to the cost. We install our contractor colors for about $60 per square foot. We'll remove the old tops for a nominal fee. What does this "Granit" sell for?
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:14 PM   #6
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If you want to save money why not try granite tile.
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:22 PM   #7
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Transformations tells me that it is 95% real granite with polymers added. They are charging $63/sp ft installed.

Matt, I am not familiar with the granite tile. What are the advantages/drawbacks to this?
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:50 PM   #8
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I think paying as much for an imitation as the real thing costs is a bit dicey. Let me put it this way. Real stone and the engineered stones like Silestone keep their value. You can expect to retain between 80-95% of your original investment when you sell. I doubt this "Granit" will come close to that. It may contain real ground up granite, but that's meaningless. I can paint particleboard and call it cherry, but it's not the same thing.

If it was around thirty bucks a sf, I might would consider this stuff. But for $63 and put over my old tops that may be degrading? No way.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:12 PM   #9
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What I was told is that it is a solid piece of granite formulated to fit over the top of the countertop. Reading into your information, the granite is ground up with polymers to form the counter? This is obviously different than what would happen if it was a complete redo counter? One solid piece of pure granite?
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:20 PM   #10
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Here's an interesting "turn-off" from the website:

...."Rocksolid Granit is flexible,..."
http://www.granitetransformations.com/granite.html
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:15 PM   #11
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Rubberized granite is a neat invention, but I think I it's overpriced. Wonder if it bounces too?
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:16 PM   #12
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You can't formulate granite. You can quarry it, cut it, trim it, and polish it, but that's about it. If you know what you're doing it will even fit!
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:31 AM   #13
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KennyKenny -- One thing solid granite OWNERS have is staining and sealing, one of the "benefits" that rock owners seem to consistently over look. Keep in mind PK sells stone and therefore he believes in his product, as he should. But to call it cheesy shows that he does not have any interest other than his own, and you should take all opinions as what they are.

The material is ground up granite that is mixed with a polymer. It's laid out on a mat that ends up being 3/8" thick that is reinforced with a fiber mat. They come in and template to your walls, machine the pieces in their shop, and bring the pieces out and install (epoxy) them to either the existing counter top or new deck. If the existing deck has a drip edge, it's sanded off before installation. If we were to do it over, we would choose the same product again. There is absolutely zero staining/spotting and we use the kitchen/counter top hard.

Good luck to you...
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:29 AM   #14
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Actually my primary problem with the stuff is the cost. For $63sf you should be able to have real granite or one of the engineered stones such as Silestone installed. And if it comes time to sell, which would a prospective buyer perceive as the better value, a solid stone top or an old formica top wrapped with this material? Please note that I don't sell engineered stone of any kind, not because I think it's inferior, but because my stonemason is only experienced in natural stone. Silestone, Zodiaq and the rest are a much better alternative when you're paying this much money for a top if you want something other than natural stone for whatever reason.

As I said, this stuff has it's place, but when the price is the same, why would you settle for an imitation? Installed for a price between laminate and stone and it's worth considering. But forget natural stone for a minute and compare it to engineered stone. What benefit is there over Silestone? Which will retain it's value better? Which will last longer? With the Silestone, you don't have any concern for a particle board substrate that may have already been in degradation at the time of install and isn't going to get any better. Even if you install a new substrate, is it going to have the lifespan of the engineered stone? Is it going to be waterproof, mold and mildew resistant and able to retain it's shape? What happens when you have a small leak in a faucet that soaks the substrate? Are you going to be able to replace that section of material and match the surrounding top? With the solid top, that's not a concern.

As for having to seal stone, it takes a few minutes every few months or few years depending upon the product, it's about as hard as wiping down the countertops a few times. Natural stone does require a little more care and has it's own set of problems as do all materials.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:00 PM   #15
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Granite Countertops and Restaining


Quote:
Originally Posted by PK. View Post
...is it going to have the lifespan of the engineered stone?
yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by PK. View Post
...Is it going to be waterproof,
yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by PK. View Post
...mold and mildew resistant
yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by PK. View Post
...and able to retain it's shape? What happens when you have a small leak in a faucet that soaks the substrate?
yes, the faucet is fastened to the granite material, and doesn't touch the substrate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PK. View Post
...Are you going to be able to replace that section of material and match the surrounding top?
yes, nearly seamless repairs can be made to the counter top.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PK. View Post
...As for having to seal stone, it takes a few minutes every few months or few years depending upon the product, it's about as hard as wiping down the countertops a few times. Natural stone does require a little more care and has it's own set of problems as do all materials.
ya got me.

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