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hyunelan2 03-10-2011 03:40 PM

Countertop SNAFU
When we purchased the house, 2 years ago this May, the kitchen needed some TLC. The house was 7 years old, but the appliances were horrid. Countertops were an ugly laminate. The cabinetry is nice. Not sure how that happened, but ok.

We changed out the appliances as we could, finally getting to the last (dishwasher) a month ago. We decided to use our remaining tax refund to do countertops ($2800). My wife wanted granite, I liked engineered surfaces. We shopped around and compared prices between a number of big-boxes and contractors. We expect to have these countertops maybe 10-15 years, until we would do a total kitchen rehab/renov.

Home Depot had the best price/deal on anything we saw, by far. The 2cm granite, with a 4cm bullnose laminated edge was $29/sqft. That was competing with laminate prices. Sure, it's not 3cm, but for a few thousand dollars and 10 years time, we were fine with 2cm. We picked out $500 worth of sink/faucet combo, and with the install the total was $2,229 - within our budget.

Monday the contractor came to measure. That's when the problem arose. The material we picked out (2cm baltic brown granite, with 4cm laminated edge) will not work for the kitchen island. The slabs come with 2 prefinished edges, but island tops have 4 finished edges. Ok, looks like we'll need to do a 3cm granite for the island. Finally got the quotes back today.

The counters will have a 4cm laminated edge, the regular granite has a 3cm edge. So the edge thickness will not match.

  • If I chose to do the "free" eased edge on the thicker countertop, it increases the price $492.
  • If I chose to do a bullnose edge to match the rest of the countertops (though different thickness) it will be an increase of $827
  • We could proceed without doing the island, and be refunded $475. I'll then need to do something else. I like butcher block, my wife is not crazy about it. We could do an engineered material, but that might look funny.
  • We could cancel the whole thing and do something cheaper, like laminate.
Oh, and one more thing. The 3cm granite comes from a different supplier. That means maybe they don't match? The HD representative said there is that risk:


Yes, unfortunately, with using 2 different suppliers the chance of the stone not looking quite the same is there. If it makes any difference, this color is classified through Stonemark as a type C consistent color.

So, what to do? The granite we picked is nicer than a laminate option, and cheaper than the Corian/Staron/Silestone options we looked into. We know we are not getting $10K countertops here, but want the ugly, ugly laminate that is on our counters now to be replaced. "Baltic Brown" does seem to be pretty consistent among all the places we shopped around, so there is a chance it would turn out and match ok. If it doesn't though - then I live with that for a decade.

My wife and I are both at a loss right now. She is mad and wants to cancel the whole thing. I'm not sure I disagree.

(P.S. By "I" I mean "My wife and I" - just needed to clear that up)

Jackofall1 03-10-2011 03:43 PM

I would do the island in butcher block, not only is it good looking but it is functional.


hyunelan2 03-10-2011 06:11 PM

Well, my wife hates the butcher block idea, and I'm not going to pay another grand for something that might match. We're canceling the order and returning the sink and faucet we purchased. :(

Leah Frances 03-10-2011 06:24 PM

I hate this sort of thing; especially once you've managed to come to an agreement with your spouse. Good luck.

240sx4u 03-11-2011 03:18 PM

Choose a contrasting color for the island countertop. A good looking contrasting color is better than a terrible match.

hyunelan2 03-13-2011 07:50 AM

I agree, but my wife decided that it all needed to match, so we cancelled the project and returned the sink and faucet. We're back to square 1 now.

240sx4u 03-13-2011 08:20 AM

If momma's not happy... nobodies happy!

Good luck with the search.

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