Category Archives: Kitchens

Granite Countertop Cost vs. Quartz 2018: Pros & Cons

Today’s top two upscale countertop options, granite and quartz, are competitively priced with one another. Granite and quartz are quite different materials, one being a natural stone and another being an engineered composite made to resemble the natural stone.

This guide covers unique properties, pros and cons, looks, maintenance requirements, durability aspects, and pricing considerations for each option.

Cost

Granite countertops cost between $48 and $135 per square foot installed. The cost is largely based on whether you choose tiles or slabs. When going with a full-sized granite slab, its thickness, size (length and width), color pattern and degree of flawlessness or lack of imperfections will affect the overall price on a per sq. ft. basis.

Quartz countertop cost ranges from about $72 to $124 per square foot installed, and engineered stone slabs are used.

Granite Quartz
Low Cost: $48 to $80 per s.f. $72 to $94 per s.f.
Average Cost: $70 to $104 per s.f. $84 to $112 per s.f.
High Cost: $100 to $135 per s.f. $105-$124 per s.f.
Avg. Total Cost:

(64 sq. ft. of material)

$5,568 or $84/s.f. $6,272 or $96/s.f.

Did you know? A decade ago, quartz was much more expensive than granite. With higher demand came an increase in production and with it, more cost-effective manufacturing process. That’s why you’ll find outrageous prices for quartz from many pricing sites. The days of $200+ per square foot quartz are gone, but many sites haven’t updated the information in years. 😉

Cost Factors

The cost range for quartz, also known as engineered stone, is narrower than costs for granite. This is because there are fewer variables in quartz. It is a manufactured material, so quality tends to be consistent, and there are no rare colors or types.

The costs above are divided into low, average and high. The more of these factors apply to your project, the higher your cost will be on the spectrum.

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Top 15 Kitchen Remodel Ideas and Costs 2018 Update

Updating or remodeling your kitchen can be a great investment of your home improvement dollars, especially if you plan to sell your home in the next few years. Remodeling this center-stage space of family gatherings can further enhance its functionality and utility, enabling you to enjoy the heart of your home to the fullest.

Here are some of the top kitchen remodeling ideas for the year, along with their expected costs and pros and cons of each update.

1. Low-budget Remodel – Do It Yourself can be a Viable Approach here

A kitchen remodel can be done on a shoe-string budget. Just update one part at a time as the budget allows. You can do some or all of the work yourself, in some cases, if you are handy and have the necessary time and desire to get your hands dirty. 😉

Otherwise, an investment of $21,000 will buy a minor kitchen remodel completed by a professional remodeling contractor, but doing some of the work yourself can also bring that price down quite a bit. A minor kitchen remodel could include, but doesn’t have to be limited to the following:

  • Refinishing cupboards
  • Replacing outdated appliances with new, more energy-efficient appliances
  • New paint or wallpaper
  • New faucet
  • New countertops
  • New but inexpensive flooring

New countertops don’t necessarily have to be expensive.

Even a new laminate countertop, which is fairly inexpensive, can make a huge difference. Decide what needs to be done, figure out the cost and have that one part done, or do it yourself, when your paycheck can cover it. — This remodeling approach could take a while, but eventually, you’ll have a beautifully updated kitchen and won’t be too broke to buy groceries. 😉

  • In 2018, a minor kitchen remodel will give you an average ROI or recouped value of investment of about 81%. Thus, a $21,200 kitchen remodel should add about $17,200 to the value of your home.

2. Refinish the Cupboards

kitchen-cabinets

Give your kitchen a face-lift by refinishing the cupboards and drawer fronts instead of replacing them. New pulls and knobs will complete the look. This is fairly inexpensive and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. You can save even more money by doing it yourself but, be forewarned, it is not as easy as it seems.

If the cupboards are in good shape and do not have lots of grooves or intricate carving, it is pretty straightforward. The job will take time, elbow grease and paint that costs about $30 to $60 per gallon plus $10 to $25 for new pulls and knobs.

However, the cupboards will almost certainly look better if you have the refinishing done professionally. Plan to pay between $800 and $5,000, depending on the number of cabinets and how much repair needs to be done. The average cost is around $2,500.

  • Investing $2,500 in cupboards will add about $2,000 to the value of your home.

3. Reface those Cabinets

Have the cabinets refaced instead of replacing them if the doors and fronts are too damaged to refinish or if you just want a completely new look. This must be done by a professional.

It generally costs between $2,000 and $13,000. When cupboards are refaced, the doors, drawer fronts and the actual veneer or wood finish on the outside of the cupboards is replaced. There are a few up-sides to refacing, as opposed to replacing:

  • Refacing costs less.
  • You regain the use of your kitchen more quickly.
  • You don’t have to deal with the hassle of new cupboards that don’t fit.

Even though this option is more expensive than refinishing, it will be worth it if your cupboards are old and outdated. They will look brand new.

  • The ROI for a $5,000 refacing will be about $4,000 and a big wow factor that you get to enjoy every time you go into the kitchen.

4. Refinish Walls

New paint or wallpaper, along with the refinished cupboards, will leave your kitchen looking fresh and brand new. You can do this yourself, of course, or hire a professional.

If you hire a professional to paint, plan on spending between $400 and $1,000, depending on the size of the room. Having wallpaper installed by a professional will generally cost between $150 and $800. Doing it yourself is much cheaper but painting or hanging wallpaper in between the cupboards can be tricky.

  • This minor investment may not give you much in the way of ROI but it will probably help sell your home more quickly. Think of this as curb appeal for your kitchen.

5. Replace Flooring

Replace your kitchen flooring with cork or vinyl tiles. These materials are inexpensive and easy to put down yourself in most kitchens.

Cork tiles cost around $3 to $6 per square, while vinyl tiles are $1.50 to $4 per square foot. There are some pros and cons to consider here.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy DIY project in most kitchens.

Cons:

  • Not usually a very long-lasting flooring, although some come with a 25-year warranty.
  • Existing flooring may need to be removed or underlayment might be required.

New flooring makes a big difference. The floor is the largest surface area in your kitchen and the first thing you see before you even enter the room.

  • The ROI on $500 worth of new flooring won’t add to your home value but it will make a big impression on prospective buyers.

6. Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel

modern-upscale-kitchen

Larger, total kitchen remodels generally cost between $20,000 and $40,000 and entail a complete tear-out of the old … well, everything. Consider all possibilities and come up with a plan before the work begins.

Give plenty of thought to what works best for you in addition to what materials you want. Keep in mind that this room must be built for function, not just aesthetics.

Let your intentions guide your remodeling plans. Return on investment for kitchens is generally only 60 to 80 percent, although this varies considerably from area to area. This means you will likely only recoup a little over half to three-quarters of what you invest in most locations.

It may, however, help your house sell more quickly. If you are remodeling to sell, keep the colors and materials on the neutral side. A prospective buyer may be turned off by too much bright purple.

  • The national average ROI on a minor kitchen remodel is 80.2% but in Chicago it is 102.9%. You should only expect to recoup about 65% of the cost on a major remodel.

7. Small Kitchen Planning

mid-range-minor-kitchen-remodel

Even though a small kitchen may seem like an easier remodel than a large kitchen, you actually may need to get a bit more creative. Small kitchens can be difficult.

Rip out the old cupboards and appliances in your mind and let your creative juices flow.

Imagine the cupboards, sink and appliances in every possible configuration to get the most out of the limited space. Plumbing can be moved. It will cost an additional $1,000 to $1,500 or so but that extra cost may be well worth it in the long run.

Keep the kitchen sink in front of the window, if possible. Use cupboards that extend all the way to the ceiling to get as much storage space as possible.

  • Spending $25,000 will add about $20,675 to the value of your home. Do not invest too much. You could add more value to the home than the area housing market will support. Rule of thumb – do not spend more than 5% to 7% of the home’s value on remodeling.

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Top 10 Countertops: Prices, Pros & Cons – Kitchen Countertops Costs

Today we’re exploring countertops and solid surfaces for kitchens, bathrooms, and for all related home improvement and DIY needs!

Selecting a new countertop for your kitchen can not only be exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. After all, there is such a wide variety of materials and countertop surfaces to consider, along with their thickness, benefits and drawbacks, colors, costs, and other options.

It’s not at all surprising that many homeowners are easily dazed and confused by the wide array of choices and options. In fact, many people who have already been through the process of installing a new countertop in their kitchen or bathroom will readily attest that it’s not at all an easy choice! 😉

Some of the top questions being asked by many of the “quality and cost” conscious consumers, have to deal with the cost of materials, their pros and cons, and labor or installation costs for most common surfaces including granite, Formica, quartz, marble, and the good ol’ laminate.

If you have not faced any major remodeling decisions before, then you should know that all modern countertops have their inherent strengths and flaws. It’s up to you to decide which particular factors and material characteristics are most important to you.

Yes, it’s all about your wants and needs! 🙂 — Some of the main ones to consider are: durability, luster, heat resistance, maintenance, price and style.

In this guide, will cover the top ten most common materials for countertop surfaces. We’ll give you the necessary information, so you can make an informed decision.

| 1. Granite |
| 2. Quartz |
| 3. Solid Surface |
| 4. Wood |
| 5. Laminate |
| 6. Concrete |
| 7. Nanotech Matte |
| 8. Glass |
| 9. Stainless Steel |
| 10. Soapstone |

1. Granite

For years granite has been one of the most popular surface choices among the US homes, owning to its natural beauty, durability, and ruggedness. It’s a natural stone, so every individual slab is 100% unique in its hue, pattern and shading.

Mediterranean-style-granite-countertop-McCullough Design Development

By McCullough Design Development

Since each piece is different in appearance and size, many consumers will often have go to their local granite warehouse and select the actual pieces of granite that will go into their kitchen or bathroom.

Each slice of granite is approximately 9 to 10 feet long and 5 to 6 feet wide. There are some places carrying granite slabs as large as 12 feet long for those extra long open-space kitchens.

If your countertop is larger than this, the granite will need to be installed in pieces, thus inevitably resulting in some seams.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Unique – One of a Kind!
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Water resistant (when sealed)
  • Easily cleaned
  • Variety of colors and patterns

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • High maintenance
  • Can break when exposed to excessive stresses during transportation or installation

Price: Granite has an average material cost of $45-$100 per square foot depending on the size, pattern, and thickness of the slab. Although, some select species of granite can be as expensive as $150-$250 per square foot! It will be a grand total of $3,000 to $5,000 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.

Tips: Save money by using a thinner slab of granite, or use granite tiles for a fraction of the cost.

2. Quartz

Quartz can give granite a run for its money (especially considering the cost of higher-end granite) surfaces, with the durability and look of natural stone, minus the maintenance. It’s a very hard, impervious to water drops or moisture stone quarried out of the earth, ground into small pieces, mixed together in a sheet layer and held together in a resin as part of its manufacturing process. As with all countertops, it has some advantages and disadvantages.

White Quartz Countertop by Marble of the World

By Marble of the World

Like granite it will have seams, but they will be less noticeable. Its consistent look and pattern allows the seams to blend more easily.

Quartz is a nonporous pre-engineered material, so it doesn’t need to be sealed. However, it’s not completely heat resistant. A hot pot can be sat on the counter, but it can’t be left there for very long, as the heat will react with the resin and leave a burn mark!

Pros:

  • Durable
  • More flexible than granite, which makes it stronger and more tolerant to stress
  • Available in glossy and matte finishes
  • Non-porous
  • Stain and crack resistant
  • No sealing
  • Wide range of colors
  • Easily cleaned
  • Antibacterial

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Seams

Price: $60-$100 per square foot. It will cost you in the range of $2,500 to $4,500 for an average 40 square feet pre-engineered quartz surface installed.

3. Solid Surface

An acrylic manmade product created by DuPont under the brand name, Corian. The seamless material provides a durable, hygienic and nonporous surface.

Orange Corian Countertop Kitchen - Susan Jay Design

By Susan Jay Design

Corian comes in a variety of colors, hues and patterns that can be designed to fit anyone’s style. Choose a stone pattern for a warm, traditional decor, white or black for a minimalist style or brighter colors for a more eclectic look. Custom colors are also available.

Its look is consistent and lends itself to soft curving designs and integrating features like sinks, drain boards and backsplashes.

Pros:

  • Nonporous
  • Stain resistant
  • Easily repaired
  • Seamless
  • Customizable
  • Several colors, patterns and finishes
  • Quick installation
  • Easily cleaned

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Can be scratched and dented
  • Not a natural material

Price: $40-$90 per square foot

4. Wood

Wood countertops have been used for hundreds of years. They’re unique, natural and add warmth to any space. Various types of wood and finishes can be used to fit different decor and lifestyles.

For a traditional style use cherry, teak, yellow cedar, mahogany or white oak with an oil finish. For a modern or more carefree wood countertop, you can finish the wood surface with a waterproof varnish. For an eco-friendly, rustic style, reclaimed wood can be used.

rustic-wood-kitchen-top

By Hill Farm Furniture

Wood naturally contains enzymes which attack and kill bacteria, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen. Although it’s very durable, it’s not impervious to damage.

While the thought of using a butcher’s block countertop as one long chopping block may sound convenient, it’s not advisable. It would cause scratches, chipping and damage to the surface. Other options are to have a separate chopping block or have one built in.

Pros:

  • Appearance
  • Works with all designs
  • Durable
  • Gentle on glasses and dishes
  • Heat resistant
  • Recyclable

Cons:

  • Maintenance
  • Requires special care
  • Must be kept dry
  • Not scratch and dent resistant

Price: $50-$100 per square foot

5. Laminate

Although it’s often scoffed at by natural material lovers, laminate is still a widely used countertop option. Not only is it budget-friendly, new designs are helping laminate make a huge comeback.

Laminate Countertop Travertine Silver Formica

By Formica

Manufacturers are teaming up with top designers to create amazing on trend designs.

For a fraction of the cost, you can have the look of marble, granite or wood. Or, if your tastes are more modern, you can choose to go with bolder, brighter colors and patterns.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Variety of styles
  • Low maintenance
  • Easily cleaned
  • Stain resistant

Cons:

  • Laminate can crack, scratch and scorch over the years
  • More difficult to repair

Price: $8-$20 per square foot

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