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As a Director of Original Programming for HGTV, I get to watch lots of my favorite shows every day of the week — after all, it’s part of my job! And yet, I still hem and haw about the spaces in my own home…and today’s dilemma is this: “To granite or not to granite — that is the question?”

I know one thing’s for sure — I hate my laminate countertops. They came with my house when I bought it three years ago…and they’re one of the few remaining eyesores that continue to haunt me every time I walk into my kitchen.

According to the shows Designed To Sell, Secrets That Sell and My House Is Worth What? — all shows that I manage — kitchens and baths sell homes. And you can’t go wrong with granite, manufactured quartz or any stone countertops that will appeal to the mainstream home buyer.

Personally, I LOVE concrete countertops, but in a city like Knoxville (where HGTV is based), that is just not a mainstream-enough type of surface. So instead, I’m opting for some sort of stone — still not sure which one…and haven’t committed to color just yet.

I’ve been checking out some cool sites for inspiration including this countertop guide, which offers a grid that helps you compare all sorts of countertop types based on your particular needs. I’m hoping you’ll find it as helpful as I did. I also loved watching the Kitchens & Baths 2008 special on HGTV (which re-airs on October 27 at 4/3c) to get even more state-of-the-art ideas.

If you LOVE or HATE your countertop options, please let me know…and if you have pictures, even better. I’d love to see them!

24 Responses

  1. Sany says:

    I've had black granite with blue flecks, really pretty, but needed polishing. We downsized to a smaller and newer house, now have Corian, grey with black speckles. I really love the Corian, especially the molded sink.
    I like it better than the granite, but having granite helped sell that high-end home.

  2. Shari Wilcox says:

    We needed to get rid of the off white 4×4 tile on our counters, but couldn't afford granite. We also wanted something more in a "green" product and found a manufacturer that makes granite tops that fit over your existing ones. They use the left over granite from the quarries and make a composite. It is very pretty without being overly fussy. Plus there is no maintenance like polishing, it's durable, and imperious to stains and scratches and takes heat, something I was use to with our tile. With the off white tile on the back splash and honey colored oak cabinets it makes the kitchen look warm and inviting. This is about the best way we could go in using a "green" product.

  3. sherri says:

    Granite is a great choice because it is resistant to high heat and, with proper sealant, resists stains very well; however, there are reports of toxicity in its emissions. If this is something that concerns you, check it out.
    Marble is always a good choice, I think. It is prone to stains, even when sealed, but this can add a patinia to your space. This is one case where staining isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  4. Lisa says:

    Hi All,

    Great comments so far! I have Baltic Brown granite (black/brown) and have had it for 3 years. I had a granite island in my previous home that was white/black/grey speckled. The Baltic Brown is a bigger more random pattern. In either case, I think granite is easy to care for, I have 4 kids, and shows little off the mess hubby and kids leave behind. It helps that my current granite is dark in color.

    We have friends with a cream/gray granite who have a stain due to cutting strawberries on the counter. I've had no issue with stains, but again, I think that has to do with the dark color.

    Anyone with lighter granite colors should be careful with stains. Our friends were quoted over $1000 to have theirs fixed!!

    I do love some of the quartz composites, and those recycled materials with colored glass…and I am also a fan of the concrete counters. None were offered by our builder, but if I were remodeling or building I'd look into those too.

    I do think granite has become a little passe, but yes, timeless. Backsplashes offer a great opportunity to do something fun and creative. I just love ours, hard to describe, but I'll take a photo and upload it. It combines bronze colored picture molding tile, with "abalone" liners and textured cream, and metallic bronze tiles. Very, very different, but totally "us" as we have a subtle sand/shell motif through most of the house.

    Best of luck!

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