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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!


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24 Responses

  1. Ian Sandland says:

    I love granite countertops and have them in my home. However, granite seems to be so mainstream it has become passe for many high end homeowners. If you look at kitchens featured in Architectural Digest over the last couple of years, for example, 9 out of 10 will have a countertop other than granite. Examples include stainless steel, manufactured quartz, marble, and concrete. Another thing you'll notice is that modern styles and architecture are becoming more prevalent. Kitchens in these homes tend to avoid granite. Despite this I still think nothing compares to the natural beauty and variety present in granite.

  2. Mandy Ford says:

    We just went through a total kitchen remodel in our 1930's bungalow. With a very small budget and low return on investment where we live (Indiana), we decided to go with a solid black laminate counter. We chose a square edge and a lot of people have mistaken them for corian or stone. Here is a link to a photo if you want to check it out.



  3. Charmaine Fritz says:

    I do understand your frustrations regarding which counter top to get. I am having the same issue plus mine is a financial issue as well. It seems what I would like to have I can't afford it. But that doesn't stop me from wanting it..LOL

    I would love to send pictures of what I am dealing with but I don't see how I can.


  4. Laurie says:

    I have black granite countertops and while they look dramatic and beautiful, they show every smudge and fingerprint. I find my self wiping them hundreds of times a day to keep them looking good. On the other hand, they have been indestructible to heat, stains, etc. I wouldn't not get them, but it makes you think!

  5. Lorraine says:

    I'd like to hear the HGTV hosts/designers who praise granite countertops (and that's ALL of them!) address the issues of radion emissions from some types of granite countertops.

  6. marcia says:

    i would like to know if my thought is correct about granite: it seems like everytime you knock over a glass or slightly drop a plate, it would shatter as opposed to on formica type laminates, it would only bounce and not break most of the time. that is the only reason i hesitate to remodel with granite if i am going to live in the home rather than sell.

  7. Sandra Brennan says:

    I worry that granite and stainless steel are just trends, and 10 years from now, will be looked at with the same disdain as formica countertops and avocado green appliances. To me, black and white is the one thing that seems timeless, can be retro and chic at the same time. I actually love the new "green" materials coming out, and think my next countertop and floor will be from recycled materials. Those are trends that I hope will last a while.

  8. GiGi says:

    We recently installed mottled blue/gray Silestone kitchen counters (while keeping the 1990s golden oak cabinets); the counters get raves from everyone who comes into the kitchen. I like that it's pretty much impervious, but while it always looks clean the pattern is so busy that it's easy to miss crumbs, dirt, smudges, etc. when cleaning up. That is my only gripe with it, and I would definitely get it again as long as I could avoid the newer version that has an antimicrobial in it. I personally feel that granite counters are on the way out (and that stainless appliances are going to be the harvest gold/avocado of the 1990s/2000s).

  9. Lynn says:

    We updated our kitchen and did another laminate counter top in a black marble color. Cost was one reason and I am so glad we did it. It looks great and I won't mind changing it again in the future when I want to update again. Although granite is nice, I think the cost of will not allow people to replace it as often as other materials. And we all know that styles and colors change, so before you know it, that expensive countertop is out of style!!! I'd like to see more recycled materials used.

  10. Marianna says:

    I'll second the black granite comment! They show EVERYTHING! However, I wouldn't change the surface itself…just the color.


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