October 17, 2015

The old formica countertops from the 80’s with wood trim have finally come to their days of retirement. Actually, the formica is probably still in great shape, it’s the wood that has given out… formica seems to last for forever (like it or not).

So it begs the question: now what?

Options given a comparable kitchen size:

  • Formica: (+) strong, (-) plastic = $400
  • Wood: (+) warm, (-) not water resistant = $1000
  • Corian: (+) solid surface, (-) scores & burns = $3,800
  • Granite: (+) hard, (-) overdone = $4,000
  • Marble: (+) durable, (-) can break & stain = $4,200
  • Soapstone or Slate: (+) durable, (-) soft & requires maintenance = $4,300
  • Engineered Stone – glass, quartz, concrete: (+)the most durable (-)can look too fake = $5000

Now, all of these prices are also your starting point in these categories. Each one of these categories (including formica) have a low-end and high-end. For example, if you want the qualities of granite, but select a high-end stone with a custom finish (ie. honed or leathered) on it the price is about $8,000.

Additionally, one person might see a (-)negative as a (+)positive and vice-versa depending on your situation and budget.

There is no argument; to go from formica to granite is a big jump financially. I suggest that you invest the time and get professional advice on how to choose the right countertops for your home. Be sure to consider:

  1. Application – Is it appropriate for the surface qualities (ie. wood & water don’t mix)?
  2. Durability – Are you gentle or hard on your home surfaces?
  3. Price point – Is it time to invest in this or do you need to stay more conservative with prices right now?
  4. Design – What works best with all the other aspects AND the design of your space. (* = see Finding the Right Countertops_Part 2)