The Kitchen Reno was precipitated by two events. The first was the unfortunate choice of counter top surface that I made twenty years ago. The surface was a laminate with a very slight texture to it. In my defense, those little sample chips of laminate don’t really prepare the buyer for what the product is going to look like when it becomes a blanket of counter top. And in the case of this product, the slight texture wasn’t as slight as I thought, and dirt didn’t think it was slight either. Regular attacks of a bristly brush and lots of muscle power were required to keep it clean.
But I lived with it for 20 years before the second event set the ball rolling. A new business opened in the town nearby. It is called Granite Transformations. I researched it on the web, and checked out it’s reputation. In the meantime, my Spousal Unit stopped by their showroom one day and was impressed with their product. So he invited them to come to our house and show us how they could transform our kitchen. Which they did.
The saleslady explained all about the product, then laid out the little sample chips on our counters. After much hemming and hawing, I finally chose several that I liked. But I wasn’t prepared to make a commitment to one of them. Then the saleslady went out to her car and brought in big samples of the product, so that I could see what they really looked like. That narrowed my choice down to one. But I wasn’t prepared to make a commitment.
Then the sales lady got out her tape measure and calculator, and next thing we knew she was ready to give us the price for our kitchen’s transformation. Which she did. But I wasn’t prepared to make a commitment… although by now I had spent several hours with the product and I could really see how it was going to look in my kitchen. And the big sample that I had chosen was happily sitting next to the cook top, acting like it was already part of the family.
So then the saleslady, who was also starting to feel like she belonged in my kitchen, told us how much she was willing to budge on the price if we would like to make a commitment before she rounded up her product and set off into the night. She assured us, however, that we had two weeks to completely back out of the commitment for no charge. Spousal Unit and I retired to the living room to review the contract terms, and decide whether we should sign it. We signed.
For the next two weeks we did the research we would have done anyhow. We visited a lady who had recently had her kitchen done by Granite Transformations. She was happy. We looked at granite slabs and compared prices. We looked at other products. At the end of the two weeks, we were content that we had made the right choice for our kitchen.
The product we are purchasing is called Trend Stone. It is an engineered product that is – wonderful, to hear them describe it. The counter top sections will be prefabricated in the shop from 1/4 inch thick product. Then they will be installed right over top of our existing counter tops. This has a lot of appeal to us. Our renovation philosophy is reuse or recycle, so not having to tear out our old counter tops and back splash is a big bonus.
The cost? It is going to be about 4 times as much per square foot as what we spent 4 years ago for some laminate counter tops in the workshop. For that, we get 4 more features – hot pans can sit on it, knifes won’t scratch it, chemicals won’t stain it and flames won’t mar it. Who can argue when the numbers align like that?
I see that some designers are forecasting that granite counter tops have perhaps reached the peak of their popularity, and are heading towards being out of style. If that is the case, so be it. Our dining room set has been out of style since shortly after we bought it over 30 years ago. Ditto the kitchen flooring that is 20 years old. We’ve been married for 40 years, which is probably out of style too…
The installation was completed in two days, and was very professionally done. We are happy with the results, and look forward to many years of easy to care for counters!