Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Granite Countertops
With the real estate market starting to surge, and home prices on the rise, many homeowners are finally looking to take advantage of this by selling. Frequently homeowners try to make the most out of their home sale by doing some upgrades in the home prior to the sale, and one of the more popular upgrades is the installation of granite countertops in the kitchen.
If you are in this boat, granite countertops are probably a very wise choice. But many homeowners have questions about this process, and since it requires spending money before making any money, they want to make sure they are well-informed before launching into it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about granite countertops.
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Q: Are granite countertops worth the money?
A: In general, the answer to this is yes. It depends on what you mean by “worth the money,” however. If you mean “does the price of a granite installation translate directly into an equivalent figure on the resale market?” then the answer is yes, but not always. This depends very highly on what market you find yourself in. If you are selling a home in Detroit, for instance, or St. Louis, where populations are declining rapidly, then you may not want to worry about a granite installation and spending money on upgrades. Selling your home in general might be a challenge. If, however, you are selling a home in Austin, TX or in Phoenix, AZ where there will be plenty of buyers and competition with other homes then granite is absolutely worth the money.
But even if you aren’t looking to resell, granite is a good investment. It is highly durable, resistant to damage from scratching or heat, and highly resistant to stains. If you plan to be in your home long-term, you will love a granite countertop just for its sheer functionality.
Q: Should I install granite countertops myself or hire a professional?
A: Most of the time, unless you have done it yourself before or been properly trained, you should hire professionals. Granite is heavy and bulky, and cutting it requires highly specialized tools. It isn’t recommended to take on the installation on your own unless you are a professional yourself. Saving money on the installation won’t do you any good if it has to be ripped out and redone later because yo messed it up.
Q: How much care is required for granite?
A: Unlike marble, granite doesn’t require too much in the way of care. The main way to care for granite is to not be neglectful of spills. Keep granite clean with either soap and water or a special granite cleaner; don’t use bleaches or other abrasive cleaners. Although granite is generally safe to set hot items on, if you can avoid doing this repeatedly you should. Under normal circumstances, however, as long as you don’t go out of your way to be destructive, granite should be pretty resistant to any damage.
Q: Is granite a better choice than marble?
A: For most homeowners, the answer is yes. It is generally less expensive but also more durable and therefore easier to care for. If you are very meticulous about your kitchen or want the most elegant look possible, then marble is a good choice, but for most people granite is the better choice.
Q: Can you really tell the difference between granite and laminate?
A: Even the best laminates still have a very low level of durability. Granted, there are some remarkably well-crafted laminates out there that do a pretty good job simulating the look of granite, but no laminate will ever manage to simulate the feel or the durability of granite. Laminates will begin to fade over time, and will be highly susceptible to stains or scratches that will drastically alter their appearance. While laminate is a fine choice for starting out, most homeowners will eventually want to go with an upgrade to granite.
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