Countertop Commitment

>> 11.05.2009

…kind of. I asked for your opinions and as I mentioned back in this post, I decided to throw my next (and last) big chunk of money into kitchen countertops. After doing some thinking and price comparing, I decided to go with Lowe’s granite. I got a pre-estimate based off of measurements that I brought in and after thinking it over for a couple of weeks, I went in and put down a (big, fat) deposit so that the granite company would come do an estimate.

Where does the ‘kind of’ come in with this commitment story? Well, I’m still entitled to a full refund if I decide to back out of this choice (which my fickle self might do). I know that I promised to make the thriftiest decision so here’s the lowdown on why I’m leaning towards Lowe’s granite:

-The warranty: I know that I could get less expensive labor by going with a smaller business or by having someone do a side job, but I decided that I don’t want to risk such a large amount of money just to save a few hundred dollars. If there is a crack in my granite within a year of purchase (which can happen with improperly installed granite), I’ll be able to call someone out to fix it.
-The research: I’ve been looking into my countertop options for months. The reputable businesses in town charged close to a thousand dollars more for the same exact product (name and all).
-The experiences: When the decision was made to go with a big box home improvement store, I knew I would be going with Lowe’s. Although Lowe’s doesn’t actually send out their employees to do these types of jobs, they do work exclusively with certain subcontractors. In my experience (though witnessing remodeling jobs while renting), the Lowe’s subcontractors were much more motivated to work efficiently than the Home Depot subs were. After a bad experience watching HD flooring people take three times as long as promised and offering to cut under-the-table deals, I promised myself that I wouldn’t go with them in the future (regardless of price).
-The product: For me, laminate was out of the question from the beginning because of its low durability. Tile was a tempting option because of cost, but I decided that an easy-to-clean product was more appealing (to myself and future buyers). Quartz and other man-made solid surfaces were definitely equally attractive, but the prices weren’t dramatically different. Granite is great for resale, notorious for its durability, and is an affordable way to make a dramatic difference in my kitchen.

I feel like I'm *this much* closer to a beautiful kitchen. Just look at the dramatic progress made already...

This blurry before showcases the tiny look-through and popcorn ceilings.

The claustrophobic cabinets came down during my crowbar phase.

New task lighting was the next to go up.
No, it's not finished... and yes, it will be clean eventually!

What do you think of my choice? Have you ever gone through Lowe’s for your home renovation?


Katie November 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

my parents used lowes to redo their bathrooms - 2 bathrooms with new tile floor, new vanities/sinks and new granite counter tops. they really liked their installers and had a great experience.

congrats on the big decision, can't wait to see how it looks in the end! i get the same way with big purchases though, we are going to be buying about 600 sq. ft. of hardwood flooring soon and i'm afraid of that first big purchase!

micah @ the yellow front door November 5, 2009 at 12:59 PM  

I am so excited for you! We got our countertops at HD and had no problems, thank goodness.

Do you know what color you are going with yet??

Mel November 5, 2009 at 1:11 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mel November 5, 2009 at 1:12 PM  

No feedback on Lowe's, but I have heard the same about HD's installers. My mom didn't have the best experience when she got new doors put in through HD.

Can't wait to see the finished product!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 5, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

Micah- I'm leaning towards a black granite. We'll see if I change my mind at the last second!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno November 5, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

I think you've made a great choice. And I also just noticed that your kitchen is very similar to ours, white cabinets (at least your uppers), light laminate counters, appliances, backsplash, everything...and we will also be getting black granite eventually. I know your kitchen will be beautiful!

christi November 5, 2009 at 1:52 PM  

i say granite ... it's an investment that pays off big time for resale and enjoyment!

deborah November 5, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

We just recently got a Lowes near us and we really have been impressed with the customer service. We shop salvage for most of our higher ticket purchases, but Lowes has been great for all the DIY tweaking needs, parts & paint.
You are going to be thrilled when you are completed. It is looking fabulous! Will be watching for the final reveal~ Deborah

Tara@ Just Devine Style November 5, 2009 at 2:43 PM  

Decisions. . .Decisions. I think you will be really happy with Granite. I have concrete countertops and wish I could have afforded Granite when we did our kitchen. Good luck!

Jane November 5, 2009 at 2:55 PM  

I think granite was a great choice. We have granite countertops (they were here when we moved in) and I have never gotten tired of them. Your kitchen redo is really coming along. I look forward to seeing how it progresses.

foggogs November 5, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

Kasey, thanks so much for the first official post on my blog! As for Lowes, I have actually used them for quite a few things... we had bifold doors installed in my kids rooms, we had carpeting done in my last house through Lowes and we had a window replaced there too. I found a contractor that we used for one project and would request him every time. Good luck with the counter. It is so scary paying for a big ticket item and not being sure if you made the right choice.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic November 5, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

I've been thinking about upgrading my countertops as well and have been grappling with the suppliers in the area. I'm reading the comments with great interest!

I'm also thinking of getting black granite. I had wanted white and quartz, but a white-on-white kitchen only works for certain people and I couldn't count on selling to a blogger. :)

I think the black granite is a great move for resale.

Room to Inspire November 5, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

I think you will be extremely happy with granite. It looks great and it is super durable. The kitchen progress looks great - what a difference taking down those cabinets makes!


The Blasphemous Fiendess November 6, 2009 at 1:09 PM  

Sorry, can't make any comment on Lowe's, I don't think we have them in Canada. We do have Home Depot, but I prefer to shop local if I can. We chose granite for the kitchen counters in our kitchen reno. I have to say I think counters were the toughest decision in my entire home reno! We wanted green, affordable, beautiful, easy care, durability and tend to prefer natural aesthetically. Originally we wanted slate but I was trying to avoid chemical sealers. We chose a dark granite because it is easier to maintain than light. There are lots of funky options like papercrete and coloured concrete and recycled glass. We wanted something that we wouldn't get tired of and I couldn't find local sources for those. Tile is beautiful but there's that grout issue. I'm sure I haven't been any help, but I'm always happy to give my input, for what it's worth.

LizzieBeth November 6, 2009 at 6:15 PM  

great choice Kase! If you have to resell the house in a pinch, you've already upped the resale value with the bathroom and now the kitchen.
I am a big fan of Lowes. My cousin works there so I get a pretty little discount, but I feel their work is better and their prices are competitive.

What color granite did you get? Black? Grey? White?? I am dying to see!


Mrs. Chic November 8, 2009 at 10:37 PM  

I can't wait to hear about your experience with your countertops. I know they'll make a big impact. We starting on kitchen update next year, but I'm so tempted this year to rip up the nasty tile counters and put down plywood....sorry so long

Good Luck...what color family are you leaning towards??

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 9, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

LizzieBeth/ Mrs. Chic- I'm leaning towards a black or dark granite. I still have a few days to decide (aka change my mind)...

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