Best Kitchen Surfaces, for Kids and Resale in the Future

Updated on November 16, 2012
D.E. asks from Tampa, FL
13 answers

We are slowly but surely settling in to our new home. When we bought this house as much as we loved it we knew there would be things we want to change as we can.
One being the counter tops in our kitchen. They are laminate :( and well just pretty blah. I have been in homes w/ laminate that looked a lot nicer and just had more pop. We have never done any costly renovations on a home. So we are pretty clueless. While you always hear granite, granite, granite...I wonder is it worth the price? And is it that expensive because it is so durable?
We have 3 kids, 2 are still pretty small and they sit at our kitchen island a lot to eat and they spill, and scratch....
What are are some other good durable choices. But also choices that will be appealing if we ever decide to sell. My husbands job could find us needing to move again down the line to move up the ladder. We hope thats not the case, but we dont want to put any upgrades in our home that wouldn't return in value. I realize everyone's taste is different but I wouldn't pick anything to wild and crazy! I remember looking at other homes before we found this one and being very turned off by ugly or crazy countertops because you realize you may live w/ something for quite awhile before you replace it.

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answers from Dallas on

We have a house that we renovated, wanted nice counter tops, but didn't want to invest in solid granite and instead used granite tiles. You use a thin bead of silicone and push one tile right up to the next.

We get compliments ALL the time and at a $1.99 sq foot price, couldn't beat it!

yes it is extremely durable. I do not use special cleaners. Once a year I do use a natural stone cleaner and sealer we got for $3 each at a home store and the $3 bottle has lasted 3 years already.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We actually like our granite. At the time of our remodel, 10 years ago, I personally didn't like the look of the corian or the silestone. And, given the info we were given at the time, the granite was much more durable.

But I was recently talking to a neighbor who had looked into some sort of concrete? I swear that's what she said. I would have remembered quartz, so I know that's not it. Anyway, her husband likes to cook (which is a good thing) so she needed something super durable to be 'Jack-Proof'.

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answers from San Francisco on

Personal preference here. We put in granite slabs. We love them!! We also get a ton of compliments on the look and color. So easy to clean. I can put hot pots on it right off the stove or oven. I have no cons...only pros for granite.

I too have heard about concrete counter tops. I like that idea. If we ever build a house...I will put in concrete floors and have them stained. I love the durability and the look. I know you asked about counter tops but I had to throw in an opinion about flooring.

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I prefer silestone (quartz) to granite. It's less expensive, very durable and you don't have to seal it every year.

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answers from Dayton on

Generally speaking, making improvements in kitchens and bathrooms is a good thing especially for resale purposes, however, it depends on your area, how much you owe on your home and how much homes can sell for too. If you put $10,000 into a house that would sell for $150,000 in your area but you already owe $150,000 in a mortgage, you probably won't get your full $10,000 back in resale. (Your house would however sell quicker than a similar $150,000 home without the improvements.) Now if your home is worth more, like 200-250 range and you put $10,000 in improvements, you are much more likely to make up some of that in the actual resale. You might want to also consider what do most of the similar homes have in their kitchens? Does pretty much everyone in the entire neighborhood have laminate? Then you may want to stay with a similar material since that is what the neighborhood will bare as far as the market. In other words, don't make improvements so fancy that they would be atypical for your area and price you right out of the market.

I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I've had granite, and I've had quartz. I prefer quartz. Doesn't stain and you don't need to seal it each year. I also had to buy special cleaner for the granite. Now this is my personal opinion because I know that there are still a lot of granite lovers out there, but IMO ... granite is a little passe now. Just my opinion, obviously. If you are thinking of resale, there is a lot of granite out there that I would consider downright ugly. I currently have a beautiful creamy white quartz and honestly, it goes with everything, looks very clean and I would imagine would be better suited for resale than a granite that is very personal-specific.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

We did not do granite because I personally HATE the look of polished granite. There is now a honed (matte) finish which is nice. I kept the stainless steel counter that was original to the house (the contractors were less than happy - they had to take it out and reinstall it). It looks great at 55 years old and will last forever. You can put hot pots on it. It is classic. Unfortunately - new stainless is generally thinner than the old stuff and is very pricey. Corian is nice - the color goes all the way through (unlike laminate) - so if you get a scratch it can usually be buffed out.

I would not get tile - it can crack and keeping the grout clean is a problem.

I would consider soapstone or fireslate (that is that black surface that chemistry lab counters are made of). Limited colors but if you love them - great products.

I put wood (solid mahogany with a marine varnish finish) around my range. It is gorgeous and is holding up well. There is no maintenance but you can't put hot things on it.

There is some really nice laminate out there now. The down side is primarily that the color does not go all the way through. If a local craftsman had not given us a GREAT price on the mahogany, I would have gotten black formica.


answers from Los Angeles on

Everyone loves my countertops and compliments them and asks what they are all the's something called 'Corian' (sp?) and it looks like granite but its not, it was here when we bought the house, and we have lived here for 12 years...and I am not even sure how long it was here before us... but it still looks brand new. Minimal scratches and you have to *really* look to find them.



answers from Washington DC on

We went granite and are happy. We went with a darker color, a simple edge, and not a really expensive stone. We also bought a sink and faucet at Home Depot that they measured and installed vs buying their sink options. Friend of ours has some sort of composite where she can't cut on it. Not that I cut on our counters anyway, but it scratches more easily than I'd like and with an active child, we need something sturdier.



answers from Honolulu on

It is better than Granite.
Lots of advantages.
Look it up online.
There are different "brands"/manufacturers. Of which, Silestone is one brand.
And you do not have to seal it.

It comes in tile form or in slab form.

As an example:

We have quartz on our kitchen island.


answers from Philadelphia on

quartz and butcher block

i love granite still though



answers from New York on

a year ago i replaced my countertops and decided on quartz. i just liked it more, and it wasn't as expensive as granite, but still up there. but we are selling our home now and our new home has granite. i am ok with that



answers from Philadelphia on

Granite is nice, but I'm putting in quartz aggregate countertops in my next remodel (which should be happening very soon - architect is coming over today to take measurements!!!! YAAY!!)

Anyway, just make sure that if you DO go with a heavy countertop like granite or quartz, that your existing cabinets can withstand the weight.

I've also seen granite "refacing" of countertops, where a thin granite layer is placed over your existing countertops and voila, you've got the look of granite without the price or weight.

And, of course, there are some REALLY nice laminates out there now that mimic the look of granite and quartz at a fraction of the price.

As far as resale, it really depends on the kind of house and neighborhood you live in. If you're surrounded by high-end homes, certainly, don't put in more laminate. But if laminate is what your budget allows for, then go with that. There really are some pretty impressive ones out there - nothing like in the past.

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