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Our First Home - Choosing Granite! HELP!

11 years ago

Hey everyone, my fiancee and I just purchased our first home. We're found a floor plan that fit for us and we're having it built. We went to the developer's "design studio" on Friday...and oh boy, what a nightmare..thats a topic for another time though. We were presented with tons of choices for upgrades on lights, fixtures, flooring, and kitchen.

Just to give you some brief background to help understand my post,my fiancee wants granite with an under mount sink, and seeing as though thats not a project I want to tackle down the road (since this is our first home), I decided we would just upgrade it from the design studio. Now they offered three different types of "levels" for granite, the first at $2520, level 2 at $3024, and level 3 at $3830. Our cabinets are an espresso (dark dark brown, almost black), and so we were looking at getting a diagonal tumbled marble back splash. Since the cabinets are so dark, and the tumbled marble back splash is a "mocha" color, I'm having a tough time envisioning the "White Tiger" granite choice we chose as a whole countertop. My biggest fear is the back splash, cabinets, and counters just won't "flow". I want our kitchen to look good, and since this is our first home I figured i'd upload the picture and get some peoples opinions on if this would flow well or not. The "design expert" at the studio said the back splash would pull the taupe color from the counter top nicely. I also chose a darker grout (mushroom color) for the mocha back splash instead of a lighter grout. Long story short I think because we weren't upgrading our floors (which they make more off of since they do the install for our developer), she was just trying to hurry us along. I'm having a terrible time envisioning this all together, and so I'm seeking your advice. I would rather upgrade to a level 2 or 3 for more money if there is a better option rather then do all this, and end up hating it and having to spend $XXXX more down the road. I browsed through the "Do you regret you granite choice" topic, which I'm hoping to avoiding posting there in a few months and saying YES!!! haha so any help and input is appreciated.

(We're set on the dark cabinets, but open to feedback and opinions on the counter)

Comments (33)

  • 11 years ago

    Keep the laminate that your builder offers and don't upgrade the backsplash either. Builders charge a LOT of money for very cheap granites as "upgrades". You can do your whole kitchen and backsplash cheaper after you close than buying from your builder. And you will have a whole lot more choices as well.

    Look at upgrading the cabinets to add drawers. Look at upgrading the usual recirculating vent to one that actually vents to the outside. Look at maybe upgrading your range to one with better capabilities. But don't let them talk you into upgrading the granite. You're paying too much.

  • 11 years ago

    I think the cabs and backsplash are fine but the granite has grey rather than a mocha or or taupe. Maybe it is my screen but I think the counter granite does not go with the others.

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  • 11 years ago

    I agree with both the above posters. The tile that you posted looks like tumble travertine not marble, but that could be my monitor. I don't care for the tile, you are right in hesitating.
    I think the granite and your cabinet color are ok together. What are the other choices for BS tile?.

  • 11 years ago

    I agree with GreenDesigns--don't do the builder upgrades that you can easily do on your own for much less $$ right after closing. We did that in the house we built and saved thousands of dollars. As soon as we closed we ripped out the cheapy carpet, lights, faucets, sinks, and even the appliances. Most of it we sold on Craigslist. I couldn't sell the carpet but did find someone who agreed to remove all of it, including the pad and tack, in exchange for having the carpet. We then brought in our own flooring people, changed the lights, etc. We purchased high-end appliances that we had found deeply discounted and in scratch & dent. We also redid the countertops, sink, faucets, etc. got all that done in the 2 wks after closing and then moved it. Worked out very well!

  • 11 years ago

    I agree the granite does not go with the cabinets and the bs. Do not be rushed.

    I agree with greendesigns. Just get a basic laminate with no bs. You can always sell the laminate counter once you are ready to get what you want.

    You will make better choices and probably save money than rushing now and picking from your builders limited choices.

  • 11 years ago

    I also think the backsplash doesn't look like marble, but does look like tumbled travertine. I happen to like travertine, but I don't think I like it here.

    You say you and he want an undermount sink (yes!) and granite, but don't want to take on that project later. Could you reconsider? It's not an overwhelming project. Green Designs is right that they're charging you a lot for limited value. For less money you could have a choice of hundreds of granites. You could choose a sink that you really like - it turns out that a great sink is not overly expensive and will reward you each time you use it. Do spend your upgrade dollars on lower drawers and a real vent.

    Congratulations on your new house!

  • 11 years ago

    Wow, what an amazing set of answers. This is what I was afraid of. In answer to all the comments about "travertine vs marble" , she kept calling it a tumbled marble. I do know that it IS a travertine, and travertine, from the limited knowledge I have, is actually a type of marble.. but I continued to call it the "tumbled marble" as she had.

    Regardless, Can someone help give me real world figures? I figured they'd be cheaper to do the granite through primarily on the principle that since they order them in bulk for houses they got a discount and could pass some of that savings on to us. (LOL right?).... So I guess my question is what would it cost to go through someone else after we close? I know thats all based on counter space and whatnot, but I guess I just figured with counter tops and install it would be well over $5k. It seemed easier to me to just roll in the granite into our mortgage in comparison to shelling out $5k cash. Our kitchen size is 13'2" x 11'4", and the countertop runs the whole 13'2" and 11'4", and then there is more granite on an island area. I've attached a picture below to show the amount of granite in a different home (same floor plan) they have under construction.

    To buildinva - what kind of money back from craigslist could I actually get for my laminate countertops, and other stuff that they install factory?

    suzannasl- No! I'm not opposed to reconsidering, if I don't have to pay 3.5% on an upgrade for 30 years the better! lol I guess my fiancee just doesn't think we'd have the cashflow to do all the upgrades out of pocket, within the first few months (the countertops being the biggest thing)

    Also, we're not upgrading the floors or carpet at this time, they wanted $3990 to do our dining room, family room, and extended entry in all tile (with this floorplan it kind of flows into the other) Approximately 520-550/sq ft if I measured correctly.

    Thanks for the answers and the education lesson, I'd love for more information to educate me to make a WISE decision, i've just never priced these things out outside of the design studio.

  • 11 years ago

    Was $2500 the cost of the granite and the undermount sink? In that case I don't think you could do it for much less than that. It's a hassle to replace laminate with granite (I just did it) and you will have enough to do moving into a new house without that.

    If you post your level 1 and level 2 choices we can help you choose. The one you have there is ok with the cabinets, but not with that backsplash.

    Do you have an option for taller wall cabinets? The gap between the cabinets and ceiling looks pretty big.

  • 11 years ago

    mpagmom: about the taller cabinets, yes, we're going to do that for sure. Standard is 30" upgraded for like $175 is 42", we're going with 42".

    And no, the $2500 cost is NOT including the undermount sink. The undermount is an additional $500 no matter what "level" we choose. I don't have any other pictures of the level 1 or level 2 or 3, I'll try to see if she can send me a picture, or if I can go by there tomorrow. Technically we only have two 2 hour appointments with them, so I'll try to see if I can get other pictures.

    They have a lighter more gray/'neutral' color backsplash, but I'm thinking that it may make our kitchen look too "cold" and not really warm and inviting. I'll attach a picture of that gray tumbled travertine to this post.

    I'm loving the feedback and help! Keep it coming and thank you!!

  • 11 years ago

    I think the picture of the kitchen layout looks fine just make sure to upgrade to taller cabinets, make sure that granite is level 1, and the under mount sink should only be 200$ to cut out plus the cost of the sink itself. Here in L ouisiana sink price can be between 178- 1,000. Good luck.

  • 11 years ago

    I think the picture of the kitchen layout looks fine just make sure to upgrade to taller cabinets, make sure that granite is level 1, and the under mount sink should only be 200$ to cut out plus the cost of the sink itself. Here in L ouisiana sink price can be between 178- 1,000. Good luck.

  • 11 years ago

    No! No! No! to the backsplash!!! You could go to a big box store and just get a rough estimate to see what the cost of replacing the granite would be. As someone else said, though, unless it is significant, or unless your builder does not carry a granite that you like, then you might want to just use the builder's granite. However, the BS pattern really competes with the granite pattern and is not attractive at all. If the picture you posted is an example of the design center's "designer's" idea of what looks good, I would think twice before I followed any of his/her recommendations!!!

  • 11 years ago

    Well said, legalin. A friend of mine went through her design center for her new condo. They had beautiful choices.
    Not sure what is going on here, but you can do much better.

  • 11 years ago

    Congratulations on the new house! You've already received a bunch of really good advice. I'm not caring for the backsplash choices. I think that the price they are giving for the granite upgrade is fair and that you wouldn't be likely to replace your countertops down the road for less, so I would probably have them do that.

    If they don't have better backsplash choices, just go with a painted backsplash for now and work on the backsplash after you are in the home.

    Upgrade things that you can't easily change out in the future - like it was mentioned, change to drawers rather than doors. Raise the height of the cabinets. Upgrade your lighting (particularly with dark cabinets).

  • 11 years ago

    Man! I can't tell you how happy I am to see these reviews, but how bothered I am by this lady's lack of caring, or just lack of interest since i'm not doing flooring, i'm not sure which it is. I really like the look of this diagonal travertine as a whole backsplash, but maybe with this granite being a bit "busier" it just would clash terribly. I'm looking into maybe finding a more beige granite at the design studio with a backsplash like this, would that be a bad idea? The problem is the builder is saying there are regulations in place that if we get granite there HAS to be a backsplash. If we didn't get granite and just did a standard laminate it would have to "roll up the wall" as a backsplash. They say this is a standard requirement because having just sheetrock behind the stove isn't acceptable. Since my fiancee wanted granite, we were given the option of just a standard tile backsplash, which would have been around $500, and to upgrade to this tumbled travertine was only a little more, and I liked the look better on other ones I've seen. I'm just afraid the end result. I'm going to call up there today to see if I can see the types of granites again. Maybe she won't be so rude....then again it's Monday.........

  • 11 years ago

    Hmmm, does your range come "up" along the back or is it straight the whole way back to the wall? If a backsplash is required for code because the range is straight, I think I'd head to IKEA (or some other place) and get a piece of stainless steel that they sell to place behind the range until I was sure of my permanent backsplash.

    As for travertine - if you get it, make sure of the cleanability of it. I've never cared for it because of it's nooks and crannies - I think it would be tough to keep clean as a backsplash because of oil, etc. getting into the little holes.

    It's a shame that the designer isn't being a bit friendlier with you. I'm assuming that you're paying a fair sum for this'd think she might be a little nicer.

    Also, I think that going with lighter colors for the granite and backsplash is a good idea to help with reflecting back light. You cabinets are quite dark and while the photo you show has a good bit of natural light around the island, the back area seems like it could get pretty dark, so some lightness with the counter and backsplash might help that a bit.

    Also, when we were building our house, they had a design place like what you were mentioning - we had a 2 hour appointment. Actually, we made an additional appointment to have longer.

    I'm sorry but if I'm putting out that kind of money, you are NOT rushing me through my decisions. Stand firm and don't let them bully you, rush you, or make you feel bad that you want some time to make your choices. Don't cave to their pressure to "get it done" have to live with it and pay for it, not them.

  • 11 years ago

    Very well said Andreak100 - I'm standing my ground and not too worried about that.

    My one question maybe all of you could answer is, if I put in laminate now and they "roll up" the backsplash with that same laminate as they were explaining, how is that fixed to the wall? Meaning say I want to rip all that out 30 seconds after I close, does pulling that out destroy the sheetrock behind it? It just seems so much less worth the hassle to go through the design studio, I just have to find a solution that makes sense. I was looking around online for granite here in Houston TX and it appeared to be about $30/sqft + $10 sqft install, if they have to remove what I currently have I'm sure that will be a significant amount more. Does anyone have any experience or words of advice if I were to take this route? (putting in laminate now and removing within a month or two?)

  • 11 years ago

    I agree with the other posters to buy the granite and backsplash on your own. Regarding Craigs List, it can be either a hassle or an amazingly quick sale - depends on your market. I have sold a used sink and a used dishwasher in literally hours from posting my ad. But other markets may be slower.

    I think you should definitely buy the granite on your own, but perhaps go the easy route and use a backsplash your builder offers, but not the travertine. I have lived with travertine, never again! Travertine's pits and nooks and crannies, how easily it absorbs stains and keeps them (do you make spaghetti sauce? does it splatter? 'nuff said). You mentioned the builder offers a plain ceramic tile. Get that in cream (not white, cream). It's such a standard, and that's cause it goes with everything, and is easy maintenance.

    Also, you mentioned choosing a dark grout - I would go with a lighter grout because of your dark cabinets. A dark grout will be busy, i.e. the rectangle pattern will be very visible, and just too dark.

    I see that in the photo you posted, the granite counter is continued up a 4" backsplash. Don't do that. Have your tile meet your counter. The 4" backsplash doesn't accomplish much, but is considered a dated look, and adds to the cost of your counters.

    $500 for the sink! Gaah! A good stainless steel sink, in a thicker 16 gauge (I bet your builder's sink is thinner 18- or 20-gauge) should cost in the mid-$300's, or less. If you want a stainless steel sink, buy a Kraus sink online (overstock or expressdecor has them), which comes with a grid too. Krauss is very popular on this forum. Also think about Blanco Silgranit sinks, also in the mid-$300's - many people prefer them because they don't want the stainless steel water spots and scratches. Regardless, it will be your choice, not what your builder has chosen for you cause he was able to get it in bulk. And you will save money.

  • 11 years ago

    akchicago -- "I see that in the photo you posted, the granite counter is continued up a 4" backsplash. Don't do that. Have your tile meet your counter. " Where do you see that? I just went back and looked at the pictures I posted and I didn't see that anywhere.

    And as far as the sink, let me clarify it was $540 to do the "undermount" + the deeper sink. I don't know that the sink itself was that expensive, but it was I guess to make it an undermount instead of on top of the granite.

    Also, from the kitchen picture I posted above, since thats the same layout as ours, what square footage of granite do you think that would take? 40? 50? 80? As I mentioned the one above is not my home, but the same floor plan, I don't have access to it so I can't measure it so just curious of someones ballpark based on that picture.

    My fiancee is just scared we won't have the cash to pay for upgrades like granite/sink/back splash once we get INTO the home since this is our first home, and so we'll need to furnish it as well so thats going to be fun......(and $$$)

    I've got a feeling we're going to be living in an empty house for awhile!! Especially because about a month before the house is expected to be completed, we will be having our wedding...which we're paying for on our own.. (go ahead let me hear it! haha) - So thats why it just seems easier to roll it into the mortgage in comparison to trying to come up with $3-4k cash for granite/backsplash/sink right after the wedding

  • 11 years ago

    I can tell you exactly what it is like to replace laminate with granite (just did it last week), and then you'll know you won't want to do it.

    1. Get a plumber to remove the existing sink and faucet. You can do that yourself, but after just having a near-disaster with amateur plumbing I wouldn't recommend it.

    2. Carefully remove the laminate. This isn't hard, but it can get tricky where pieces are very large or where they are wrapped around a corner.

    3. Take a day off work and wait around all day for them to install it. Our guys were supposed to be there around 9 but got there around 11. One man on the 3-man crew was on vacation so the job lasted until 4:30 or so.

    4. The granite is shorter than the laminate by about a quarter inch. Most, but not all will be covered by a new backsplash. If you have a builder-installed backsplash you are going to have a good-sized gap to deal with. You'll have to do some touch up painting.

    5. Get a plumber to hook up the sink and reinstall the faucet. This is where you can run into trouble because your new sink is lower than the old one. You have to make sure the trap is low enough so it still works out.

    6. Install your new backsplash if you don't already have one.

    I assume you both work, and all this is a lot of time off work (factor that into the cost) or DIY work when you have a million other things to do. And it's stress on a new marriage you don't need. And you clearly want to roll this cost into the mortgage.

    So pick the best level one (or two) granite they have and be done with it. It looks like the one you have there is bianco taupe, which may be the best lighter granite that isn't yellow (I've spent a lot of time staring at level one granites lately, too).

    I would strongly recommend a white subway tile backsplash. See if they will grout it in a darker color to tie it all together. I made a quick search for an example to show you, and this is the best I came up with.

    Looking at your space, I don't think the price they're charging is any higher than you'll have with Home Depot or an inexpensive fabricator. It's a little high when you consider that they should be giving you credit for the laminate countertop, but it's not bad. When you factor in plumbing and time off work, you're better off letting the builder do it. Good luck with everything!

  • 11 years ago

    As far as the design goes, I think your cabinets are too dark. Very dark and very light both show every bit of dirt. This, of course, is personal preference.

    I totally understand your fiancee's concerns about not having the cash flow to make these changes. If you don't "roll them into your mortgage", you'll likely live with the laminate (or whatever) for a while . . . and it's awfully easy for a while to become years and years. You might convince her with the math: You've tossed out some numbers. Let's say you do 3K of upgrades in the kitchen. If you pay that off over the course of a 30 year mortgage, you're actually going to pay back someting like 9K -- you can find plenty of online calculators that'll do the exact math for you based upon your figures and your interest rate, but the final numbers are bound to be outrageous. The less you roll into your mortgage, the better off you'll be.

    I'd suggest that you consider wants vs. needs very heavily. DO NOT get yourself into "so much house" that you're not able to save for retirement and other things that will matter much more than whether your first house had granite countertops. If you do purchase these upgrades, go with the least expensive ones. Granite will wear longer and will be more desireable for resale -- but expensive granite won't really do these things "better" than the less expensive granite. Basic granite vs. expensive granite is really just a matter of personal taste.

    Finally, whatever you decide to do, I suggest you go back to the design lady and say, "When we talked the other day, it was the first time we'd considered these things. We needed time to let the ideas sink in, and we want to do this without feeling rushed. Let's go over it all again." If she pushes you, politely tell her that you need more information and you're not at all in a hurry. If she doesn't treat you better, ask for her superviser. She's treating you that way because she knows she has a monopoly over you: She works for the builder, and they're the only ones who CAN do the work you want done. That's no excuse for her to treat you badly.

  • 11 years ago

    To both of the last posts, I'm definitely struggling with the overall factors of a) I know if the cash flow isnt an option we will be stuck with it for awhile and b) time is money, I own my own company so if I'm not working I'm losing money. I also have no problem telling this lady to relax, I know it's MY money, and I have no problem telling her that I'm not doing a single upgrade if she's going to be rude.

    Mpagmom: That sounds miserable................................It makes me want to avoid it. And do you recommend a light granite that doesn't have yellow? We've seen some that have beige/white which I like, but the fiancee likes the "white tiger/luna pearl"-esque type granite with the countertops. Also shes not a fan of subway tile and I can say I'm not a huge one either. Based on the above post I think we'll stray from the travertine, even though we don't cook spaghetti, or a lot of stuff like that, that whole thing just sounds like a mess no matter what you cook.

    To be quite honest I love the look of a stone backsplash with dark cabinets. I attached a picture of what I mean. This stuff is called AirStone and they sell it at Lowes and its either by the square foot or linear foot. I think this would look great with the dark cabinets, I just don't know if that granite I posted above would work for it. Again I'm sure someone may mention the negatives for the "splatter" effect on this similar to travertine, I just really love the look, especially since our homes exterior will have a stone elevation.

    (I do not own this image or the rights to this image, I found it on Google. )

  • 11 years ago

    This is a matter of personal preference. I look at that backsplash and think it is very pretty for a fireplace surround, but not practical for a kitchen. The whole thing looks to dark to me, but that's my taste. I have a white kitchen, so take my opinion for what it's worth.

    Kitchenaddict pulled off a BEAUTIFUL kitchen with very dark cabinets and a crema marfil tumbled marble backsplash. I'll link it below. Her backsplash looks nothing like your tumbled marble sample to me. When putting two stones together you have to be careful about the undertones of the stones clashing.

    You may consider a very inexpensive ceramic backsplash for now and then you can replace it down the road.

    I would definitely recommend doing granite now. If you decide to sell in five years, it would be a tougher sell without the granite. There will be a lot of houses similar to yours for sale and a highly visible kitchen upgrade like that will pay off.

    I like a granite with more of a white background (like the white tiger) with your very dark cabinets, but that doesn't mean another background color couldn't work. If that's what your fiance likes, it's a great choice.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchenaddict's kitchen

  • 11 years ago

    Marada - in answer to your question, the photo you posted above at 22:08 shows a 4â or so backsplash strip of granite. See where the outlets are installed? They are installed inside a 4â strip of granite (the strip may be 5âÂÂ, I canâÂÂt tell). This strip is unnecessary, and is considered a dated look. It is a hangover from formica days when formica installation was more primitive. And that unnecessary strip of granite will cost you extra. Then look at the photo above from mpagmom (at 9:44 above). Also look at KitchenaddictâÂÂs kitchen that Mpagmom linked. See how those backsplashes meet the counter?

    I also agree with everything that mpagmom said about the photo you posted at 10:14 (as an aside, why are there white corbels in that kitchen? that's odd). If you install a similar stone backsplash, I think you will regret it. It will be a cleaning nightmare - the whole point of a backsplash is to make splashes easier to clean. And that stone is a bit dungeon-like IMHO with the rough texture and the dark cabinets.

  • 11 years ago

    Akchicago- I understand the "strip" you mean now, and I didn't plan on doing that, we're not going to really do any embellishments. I know it does look dungeon-y, thats why i'm here- i'm unsatisfied with our initial selections! haha I'm continuing to look for inspiration that will help this kitchen "flow" better!

    Thanks for the advice and input from people who have been down this road

  • 11 years ago

    marada - I know you're getting some conflicting info regarding upgrading the countertop with the builder or waiting. Monetarily, yes, you WILL pay more rolling it into your mortgage. But, also consider the enjoyment factor.

    Owning your own business, you probably are extremely aware of the time/money equation and the tradeoffs.

    It will be more expense taking out something and putting replacement in right away. It just will - if you do it yourself, you have to figure in what you value your hourly time at as this is taking time away from either your business or your family/recreation time. If you hire someone to do it, you have to figure in their costs PLUS your cost in time to find said person. Not to mention that renovations *rarely* go smoothly.

    So, you'll pay one way or the other - you either wind up rolling it in to the mtg. or you wind up paying out of pocket. To lessen the "carrying it in the mtg for 30 years" factor, why don't you plan on putting an additional $100-200 per month into your mortgage payment until you get your upgrade costs paid for?

    Also, I do really encourage you to consider cleanability on whatever you decide for a backsplash if you do much cooking at all. Even if you don't do tomato based sauces much, you still have oils become small particles and cling to backsplashes. I highly urge you to get something smooth if you will cook at all in your kitchen. I remember going into one kitchen designer's place and they were showing me photos of this "awesome new textured backsplash tile...and isn't it pretty?" and I stopped them dead by asking if anyone was actually going to cook in the kitchen that had that tile installed because it would be a nightmare to clean.

    Ultimately, with builders who have a set list of things you can pick from, there are times that you have to go with the least of evils. When we were picking for our home build, we had a fairly extensive set of choices all things considered...but, there were definitely times when it was limiting.

    As to granite - I think that the White Tiger works well with the cabinetry and helps to bring some of the lightness many of us have mentioned. Quite honestly, if it were me, I think I would look toward a plain white subway tile or something very similar to that for the backsplash...keep it simple and fairly inexpensive. If you look to sell in a few years (even though you are building, this may be your "starter home"...that's often the case), having the granite and an neutral easy tile like subway tiles will help with selling.

  • 11 years ago

    Finally - After a long day of gathering information and looking into some options, I went by the design studio and got the pictures of ALL the granite (that was medium to neutral or above, didn't take a picture of any of the darks). From Level 1 to Level 3.

    First off, after talking to the lady at the design studio I was expressing that I didn't like not having the ability to not have a backsplash at all since i'd like to see how my granite turned out before pairing a backsplash with it. She actually informed me that another option may be available. She emailed me back shortly after I gathered all the pictures and left and said "Yes you can do NO SHEETROCK for $200.00 , but we will add paint and texture " .. a little confused, and never owning/building a home before, I basically responded like so: "Is there a difference between sheet rock and dry wall? I assumed they were the same but when you said no sheet rock i began imagining cabinets screwed to the studs but then realized it probably wouldn't pass final inspection like that lol... So if you could elaborate on the difference of those two or what exactly no 'sheetrock' would entail id appreciate it"

    Her response said: "No there is no difference, but we will paint and texture to pass code ilo (I think she meant in lieu ) of leaving just the drywall showing.

    Sorry for the dialogue posted it just seemed easier. So with that said I seem to understand, but why are they calling it "No sheetrock?" when in fact there still is sheetrock/drywall, and it's just painted and textured? Can someone give me some more input on this? Or stray me from this all together if it's a terrible idea? To me it sounds like the best route that I can just add whatever backsplash I want to later...I also wonder if they're going to have to put a little 2-4" lip going horizontal at a 90* of the granite against the wall...hmm I don't want that.

    Also andreak100 - I'm very aware of the time/cost ratio. Time is money, if I spent 5 hours researching a good granite company and contractor, and I could be making my company $50-100/hr, I've now lost $250-500, and thats just in the research.

    Now down to the fun part! The granite choices. Remember, my cabinets are dark (espresso), and thats our style of what we're going to go with, so the granite should go with that. I think we'd prefer maybe something that was a little more "warm" then in comparison to the "White Tiger" See the attachment, if its not clear enough I'll upload a higher resolution link somewhere.

  • 11 years ago

    it's hard to tell for sure with them, but Bahama Beach seems to have some warmth to it but doesn't seem overly dark. Coral Reef might be a possibility too. I'd probably try really hard not to go to a Level 3 unless there's something that you absolutely adore. Personally, I would probably still consider the Tiger - it's the lightest of the bunch and I think that will wind up being a good choice.You have a greige color going on with it that can be warmed up or cooled down. Also, keep in mind the lighting temperature that you will be using with your UC lighting - those can be warm or cool and it makes a pretty big difference on how the piece of granite looks.

    Most of them seem like they don't have much movement, so it may not be necessary for you to see how they are going to be laid out so much, but I'd encourage you to try to pick your slab if they will allow you to.

    I'm not sure on her wording...but ultimately it sounds like what she described - putting up the sheetrock/drywall and painting it is what you are after. I'd confirm with her that they won't do the 4" lip up the back. I think that the $200 "upgrade" is well worth it rather than having them put something in that you could very easily need to tear out and start over...backsplash is often the most tricky part for people here - just take a look at the post titless that have ABB (all but backsplash) in them!

  • 11 years ago

    haha trying to prevent a backsplash nightmare here! To do under cabinet lighting they would charge that, so I was thinking I could do that on my own later, but there it is again, the "hope" of doing something down the road. I'm afraid of "life" happening and just not getting around to some of these items, but then again its just my first home!

    I was thinking just that on the color choices, either the Bahama Beach or Coral Reef. The Coral Reef just seems a little busier, but I'd be worried how the yellow/sand color would end up coming out on the Bahama Beach on a whole slab. Looking for pictures online and all I can find is beach homes in the bahamas with granite! haha. I'm not ruling out the tiger stripe, I think it may look good, i'm just worried of what backsplash would go in there. Their going to paint/texture the wall where the backsplash would go a khaki color, but i'd almost rather just paint it a charcoal myself. I'm afraid with either of the White Tiger, or the Coral Reef that the business in the granite would compete for whatever backsplash we ended up going with, unless it was just a subway tile, which I personally don't like. Again, not knocking it or anyone who has it, I just feel as though that wouldn't be my style. And then for the mosaics, I wouldn't like that here either I think it would end up being too busy. I'm wondering if that Airstone picture I posted earlier would look good with bahama beach or if that would be a bad idea. I personally love the idea of some kind of stone backsplash, just hesitant for any textures to be competing and making the kitchen look overly busy

  • 11 years ago

    Slow down, hold are getting gouged by that builder. Those are all level 1 granites - some have been around for decades. Just google level 1 granite and check out a few web sites or better yet try to go to a granite yard and look at slabs and pricing. Those are all level 1 even though he's calling them level 2 and 3 and the pricing seems ridiculously inflated.

    Do you really want to pay for that granite for 30 years or the life of your mortgage? Do you want to get ripped off and get granite just so you can have "granite?" You will be paying an enormous up charge and for such limited choices.

    Seriously reconsider the builder laminate, then in a few years upgrade to something gorgeous, and probably way less money. Don't let your builder rush you or rip you off.

    (Not sure if this link will work)

  • 11 years ago

    I don't think you're getting gouged. Let's say you have 50 sq ft of granite it there (it's hard to tell from the picture, but you could have more than that). The lowest priced granite at my local Home Depot right now is $48/sq ft. Then they will charge you $300 labor to undermount the sink. So that's $2700. They often have 10% off sales so that brings you down to $2430. The lowest priced granite in our area is $40/sq ft, but then they charge something like $500 to do the sink cut out and install the undermount sink, bringing you back to $2500. The cost is reasonable, but they aren't really giving you a credit for the laminate countertops. If you take the laminate countertops and upgrade them later, you're throwing that away anyway.

    Oh, and level 2 granite at Home Depot would be about $2900 with the sale.

    I like the idea someone suggested about paying extra on your mortgage until you've paid off the granite.

    I don't like any of those new samples better than the one you originally picked.

  • 11 years ago

    Below is a link to black/dark kitchens; several have similar granites to yours and light backsplash tiles. I personally like the subway tiles with a darker grout, but there are others you may like.

    Here is a link that might be useful: dark kitchen cabinets

  • 11 years ago

    Hello- my hubby and I are in the same boat as you. We just went to our builder's design studio last week to pick out our finishes for our new construction. Long story short, our builder does include a level 1 granite with the purchase of the house but only give you 2 options to choose from. We ended up upgrading the granite to a level 3 ( $1500 upgrade). We also up graded backsplash to a white subway. Have you considered that? I think it would brighten up your kitchen, especially with the espresso colored cabinets. It is a lot better in terms of maintenance compared to the tumbled stone ( so I hear). It would be simple and let your granite "be the star". I know how frustrating & overwhelming all this can be. Our coordinator at the design studio was more interested in getting us in & out of there as quick as she could than she was with spending adequate time making sure we picking out the best selections for our home. Luckily, my husband & I knew exactly what we wanted, brought pictures and paid attention to all the detail stuff that she missed! Good luck with your build ;=)