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Old 09-09-2009, 08:00 AM   #21
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What kind of diligence? We put in granite counter tops about 10 years ago and they still look like new. Do I need to treat them with something or take other maintenance steps?
Same here, after 7 years with granite counter tops that were probably put in about 10 years ago. Once I thought they were looking less shiny than they did, so I spent 10 minutes applying some "granite resealer and cleaner" from Home Depot and they got back their old shine. I don't really see why I would want to do anything else as long as they remain as shiny and gorgeous as new. Anything more is overkill, IMO.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:02 AM   #22
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Quartz here. Never had any problem. It also has some sort of anti-microbial thing built in. That may be more advertising hype than useful product. It still looks like granite but tougher.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:14 AM   #23
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Check here: Granite Countertop Maintenance - LoveToKnow Home Improvement

Perhaps yours don't need it but sounds like many (most?) require an annual (or so) resealing.........or perhaps you're extra careful w/ spills.
From the article:
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Before you reseal your granite countertops, check with the manufacturer or installer to be sure it is necessary. Most granite counters do need to be re-sealed on an annual basis, but not all of them require this.
Not sure what to make of this since mine have stayed fine for 10 years. I guess I will just wait until I see some problems and then reseal.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:15 AM   #24
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When we were remodeling our kitchen a few years ago, we went with quartz. The main reasons were two. The granite, though tough, is a bit more porous than the quartz was so it required sealing (and presumable future maintenance). The quartz allowed us to select a color and order, whereas the granite would have required us to go to the store and select the slabs, because of the natural variations in color. Minor reasons included, the quartz, from what I've heard, is a bit harder than granite so it should not break as easily. That made sense, since the quartz was essentially small bits held together by an epoxy. We couldn't find granite in the color we wanted, but we did with the quartz. Quartz was a bit cheaper, and most people couldn't tell the difference between quartz and granite.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:39 AM   #25
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From the article:
Not sure what to make of this since mine have stayed fine for 10 years. I guess I will just wait until I see some problems and then reseal.
That's what I am doing. The resealer is pricey, and I don't really see any need for it if the countertop still looks like new. Somebody is making a lot of money off of it, though.

Also, I have read that you aren't supposed to use Windex on granite countertops. I use it anyway. Maybe that is why, after about 7 years, my countertop needed 5-10 minutes wiping on a resealer/cleaner. It's possible that the "cleaner" part was what restored the shine.

At any rate, I would say that granite countertops are maintenance free.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:06 AM   #26
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I watch quite a bit of HGTV, and see many are using concrete that has been stained. Much cheaper than other tops I understand, and looked great to me.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #27
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GRANITE ! Quartz looks and performs like imitation granite- might as well go with the real deal, IMO.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:36 AM   #28
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Check out the Kitchen/bathroom publication from consumer reports. There is a detailed comparison there between surfaces. After reading this and doing some shopping, we did granite as well - in fact our redo is just nearing an end. The counter tops went in a couple of weeks ago.

For us, the visual impact made the difference. The composite quartz was too consistent a surface - we wanted to see the variations of granite.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:12 AM   #29
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It seems granite is the preferred finish around here. We talked about the resale aspect - never seen an ad for "quartz countertops" - but are still undecided.

Our kitchen currently has black granite (ugh) with multiple stains (that were cleverly covered when we bought) which cannot be remedied and seriously irritate DW. It show even the slightest stain or water residue. As expected, anything that bothers her really bothers me and I am highly motivated to make this change. We have to cut the current granite regardless because we need to replace a broken, non-standard cooktop, so it's the right moment.

What worries us the most is the fact that granite stains. I know - sealant, once a year, etc and it'll never happen. This is like investing - it's not the probability of a market decline, it's the consequence. If I stain the countertop it'll be like relocating to hades or living though a twenty year pestilence.

We're going to checkout a few stores today, just to look, touch, and ask - mostly about care and maintenance.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #30
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For us, the visual impact made the difference. The composite quartz was too consistent a surface - we wanted to see the variations of granite.
Ditto- we have a synthetic solid surface quarts countertop at our cabin- it was in when we bought it and we hate it-too homogenous looking, no character. It looks synthetic.

Here is the granite we put in our kitchen just before we put our house on the market- we love it, and I hope the new owners will, too.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:01 AM   #31
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It's a beautiful desert pattern, WS, yet I never quite saw the point of making beautiful upgrades to one's home just before selling it. To me, it always felt like a gyp to make my house nicer for strangers, than it was while I was in it. Make it nice for me, that's my thought.

I assume the place you're moving to is even more spectacular?
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #32
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It's a beautiful desert pattern, WS, yet I never quite saw the point of making beautiful upgrades to one's home just before selling it. To me, it always felt like a gyp to make my house nicer for strangers, than it was while I was in it. Make it nice for me, that's my though t.

Thanks, Amethyst, but the upgrades helped sell it fast in a neighborhood of cookie cutter-homes (most approaching 10 years old, most without any upgrades):

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/sold-our-house-in-34-days-46182.html

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I assume the place you're moving to is even more spectacular?
The house we are moving to is a big step up... we are buying it primarily as an investment, but you have to live somewhere...
Finally took the Real Estate Investment Plunge….(long post with photos)
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #33
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It's a beautiful desert pattern, WS, yet I never quite saw the point of making beautiful upgrades to one's home just before selling it. To me, it always felt like a gyp to make my house nicer for strangers, than it was while I was in it. Make it nice for me, that's my thought.

I assume the place you're moving to is even more spectacular?

Not that I upgrades like WS.... but I did upgrade the house I am selling... because the floors were the orginal laminate that looked pretty bad.. to someone else... I could care less... (but my wife was wanting something else).... also, our bathroom had deteriorated so bad that we had to freshen it up or nobody would want the place...

So far... no takers... but it has only be a short time...
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:18 PM   #34
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Wow, what a beautiful new place Westernskies.

It's great your upgrades paid off. In 2004 when we downsized sold our modest 1950's ranch-style house, it sat on the market for 200 days. On the realtor's advice we replaced the wallpaper in the study and bathrooms (Sooo 1990s she said.) with fancy (and expensive) faux finishes.

A 15% price reduction finally moved it. The new owners immediately bulldozed it and built this.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:30 PM   #35
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We went out looking at options saturday past. After looking and touching there was no choice - granite carried the day.

When I reminded her of the stain factor she just looked at me - with that special look reserved for long time couples - and said "you're just gonna have to be careful and not stain my new granite".

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:21 PM   #36
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To all of you that have never resealed their granite countertops - I personally know two couples that spilled red wine on their granite and didn't clean it up right away. The porous granite sucked up the wine. One of them is living with the stain. The other one hired somebody to come in and grind down the countertop to get rid of it. I don't think it would have mattered much if the countertops had been darker, but on their's it was really obvious.

I have quartz, so I don't know for sure, but when I was shopping all of the sales people told me you needed to reseal every year. We were going low maintenance, and we loved the color options we had available, so we went with the quartz. We've only been here 1 1/2 years. I'll report back in 8 more and let you know how it's working out.
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