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Help!! Choosing kitchen counters with white cabinets
wynneerickson
February 4, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I have a white kitchen. I love it, but I know it's not to everyone's taste. However, we are now selling our house, and we have decided to upgrade the countertops before doing so. The countertops are currently a white corian. I'm thinking white carrera marble. I know it's softer than granite, but I think it will be nice to keep the clean, white look. But I'm wondering if there is a better granite color that others might recommend? I love granite, but don't like the ones that are too model-home, blah looking. Would the gray ones be too blah? Would the darker ones be too dark? Looking for any advice/ideas/inspiration! Thanks.
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PRO
Bethesda Builders Ltd.
Always use a contrasting color, it will look dramatic, not too dark.
February 4, 2013 at 1:12PM   
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ssmile
I'd go for granite...a classic colour like giallo ornamental...would work well with your floors...but I'd update your backsplash too
February 4, 2013 at 1:26PM   
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gingerclaire
Speaking as someone who has been doing renovations on a really tight budget, I would ask, why are you wanting to change it if you are about to sell? Will changing the work surface will increase value or improve 'saleability'? Unless the answer to at least one of those questions is yes, it's probably not worth the effort. If you just want to freshen up the look, a change of paint or backsplash colour might achieve that for you without the expense. The simplicity of your kitchen is attractive as it is. If you really must change it, I would go for any colour which contrasts with the white and pale grey. A mid-grey might do the trick without your kitchen looking like a zebra.
February 4, 2013 at 1:38PM     
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libradesigneye
These days, quartz is king in situations like this where it needs to take wear and tear. They have the product that looks like carerra but wears like forever so is now equivalent to granite wear-wise. I agree that if you aren't doing the backsplash, I wouldn't do the tops. Carerra / quartz equivalent has gray veining and your walls and backsplash are more taupe/brown. In fact, I think a new backsplash will be more important to the look than the new tops when you intend to stay in the white family. Lots of women LOVE an all white kitchen because it works with any adjacent decor, and offers a clean look. Good luck.
February 4, 2013 at 1:44PM   
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
I would suggest getting some pricing on the samples you think would good in the home, then when listing you can sell as is, or offer potential buyers an allowance on the new counters cost and give them the option to have them changed before move-in. Something that can be used when negotiating on price.
February 4, 2013 at 1:52PM     
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wynneerickson
Thanks all!! These are great ideas and encouragement. Now I have some research to do to compare these ideas. (And I totally agree - would love to change the backsplash, but that seems expensive and really personality driven as to what would look best)

The old countertops look worn, and all potential buyers seem obsessed with granite so we think that will really help with the 'saleability'. Hopefully... :)
February 4, 2013 at 10:14PM   
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onthefence
When you say 'potential buyers' do you mean people who have actually been thru your house? In some areas it seems granite IS the preferred material. There might be a buyer who does want marble. But it's a gamble. For me personally, I don't care for marble and seeing it would probably turn me off.

A few houses have sold in our neighborhood recently. In every case, the new buyers have gone in and ripped out something new and major that was put in to sell the house.

What does your realtor suggest? They should know your market best and have an idea of the preferences of the target market for your home.
February 4, 2013 at 11:01PM   
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JWinteriors
I agree to set aside samples and a budget for a new homeowner. Everyone has different likes. Someone might want to change out the white cabinets! As someone who stages houses, rent a pod and load it down with everything you dont need. Men are drawn to basements and garages..Put your husband on that task to sell those spaces to the next man. Women want their kitchens/closets and master suites. Make them feel spacious and non cluttered. Fresh paint/finish projects/clean all tile. Price it 10,000 more than what you want for it...gives you room to negotiate and walk away happy.
February 5, 2013 at 12:14AM     
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
White counters are most in demand currently. so much so, some materials are long deliveries & aren't in stock. If you plan to sell, don't waste your money as the new homeowner will likely wish to put their own stamp on the house. Let them choose. I'd invest in the smell of freshly baked bread/cookies & some beautiful flowers & accessories to give your space personality. Including moving that island back into the middle of the kitchen. A big luscious bowl of fruit on the island will say "home" more than a new random counter surface that will be very costly.
February 5, 2013 at 12:26AM   
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arlys baker
New benches are probably not going to make a price difference to selling. Keep the money and brighten up the bench but remember More is less! No Clutter!
February 5, 2013 at 3:02AM   
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MAlps
I would change the hardware as well.
February 5, 2013 at 4:01AM   
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maryr_9
If you are selling your house, perhaps instead of changing the countertop yourself, you could get samples of different options and present these prospective purchasers come to view. Your kichen is quite classic, it would be appealing to a buyer who could easily add small touches to put their own style.
February 5, 2013 at 4:07AM   
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lacie_girl
Suggestions...leave the countertop, put in stainless steel appliances, get a more up to date window covering for the door. Remove clutter on the counters and decorate with some color! I think staging your house could do more for selling than replacing countertops. Just my input looking at the picture!
February 5, 2013 at 4:20AM     
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0825sam
I agree that your realtor will give the best advice on what to change. From personal experience and friends we have all lived with counters and backsplash was we didn't love but immediately changed appliances. So I agree with the comment about upgrading to stainless before counters.
Also, I love marble but others may not want the look or maintenance.
February 5, 2013 at 4:43AM   
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hparks74
No offense but your cabinets appear to be stock grade. I'm wondering where changing them out using marble which could cost $3500 to $5000. Will you really receive 100% of the investment and is it worth the headache. I'm thinking a few pops of color like turquoise or orange mite shadow any counter improvements you feel are needed.
February 5, 2013 at 12:46PM     
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onealk
I have a very similar kitchen to yours, only ours has white tile. We are contemplating the same ideas as well because our grout is worn and the sinks need replacing. From what I have heard, it is advantageous to replace coutertops in the kitchen and in the master bath before selling a home. It will help it sell faster and draw more intense interest and the seller will likely get their money out of it in certain neighborhoods. We are debating between granite and quartz. I am leaning more toward quartz because of the uniform look, the durability it offers and the low-maintenance factor. I know granite is a "buzz" word for some buyers and not everyone is familiar with quartz quite yet, but I believe it is the up-and-coming product choice for countertops for its "green" appeal and the minimal-maintenance it requires.

As for color, I personally like my white tile countertops because of the airy, bright and open feel they give the kitchen. Although we will not choose all white countertops when we replace them, we will likely choose something light in color. Try a search on houzz for "Cambria Windermere countertops with white cabinets"... that is the look I love. We recently visited a granite/quartz yard and they tried to talk us into using a contrasting color or something with darker tones to provide "contrast," however, I think if a light or mid-color is what you're drawn to that is what you should use. There are so many photos on houzz of kitchens with white cabinets and light colored countertops so I think that's very popular! A mid-tone is probably what will appeal to more buyers but if YOU love it, chances are someone else will too.
February 5, 2013 at 1:49PM     
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libunium
Which would be cheaper new counter tops or a light colored transparent glaze on the cabinets. Gray or a light wood?
February 5, 2013 at 1:57PM   
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sms9758
Both my daughter and I each sold our homes listening to our realtors and changed what they suggested. Lost money both times because the buyers were never happy. Do what the others on here suggested. Stage your house nicely and don't spend any extra for new counters.
February 7, 2013 at 8:46PM     
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acarter09
marble subway tiles is great for a backsplash and timeless. St Cecilia Light is a great granite with hues of gray/off white/black. If you dont want to spend the money on marble use a less costly material but the subway pattern is a safe style for selling your house. White is a great in a kitchen because the new owners can accessorize with a rug, vases, etc in their favorite colors. If you want to stage your house cheap just accessorize with prints on the wall, maybe an oriental rug, put an interesting pendent light over the kitchen sink, etc.to make the kitchen pop
February 7, 2013 at 9:16PM   
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Ruth Ann Chaplik-Secreto
Medium brown granite to go with great backsplash ! I would still go with stainless steel appliances too .
February 7, 2013 at 9:18PM   
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tallest
I would not change anything if you are selling. White is ok as it is least offensive . Just wash everything and declutter an you are good.
February 8, 2013 at 12:31AM     
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rinqreation
Only change the backsplash. To me that's the biggest turnoff in this kitchen. White is neutral and bright and likeable.
February 8, 2013 at 12:44AM   
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tallest
yup the backlash - those subway white tiles seem to be popular, or just a piece of solid glass in off white-light gray might do the trick.

my kitchen has grayish white glass, otherwise it is fully white and most of my guests like it. backsplash should not dominate everything if the rest of the kitchen is fairly tame.

in particular your kitchen floor color vs white cabinets is very clean combination.
February 8, 2013 at 1:36AM     
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janway
I hate stainless steel and and would want a solid wood counter. Do not try to guess what a buyer might want, price it properly and it will sell. Let the new home owner decide.
June 12, 2014 at 2:41PM   
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Donald
I'd vote to leave the Corian...it's a nice product and even a little worn looking it beats a lot of other countertops buyers will see in comparable homes. Update your hardware but otherwise I'd save your money.
June 12, 2014 at 3:45PM   
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Urbanata/Steve
A white quartz marble like look such as Caesarstone "London Grey" or Silestone "nebula" Suede finish. The backsplash is also a problem as the scale of the tile is too large. Go with a narrow subway or a mosaic in a narrow strip pattern.
June 12, 2014 at 4:31PM   
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bgfuqua
I just purchased a home and am painting freshly painted rooms, painting almost new cabinets, changing new hardware, and replacing good appliances. wish the seller had left it alone!
June 12, 2014 at 4:47PM   
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PRIZE Interiors
I would leave the countertops as well. Marble is not a good choice for a countertop that is used as regularly as these would have to be since it's super porous and stains easily. If you're going to spend money, I would remove the back splash and paint the cabinets a great bright color. Brightly colored cabinets are super in right now. You could rip out the cabinets on the top altogether since they don't go to the ceiling and use open shelves for a more modern look. Something like this...
June 12, 2014 at 5:00PM   
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