When it comes to resale value, a home’s kitchen is one of the two most important rooms (the second being the master bathroom). Because of this, choosing the right countertop surface is key, making the question of ‘do granite countertops add value to a house?’ an incredibly pertinent one.
Once upon a time, granite countertops were seen as the epitome of luxury. While you could still do much worse than this igneous rock when it comes to countertops for your kitchen and/or bathroom, they have waned in popularity recently and no longer add as much value as they once did.
Let’s explore further.
Do Granite Countertops Add Value to a House?
Granite countertops were popularized in the 1980s, when they were an ultra-rare luxury that only the wealthiest of homeowners could afford.
Since then, however, granite countertops have become easier to produce. Particularly in the 2000s, the term ‘granite’ became synonymous with the term ‘countertops,’ and just about everyone was racing to have them installed.
But the same advances in manufacturing and shipping that made granite a household name have also drastically improved other materials like quartz, which offer benefits that make granite’s $40 to $100 per square foot price tag seem like less of a value proposition.
Countertop manufacturer Caesarstone has put together a great guide comparing quartz and granite directly, and we’ll refer to some of their insights below to help you understand why granite is dropping in value.
But to answer the primary question, ‘how much value do granite countertops add?’ is increasingly met with an answer of ‘less than they once did.’
How Much Value Do Granite Countertops Add?
When considering ‘how much value does granite countertops add to a home?’ it’s important to note that they’ll still leave you much better off than laminate or tile, which are the least desirable materials.
You can expect to recoup roughly 80% of your upfront costs on granite countertops.
As with everything else in real estate, this isn’t a certainty; prospective buyers will look at the value of other homes in your neighbourhood to judge whether or not yours is priced exorbitantly. If it is, even granite countertops won’t necessarily push buyers to spend above the average going rate for houses in your area.
There’s another important disclaimer to consider alongside the question, ‘how much does granite countertops add to home value?’ That is, the 80% figure mentioned above (which many granite countertop manufacturers are also quick to cite) only refers to your upfront costs — and granite comes with many maintenance costs that will push your overall return on investment down.
Why Granite Countertops Can Be a Terrible Idea When Seeking to Add Value to Your Home
Reason #1: Maintenance
Granite countertops need to be resealed about once annually to minimize stains, which happen with alarming ease in light of granite’s porous nature. You can only ever minimize these stains, however, as they are an inevitable reality of living with granite countertops.
The average consumer spends as much as $8 per square foot on this maintenance and restoration process, costing a total of almost $800 for the kitchen alone.
You can get away with doing a full repair and treatment less frequently than every year but sealing is imperative and will still cost you about $3 per square foot. That’s nothing to balk at if you have granite surfaces in both your kitchen and your bathroom.
When granite countertops were the must-have item on the market, this was considered a reasonable expense. However, advances in other materials have made it downright ridiculous.
Many prospective homebuyers understand how much of a headache granite can be, which is why they shy away from it and may actually see it as a downside to your home.
Reason #2: Reduced Aesthetic Appeal
Design trends can be fleeting. Natural stone surfaces suffer in this department due to their limited aesthetic range. You can find granite countertops in a few different shades but they all range from black to grey and certain browns.
In 2019, consumers have come to expect a greater range of colours and patterns from surfaces. As a result, commercial spaces like shopping malls and offices are bucking granite countertops in favour of materials that offer more options for customization.
The Best Countertop Choice for Adding Value: Quartz
Now that you understand the answer to the question, ‘how much value does granite countertops add to home?’ is ‘not as much as you’re probably expecting,’ you may be wondering what the best alternative is.
Without a question, that would be quartz, which is engineered stone.
Engineered stone is seeing a surge in popularity reminiscent of what granite experienced in the 1990s and 2000s, due to similar factors.
Quartz has become much easier to manufacture in recent years, going from an ultra-luxury item that only the rich chose over granite to a material that now costs within the same ballpark as natural stone.
Unlike granite, however, quartz is unlikely to wane in popularity anytime soon. Its fundamentally engineered nature provides opportunities for continual improvement — and many brilliant designers are using that to their advantage, creating variants that set trends.
Here are a few more reasons quartz countertops add value to your home.
No Maintenance Costs
While the question of, ‘does granite countertops add value to your home?’ inevitably leads to discussions about their maintenance costs, the question as it pertains to quartz leads to no such thing.
That’s because quartz does not have any maintenance costs. The sealant never needs to be replaced as it’s engineered right into the material itself, meshing with loose quartz rocks to create a surface that lasts a lifetime.
More Durable Overall
Quartz offers a similar level of resistance to heat and scratching that granite does. It’s also not porous, meaning it won’t stain as easily as granite will.
More Aesthetic Variance
Quartz is engineered to resemble a whole host of materials while overcoming each’s physical imperfections. That means you can get a quartz countertop that resembles granite but is not porous and hence will not stain.
Beyond colour and patterns, quartz can be molded into just about any shape you would ever want for your kitchen or bathroom surfaces. Unlike granite, you won’t see unsightly seams joining multiple slabs together to create something unique.
Better Resale Value
In light of the above benefits, you can expect quartz countertops to retain much more value than granite. Industry experts like those at The Spruce rate them as the best overall choice for countertops, with many homeowners regarding them as even more desirable and valuable than granite.
Expect to recoup as much as 100% of your costs. You may even make money on quartz countertops if you’re able to score a deal on installation.
Does Granite Countertops Add Value to Your Home? — Conclusion
To wrap things up, the answer to the question, ‘how much does granite countertops add to home value?’ is ‘not as much as they used to — especially when you factor in maintenance costs.’
These costs coupled with granite’s limited aesthetic variety have significantly reduced the material’s desirability in recent years.
Engineered stone, commonly referred to as quartz, has overtaken granite to become the countertop material of choice for 2019 and beyond. Its limitless options (quartz is an engineered material that can take on various appearances) mean it is likely to hold this title for years to come as designers create versions that keep up with the times.