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Counter Conversion
By Linda Montet | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
FEATURED REMODEL APRIL/MAY 2010
home :: home & garden :: featured remodels

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A Quick Way to Make a Dramatic Difference

What do you do when the kitchen and master bath countertops in your new home are warped, scratched, and an unattractive color? That’s the situation Dick and Mary Langdon faced in their Druid Hill townhome in south Des Moines.

“I also wanted countertops that were more functional,” Mary recalls. “So one day I just said to Dick, ‘How would you like to buy me new countertops for Christmas?’” He agreed and they set about selecting a product.

Mary knew she wanted the look and strength of granite, but in a previous kitchen she had disliked the upkeep of sealing the stone. “Besides, we had been through a kitchen remodel once before, and the teardown and installation took more than two months. It was painful.” She began investigating
overlay countertops.

 “Mary knew exactly what she wanted from the start,” says Jennifer O’Neel, sales consultant at Granite Transformations. “She was trying to update and refresh the kitchen and was attracted to our Trend Stone product.”

Granite Transformations’ Trend Stone is a mix of 95 percent granite and 5 percent polymer resin, so it’s nonporous, stain-resistant, and virtually maintenance-free, O’Neel says. “Mary also liked that we could do the entire installation—kitchen and bathroom—in one day.”

Once she chose from among the 20 different Trend Stone colors and selected a Silgranit sink, the rest was easy. O’Neel says about two weeks prior to installation, an installer visited the Langdons’ home for a couple of hours to make a detailed pattern of the countertop surfaces. That pattern was used as a template to prepare the stone.

“We cut the stone in the shop where we also fabricated the sink and aprons,” she says. “All of the hand polishing was done in the shop, too. So when we arrived on site to install it, it was all ready to set in place.”

Installation was simple and fast. The new, ¼-inch stone surface was set on top of the existing countertop and adhered with epoxy. “It’s all very eco-friendly,” says Teresa Egli, Granite Transformations’ manager. “We’re not throwing away existing surfaces in a landfill, and Trend Stone uses significantly less natural stone than slab granite. Cost is about 15 to 20 percent less than midrange slab granite, too.”
The Langdons’ transformation took just two weeks from template to installation, with no down time in the kitchen.

“We never use outside contractors,” says Egli. “It’s all done by our staff.” She says Trend Glass (a fusion of recycled glass and stone) and Trend Mosaic (transparent glass mosaic tiles) are also attractive options for resurfacing countertops and backsplashes. “In these hard economic times, this is a great option for folks who want to stay in their homes but still update the kitchen or bath.”

Mary and Dick are delighted with the results. “They installed everything in one day, and it was wonderful,” says Mary. “They have it down to a fine art. Everybody who worked on the project was very helpful and wonderful.”

She has achieved the functionality she wanted, too. “Now I can put hot pans on the counter, and I don’t even need a cutting board. I don’t have to cure the stone, and I can’t tell a difference in the look from the solid granite countertops I had before.”

 

RESOURCES

COUNTERTOPS Granite Transformations

 

 

 


 

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