By Max Mervis

Whether you’re a seller wanting to update your kitchen prior to putting your home on the market, or a buyer seeking to create a unique kitchen you can call your own, the choices are endless.  In the late ‘80s we couldn’t rip out the old Formica countertops fast enough to replace them with polished granite to add a bit of sophistication to these utilitarian spaces.  To this day, granite remains the central element in an "updated kitchen,” and is worth the investment.  For example, a $30,000 kitchen cost can easily be tacked onto the sales price of a home. Granite to most people means "top of the line."

However, traditional polished granite is quickly being phased out by the more natural-looking honed granite that features a rustic, matte finish that adds texture and softness. This softer honed finish is particularly popular among homeowners wanting an aged or casual look without a light-reflecting glossy finish to distract the eye. The natural imperfections of granite are more visible with a honed finish creating depth and more pronounced variations. An additional benefit of honed granite is that it's durable, and when properly maintained, is resistant to almost all stains, chips, cracks and heat.

But to say granite is the best countertop material, you'd have to compare it to another material which has been gaining momentum that is as edgy as it is luxurious - concrete. Luxurious may be an oxymoron to describe a concrete product; industrial or urban might be more fitting, but don’t let the name fool you. Concrete is an elaborate mixture of cement and an aggregate, like sand or crushed limestone, which is added to the cement mix which increases strength and creates color and/or texture. In countertops, the list of potential concrete aggregates expands almost indefinitely, allowing for a multitude of color combinations and finishes from polished to matte. By adding your own personal touch such as embedded glass, shells or even pin-lights, you can bring your kitchen surfaces to a level that’s never been seen before.

No matter which countertop you prefer, both granite and concrete are high-quality options. Both materials generally run anywhere from $50 to $150 per square foot installed, and that price will go up with custom concrete built-ins or higher-end, single-slab granite. Ultimately it's all about your personal needs, the desired aesthetic of your home, and most importantly, creating a dynamic area in what is most often the very heart of your home.


Max Mervis has amassed 18 years extensive knowledge of the resale market and more than 12 years of on-site new home sales experience. Max currently resides in Venice, and he is an expert in the beach communities of Venice/Marina del Rey and Santa Monica. 

Should you need any assistance on on finding or selling a home, please feel free to contact Max.