Kitchen Counter Transformation

How to transform a Formica kitchen counter to granite in two days.

I promised I would share everything we did to our house to get it ready to sell. I haven’t been able to give you all the details in a succession of posts as I had originally envisioned as the moving process is time consuming and just a tad bit stressful.

However, now that we have moved and the process is behind us. Here is a post detailing how we staged and then sold the house in 10 days.

As you probably know, when selling a house the location is usually one of the biggest features. After that, kitchens and bathrooms rate pretty high.

When Ed and I bought our house 22 years ago, the builder had already put in oak kitchen cabinets and Formica counters. We didn’t have a choice unless we wanted to pay to rip everything out and have new cabinets and a kitchen counter installed. That was not in our budget. We lived with the natural oak cabinets for awhile, but as you know I ended up painting them white.

Budget decorating ideas for kitchen counter tops

Over the years, I even painted them a second time to a whiter white and tweaked the decor from time to time, but the Formica counters stayed. Since they were a neutral light beige and in good shape we were content with them, until it came time to sell and our Realtor friends told us we needed to have granite to give the kitchen a more upscale and updated look.

Picking out slabs of granite, having templates made, and living without countertops for a few weeks while the granite is cut then installed, can take weeks or longer. Depending on the quality of the granite and square footage of the counters, it can also get very expensive. None of this could be done in our timeframe and budget.

Then one of our friends told us to check out Granite Transformations. He had recommended them to many clients and could not say enough good things about them. We decided to check the company out and were quite pleased with what they offered.

Granite Transformations countertops in Perla di Modena

If you are not familiar with what Granite Transformations does, in a nutshell, they make engineered countertops that are 95% granite mixed with a composite that can be installed directly over your existing counters. The process creates less waste, takes less time to make and install, and limits the time you lose the use of your kitchen. We decided to go with them to update the counters.

This is not a sponsored post. We paid for the new countertops ourselves and could not be happier with the results.


After I chose to go with granite in the color Perla di Modena, a template maker came to the house to make templates for each counter and the island. He made them out of cardboard and hot glue.

Affordable ideas for kitchen countertops

It took him about an hour and a half.

Review of Granite Transformations countertops

After a few days, we got a call that the countertops were made and ready to be installed. The day the installers came was the only day I didn’t have access to the kitchen.

The only thing we needed to do before they came was unhook the kitchen faucet and remove the sink.  It took them about 8 hours to install 3 countertops.  The longest counter is in an L-shape and has one seam.

Even though I know where it is, I still can’t find it as it is invisible. On my Formica counters you could see every seam.

affordable stone countertops

The new counters fit perfectly over the existing counters and are glued into place. I didn’t have to do anything to the existing tile backsplash.

They are shiny and cold to the touch since they are real granite. You can do anything on them that you can do on a granite countertop. Plus, if anything goes wrong with the countertop over the next 10 years, the fix is covered.

Budget kitchen remodeling ideas

We are very pleased with the updated look and also at how nice our local franchise was to work with right from my initial call. This includes the sales guy who came to the house to show me the different types of quartzgranite and recycled glass, the template maker, and then the installers. It was all complete in less than 10 days and there were only 8 hours when I couldn’t use the kitchen.

We then put the sink and Delta Touch 2 O faucet back into place. The transformation was complete.

Kitchen counter staging ideas

Kitchen Countertop Staging Ideas:

  • Declutter the counters by removing the majority of countertop appliances. Doing this allows the buyer to see the counters they are buying, not the appliances which will be going with you.
  • Place a cookbook on a stand to suggest that the kitchen is perfect for cooking and baking.
  • Place a plant or a vase of fresh flowers on the counter.
  • Bake something yummy and place it on a pretty cake stand.

Kitchen Counter Transformation Option

Now that we have moved I wanted to share another kitchen counter transformation with you that is very budget friendly. The kitchen in our new house has Formica counters.

I wanted to use Granite Transformations again, but there wasn’t an installer anywhere near us.

Giani countertop paint review White Diamond

Instead I painted them to look like Carrara Marble.  They came out fabulous.   Here is the link to the post:

How to Paint a Kitchen Counter to Look Like Carrara Marble

If you like the look of granite, but not the cost and or time it takes to install it, check out this post to see how granite, quartz, or glass countertops can be installed with little or no kitchen downtime. | In My Own Style

More Home Decorating Ideas

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  1. I love the look you achieved! I too am intrigued with the glass option :)
    This was such good information and how wonderful to only have to be without your counters for 8 hours! I’ve been trying to decide what to do with mine….

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Morgan –

      Thanks – The glass stick on tiles are from Aspect. The white color was just not white enough in the available light in my kitchen, but they are ingenious. So far so good with the countertop paint. I would do it again if I had to makeover a countertop in another kitchen.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Diane,

    I love the idea of the granite transformations. I don’t know anyone who has used them. They look really good and I’m thinking a lot more cost effective, especially for staging purposes.


  3. Julie Blanneru says:

    It’s gorgeous, Diane! Have a beautiful weekend!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Julie – I hope you had a fun Halloween with your girls and enjoyed getting an extra hour of sleep.

  4. Sandy Tull says:

    That color scheme is so perfect! I bet you just feel so happy when you walk into the kitchen every morning. I also love how the granite countertop contrasts just a little, enough to give it a subject if it were a photograph. Beautiful!!

  5. Is the price comparable to the real thing? We have granite tiles in our kitchen and hate them. Can they do it over them? Also, what if you want to change your sink? Sorry, I guess I could ask the company these questions. Your kitchen is stunning!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Shaun – It is a little less than full granite. If you got a lower level of granite, it may be comparable on cost. I think it can go over any type of counter even tile. If you want to change your sink, it just has to be the same size as the cut hole in the counter. It just drops into the hole and is caulked. You can have the sink undermounted, too.

  6. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    wow that looks good

  7. Our last apartment had dark granite kitchen counters—part of their remodel and “upgrade.” With our lousy eyesight, my husband and I quickly discovered that the only way we could tell whether we’d gotten the counters wiped clean was by feel. After living with those counters for several years, we chose white quartz for our house. Now we can (mostly) see what we spill. If you have both 20/20 vision and younger eyes, the dark granite probably isn’t an issue, but if you don’t, give some real thought to dark counters before you spend your money.

  8. I absolutely don’t get this current obsession with granite countertops. They are so expensive and although they are beautiful I don’t think they’re practical around a kitchen. There are so many other choices out there that hold up better and are considerably cheaper. You want a workhorse in the kitchen not something you have to baby.

  9. The counters turned out beautifully. Congratulations!

  10. Diane,

    I had Granite Transformations installed a number of years ago when I updated my bathrrom counter and sink. I even picked the same color as you! I loved it. HINT: We found that when my guests (and husband) would wash their hands, some water would pool aound the base of the faucet. Most times, I was able to wipe it dry. As we had somewhat hard water, a white film formed around the base of the faucet that would not come off. I called the company and they gave me remedies that did not work…and not waranteed either because it etched the surface. I ws very disappointed. The most economical and easiest remedy? I soon replaced the faucet with a new one that had a wider base that covered the discoloration.

  11. My daughter brought the recycled glass countertop from them. Unfortunately it didn’t hold up. It is very susceptible to scratches and in a short time her countertop looked terrible. Despite many calls to them and promises of fixing the problem, they never came and did anything about them. I would not recommend them for that reason. They did not stand by their warranty.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dawn – Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear that they did not stick to their warranty for your daughter. I guess each franchise is different. The one that I worked with in the Philadelphia area had nothing but good reviews from the realtors and clients I talked to. all had the granite installed. The recycled glass is a newer product for them, it sounds like it is not quite up to par as the granite. Good to know.

  12. They’re very pretty. Sadly the nearest dealer to us is 300 miles away :-( There are some of their other countertop products that impress me too!

    But about granite countertops…… Yes, I’ve seen some that are so stunning I keep looking at them like a kid looking into a candy store. And others….well, I’m just happy it’s not my home.

    I’ve been in homes where I thought “Oh my…if I was buying this house the granite countertops would be a deterrent rather than an asset.” Some day I hope we can on board with more than the ‘standard’ granite countertops being the ‘ultimate upgrade’ so those of us who aren’t total granite lovers will have other choices when buying a home already built. If having a home built or knowing you’re doing to go into the home and do a lot of reno, well, that’s another story ;-)

    I may be one of a handful of people who don’t automatically swoon over granite countertops and would rather buy a house with something else that I know I’ll be able to update at a sooner or later date. Can you imagine thinking “Ooooh I love the house…..if only I didn’t feel so guilty knowing I’d rather just rip out that granite!” ;-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cee Cee – I smiled when I read your comment. Ed and I have been house hunting the last few weeks and there have been quite a few kitchens I liked, but didn’t like the granite countertops. I didn’t like the colors or the big veining that took center stage. It ruins the look for me, too. I would want to rip them out and but in something more neutral. :-)

  13. I got so excited when I saw this, but unfortunately there are no dealers in my area. I don’t live in the sticks; I live near Washington D.C

  14. WOW! They look gorgeous!!!! Have never heard of this product before…..will check them out!!! Your kitchen looks great……

  15. lois black says:

    Love it. Great choices!!!!

  16. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors says:

    Diane, this was a great way to update your Formica countertops! So nice that you were only out of your kitchen a day. A friend of mine did the same thing a couple of years ago , and she’s still very happy with them.

  17. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    They are so beautiful. Call me crazy, but I still like my Formica counter tops. It does make your kitchen very modern.

  18. This is so cool, I had no idea that they had invented this kind of granite overlay…. As I started reading your post I was guessing that you were going to do a concrete kind of skim coat that I’ve seen other bloggers do. Thanks for letting us know about a new product, it looks great!!

  19. Elaine in Baltimore says:

    That’s an impressive update! I love the fact that it can be installed over existing counter tops. So much stuff today is just torn out and winds up in a landfill somewhere. Your existing cabinets are in very good shape and look fresh – so you didn’t get that opps feeling that we’ve all had when you get new flooring – suddenly you notice that the furniture needs to be replaced/updated. I am sure it added to the resale value.