Kitchen Countertops

Dealing with Ugly Kitchen Countertops in a Rental

Home ownership was the dream of most Americans back in the 1960s, but apparently, that has changed. Following the housing bust that left millions of people without a home, more than one-third of the US population now prefers to rent their homes. For people below 35 years old, that percentage climbed to 65%. In other words, home ownership is no longer a priority. While this is a practical move, it does bring up a bit of a dilemma: what if you don’t like your kitchen countertops?

The solution for homeowners is simple: remodel! However, renters often do not have that option. Since they do not own the home, they might not have permission to do any major remodeling to their rental. Even if there is a long-term lease agreement and the owner is amenable to kitchen remodeling, there is no return on the investment of doing one.

The solution to this dilemma is to make small and affordable changes to the kitchen that will not involve any structural modifications to which the property owner might object. New wall paint and refacing kitchen cabinets will give a new lease on life to the kitchen.

One change that will definitely make a big difference to the look of the kitchen is replacing ugly kitchen countertops with granite or quartz countertops. However, you should get permission from the property owner before ripping out the existing countertops as he or she might be partial to it. If that is the case, the only thing you can do is cover it with a runner!

If you are lucky and the property owner shares your taste in kitchen countertops, the next step is choosing the material. You will want to choose something that is beautiful but not too expensive as it is not really your kitchen. On the other hand, you will be spending a lot of time in there, so you will want to invest in your own comfort.

Countertop Specialist

Your best bet is to look for package deals from reliable countertop specialists in your area. You might be able to find granite countertops for as little as $34.99 per square foot, including installation. Of course, that usually means you have to choose from select slabs, but that should be fine as granite countertops are typically very attractive. One possible issue with that is if the selection includes granite slabs that will go with the existing kitchen design, although granite is usually versatile.

If you are out of luck and the granite you need is not included in the package, you can usually count on finding something neutral that will not cost much more. That is, provided you are dealing with a countertop specialist that has a large inventory of granite slabs. This is not usually the case with big box stores, so if you want the best deal for your granite countertops, avoid them.

Another option is to go for quartz countertops. These do tend to be a little more expensive than granite. But, you can usually get the exact design you want on demand as long as it is in the catalogue. The only thing is you have to get these from authorized distributors, as top brand quartz stone manufacturers do not sell retail. This should not be a problem with legitimate countertop specialists.

Material and Design

Once you have decided on the material and design, your next step is to have the countertop specialist come to take measurements and give you a quote. You should have two or three quotes to compare. Keep in mind that the lowest quote is not always the best, as you might have to deal with hidden fees and charges later on. Read the fine print carefully and check the reviews for each contractor before deciding.

You also need to decide on how to remove the old countertops in preparation for the new countertops. Your contractor can do this for you for a fee. But, you can also do this yourself and save some money. If you decide to have your contractor do it, make sure it is included in the quote.
After you close with a contractor, things should move along quite quickly. A reliable contractor will provide you with a timeline for replacing the countertops. So, the disruption to your routine should be predictable. Since it is really a minor upgrade, it should not take too long. However, the impact on the way you feel and function in your kitchen will make you feel that it is actually a big deal. Wait and see.


Renters do not have to make do with the kitchen they have. Minor upgrades that make a big difference such as replacing ugly kitchen countertops are the best ways to make your rental more comfortable for you. Most property owners would find it delightful if you would make such an investment. However, you want to make sure you get the best deal and results by dealing only with reputable countertop specialists in your area.

If you need assistance with your granite or quartz countertops, you can always consult KNC Granite. We service Washington DC, many areas in Maryland (Baltimore, Annapolis, Bethesda, Rockville) and Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington).

We have a large array of granite and marble slabs from which to choose. You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland. Also we carry some of the top brands of engineered stone. Including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.

We do not only supply top-quality engineered and natural stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote for your kitchen countertops.

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