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Unless you're looking to completely reno your kitchen (cabinets, appliances, etc) be careful about what and how much you do.Putting a nice new gleaming granite countertop onto older (especially oak) cabinets with older appliances might look like a bit of an overkill (although for the record I have seen some REALLY nice combinations of granite on black-painted or very, very dark-stained oak. Granite can be nice - but it doesn't work in isolation of everything else, and the lighter shades of oak are harder to make work with granite.Hardwood is a safe bet. I agree with some of the others here who recommend an engineered product. Solid hardwood is more expensive, and depending on the "luxury" status of your home & neighborhood it may not be the best investment. ALSO, just because it's solid doesn't mean the wear layer will be any better than some engineered products. Research this one carefully. Solid hardwood with a 3/16 wear layer isn't worth any more than engineered hardwood with a 3/16 wear layer (in my opinion anyway).If your appliances are (looking) dated, and if you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can get a LOT done with $8K. I'd start with the floors, do something funky with the countertops (consider tile perhaps), paint or restain the cabinets, and update the appliances. You can get all that done for under $8K and come out of it with your same (beloved) cabinets, new floors, new counters and new appliances.
I would say do the flooring. Granite counters can be very taste specific. Some granite is really dark.
Granite is very, very popular today! In big demand by most buyers! Are you planning to sell soon? If so, I would put granite in. It has not gone out of fashion yet. If you are going to stay there for a while...I would put in hardwood, then see what the lastest fashion in countertops is when and if you get ready to sell. Then you can "update" your kitchen.
Granite will be like hardwoods, classy forever. I would personally use quartz countertops. You don't have to seal quartz like you do with granite. To all those that think granite is just a trend, what's next for countertops??? Is tile or laminate going to come back, or will it be concrete or stainless steel countertops next.Hardwoods have been around forever for a reason. The same reason granite will be, strong, durable, and classy.
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