Kitchen Design/Remodeling/Kitchen countertops


I have owned 4 homes and have never been through a kitchen remodel in any of them because the thought of the complete disruption of my household (with kids and all) and living with the dusty mess makes me tremble with fear.

However, in this current home, I have horribly outdated small square tiles (about 3") on all of my kitchen countertops.  The tiles are not right up against each other and there is a good 1/4" of grout between each tile.  I hate the grout, which is impossible to clean and always looks dirty and is chipped off in many places.  It's time for a change to a solid surface.

Still dreading the demolition, the dusty mess, and the disruption, I am wondering if there is any way to somehow install a solid surface such as granite over my existing tiles.  I don't care if it would raise the surface higher.  What are my alternatives without a complete demo?  Thank you.

Hello, Irene.

Check out a company called "Granite Transformations," They can place an engineered-stone countertop over most types of existing countertops, without removing the existing. This may solve your problem, without messy demolition. And because the material they use is slabs, you won't have grout joints to deal with.

Things to be aware of, and ask about if you do contact them: (1) What will happen with the existing backsplash, i.e., will it need to be removed? (2) How do they work with existing sink and range (or cooktop)?

The advantage of engineered stone is that it's impervious to stains, and doesn't require sealing (like real stone does). It's also available in a nice choice of colors (you can see these on the website).

Good Luck!

Diane Plesset, CMKBD, C.A.P.S., NCIDQ
D. P. Design  

Kitchen Design/Remodeling

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about kitchen design, remodeling: appliances, cabinets, countertops, lighting/switching, accessible kitchens, kitchens for multiple cooks, kitchen trends, flooring, windows and doors, ventilation, safety, function, and style.


25+ years as a kitchen designer; over 10 years as a Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer. Hundreds of projects completed, in all styles, all ranges of investment. Multiple design awards and published articles (see below). Public speaker and lecturer about home remodeling. Co-host of a local radio program for over three years, currently the host of "Today's Home" on Lifetime WebRadio every Sunday afternoon (website:

NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association); NAHB (National Association of Home Builders); PRO (Portland Remodelers' Organization); IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council)

"THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" (book published in 2003), Gentry Magazine, Designers' Illustrated Magazine, Interior Coordinator Magazine (Japan); San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Oregonian, Statesman Journal Newspapers.

Multiple degrees, including bathroom design, kitchen design, lighting design, and residential interior design. Classes and seminars attended frequently, to maintain current knowledge about products, trends, codes, and technology.

Awards and Honors
Multiple certifications: Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer (NKBA), Certified Interior Designer (NCIDQ, National Council of Interior Design Qualification), and Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (NAHB). Awards include: Henry Adams Designer of the Year, CoTY, Master Design, Chrysalis, Best of the Best, Excellence (Best home in its category), and NABE (Best how-to book, 2003).

Past/Present Clients
To see photos of completed projects, please visit my website:

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