Replacing old tile or laminate countertops is a drastic improvement to a kitchen. After removing the old countertops, a new plywood sub-top is installed. The cut-outs for the new range top and sink are made and then the fabricator can make a template for the new surfaces. Selecting the granite or other solid surface material is a little more of a chore. Since the element of design comes into play here, you may want to consult with an interior designer or interior decorator. The kitchen countertop with the solid surface material is often the focal point of the kitchen. Some like the tops more homogeneous and some like it with a lot of movement. But whatever you like, keep in mind the color of the existing floor, the future color of the cabinets, and finally the intended counter splash material. Many folks are going with some sort of tile counter splash, but that is the one thing that has to tie into the counter top to make it really pop. Also, there are at least a half a dozen types of edging details; round, half round, square, OG, chamfered and chiseled. Some owners have put the granite on the counter splash 4 to 6” and then either painted or wallpapered above the rest of the splash. I have seen a few with full solid surface splashes but they can become a little overpowering.
Refinishing your cabinets cost less than resurfacing them. Refinishing can be done in usually three to four days. This process will completely change the look of your kitchen. You can select a solid opaque paint color or strip and re-stain cabinet faces to a new translucent color that shows the natural wood grain. The latter is more expensive. Ask to see samples of finish before proceeding.
Resurfacing your cabinets allows you to change the wood species, change the door and drawer style, change the hinge hardware to a soft close type, and change the drawer guides to a self-closing type. The insides of your cabinets will remain the same but the outside will look completely new. Resurfacing, besides saving you money over replacement, takes a lot less time and much less disruptive to the household. The same staining or painting will be required as above but the stripping process is eliminated.