Most granite countertops must be professionally installed.
Granite is resistant to stains, scratches and heat and, most importantly, it holds its value well.
If you're on a budget, don't be married to a specific color. Granite can be cheaper when it's contractor grade or if it's a common color that's readily available.
Small samples don't always look the same in large slab form so be sure to check out the slabs.
To remove old countertops prior to installing new granite countertops, score the silicone along the back of the existing countertops. Tap the underside to loosen the countertop, and then carefully pry it up.