Granite Countertops: Have They Had Their Day or Are They Here to Stay?

by hookedonhouses on February 28, 2012

Two years ago I took a poll asking if you thought granite countertops would date the kitchens that had them in years to come. Readers at the time were pretty evenly divided between the ones who thought they were played out (“so last decade”) and those who said they were “a classic look that’s here to stay.”

We have all seen the couples on HGTV’s House Hunters and other real estate shows declaring their love for granite countertops–and turning down houses that don’t have them. But do most of us really feel like a kitchen is second rate without them?

I get asked about granite a lot. It’s a pretty major investment to make, so people want to know if it’s finally had its day as the go-to countertop or if it’s here to stay. I’m no expert (my own kitchen is decidedly untrendy–no granite in sight!), so I thought I’d take another poll to see if public opinion has changed in the past couple of years.

Tell us–are you still loving it? Or do you think it’s time to move on? If so, what kind of countertops would you most like to have? Vote. And then discuss.

1

P.S. While we’re on the topic of house trends, which ones do you think are on their way out?

(You can see my original post and poll results here. Kitchen is from this house for sale in CT.)

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Carrie February 28, 2012 at 7:57 am

I hope they are here to stay for a while!! Mine are fairly new!!

A.Men February 28, 2012 at 9:08 am

We’ll see them broken out with hammers on HGTV soon. I can’t wait!

Sue February 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

Well, you’ve hit more than a countertop with that comment. . . as much as I enjoy looking at houses and ” home decorating” (whatever that is), it is my humble and not-widely-shared opinion that HGTV has done as much harm as it has good. I love seeing all the different houses and styles and the clever tricks the designers come up with, BUT speaking bluntly, HGTV has homogenized American taste. After a few shows, we think we simply MUST HAVE granite in our kitchens and simple panels on our windows so that our homes will be trendy, fashionable, and ready to list at a moment’s notice. Anything that bespeaks of personality, such as a strong color or fanciful curtains, is whisked away to some other channel featuring pawn shops or hoarders, and we see home after tasteful home clothed in granite, stainless, and bland, inoffensive colors. Even Grandma’s antique rocker is quietly moved to the attic lest it look too busy near the window or frighten a potential home buyer (saw that on a Designed to Sell episode once).

When I did my kitchen, I collected some pieces of antique marble and bought a slab of aspen from Lowe’s (the aspen looks like butcher block, and the marble is great for pastry-making). I made my “window treatments” (in the old days, we called ‘em “curtains”), because the only ones I could find ready-made were those bland HGTV-style panels. Scouted some resale shops and fixed up a few older chairs and a great old table. Short story is my kitchen is bright, cheerful, functional, and I like to spend time there–oh, and the fact that much of it was recycled and therefore kept things out of the landfill was an important choice for me.

Jessica February 29, 2012 at 10:47 am

I tend to agree. I start to wonder after watching “Real Estate Intervention” if my nicely decorated home, would need to be made modern in order to sell. THe home stager on that show seems to think that already nice looking decor needs to be made all modern and boring to appeal to buyers. I doubt that every buyer likes modern decor.

Autumn April 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

I agree 100%!! Lisa Laporta would do an occasional country style; however Sabrina seems to prefer 100% contemporary or modern. She was based out of Washington DC; and New York city for the “High Low” project; so that might be why. Not everyone has or wants a contemporary style. I am also a home stager and you need to go with the neighborhood flow or you will end up losing money. Persoanlly I have a beautiful black “faux” granite counter top. It is laminate. It isn’t granite; but it is shiney and beautiful after five years. If ever I redeo the counter I might go for Butcher Block.
Also you can stage your own home quite easily. Remove personal pictures; clean clean clean!!!! Don’t hide things in your closet; because buyers will look…..and get rid of pet odor. Make sure the dishes are put away and the beds ae made. Unless your walls are all black or bright purple; if you cannot afford it; you do not necessairly need to paint every room. Don’t go without groceries to paint your house “basic beige”
Also, does anyone else think the prices on the “low end” of the “High LowProject” are too expensive for an ordinary budget? aka Working class people?

Seriously Roger Hazard seems to have it together more with doing affordable home staging..(A&E) He stages the house acc.ording to it’s main decor and rarely buys anything brand new. For those of you who don’t knoe; Roger has a degree in architectual landscaping.

CEFinCincy March 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I, too think HGTV is a very mixed blessing. I think it promotes more items going to the landfill in order to meet certain “trends”.

Love some of the ideas but again I agree that it makes more homes homogenized and lack character.

Linda P March 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Sue, I think you may be on to something. I’m a cabinet maker in a custom shop, and I’ve seen trends come and go. Right now, we’re doing a lot of painted white kitchens and bathrooms. We give the customer what they ask for. Glass doors, square flat paneled doors, and now a bead-board look. A couple years ago, it all had to be cherry with full overlay and dark finished hardware, now it’s all painted with inset doors/drawers, and nickel hardware.

While I think you have a point with the homogenizing of America, I think the general outlook has something to do with it too. Cherry always gave a feeling of the little something extra/special: “Yes, I have *cherry* cabinets and granite tops” (we did one kitchen with cherry cabinets and onyx – yes, ONYX countertops and full (18″) backsplashes!). Now, I think people are cutting back a bit, going for a more classic feel, a sort of nostalgia, a farm-housy feel for when all was right with the world. People are making do with a bit less, doing more themselves.

Jen March 14, 2012 at 8:28 am

Our kitchen is pretty dated, but I’m waiting to find out what “classic” look comes after white kitchens … they look pretty, but we had white cabinets in our old house, and I was ALWAYS wiping them off. Cherry is so pretty!

Autumn April 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Thank-you for your post. I feel the same way. There is no waay in good conscience that as a home stager I can charge to do 99% of what the owners can do themselves. Usually I just give a consult and explain what the homeowner can financially afford, to turn there home back into a house.

BTW: I am from Michigan so charging high prices to do staging like they do it on HGTV is akin to stealing in this part of the country. Unless; a specific realtor asks for a staging.

Lulu May 7, 2012 at 11:42 am

This is personally why I really don’t watch HGTV anymore. Everything is so modern and most of the shows don’t really appeal to me anymore. I used to like House Hunters, but even that got boring.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints February 28, 2012 at 8:05 am

Finally have some. Love! Hope they never go out…wishful thinking I’m sure.

Rosie February 28, 2012 at 8:05 am

We opted for stained butcher block for a combination of cost/look in our kitchen remodel. If a larger budget were involved, I would have gone with polished concrete or soapstone. I like granite for other people, but it’s not for me :)

Marcia Weber February 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

I’m with you Rosie. I’ve never liked granite. I think it’s too busy and is very hard to keep looking polished without smudges. I, too, would opt for butcher block .

Jane February 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm

You can get a solid color granite, I think, eliminating the busy look. But I don’t know for sure. We went with a solid color black countertop and I’m hoping it has lasting appeal since so any colors work with it.

Emily@remodelingthislife February 28, 2012 at 8:07 am

I am having a hard time voting. I don’t like the ones in your picture that have lots going on and that color is not my style, granite or not – reminds me a bit too much of the yellow laminate countertops I ripped out of this house :) I never tire of white cabinets with black countertops – granite or not, so I guess I prefer a certain look over what the material is. There are some looks that are timeless and others that even if it’s granite will not look as good as time goes on due to color.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

Good point, Emily!

Jane February 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Good to know. We have black quartz, soli color, countertops and white cabinets.

laurie @ little blue chairs February 28, 2012 at 8:11 am

Personally I find them cold, and I think they will date a kitchen. I also think this about stainless steel appliances. I think they will still be acceptable for another 3-5 years. Personally, I like wood counters, but I know this is not for everyone. I also like a solid color quartz counter.

T. February 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

What do you think the next trend in appliances will be if stainless steel goes out? I see stainless steel being as neutral as white or black for classic staying power.

CC October 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Deb February 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I’m with you – not a fan of stainless steel (because I find it very sterile and I want my kitchen to feel warm and homey) and I think granite is overrated. I have solid color Corian counters and I’ll probably use the same thing when we redo our kitchen. I do think that the color of granite has a lot to do with whether or not I like it. And I’m a huge fan of butcher block counters for an island or something.

Jan February 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I love Corian counters! They seem to be out now but I hope to have them next time around.

Jessica February 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

My husband loves Corian, and since it seems to be nearly as expensive as granite, would it be considered as valuable an upgrade? In a nice, tasteful color, of course.

Megan February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I think they’re cold, too. I once heard someone describe granite countertops like skinned dragon scales. I have been thinking of them as such ever since!

Tammy February 29, 2012 at 5:45 am

Completely agree on the granite and stainless steel, Laurie! I especially dislike the stainless steel which, in my experience, shows every single fingerprint. I’ll take black any day over the stainless.

Autumn April 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I agree with the Stainless Steal comment!! I think they make a kitchen look “cold”
I just bought brand new appliances and hold on…bought all white by choice!! My kitchen is a muted yellow; with white cupboards trimed with the same yellow. It sounds awful; but it is very pretty. I used our old cupboards and repainted them white and the yellow went on the indented design on the cupboard doors.

Thanks for sharing.

PS: We re did the whole kitchen including all brandnew appliances for around $1200. I did my research; and waited for sales.

B August 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Stainless will never be “out of style”, mainly because the reason it’s used in industrial kitchens has nothing to do with style. It’s always going to be a staple in utilitarian kitchen spaces.

Dina February 28, 2012 at 8:12 am

I sometimes work with NYC interior designers and architects. They claim the granite tops have become associated with the recent housing boom and bust and will mark the era like the avocado green of the 70’s. Of course, now they say that avocado green is making a come back. Stainless steel appliances are also out. The latest trend in appliances seems more like bold colors – bright red or yellow ovens and fridges. I’m not sure what the new counter top trend is, but I see a lot of wood and bamboo being installed. Another once new idea gone belly up seems to be recessed lighting, I haven’t seen that for a few years.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 8:16 am

Interesting! Thanks, Dina.

CEFinCincy March 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I like recessed lighting and hope to have it installed in my kitchen, along with a solid quartz counter top.

I am on the fence about getting stainless steel appliances. When we bought our first home, 11 years ago, people thought I was crazy to go for black appliances. I was told that dirt would show up easier. I had a 5 month old at the time and to this date, I will swear by the black appliance over white or stainless :)

Just my humble opinion.

Jennifer D'Alessandro February 28, 2012 at 8:12 am

We recently installed quartz counters and we love them! I do think granite will make way for quartz and other lower maintenance choices. You can get the same look without worrying about sealing or potential staining.

Laura February 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

We just installed quartz too and are loving it!!

Jane February 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

We have quartz too. Love it!

jen February 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Another vote for quartz here.

suitestyles February 28, 2012 at 8:16 am

Just like with wood floors, colours & finishes in granite will come and go but granite itself is here to stay.

Sue February 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

I agree with this. I think as a general rule, natural materials will pretty much always be a safe bet to stand the test of time.

plantingoaks February 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

In general, I agree. There is so much variety in granite that I think the look can shift a lot with trends without the material itself changing. We actually have soapstone counters, which I love. Stylistically, though, I consider them no different than a variety of granite.

But. For all that I, myself, adore natural materials, I find it ironic that natural is being touted as timeless in an era when everyone is painting their natural oak cabinets white to look less dated.

Lisa T. February 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I agree with these posts, in that natural materials don’t really date, unless it’s a color that or pattern that puts people off.

Stainless steel is a natural material used in professional kitchens since forever. The only thing new about it is people using it in their private homes.

Michelle F. February 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I also agree. Natural materials are overall preferred over factory made-whether it’s wood, quartz, granite, etc. I do not believe these materials will date. I also agree about the stainless steel…
I do however wonder when the bowl-sinks will start to disappear.

Lauren February 28, 2012 at 8:17 am

This is a tough one! I think that the problem is there are granites and there are granites. My guess is that shiny, very colorful granite with lots of movement is on its way out and honed granite is very much on its way in. My crystal ball also sees stainless steel appliances on their way out, although not as quickly as highly polished granite counter tops, and that enameled appliances are on their way in. I will be curious to see if time proves me right or wrong!

Marcia Weber February 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

I hope your crystal ball is right on the stainless. It never looks clean to me. I have always preferred white appliances – go with everything. But then again, I live in a caboose, so you may take my opinions with a grain of salt.

Jane February 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Would live to see photos of that caboose. Always yearned to stay in one, even for a couple of days.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I featured Marcia’s cozy red caboose! You can see it here:

http://hookedonhouses.net/2011/10/21/living-in-a-tiny-house-marcias-cozy-red-caboose/

Jane February 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Thanks. Love it!

christina February 28, 2012 at 8:17 am

agree 100% w/emily. it really depends as some can be absolutely stunning and timeless. naturally over time other options pop up and are viewed as fresher. that said, we did a gorgeous soapstone in a very modern penthouse which never tires me. i would think granite won’t go away though.

Nicole February 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

My question is, granite vs. what? Laminate? I think we can all agree that granite wins hands down. What is important to me in a kitchen countertop is something that is visually appealing, sanitary and relatively easy to maintain. In my mind, a natural material is the optimal (and luxurious) choice. However, I don’t think granite is the only option. I have seen beautiful slate countertops in kitchens and if I can ever get past my fear of ruining them, I would absolutely love a white Carrera marble counter in my future kitchen. I tend to shy away from butcher block counter tops for fear of sanitation, upkeep (oiling etc.) and scratches that I imagine would be incredibly obvious. All in all I do like granite. It is a beautiful material that comes in many colours and patterns to suit many different styles and I think granite countertops will proceed the way of hardwood floors… Some are “tired” of the look but it is timeless nonetheless.

CCooper March 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Your words could also apply to laminate: It too is “visually appealing, sanitary and relatively easy to maintain …. comes in many colours and patterns to suit many different styles…..Some are “tired” of the look but it is timeless nonetheless.”

And white Carerra marble in a kitchen? Talk about upkeep.

Nick May 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Yikes, have to stop you there…..laminate is not timeless….sorry.

justzek November 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm

My current laminate countertop was builders grade & is just now in need of replacing after 24 years of use. And, I do cook – a lot! I can clean them with bleach for sanitizing or removing any stains, I can roll out pastry dough or pound/tenderize meat on them, they’re not cold nor does lighting glare off them, my dishes don’t clang or get broken on them, & nothing I’ve done to them including children’s school projects & crafts) has chipped them. The only thing I wouldn’t do is place a hot pot or cut things with a knife directly on the surface – but, I wouldn’t do that with granite or any other surface either. Have been looking at options for replacement &, frankly, am keeping laminate high on the list because it’s both affordable & practical, is incredibly functional, & has held up well for over 2 decades. IMO, that’s pretty dang close to timeless.

Jessica February 28, 2012 at 8:23 am

while i like granite in other people’s houses, I rather have concrete or recyle glass stuff. (cant remember it name). Also the bowls for bathroom sinks. When we redid our bathroom, the first question I got was which bowl are you going for. No we went for Rectangle sink that will be classic and not dated.

Darre62 February 28, 2012 at 8:24 am

I don’t dislike granite countertops per se, but I feel that the whole concept of a “gourmet kitchen’ is overrated. I mean do granite counters and stainless appliances make you a better cook? Of course not! If a person won’t buy a house because there are no granite countertops, well then they have no concept of a working kitchen!
Just look at what Julia Child had to contend with during her Paris years…..and look at what she produced therein!

CEFinCincy March 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

AMEN!!!!

Julie February 28, 2012 at 8:25 am

I didn’t vote because my answer depends more on the color of the granite as some others have mentioned. I tend to gravitate toward classic styles, so my granite is black around the perimeter of the kitchen, & white with black & gray specks on the island. I feel pretty secure in the timelessness of black & white, so I’m not concerned with it getting outdated any time soon. Still loving it!

janet @ ordinary mom February 28, 2012 at 8:31 am

Personally for me it’s about the investment. If I WAS too invest in countertops I may go with a corian instead but some subtle granite I do like. In my house I actually have really nice textured laminate countertops I love because I choose to invest the money that was budgeted for my kitchen counters to put hardwood in my open concept kitchen instead. For the feeling I wanted floors won out over countertops. Personally with the choices out there now a days, I think I could find a countertop I loved at ANY budget. :)

jennifer rizzo February 28, 2012 at 8:42 am

I just helped my mom pick out hers for her kitchen remodel. It was something she’s wanted forever. I think it’s all a personal design choice, but when it comes to something
so expensive and permanent like that it does help to pick out a more neutral color. They had one there that that a really deep blue with disco ball like sparkles, and my only thought about it was, what if you want to change your decor, even just paint later and have these blue countertops?

OKMrazor February 28, 2012 at 8:42 am

In the past year or so I’ve been in 3 different GAS STATION’s with granite countertops in the men’s room.

That says all you can say about the ubiquitous stone.

Or does it? Yes, granite’s everywhere these days, but one granite does not necessarily equal another. Performance-wise, it’s a great product. And here’s the biggie – color, veining, treatment (leathering, honing, polish, edges)… there are so many choices that most people rarely even see.

So a blanket question like “is granite out?” is not going to cut it. More like – “is the standard granite that is visually ‘safe’ enough to appeal to many buyers so a builder puts it in his spec homes, and is both affordable and desireable enough so neighbors will approve and RE agents can make that check in their ‘ammenities boxes’ starting to feel tired?” YES. It’s been tired. It’s even safe enough and reasonably-enough priced to dress up a gas station bathroom.

But there are a zillion different granites that’ll wow you.

There’s been a boom in quartz offerinings – colors, details – but still nowhere the options as granite.

There are so many fantastic options… many as good as Granite, but The Big “G” is still big man on campus, and will continue his reign.

I’m not a granite shill, either… just want to keep things in perspective.

Kate B. February 28, 2012 at 8:42 am

I’m not a big fan of granite and I really hope that when we go house hunting in a few years I can find a kitchen without them. (My husband really dislikes granite.) However, we’re intending to renovate our kitchen before we put our current house on the market and will most likely replace our existing laminate counters with some sort of stone or quartz to facilitate a sale. I do like the look of soapstone and Carrera marble in magazines, but I don’t know that I’d like to live with them.

One of my objections is from basic safety–things will shatter on stone that might survive a minor accident on a less hard surface like butcher block, solid surfacing, or (gasp) laminate.

Jane February 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

But our experience with solid surfacing was that not only did the top layer scratch but heavy glass or iron pans that landed on it could mar the surface or even dent it. Maybe we had the wrong kind of surface material.

molly February 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

solid surface counters can easily be buffed to remove scratches or burns.

Jane February 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Good point.

t.smith February 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

Unless a meteor comes crashing through my kitchen ceiling, my granite countertops are here to stay! We gutted/remodeled our kitchen almost 3 years ago due to Hurricane Ike-related damage. We ripped out everything, redid the layout, went with Kraftmaid cabinets in maple on the working side, white island in the middle, dark cherry on the other side with glass doors that shows the china, and stainless appliances, white subway tile for backsplash. I chose Santa Cecelia Classic for the granite, it has all those colors, plus pretty sparkles in it. I think these decisions have to be made in regards to the housing market you’re in. Granite definitely goes where we live, marble would be too much of an upgrade. We stayed in a good tight budget, and checking local house prices, we would make our investment back. As far as stainless appliances-I think they are the best neutral color out there, can go in a classic white/marble kitchen or stained cabinets, and with the countertops. I have yet to seal my countertops, they’ve been extremely easy to care for. The only thing I have to do is get eye-level with them to see if I’ve wiped them clean! All this being said, if I lived in a “marble” market, that’s what I would go with. If I lived in a “laminate” market, I’d go with that, and there are a lot of cool looking laminates out there now!

Nelson's Mama February 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

I didn’t vote either, but like others, I think it totally depends on the color. I have black honed granite that I love and would do in a kitchen again – it’s easy to maintain (looks like soapstone, but less expensive). I think some high-gloss, bold colored granites might tend to date a kitchen.

Rob February 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

I’d prefer quartz at this point as they’re not as busy and a much better surface all around, however, I’d rather see granite in a kitchen than tile or formica.

Rachel February 28, 2012 at 8:53 am

I’ve never been a fan of granite. I much prefer marble or butcher block. I just prefer the LOOK of those 2 materials over granite. So much so that in my mother’s VERY small budgeted kitchen reno, I’m planning on using faux marble formica on her counter tops. I suppose its less about material and more about what it actually looks like. If there were a marble-like granite I’d probably love it.

The Tiny Homestead February 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

this is my plan too! there are really nice laminates out there now so I can get the look with the easy upkeep and low cost.

Elaine February 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

I am in such agreement with Darre. We sold our older home recently, and we had one potential buyer who demanded we lower the price as the kitchen needed ‘remodeling’. What she meant was we had tile, and not granite countertops. Thankfully we found a buyer who loved our older tile, and so disliked cookie cutter lookalike kitchens. I have many friends who have fancy, trendy new kitchens and they can’t boil water. Our kitchen in our ‘new’ older home is small by today’s standards but we manage to cook great meals in it. Someday we may replace the laminate here, but it’s not at the top of our list for things to redo.

Stef February 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

Elaine,

Excellent points! We recently moved into our first home (1964 ranch) that still had the original countertops and sink in the kitchen!! (yuck). Realizing that a full kitchen redo wasn’t in our budget, we chose to replace the sink and countertops while leaving the cabinets (they were in pretty good shape). We found a beautiful seagrass looking formica and are extremely happy with the results. Now, when people come over, it doesn’t look like we half re-did the kitchen because it matches so well with everything else.

Christy February 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

There’s a commercial out now, I think it’s for a telephone package, that always has me shaking my head at the designer kitchen fad. The guy has a fancy kitchen with all the bells and whistles that you see people on House Hunters talking about, and he’s ordering take out. This fits in so perfectly with my experience of friends and aquaintances who have model kitchens and order out every night and use the kitchen only to stand around and drink wine in. Ridiculous.

Rick February 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

I think picking what is right for you and the area you are in is a good idea. You are going to live with it and the value of your investment is the market you are in.

My 32 year old kitchen/dining area/back entry/laundry/half bath was redone in 97. New vinyl floors, wallpaper, almond appliances, and laminate counertops and stained glass light fixtures. Many people may think it is so ready for a redo. My wife and I love the look. The rest of the house goes with the kitchen.

If we won granite countertops and SS appliances we would give them to wife’s sister. Find your comfort, love what you have. rick

Karen February 28, 2012 at 9:13 am

I have carrera marble, and chose them because I think they are more timeless than granite. I cook a lot, and don’t worry about them looking perfect – I just keep reminding myself that in Europe they use marble for everything, and it’s often worn – and I love that look.

Elixabeth February 28, 2012 at 9:58 am

I love this idea. I don’t know why everything in the kitchen always has to look brand new. I think if we choose materials that ‘age’ well we can enjoy them for years and years.
if you look at Julia Childs kitchen I think it is still completely in vogue. It’s worn and useful and still attractive and full of character.

Jennifer February 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I agree with you both, and also with Sue at the top. If you look at houses in most other parts of the world, not everything is new and quite so “decorated” as things tend to be in America. Things are allowed to age and develop patina. Also, you have an amazing mix of eras of furniture and decorating styles in houses. I live in a major metro area in the US and bought a house just over a year ago. I looked at houses built in the 1940’s up to new construction and I thought I had never seen so many beige boxes in my life. The houses looked like they’d been “HGTV’d” and after a while I could barely tell them apart.

Also, when selling a home you’re always going to have the buyer who won’t consider a house that doesn’t have whatever the latest fad is, whether it’s granite counter tops or a whirlpool tub, or whatever. But I think most buyers are smart about what a house could or should have for it’s price point. My house is a “starter” style home. It has laminate counter tops but real wood floors. I know that for my price point, no house would have both wood floors and granite counters. Something had to give and the previous owners prioritized floors over counters. I bought the house because I’m ok with that trade-off.

Another thing a few people mentioned that makes me laugh too is the obsession with large kitchens. I’m not saying they’re bad, but watching real estate shows you would think it’s not possible to cook a meal in under 200 square feet. My great aunt has a galley kitchen that is 8×10 and we routinely feed 50 or more people from it. Again, in Europe, kitchens are usually much smaller than ours and they seem to be well fed.

venting finished : )

Annabelle February 28, 2012 at 9:13 am

I think you poll could have read:
(I don’t have them therefore) I hope they’ve had their day.
and
(I have them therefore) I hope they’re here to stay.
I myself live in an average middle class house and have 3 coordinating beautiful laminates in my kitchen. In a high end house I guess I would expect granite but in an average house, average surfaces can be beautiful! As long as the residents can afford to replace them as the trends change. I suppose that is perhaps a 20 year cycle?

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

Good point about the poll, Annabelle! Ha.

Claudia February 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

We chose granite for our countertops because it was what we loved best – regardless of whether it comes or goes as a trend :D

T. February 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

I think colors date things more than materials do, so I see certain colors of granite going out of style, but not the material itself. That said, I remodeled my kitchen 7 years ago and put in granite (black), and it’s not my favorite. It’s very hard to keep it looking clean and shiny.

Julia February 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

I love my granite but Candace seems to use more Caesarstone and Quartz and we all know she’s the trend setter. I like Soapstone myself. I think granite is on its way out.

Stephanie February 28, 2012 at 9:21 am

I voted “here to stay”, because I think there will always be a market for it. I’m a designer and have granite in my kitchen. I’m very happy with it, but I also love engineered stone. Of all the engineered stones on the market, Silestone is my favorite.

Linda @ MyCraftyHomeLife February 28, 2012 at 9:22 am

I’m having a hard time voting, too. I just don’t see it as a hard yes or no. For me, I am looking at other materials for bathrooms, but I still love my granite kitchen island. I think that the type of granite we want has evolved. Honed vs. polished, etc….

nanne February 28, 2012 at 9:23 am

i have never really loved the generic granite look. as someone mentioned, they are very busy, shiney, etc. however, i had 12×12 granite tiles in the kitchen of our last home and i have to say that granite is incredibly practicable. you can set hot pots on it, cut on it, etc. and it needs very little upkeep.

i do really like the more muted look of honed granite in simple patterns.

nanne in columbus, in

Elizabeth February 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

Granite is too cookie cutter McMansion for my taste. I’m not a fan of the typical granite/being/stainless kitchen that you find everywhere these days – which will be replaced by some other trend soon enough.

Remember “classic” oak cabinets and trim in the 90s? That wasn’t supposed to go out of style, either, but it did.

Elizabeth February 28, 2012 at 9:34 am

beige*, not being!

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Yep, I remember the “classic” oak cabinets–I used to have ‘em!

connie in hartwood February 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

It really bothers me when the value of a kitchen on these real estate programs is measured by whether it has granite counters and/or stainless steel appliances. I’m in the minority, I see from you poll, as I removed granite counters when we remodeled our kitchen. I hated the feel of them, and I am over-the-moon happy with the look and feel of my Corian. Every kitchen is a reflection of its owner, and I’m afraid that I think ‘unimaginative’ and ‘common’ when I hear someone talking about granite counters. I would love to see folks open up their mind and consider other possibilities, instead of instantly going for the perceived ‘status’ factor of granite.

Pamela February 28, 2012 at 9:39 am

I’ve heard granite & oiled bronze/pewter described as the “avocado green & harvest gold” of the new millenium.

I don’t mind them, but face it, they are symbolic of this era just as much as peplums and shoulder pads scream “Dynasty”.

Michele February 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

I sure hope it’s not going out, because I am obsesses with mine. It’s virtually indestructible – I can put a hot pot on it, cut on it, etc. It’s also fantastic for things like rolling out dough and cookie cutting – it’s so cold that it keeps dough more chilled than other counter surfaces. But best of all, it’s gorgeous. I love the natural look of the stone, the character – I never get tired of looking at veins and sparkling chunks of stone in it. It’s so organic. And those that say it’s cookie cutter – go to a granite yard and look at all the different varieties, from all over the world. It blew my mind. And you literally pick your own slab, each one is unique. A personal style preference though, I realize that – some like more uniformity.

I agree with another poster – what’s going to replace it? Laminate again? We looked at Corian and at the time it cost almost as much as granite (I know there are less expensive laminates out there.). Butcher block? I’m not sure how you could top it. Just my opinion, of course.

So fingers crossed it stays in vogue!

Elixabeth February 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

Personally I like a mix of wood and marble counters going forward with white cabinetry, commercial range, cabinetry covered fridge, stainless hood, and cabinet covered or white dishwasher. I have had granite and Silestone and was very happy with them. We currently have a granite counter that I am not fond of but it’s a rental and it works just fine. I think if you choose a neutral granite or quartz or use a dramatic one sparingly or as an accent it will probably look tasteful for years to come.
After finally getting cable and watching the parade of house hunting shows on hgtv I can honestly say that the endless declarations of love for stainless appliances, granite counters and wood floors make me think they are all on their way out.
The other thing I think is over is the glass mosaic tile backsplash. They are busy and already seem dated to me.
My other pet peeve is the breakfast bar. I hate being a short order cook and waitress. I could entirely do without the “eat in” kitchen. I told our realtor I want a French kitchen. A lovely little room in the back of the house where I can cook in peace with a door out to an herb and vegetable garden. Room for one little chair and a prep table . If you are going to come in you may as well make yourself useful.

Laura February 28, 2012 at 9:57 am

I like it!

Melanie Penelope February 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I completely agree!

Jen M February 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

I think the swirly, busy patterned granite looks dated. If I were reding my kitchen, I’d put in stainless steel or soapstone.

Donna Allgaier-Lamberti February 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

For me it’s about, 1) What is appropriate for the style/age of the house 2) What fit’s in one’s budget and 3) How much time or energy do you have to maintain it? 4) It’s staying power.

I JUST put in manmade granite countertops and sinks in my kitchen and two bathrooms, as my budget did not also allow for replacement of any cabintry or faucets. So I chose a granite style that looked right for my late 1940’s ranch home and went nicely with the maple vanity/cupboards and existing fauctets/handles and shower tile.

Because of the changes in laminate construction (they no longer allow for a certain percent of oil to be used in the “new” laminates) so as a result the surface can eaily scratch. This happened to mea and in less than three years. So I am unwilling to pay for new laminate counters only to have it quickly scratch.

My husband is VERY rough on our home, he just is BUT he always cleans up after dinner and cleaning the kitchen is part of his weekly chores. Knowing this, I knew to choose a surface he could not harm. That is granite.This is one tough surface and easy to clean – just use water as it is scratch resistent and non-bacterial.

It’s all about a personal needs and choices I think. I also think its an “illusion” if we buy based on maintaining our “homes value.” Just look at the housing market crash of the past few years. Look at Katrina where homes were washed away in an instant and so on. We are simply not in control of what happens to our home, or our lives, even though in our modern, American, democratic culture, we like to think we are.

I live in South Western Michigan, 17 miles inland from Lake Michigan. This is an rural area that has not had standing groundwater in my community for 75+ years, according to the older residents who were born here. And yet, for the past 5 years we have had high ground water/water (18″ or more) in our basements and crawl spaces in the spring and my home has been in the middle of a lake for months at a time. Trust me…we are not in control of Mother Nature.

Buy what’s right for you and your family, that you can afford and to heck with the trends and enjoy it every day!

Kristin@Kristin Drohan Interior Design February 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Assoc 2012 trend report, dark cabinets, glass back splash, and either granite or quartz countertops were the most specified materials last year (although granite and quartz both dropped 3% from 2011). Solid surface countertops saw the biggest increase in 2011 jumping 15% and had another 4% in crease in 2012. With 87% of Kitchen Design professionals specifying granite last year, that is not a trend that is going away anytime soon. Quartz as specified 69%. FYI for the first time transitional kitchen styling has eclipsed traditional styling for kitchen design.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Thanks, Kristin!

Laura February 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

I am always amazed and dismayed at the young couples on HGTV who don’t see granite and stainless and therefore declare the kitchen “a total re-do”! Really? I also hope the current trend of humongous houses is on the wane. It just seems so wasteful to me. I’ve had a kitchen with NO counters (just hoosier, enamel topped table as an “island”, old 50’s sink cabinet with double drainboards, and open shelving) for 15 years and I wouldn’t change it.

Melanie Penelope February 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I love that Laura! I’ve always dreamed of a kitchen without cabinets and counter tops. I’d love a vintage armoire as a pantry, open shelving for my dishes, a table to work on and an old basin sink. It’s nice to hear it’s functional for you :)

Patience February 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Your kitchen sounds charming Laura. Extravagent kitchens seem wasteful to me as well. My 110 year old house has cheap red laminate countertops that were installed by the previous owners in 1990. I don’t love them, but they’ve served me well. We are thinking about a future kitchen re-d0, but I’m not even considering granite as a countertop possibility. I don’t want what everybody else has.

carly February 28, 2012 at 10:00 am

I think granite countertops are beautiful, but not to the exclusion of other great choices. There are pros and cons to each one.

Samantha February 28, 2012 at 10:00 am

I’ve never been much of a fan of granite. And it does drive me crazy on how everyone “has to have it” on all the design shows. I prefer poured concrete. That is our hope for out next home. As a few other readers posted, stainless steel, I am not a fan of that either. I have such a hard time trying to figure out what appliances I like, because it always seems modern and cold to me. Which is fine in some houses, but what do yo do in an old craftsman or victorian?

Stef February 28, 2012 at 10:25 am

Samantha,

I totally agree. It seems as though people are ignoring the style of their homes and re-doing their kitchens in what they consider to be “top of the line” which usually translates to granite and stainless steel – totally out of place in a historic home.

Christina from Dallas February 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

I think recycled materials are the new trend. Recycled glass countertops are beautiful! Concrete are a new trend also. There are so many different materials you can use now I think granite is so “last decade”.

Jane February 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

This is hard to say. Sometimes it’s pretty, other times it seems that builder’s just installed it because it’s the trendy thing to do. So many of the kitchens are becoming a bit of a bore. After all, how many kitchens can you look at with granite countertops, nickel plated hardware and stainless steel appliances before they all start to look alike? Wish there was more creativity in kitchen decor. But on the other hand, wouldn’t want to go back to avocado appliances (or the pink and turquoise ones of the 50s) or the bright orange countertops that were the “thing” in the 70s. I chose white appliances, because even though they aren’t trendy, they have withstood the test of time.

Stef February 28, 2012 at 10:23 am

Personally, I never understood what everyone saw in granite countertops. To me they look very traditional and heavy (which works if that is your style). I also wonder how many people actually like the granite and how many like it for what it is, a status symbol.

cherylK February 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

I agree with those who think it depends on the granite. Some of it will remain timeless. I think polished concrete is beautiful, too, but that’s probably trendy, as well. You have to keep in mind the entire design of the kitchen, really. What look are you going for. “Everything in moderation” applies to kitchen design, too.

We remodeled out kitchen about five years ago and opted not to have granite largely because of the cost. I chose a high quality “Formica” (gasp!!) because it’s now made earth friendly…water based glues, etc. We also chose black appliances. I love my kitchen and so does everyone who has seen it. But if I want new counters in a few more years it won’t cost the earth to change them.

Molly @thewaffler February 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

the builders put marble in out kitchen — it looks great, but is a pain to clean (and scary to have red wine around). Granite is durable, but I admit getting a bit staid with all the other great choices now.

meghann February 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

I hate granite. When looking at houses, we avoided ones with nasty granite counters. The color is almost always overpowering, and in my opinion, it reminds me of a McHouse, in a McNeighborhood, where everyone is jumping on board with one trend. I’d much rather have polished concrete or marble.

Mandy February 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

Our newer house has granite/stainless steel–I like it fine but I’m not sure it’s what I would have chosen. I like a more homey looking kitchen, if that makes any sense. I *hope* granite doesn’t go plummeting out of style, though, because I’m not prepared to redo the whole thing.

Slightly off topic, but my parents’ house was all but destroyed by a tornado in 1977, and when they restored the house they insisted on beautiful hardwood floors throughout. The insurance adjuster warned them not to do it, and the appraiser valued the house lower because of it, calling the floors a “functional deficiency.” Of course, those floors were a major selling point when they sold the house in 1996, and still looked absolutely gorgeous!

Karin February 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

Personally, I don’t care for granite, but I think if you like it, you should do it. I’ve seen many beautiful kitchens with granite, and many horrible kitchens with granite. I do agree that a lot of people tend to think of granite as a status symbol, and in that respect it will go out of style. Now that even lower priced new homes have granite it will lose it’s status and appeal for some people. But I think everyone should live with what they love.

Karin February 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

p.s. We poured our own concrete counters when we redid our kitchen, and we love them. It didn’t cos much, so if we decide to change one day we can. On the subject of appliances, we did black to blend in better with our dark cabinets.

Lisa~A Cottage To Me February 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

We are just getting to the point where we can afford to replace our counter tops. My husband pans on granite….hope they’re not out already!

stephanie brennan February 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

I’ll apologize in advance to all your readers who have granite. But, I find them unoriginal. It’s time to think out of the box! Concrete countertops, for instance, are stunning. Even glass, believe it or not, different and gorgeous. If you must have granite, maybe try a different finish. A friend of mine has beautiful black granite with a matte finish – instead of the ever present glossy.

Pascale Steig February 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

Unless it’s a uniform color, granite is distracting. I cringe every time I see the (very common in home remodeling projects) “Home Improvement Store Effect”: mottled granite countertops clashing with wall tiles or the rest of the kitchen decor.

Angfreda February 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

Granite is timeless, as are SS appliances.
Look at the old kitchens and bakeries and cooks kitchens, they had stone surfaces and SS appliances before they were a ‘fad’. It’s where the ‘fad’ came from.

I have a new house we built to look old, and a classic kitchen with cream cabinets with dark counters was the plan. I did not ‘have’ to have granite, but Corian ended up being as pricey as the granite so the decision was really made for me. Having lived with them for 3 years now, I love them as well as the marble and granite bathroom counters we got from a salvage place. Again, they are classics.

Katherine March 1, 2012 at 9:45 am

Corian and other manmade solid surface counters have all the positive qualities of granite without the maintenance of sealing. We need to stop perpetuating the myth that Granite is “better”.

Hekawi June 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I’ve always thought the same thing — my grandmother grew up in a turn-of the century (um, that would be 1800s to 1900s!) kitchen that was white with white subway tile and had dark marble counters, stainless appliances, the bin pulls, etc. To me, THAT is classic! I love the homey-ness of the look — if it goes out of style, I’ll let others keep their drum shade pendant lights and HGTV colors, and my kitchen (with dark granite to replace the black marble) will belong to just me and grandma!

Jeanette February 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

I think granite countertops are here to stay, just not the wild patterns that were so popular years ago. We remodeled our kitchen in 2008 and after much thinking and careful consideration we chose quartz for our countertops. I love it! My cabinets are white and my countertops are black with mostly grey but a few pink and yellow speckles. It’s shiny but not too shiny and does not have to be sealed, ever!

Josie February 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

Just want to say that I love your blog! I follow it daily.
We recently gutted and redid our entire kitchen this past summer and I went through the whole granite vs. marble debate for our counters. We ended up choosing a neutral granite with creams browns and blacks in it as it went went with our cabinet choice– cherry island with distressed cream cabinets on the perimters.
We went with granite because it’s a natural stone and doesn’t require much maitenence. We also did a decorative edge which I love.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Thanks, Josie!

Carolyn February 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

Interesting discussion! I like natural materials, but I’m so tired of granite being a must-have for first time home buyers. Really? There are so many aspects of a house more important than countertops. That’s just a fashion dictate, and I tend to be wary of trends. My house was built in the 1920’s, and I don’t think granite would look right. If I had the budget, I’d like to use Calacatta marble, as I have a white kitchen. I don’t like the busyness of granite. However, for our log cabin in the mountains, I’d love to have an organic-looking, veiny, swirly granite in browns and sand colors with a rough natural edge. It all depends on context. The brown granite would look awful in my historic home. Of course, that’s saying if I had my choice. Our budget being what it is, I’m stuck with laminate. :-0 The trends I’m noticing are marble, soapstone, and recycled glass or concrete for a modern ‘eco’ look. All of these, generally speaking, have less pattern and movement than granite, in line with a sleeker, more modern look (while the marble and soapstone fit the bill for traditional houses).

Mom on the Run February 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

I remember the very first time one of my friends installed granite in her kitchen…my now 25 yr old daughter was in preschool. I thought it was very cool and coveted it mightily. Now it seems to be in every apartment, condo, spec house, etc and I see the names of the different slabs bandied about amongst my friends like the patterns of Waverly wallpaper used to be back in the day. When we renovated our kitchen 2 years ago, the only thing I asked of my designer was to show me something besides granite–I hate the shiny, patterned look that is so prevalent in kitchens of every price point. I chose limestone, honed, and I love it. I’ve never been one to want to live in what I like to call “spin yourself around and you could be anywhere” kind of houses, and that’s what I now consider that look. So common, but really, a lot of people have no imagination so it’s probably going to be around for awhile….but I think it has jumped the shark.

Sarah @ housecrazy February 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

haven’t had time to read all the discussion on this, and maybe this was already mentioned… but what about possible adverse health effects of granite countertops?
It seems like high levels of radon released from the granite may be an issue:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/garden/24granite.html?pagewanted=all
It is stone quarried from the ground afterall!

Deb February 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

When we sold our house, we had high radon levels in our family room – we had installed granite counters in the wet bar we built a few years earlier. The radon levels were normal when we bought the house when there was no granite down there, so the inspector told us it was likely from the granite. Luckily we were below the remediation levels so we didn’t have to do anything. I’ve heard that there is some dispute about radon and granite though so maybe it was something else causing the radon level to rise and simply a coincidence about the granite.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Yikes!

Sarah @ housecrazy February 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

This quote is hilarious (and a little scary)!
“It’s not that all granite is dangerous,” said Stanley Liebert, the quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories in Clifton Park, N.Y., who took radiation measurements at Dr. Sugarman’s house. “But I’ve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/garden/24granite.html?pagewanted=all

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Interesting! Thanks for the link, Sarah.

The Zadge February 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

I’m surprised more people are singing the praises of soapstone. I chose it for my counters because I felt granite was ubiquitous and I wanted something both classic and special. I utterly love mine! And much easier to care for than granite!

Moi February 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

Whether I like granite countertops depends on how they are done.

Granite countertops AND backsplash? No. Too McMansion/builder’s standard.
Super bevelled edges and angles? No. Hi, builder trying to be fancy.
Plain edge, honed granite with a different material backsplash? I think that has at least another 10 years of life in it.

Lisa T. February 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I agree.

jeannie February 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

There are so many different colors and styles of granite, and it is incredibly practical and low maintenance, and it comes from nature, so I can’t imagine that it will ever really go out. Granite is incredibly practical and much lower maintenance than wood or soapstone, which have to be oiled and can stain, and marble, that can stain. Granite basically has to be sealed when installed, and that’s it. Maybe re-seal every couple years. I have both granite and wood countertops, and the wood is much higher maintenance. The granite is pretty impervious to everything.

For a while, granite was a real status item, and when I put in my first kitchen, in my NYC apt., back in 1998, not everyone had it, and it was ooh and aah worthy. Then it became the must have, and it was everywhere, and not so special any more. But I still put in granite in my kitchen that was installed in my suburban house in 2009, because my 1998 granite looked as good as the day it was installed when we moved out, with virtually no maintenance of any kind. I think it is good that there is more variety in kitchen surfaces, but I think granite will stay in the mix, and the right granite can look really beautiful.

I happen to love the slab of granite we chose for our island, it is totally unique. There might be other slabs of granite in the same family, but this slab is one of a kind, we picked it from a stone yard after looking for weeks, and we saw nothing else remotely like it. In fact, I’ve had people ask if it is marble or granite, because it has big sweeping grains of color, like marble. It is not some generic piece ordered off a Home Depot sample board. Some people would think it is too busy for their taste, but most people love it. It is like Mother Nature’s art, to me.

And if granite goes totally out of style some day, or I get tired of this piece, it is not that hard or expensive to replace it. I could take the granite out, and throw on a slab of marble without much trouble.

Lauren February 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

I personally have waited to re-do my kitchen to see what else pops up other than granite. I feel like, because of the popularity of it (especially the “venetian gold” which seems to be in the picture), that it has become pretty mainstream and generic. I think that people will start to look for more solid-color surfaces or go back to more traditional looks like marble or butcher-block (I know, very different price ranges). I think that most of the “house hunters” are influenced by what they have heard from friends/seen in new construction and hear granite and assume “higher-end”. Just my opinion from watching the show.

Jena February 28, 2012 at 11:40 am

This is the million dollar counter question :). I think granite is here to stay, but I think the trends in what colors/patterns people choose will change. When it comes down to actually buying a counter, there just aren’t many affordable, durable, natural stone options. I think it’s fun to dream of soapstone and marble, and I know many do choose these options because they are quite beautiful, but they aren’t as durable, so many people (like me!) get scared off from actually using them. Quartz is always an option of course, but it’s a composite, so I think a lot of people will still turn to granite. There are so many granite choices out there now that look quite different from what you see frequently on House Hunters and in many new builds. We chose Kashmir White for our kitchen and I absolutely love it :)

Mrs. Pear Tree February 28, 2012 at 11:43 am

While I might not choose granite if I were to design my own kitchen (I’d love to try soap stone, and I appreciate the warmth of solid wood), I do believe it’s not a trend that will die soon. Here’s why: Granite is a natural , solid, durable and classic material. It comes in a variety of colours (mine is black) so can be selected to compliment the colour scheme of the kitchen. And it’s easy care. I don’t doubt it may wane a little as people look for “The Next Big Thing,” but I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Now laminate? Or Corian? I’d be happy if I never saw another one of those counters! At least granite is “real!” Viva le granite!

Mary February 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

I wanted marble but hard water means that vinegar is a major cleaning product in my house. So, I went with porcelain tile that looks like marble and I could not be happier – there are new grout products that don’t stain or mildew.

Elizabeth February 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I have a very quiet chocolate brown granite with white cabinets. We remodeled several years ago and I still love it. I think granite is beautiful because it is a natural product. It is also very easy to care for. I agree that the cheap stippled ones that the big box stores sell are ugly and I also don’t like really busy granite. That said, I love anything that is a natural product: wood, marble, concrete, etc. I like quartz as well. The only countertops I dislike are solid surfacing ie. Corian. It looks like molded plastic. I am not a fan of laminates for the same reason but there are some good choices in laminate if a natural product is not in your budget. I disagree that granite looks cookie cutter. My mother has it and her kitchen is country. My sister has it and her kitchen is modern. My kitchen was inspired by the “Something’s Gotta Give” kitchen and has that cottage look so I feel granite can be very versatile. No matter what you select, it should be something you love, not what is trendy. This way, you won’t regret it because it reflects who you are and that is what interior design is all about!!

Sondra February 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

If I had it to do over, I’d go with one of the new laminates. I have silestone in my kitchen but I much prefer the low maintenance of laminate plus the lower cost allows for replacement if you want a new color.

Amy @ The Button Casa February 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I agree with some of the other comments in that not all granite is created equal. I think that some of the most popular styles (the ones you see so often at Lowe’s or Home Depot) will definitely be out of style. I’ve seen some granite that’s ugly from the beginning. But I think some of the more subtle ones will stick around at least until the next “latest and greatest” comes along.

Erin February 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I could go either way on the granite – there are lots of other materials out there that are really nice too. I HATE watching the house hunter shows (and especially My First Place/Property Virgins) when they walk in to a beautiful house/kitchen and the only thing they see is that there aren’t granite countertops. Really makes me laugh!! (though I also laugh because I live in the midwest in the land of modestly priced housing and I am floored to see what people consider “bargains” in bigger cities and on the coast!)

LoriD February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Granite will always be a great countertop choice for those who like the look and have the budget. There are so many countertop choices now at all price points (including painting existing counters to look like stone) that everyone can get the look they want. For my own personal taste, I prefer butcher block, tile or stainless steel; but I’d probably prefer granite if everyone else was installing butcher block, tile or stainless steel!

Jane February 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm

What about quartz? I am all for low maintenance products and our quartz doesn’t have to be sealed. Why is granite ( which does have to be sealed regularly) the better choice?

We went with a black and white but eclectic – not stark or cold – look in our kitchen and I love the quartz. Ours is high gloss but surprisingly the black counter does not show spots all that much. I don’t spend much time cleaning it, just as needed, usually cleaning as I go during food prep and then a once over before bed so it starts off sparkling clean and sanitary in the morning. Have a routine, takes minutes.

Not sure about stainless steel. We have it but it can scratch and dent and fingerprints show up easily. Lots more time for me to wipe down the stainless. Might not have gotten it but the word “steel” just sounded strong and durable and low maintenance. But not as low maintenance as I hoped.

Parnassus February 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I don’t have granite countertops, but I do have a granite dining table, which I enjoy a great deal, and I don’t believe looks dated yet. Stone counters are enticing, but soft stones like marble are easily damaged and stained, and hard ones like granite are not easy on dishes . Additionally, the jury is not decided yet on the radon gas issue.

Here in Taiwan, most counters are stainless steel, which perhaps looks somewhat dated and institutional, but is very enjoyable to work on. It is surprisingly soft, so dishes and glasses do not clink against it very hard, and is totally non-porous and sanitary.
–Road to Parnassus

Stephanie February 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

We have a dark gray honed granite that is not busy and not shiny. at. all. I LOVE it! Having said that, I also have a 4′ x 5′ butcher block topped island in my kitchen and I LOVE that too! There are so many amazing materials out there, I don’t think there is a wrong choice – just whatever makes you happy!

Miss E February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Granite countertops just aren’t all that practical. Unless you never actually USE your countertops, quartz is a much better option- for less money too. Granite requires filling, sealing, seams, and you can never tell if they are clean or dirty without running your hand over them.

I’m so ready to rid myself of clients who INSIST on granite just for the sake of granite. Now if it’s just a look you’re going for then knock yourself out. Hard to top a unique slab…

Shuzluva February 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I’m considering both quartz and marble as alternatives to granite, but haven’t made a decision yet. One thing I know, though: no stainless steel! We have them now and when we redo our kitchen, they are gone. Fingerprints, smudges, scratches…I hate it.

Danielle February 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I have granite countertops and love them! I am surprised how many people think they are high maintenance – they are a lot easier to deal with than my old laminate. And I cook – a lot – from scratch. I also have a butcher block island but find myself using the granite for chopping, rolling dough, and assembling. It is just harder to clean up the flour and dough pieces off the butcher block. I also have stainless steel appliances and love those as well. They are 8 years old now and will probably need replacing soon – and I will go with stainless steel again.
I chose what I liked and what worked best for my family and our cooking/baking needs. I would absolutely choose granite again if we moved. For function as well as aesthetics.
Choose what you love, what inspires you, and what makes you happy. I mean, who lives in your home? That’s right – you do! So your opinion is really the only one that matters.

Danielle

Lisa February 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Design goes “in” or “out”. Materials don’t.
So granite itself can be around the next 50 years, but the typical kitchen that was designed 10 years ago with cherry/stainless/granite may be dated.

Also, materials don’t go out so much as they trickle down. 15 years ago granite and stainless were only found in high end custom homes over 4,000 square feet. NOW you can find granite counters and stainless appliance in apartments.
So out? No. Trickled down to Joe Average homeowner? Yes.

On a side note, I don’t see how stainless can be out either. 15 years ago, you had two choices of appliances, black or white. Today you get 3. Black, white or stainless.

I’ve been reading speculations for YEARS about what the next trend will be in appliances and have yet to see that play out. Years ago I read that copper appliances would replace stainless. LOL never happened. As for colored appliances, I have never seen anything like that other than high end stores like a 40,000 La Cornue stove. Even the super high end appliances like Wolf or Sub Zero are STILL only stainless.
So while I’m longing for a new appliance style other than black, white or stainless, I don’t see that happening any time soon. The housing market is dead, many people are upside down on their mortgages, and people are living with what they have regardless of what some HGTV designer tries to tell us is “in.”

kasey February 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I’m not a home-owner and when I’m shopping for my next rental to live in I have to say that granite or not is last on my list. I’m more concerned with mundane things like door security, central AC (a must in deep south) & windows for my cat.

In the kitchen I just want a counter that will be easy to clean–my current ones were not when I moved in as they’re Formica (?) with a stupid metal edge tacked in. I couldn’t sweep crumbs off the edge because they just slid under the metal edging & who knew what lurked under there. (the place was so dirty when I moved in). Very annoying until I got the maintenance people to remove them.

Susie February 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Julia, you always pose such great questions!
While for homebuyers, granite is still a go-to, for many designers it’s on its way out. It’s dark (there are no white alternatives) and its appearance is usually limited to dots and speckles, while lots of people are looking for solids and veins Here’s the trends I see:
1) in terms of natural stone, quartzite is becoming popular because if its beautiful veiny appearance;
2) engineered stone (usually a quartz composite), which can masquerade as faux marble or be a sleek solid choice; or
3) totally new surfaces, like compressed clay, that are very high tech and environmentally friendly. (see Neolith by the size as an example).
If youre interested, you can read more about these options on roomology!
Thanks as always Julia for raising such good questions!

Lisa February 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

also, we plan on doing a big kitchen remodel in a few years. Just bought a house and don’t have the budget for a kitchen gut.

But the kitchen had old, stained cheap 80’s laminate countertops. They had to go. We put in Wilsonart laminate in the color Oiled Soapstone. I love, love love it. Yes it’s laminate but Wilsonart makes some beautiful laminate that is nothing like was around in the 80s/90s. I have the beauty of soapstone without the cost and maintenance.
In a few years, I don’t know what surface I’ll want, but for now I’m loving what I have. Cost efficient, low maintenance and gorgeous. I was ready to turn my nose up at laminate until someone told me I needed a look at what is out there today.

Shannon S February 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I think any counter top can look great (even laminate) if you pick a color and edge profile that are simple. I believe people get into trouble when they pick colors or designs that are overly busy or ornate. But unfortunately HGTV drives what people think they want. If all you hear are granite and stainless, then most people are going to repeat that.

I would love more options when it comes to appliances. Just look what is available that isn’t stainless. Not much and most white or black appliances look like the appliances from the last century. Samsung does make a nice looking white refrigerator that is sleek, modern and affordable. But if you want to go the vintage route you have to fork out big bucks. I think the big appliance companies need to look at what they’ve done with washers and dryers. There is a great selection in different finishes and they all look modern. I also think affordable vintage-inspired appliances would be a big hit.

Lisa T. February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I totally agree. Why can’t there be more colors/variety in appliances. I will be in the market soon for new counter tops and kitchen appliances in the near future. My house is coming up on 11 years old and I’ve already had to replace the dishwasher.

I have seen some colors on some design shows, but I have not seen them in the stores that I shop at.

Carolyn February 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

I saw a small Wolf range on a blog that was lavender! It made my heart go pitter-patter, but if I had to think about re-sale, I wouldn’t go there, even if I could afford it. Of course I’ve been in my house for 24 years, and decorating for re-sale has not been my priority.

MadMegan February 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I’m super over “builder-grade” granite – the generic brown stuff we see in every home improvement store across America. But there are some beautiful granites out there if people are willing and able to pay for it.
Personally, I opted for carerra marble in my kitchen. People warned me that it’s not durable enough for kitchen use, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for all the granite in the world. And it really didn’t end up being more expensive than any other stone countertop.

Susan February 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I read this post and comments earlier today but I can’t seem to get this subject off my mind. I’m fifty-something, in a second marriage, raised my kids and his and I have lived in lots of places (think gypsy/nomad) and cooked in lots of kitchens. When we bought our house 3 years ago it did not even occur to me that it did not have granite or it wasn’t “on trend”. I was thrilled to have useable counter space unlike the charming victorian with the designer cherry cabinets and the only available plug meant the toaster and coffee pot had to be plugged in with an extension cord across the kitchen table. And the laminate counters were new unlike the rental with cigarette burns. And the builder’s grade cabinet doors shut unlike the bungalow with the sagging wall and self-opening cabinets.
Truthfully, I couldn’t care less what the finishes are in my kitchen. What I see are the roman shades I made myself and the beautiful paint job my husband spent a holiday weekend doing for me. It’s where my friends crowd into during a party and my sister-in-law always helps with the dishes after a family dinner. It has a huge picture window that overlooks my garden where I stand dreaming about what I want to do “someday” and a windowsill full of cuttings and herbs waiting to go in the soup. It’s where I whip up culinary masterpieces and late night munchies are satisfied. It’s where my husband sneaks up behind me and kisses my neck when my hands are in the dishwater. It’s my home and I’m so grateful for it. Believe me there are times when I’m seduced by some blogger or pinterest pictures and I think oohh I’d love to have that I’m not dragging out the sledgehammer.
While it’s interesting question and one that obviously sparks a lot of comments, for me it’s kina “love the one you’re with”.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I loved your comment, Susan. Thanks!

kasey February 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

wonderfully said, Susan.

Hekawi June 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Fabulous! I have to admit, I haven’t even watched HGTV for a couple of years — they got tooooo modern for me to even enjoy looking at their rooms (and Southern Living magazine, too. Sad.) Why do we have to have Martha and Tyler or anyone else telling us what is hip? I don’t aspire to “hip,” and I don’t know a lot of people who do. I don’t want their colors of the year or their opinions of my house or my countertops — I just want to churn out memorable meals on memorable holidays for my memorable family!

Ethan February 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I think that granite is a goner. At least I hope it is. The granite, stainless steel look of today is very pretentious in my opinion (not to mention three car garage houses). Sorry, didn’t mean to step on toes.

If you truly are looking for a “timeless” countertop material then I think that laminate (Formica) countertops are it. The reason I say that is because they have been used in every decade since WWII (I think I am right about that. I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong). However, don’t listen to me because I am a huge 70’s avocado fan. If only I could still buy avocado appliances, …sigh.

Lauren February 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm
hookedonhouses March 1, 2012 at 7:47 am

Thanks, Lauren!

Ethan March 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Almost, but not quite. The harvest gold color is great but the green isn’t a very good avocado imo. Besides, I can’t afford Viking appliances. But, if they were a true replication of a 70’s avocado I might just have to save up for em. Thank you.

Kris February 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

If you want to sell a house you better have granite counters and the slad not tile variety. Its no longer an ‘aspirational’ surface for higher end homes but at all price points. You don’t see people oohing and aahing over quartz, poured concrete or butcher block.

Katherine March 1, 2012 at 10:04 am

In the case of quartz, it’s the job of the real estate agent to educate potential home buyers (in their literature, or in open houses) of it’s qualities. Soemtimes people don’t ooh and ahh because they are uneducated or ill informed about something. Take engineered hardwood for example. It gets flack for not being “real” hardwood, but the top surface is infact wood, can be put below grade and can be installed over a heated floor…hardwood can’t. Knowledge of products is key when buying a home. People poo-pooing old, repairable solid wood cabinetry in favour of new cheap melamine is another one of my pet peeves…arghh

Brenda February 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I originally had granite in my kitchen. Dark green..even though it was sealed, when I spilt olive oil on it, it left a mark. Eventually, I changed it to quartz, off white ,which I love. Much brighter and warmer than the granite. And, also heat resistant, I don’t want to worry about putting a hot pot on it. I have corian in the laundry room, which is also great. I have found that for resale value, most agents think granite in the kitchen is a plus factor. But, color wise , granite, unlike paint, is expensive to change.

Patti brown February 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Never have liked granite….lived in two different houses with granite and like even less after that. Getting ready to build and will use solid color quartz. Never have liked stainless steel either…not sure what I’ll use, definitely cover the fridg and dishwasher with cabinet fronts.

JenniferJ February 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I have never understood the folks on the real estate shows who must have granite. Besides the high polish finish being too gaudy I don’t think they are always complimentary to every home style. There are so many great options to choose from these days man made or natural. I hope it’s on its way out!

ShabbyChick February 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm

My prediction: granite is a passing fad. The classics will always prevail…marble, maple, laminate (which has so many options these days!!), and even tiles are making a comeback among those who prefer a retro vibe.

Brandy February 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I think it is here to stay (whether I like it or not), but cheaper variations like the thin veneer granites a la “Granite-in-a-Day!” and the modular tile granite won’t last.
I’d venture that the other alternatives, with the exception of any natural stone and butcher block, are the true passing fads.

Patti March 1, 2012 at 11:02 am

We currently have a plywood counter and it is awesome. Stains, knife marks etc, I could care less. Nothing says we’re too lazy to finish our kitchen like a plywood counter. One day it will probably be butcher block, but until then I can be as abusive as I want.

Barbara Boucher February 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Granite, love it or hate it. Seems like no inbetween. Me, I love it. It is all natural, easy to care for (if you know how). Granite, (I am not talking about the “run of the mill”stuff that you pick up at Lowes or Home Depot), but the granite that is like a rare diamond, or a masterpiece, a one of a kind, that only mother nature knows how to create is to be enjoyed (like a fine bottle of wine).

beth February 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Granite flooring and shower walls is my dream for my cabin in the woods. You are right, granite offers a timeless quality because it is a natural material.

judi February 29, 2012 at 11:50 pm

But doesn’t mother nature make the granite at home depot and lowe’s too? LOL

Chris February 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm

While I don’t think granite countertops are here to stay forever, they are definitely have become the “go to” for many dream renovations, and will be for the next few years as such. While I wouldn’t personally want granite in my home, I appreciate what it has done for the countertop market. By this I mean that as people have become more interested in granite for the past ten years, it has brought in a lot more interest into alternative countertops. As a result, more and more people are looking at different and fascinating surfaces such as concrete, slate, stainless steel, etc. Personally, I would love some white Carrara Marble with dark blue veins…

Jenn February 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Meh – that’s my feeling about granite. I think “some” styles of kitchens look great with granite while others, not so much. Recycled materials make for beautiful counter surfaces and as more and more buyers turn to greener options, there will be a time when granite will not be the “hot” choice. Despite what many believe, granite is not indestructible, it doesn require care and it can mark and chip. We recently installed recycled glass counters in our kitchen and they’re fabulous (and they don’t need any care or upkeep!). With so many counter options now available, buyers have more options. Even laminates have come a long way and are an affordable option that is easy othe wallet.

Melissa Rakowski February 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

As he French Proverb says ” The more things change, the more things remain the same.”

Granite will always be relevant…it has many different shades/veining , etc that will then be the “it’ color.

Marsha February 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Everyone should look at Julia Child cooking in her little kitchen in France in the 1950’s & that would make you appreciate whatever countertop you have :-) Personally I would take her kitchen from her home that is now in the Smithsonian, especially if it would make me cook like Julia !! :-)

hookedonhouses February 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm

So true! I featured Julia Childs’ house (and kitchen) a few years ago. You can see the pics here:

http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/08/05/julia-childs-little-house-in-cambridge/

Laura February 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Oh, yes! Love Julia’s kitchen!

Marsha February 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Just looked at the pictures of Julia’s house and the kitchen . The redo was
so boring! :-)

Marsha February 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

P.S. My sister-in-law has a cleaning business and says stainless steel is a nightmare to keep fingerprints off of & doesn’t like granite either.

Kim February 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I love the looks of granite, but I don’t like that they need to be sealed. My favorite countertop is quartz. I love the looks and style of them. Plus they are low maintenance. My second favorite is laminate.

Allison H. February 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Bull nose corners, I think they will be like popcorn celilings as far as dating and aging a house. You can scrape popcorn texture off a ceiling relatively easy and inexpensively, but it would be awfully time consuming and expensive to change all the drywall corners in a home. I would have to say the same about the orange peel texture you often see on the walls with it.

Laura February 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

The thing I always associate with granite (and maybe it’s already been mentioned and I missed it) is that granite emits randon, a colorless, ordorless gas that can cause lung disease, in small doses. I have Corian and love it! For my house, it wasn’t worth the investment in granite – I’d never get it back if I tried to sell my house.

Mary February 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I live in a simple ranch style layout of a beach house. Simple tile floors, cream walls, cider cabinets in the kitchen and baths. My St. Cecelia Dark granite is the pop of color and pattern, and I love it! I cook a lot and appreciate its functionality. Plus it seems so swanky to roll out biscuit dough on the lovely sparkly garnets in it. ;)

Becky February 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm

A granite island came with my house. It is cold (thermally). Really! On a winter morning, the house can be warm but the granite is cold. It’s offputting not to be able to rest your arms on it while eating breakfast or sipping coffee. I don’t like that aspect of granite, and hope one day to replace it with wood.

Tricia Rose February 28, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I. Hate. Shiny. Granite.

Rory February 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I despise granite. It was installed against my wishes in 2006 and I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to keep it clean and nice looking. Despite what the jerk salesman said, granite can chip and even water leaves marks on it. If I had known that, I would have gone with the marble he so piously warned me would look terrible within a few years.

Two years ago we looked at a new construction house for sale, with the final touches being added. We were in the kitchen, which had pretty cabinets but no counters and the agent rushed to tell me that ‘the most beautiful granite’ was going to be installed and I said, “Oh my God, is it too late to get that changed?” She was appalled – I then found out she was the person who had chosen the counters. She kept saying, “But it’s granite!” No, thanks. I’d rather have Formica!

SoCalLynn February 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

We live in a 55 year old house. When we were able to make some upgrades to the kitchen about 5 years ago, I chose to paint our cupboards white, keep the white refrigerator I already had, added a wonderful white Jenn-Air range/stove combo, and put in black galaxy granite counter tops with a black ash double sink for continuity. I still LOVE them to this day. I have a very small kitchen so the cost was not prohibitive, I love the coolness and unexpectedness of them in my 50’s suburban ranch and the maintenance is minimal.

Karen February 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I completely remodeled and gutted our kitchen in ’99 as it still had the original 1953 kitchen floorplan with yellow metal cabinets with black handles and the wood floor had at least 5 different layers of lineolum, which ruined the original floors, not to mention layers of wallpaper. It was a costly and time consuming endeavor and since my home is smaller I had a vision, but also a budget. I decided against all white cabinets as wood (maple) seemed warmer and we also installed wood floors to match the rest of the house, knocked down a wall, closed another and so on. The kitchen gets a lot of light since it faces south and I have a big window that overlooks my garden. I also decided against a breakfast bar and center island and kept the area open with a small bistro table by the big window. I love sitting there sipping my coffee and watching the critters in my yard. It works for us and I don’t really care if other people disapprove of my style or choices. Sometimes I really get tired of the pressure to keep up with trends.

I chose a laminate counter, which resembles granite simply because granite was far too costly–about $10K. While granite is beautiful I just couldn’t justify the cost given the other improvements I desire to make and also some that I need to make and one of those on the list was a new shed. I’m certain it will sound crazy to some, but a new shed made me so very happy. I also started out with white appliances, but have changed them when they wore out to stainless.

I can’t stand watching some of those design shows–the house hunters. The people on them sound like such horrible whiners.

Barb September 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm

When remodeling our 1912 kitchen we not only chose to copy what was original,the white mission style cabinets, we also opted to stay away from the breakfast bar and center island. Instead we have an antigue oak table with mismatched oak pressed back chairs.It is sooo homey! I don’t care what someone else says is “in”. My house is unique and full of personality-a one of a kind house!
.

beth February 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I think stainless steel appliances will soon go out of fashion. How about everyone else?

Jane February 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

They should. Not great for family living, the way they show fingerprints.

Katherine March 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

I think the next phase of fridges & dishwashers will be panelled/cabinet fronts. It’s considered high end now, but I think it will become the norm.

mishelle February 29, 2012 at 12:05 am

I love granite. Every kitchen i like that i see in magazines ect. always has granite in it.
It is rich and warm looking. In fact i miss my old granite counters and the next house we buy i definatly want them again.

stephanie February 29, 2012 at 2:06 am

The last 10 years it’s granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances and travertine tile floors. That. is. it.

Everyone who has spent $100,000 renovating their kitchen – have exactly the same kitchen. I don’t understand it. They all act like their kitchen is completely unique and they all look alike.

I think if you have granite and you love it, that’s fine. However, I just don’t get the “lemmings off the cliff” thing that seems to have swept over everyone like these 3 choices are “it”. Your post said it all – people on HGTV won’t buy a darn house because of a 2 x 4 foot piece of corian counter top.

I agree with the above posts that natural materials will stick around. I think soapstone will be big next. I like a bit of a mix – some wood, some marble, big white farmhouse sink.

I live in an apartment now with granite and I find it difficult to see the dirt. I swear that is what people love about it – you can’t see any dirt on it – I don’t care what color you buy. I have to lay my head sideways when the sun is at a certain angle to really see the spots I’ve missed while cleaning!

marie February 29, 2012 at 6:46 am

i’m not a fan of the granite in the photo, so based on that i’d vote no. lol i don’t have granite in my kitchen (i have laminate- cringe, cringe, cringe) and i don’t plan on getting it when we remodel. i’d LOVE marble, but i’m quite sure that’s never going to happen. :o) there are so many other great options besides granite…not sure why it’s so desired above all else?

i find most buyers on house hunters ridiculous…they also turn down houses because of bedroom paint color and tile in bathrooms! but they don’t see a problem with the interstate off ramp in the backyard??

Cindy February 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

Aesthetically, I like granite, but I do wonder if it’s going to look dated soon — like the mid-90s hunter green tile or cobalt blue Kitchenaids that seemed very timeless but now aren’t. When we redid our countertops a few years ago, I wanted granite. Our house is very modest, so granite would likely have been out of place. And my husband said all the samples made him think of a Las Vegas brothel. There’s no way I could cook with that analogy hanging over my head, so we went with a neutral composite.

Carol M February 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

Just did an partial remodel this past year (new counters, backsplash, sink, hardware). I chose soapstone, with a soapstone farm sink. I’ve wanted soapstone for years, and love the look of it. I’d say take your time and buy what you love. And who cares if it’s out or in, as long as you love it.

Kelley February 29, 2012 at 9:22 am

We redid our kitchen a few years ago and chose soapstone, too. I REALLY wanted to do white marble, but just wasn’t brave enough since we have two boys in the house. I really like the soapstone, though, and think of it as my “black marble” since it has white veining. As for the granite, I’m not a huge fan of it for my house, but I’ve seen it look very nice in other people’s homes. I think it depends on the color and how well it coordinates with the rest of the kitchen.

Janelle February 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

I have never been a fan of granite as it can look to “veiny” or busy…we went with quartz when we did our kitchen….just a soft caramel with flecks of grey and white…I love it! Because of the color it actually looks really warm…especially paired with our solid maple dark chocolate cabinets. One trend that I hope is on it’s way out soon is stainless steel. We have all new white appliances, and I wouldn’t change them! I have always thought stainless was too industrial. This post seems to be a hot topic! Hope you have a great day Julia:)

Janelle February 29, 2012 at 9:55 am

I am not a fan of granite. It has always looked too “veiny” or busy to me. We went with quartz when we did our kitchen and we love it! It is a soft caramel color with flecks of grey, white, and black. It is actually a really warm look paired with our dark chocolate solid maple cabinets. I would definitely do quartz again! One trend that I definitely hope is on it’s way out is stainless steel…SO not a fan! Looks too industrial for me! When we did our kitchen we went with all new white appliances. Lots of people were shocked, but we wouldn’t change a thing:) This sure is a popular post! Hope you have a great day Julia!:)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... February 29, 2012 at 10:47 am

I still dig it :)
But then I’m not picky.

Katy February 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

I am not a fan of granite because it’s busy and strong in color, and way too expensive.

I built new countertops in my kitchen and did all white tile, and white subway tile on the walls. I *never* get tired of it even though it’s not on trend. I would like white marble but that’s too expensive, and turns out the color is more important than the material.

celeste February 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

I have a hard time understanding the attraction of soapstone. I worked in laboratories for 10 years, plus college, and the old soapstone lab benches that were ubiquitous with science were awful. They were uneven, stained, black, and generally looked really rough. I cannot imagine having them in a kitchen because I will always associate them with chemicals and bunsen burners.

We have a 1914 farmhouse and redid the original kitchen 13 years ago. We chose (dark green marble-like) laminate because it was cheaper than Corian. The contractor told us that we could replace the laminate every 5 years for 2 decades for what Corian would have cost. I try to keep the original farmhouse flavor, but it is difficult to know exactly what to choose. I know that farmhouses did not have either granite or soapstone! I am searching for a replacement volor now…any suggestions?

Katie February 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

I have watched one too many episodes of House Hunter to actually want to purchase granite coutner tops. It makes me so angry when the people walk into these nice house and say, ” Oh, it doesnt have the granite counter tops and stainless steel appliane I wanted” Ugh

If I bought a house and they were there, fine, I would keep them, but I wouldnt ripe out perfectly fine laminate counters to install grantie.

Karen February 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I notice many homes for sale in my area market granite counter-tops–slab to be exact, and stainless appliances and some of these are small galley kitchens. If those features are marketed as selling points for the home they must be in demand. I find it so strange given that I would be attracted to a home for so many other reasons. The funny thing is people purchase these homes, don’t live in them very long and even worse, don’t tend to keep them up either.

Rae Lange February 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm

ironically, my friend and I were just having this discussion. She has Corian and I have butcher block. I have not met a granite I have liked; they all look like vomit.
I do think they’ve had their day; thank goodness. Give me good old butcher block!

Wayne February 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I think the simple fact that this post has 3x as many comments as usual proves that granite counters are still very relevant to the market.

That being said, granite is ubiquitous and will probably lose some of the market as time goes on, but I think that is a good thing and I had granite installed two months ago. I think the fact that is the most durable natural stone will keep it from ever being truly, “out.”

Marble and soapstone are gorgeous,but they’re also more maintenance. They will also undoubtedly filter down into cheaper and more popular homes just as granite did, so in twenty years the same people praising them will be poo-pooing them.

I’d also like to point out that the hundred year old homes with marble and soapstone were luxury residences, not middle class housing because fabricating stone was an astronomical expense up until the 1980’s. While they may offer a “traditional look” if you’re putting them in a middle class home you’re already breaking with “tradition.”

mary louise February 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

We have had soapstone for about 3 years now. Still absolutely love it and can’t seem to destroy or mar it in any way. LOVE being able to put hot pan on it! Can’t discolor surface with anything I drip on it accidently.
Sometimes I use mineral oil over its surface for a less matte finish. But that is the only extra care it gets.
I agree with others that granite that doesn’t have a lot of ‘movement’ going on is beautiful for other people, but I don’t want it.

Lori Hollis February 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I wouldn’t worry if you currently have granite in your kitchen. Although we are moving toward other countertop materials (wood, honed marble & granite, recycled materials, concrete), a bigger trend is to keep what we have and re-purpose/re-use in some way. We no longer tear out perfectly good kitchens just because we want the latest and greatest! I can see everyone having their polished granite honed to a matte finish. Gives the stone a whole new look!

hookedonhouses February 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I agree!

Pat Smith February 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I have a blue/black/gray polished granite. It came with the house. Spills do not show, easy to keep clean. Its the same variety as the lobby floors of our dentist’s offices. If it can take the traffic it can take my kitchen abuse! http://pats-addition.blogspot.com/2012/01/kitchen-cabinets.html

hookedonhouses February 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Very nice!

Chris February 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I think so long as they’re in a neutral color they’re fine. It’s when you see emerald green with white marbling that you think they’re outdated. I think the same goes for any material though. Pink laminate anyone? If you make a super personal-taste choice, you have to be prepared for it to be outdated. Make your statement in paint, not a $6000 material!

hookedonhouses March 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

True!

Lacy @downMODERNhome February 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I think used in the right context it can be timelesss– like many other natural products are. Full disclosure though- we have granite in our kitchen. We actually didn’t intend to get granite, but it turned out to be the cheapest option. We only needed a small slab, and many other counter types had minimum purchase requirements. Then we shopped around and found a local fabricator/distributor who had the slab for half of the chain stores’ prices.

Linda February 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

We have uba tuba granite. It looks nice but it’s hard to keep it that way. Too much maintenance. I’d go for quartz next time.

Kate February 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I used to LOVE them, but as trends come and go, I see this slowly becoming the standard- which leads to boring. Right now, I am loving wooden or bamboo counter tops. This especially looks nice in contrast to white or espresso cabinets. Also, as with current washer and dryers coming in colors, I am thinking this trend will replace the stainless steel with a bright red refrigerator and/or stove. It’s hard to think of what the next trends will be, but the granite/stainless look has been over a decade strong, so it’s likely on its way out. I want the wooden counter tops myself. But someone mentioned hardwood floors on its way out; that I disagree with that. I hate carpet. It can stain, only looks good with the vaccuum “pattern” (that I find myself hopping over to maintain) and it gets worn in paths that look horrible. But then again, I have hardwood floors with area rugs for warming up the space.

debbie bailey February 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I’ve just about quit watching House Hunters because of the hated words “granite countertops” and “stainless steel appliances”. Don’t people want to be original anymore? I about gag when I see the same ole’ same ole’ in a kitchen. If I was looking for a house, I’d definitely NOT buy one that had those two things in them!

Lauren February 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Most granite countertops look dated and ugly to me, especially any that look like spoiled meat (pink, red, or yellow) or paté (dark beige, ugh)! I saw a particularly bad one at an open house this weekend — olive green, covered with large circles and ovals in other sickly shades of green. That said, my countertops are Italian granite and beautiful! They have a very subtle black, gray, and white pattern with a few veins of sparkle that people mistake for marble. I think black and/or white stone countertops of all kinds will never go out of style. My alternative would be white or very dark green marble, although I know it’s a delicate material. I have never seen a synthetic counter I’ve liked. Tile counters seem like a recipe for disaster, too.

I’ve been tired of stainless steel and black appliances for more than a decade. I don’t mind seeing a shiny and powerful professional steel stove in a kitchen — as long as the owner is a serious cook and knows how to use it. That’s so rare…

I think it always looks better when appliances blend in with the cabinetry one way or another. I never get tired of an all-white kitchen if it’s not too fussy.

What else has jumped the shark, for me? ISLANDS! I loathe them, especially if there’s a seating area with bar stools. I’d feel like I was a diner waitress in my own kitchen. At the same open house with the disgusting marble, there were SIX metal bar chairs around the island. I found myself wondering where the menus, paper placements, and cheap silverware were. I like to sit and eat at a table. I’d put a big old wood table in my kitchen and use that for both a workspace and meals.

I hate open kitchens. I really don’t want anyone to know what goes on when I’m cooking, and I don’t like seeing or smelling a kitchen all over the house. My first instinct when I see an “open kitchen” is to figure out how to put the walls back to close it off so I won’t see any dirty dishes or a toaster from my living area. My second instinct is to sigh for the lost, exquisite, butler’s pantry that once existed in every late-19th-century house and was likely ripped out long ago. Item 3 is figuring out how things might be improved by getting rid of the stupid island….

JL February 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I agree with many of you who said that HGTV (and DIY) have homogenized our expectations of what a kitchen should look like. On House Hunters, granite appears to have become the standard expectation of even first-time home buyers in lower end markets, which is as unrealistic as it is unimaginative. On the other hand, Bang for the Buck’s designers seem to suggest that “entry-level, commonly available” granite is passe. One designer said she was tired of seeing certain colors and patterns, implying that if one doesn’t install one-of-a-kind high-end granite one may as well not bother.

I think there’s beautiful granite out there and I think it’ll be around for a very long time, but I also think that the ubiquitous trappings of the McMansion–over-sized kitchens with granite, stainless steel, mosaic tile, tumbled stone, dark wood cabinets, Tuscan anything, and apron sinks–are destined to be ripped out by the thousands over the next two decades. I think the same might be said of concrete (I can hear the snickering now), giant islands and professional ranges. I’ve seen beautiful homes with all of these materials and I think they will continue to be great options. But they will hopefully cease to be de rigeur. Personally, if I were to design a kitchen I probably choose quartz or marble counter tops.

As people begin to return to right-sized homes with efficient, human-scaled cooking spaces, natural materials will become increasingly popular and the things people previously eschewed (blond woods, oak, white cabinets, and alternative surfaces) will add personality, warmth and individuality to kitchens again. I’ve loved the descriptions of the kitchens in the comments above and I applaud everyone who has made her/his kitchen unique and functional. After all, a home should suit its occupants, not the dictates of fashion.

Laura March 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

Well said!

judi February 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm

HGTV has a lot to answer for. I hardly ever watch it. They should rename it the “Real Estate” Channel . Plus, do you ever notice that if they go into a house with blue room, the designers make fun of it and say it has to go. But , on other shows, blue is the color to use. Funny. As for granite: I really don’t want to spend that much money in my kitchen counter and then see it in a bathroom somewhere. Lucky for me, I can’t afford anything so I dont’ have that difficult choice. I’m getting to the point that I don’t want to follow the trends, I want what I like. My problem with the proliferation of granite of th 90’s through early 2000’s is that so much of it was brown – blah and boring – to me.

Elizabeth March 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

Granite and Stainless will date houses built in the 00’s just as white cabinets date houses from the 90’s. Bold colors are back…but will soon date houses again. As long as companies need to keep selling things that last for years and years, styles must change.
Personally I am glad to see granite go – much to high maintenance for me to have in a busy kitchen!

Rebecca March 1, 2012 at 12:19 am

Granite is a fine counter top treatment. But it has really been over done. We are putting Ceaserstone in “Blizzard” on our bathroom counters. It looks so good, we think we will use it when we remodel the kitchen.

Wendy March 1, 2012 at 1:35 am

I love the look of granite, though I very much agree there’s granite and there’s granite. I don’t think it’s going anywhere. And what a waste of the planet’s resources if it was? What on earth would we do with all those granite slabs, throw them in the landfill?

And I’m living with the downside of granite. Unfortunately, my house has granite countertops that I just don’t like the look of very much. It’s a fairly new kitchen and still “in style” so it’s going to be decades before I can do anything about it. It’s fairly modern looking, and I really prefer a vintage/farmhouse style kitchen. Sigh. So I’m painting the walls, as that’s the only thing I really get to change. Oh, and when our range failed we upgraded to a Viking in Dark Red which is my one personal statement in the kitchen!

Karen March 1, 2012 at 11:06 am

Great poll. I hope they’re here to stay mainly because in 2003 I took the very expensive plunge and I know I won’t be ripping them out during my lifetime in the house. I do wish I had bought a granite that was more timeless and neutral, like a Carrera or a Absolute Black…but alas, I’ll just hope I can enjoy them and not become too distressed that I still have last decades trend! :-)
Karen

laney March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

…mercy me…radon?!..i am late to this party…but i certainly home granite does not turn out to be the asbestos of the 21st century…

Patti March 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I personally have a lovely sheet of plywood gracing my kitchen cupboards. Nothing says an unfinished kitchen like a sheet of plywood. It’s wonderful, I can stain it, stick a knife in it, and do anything except light it on fire, and I don’t care.

This summer we will decide what to change it out for. My husband cares very little about what we do to the house, but he is firm on no granite and no marble. Fine with me. I don’t relish the idea of laminate, I’m trying to steer clear of plastics in life. And reading how everyone says it’s so cheap they can swap it out every couple years makes me cringe. Our dumps are already filled with plastic that doesn’t break down. We’ll probably go with butcher block; I love how soft it makes the room feel. Soapstone is my dream, but I have a hard time thinking about it being cut out of the earth never to return. There you go, the inner climber in me hating to see her cliff wall disappear.

I vote no granite for this house, but I have seen some beautiful slabs.

Kelly March 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I’m at the tail end of a kitchen remodel. We chose a butcher block for the island and natural colored polished concrete that we ground down to bring out the pattern of the slurry for our main counters (my husband is a concrete contractor).

Wanda Styrsky March 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I don’t like stainless steel. I call them finger print appliances. They show everything! I also do not like granite and will prefer to go with wood when I am able to remodel. I agree that shows like House Hunters and others are really insulting to the individual buyer. I don’t like media telling me what I am supposed to like!

When we were buying our house 24 years ago we were told by our realtor to use your imagination. No one has to do that today because houses are staged. As a teacher, it another way of removing critical thinking skills and dumbing down the general public!

melissa*320 sycamore March 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Love these comments, Julia! We had granite in our last home, and we have laminate in this one, and do you know which one I actually prefer? The cheap laminate. It’s not as busy , I don’t have to shine it and don’t worry about it as much. I *do* miss the undermount sink and sweeping crumbs right into it. I do think granite is here to stay because it’s REAL. Like hardwoods, it’s just the finish and coloring on them that may date them.

Rebecca C. March 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I am a long-time lurker here. I had to chime in on the countertop discussion.

I am so glad that there are so many choices for countertops now. Yes, I do think that granite has been the “go-to” countertop for way too long, but it is here to stay. I personally have soapstone and absolutely love it. You can either let soapstone age naturally and not do any maintenance on it except cleaning it. Or you can baby it with oil and can sand out nicks and marks. It’s the best part of my kitchen. I don’t mind stainless steel. It cleans up fast. I did opt for a range in a burgundy color (had to special order it). I truly hope that trend catches on. Being able to have appliances just about any color would be terrific (but probably too expensive in the long run).

Didn’t have as much luck with the Caesarstone, but it may have been the installers. I put that in two bathrooms. It nicks easily and hard water is difficult if not impossible to clean off. I have marble in the master bath. That’s what I’d love to have in the kitchen also.

So many beautiful products out on the market these days.

Cat McKenney March 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I’ve always seen granite countertops as an OPTION, one of many choices available to create a lovely kitchen. I am sick to death of trends that become fixed on one vision – one material of color or style being the ONLY way to do anything. Look at House Hunters (or similar shows on TV now) – why are the buyers so fixated on granite countertops, cherry cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances? Don’t they remember how wildly popular avacado appliances were in the 70’s?
I enjoy your interest in a variety of materials, styles, approaches to design and decorating! Here’s hoping granite fades just enough to go back to being an option…

KATHY DOUGLAS March 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Fabulous! I am interested in greenhabbing and woud like to know more.

Christine March 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

White Marble is IN!

Christine March 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

White Marble is IN right now! Although I think granite is probably here to stay as well, it’s a classic option that won’t become dated (most colors at least…)

Segelman Shaw Roofing, Siding & Windows March 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm

They still are the best choice today. Aside from the smooth texture and classy looks, granite are tough and durable materials used fro countertops and tables for the past several decades. So my take on this – granite lives forever!

KATHY DOUGLAS March 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Fabulous I would like to know more.

Maria March 5, 2012 at 5:06 am

I think granite is here to stay, but I also think it’s jumped the shark and is so everywhere it’s overrated (maple cabinets + stainless/black appliances + stock granite = Home Depot Kitchen). Also, I was never a big fan of the polished granite, prefer honed, and now that I’ve cooked in a few friends kitchens with it vs. just sitting in them, the glare which I hadn’t thought about, kinda bugged me. I’ve seen some really nice composite stuff that looks much like honed granite/limestone that or quartz might be my drug of choice because I’m hard on countertops and don’t want something that needs to be babied.

I’m wondering if some of these looks are going to equated with the “McMansions” that seem to be sliding out of favor. My (gasp!) original mid-century modern kitchen ends up looking better and better to me these days. Also, I don’t think I could live without my built-in/slide-out cutting board, you don’t see those these days either.

denay March 6, 2012 at 8:50 am

when I first did my kitchen 11 years ago, I wanted white cabinets. hubby wanted dark cherry. we compromised with a midtone cherry and put white in the pantry and laundry. hubby wanted green polished granite. I wanted dark honed. we got polished uba tuba. fast forward 6/7 years with a major expansion of the house. we were not about to scrap our existing materials. we did however need a bigger island. (the old island found a new home in our dressing room with a scrap top from the stone yard, the old counter found new life a part of wet bar in the man room) .I went with a painted finish in a custom color. it’s taupe/grey/ light olive green?. the counter was an issue. i love marble but it is maintenance. at the time my kids were 7, 5 and 3. I search the stone yards for 6 months until i found a suitable slab of Golden bridge/fall (can’t remember the name) that brings in all the colors in the kitchen. It was very difficult to find a light colored granite with some movement but not too much. I guess my 2nd choice would have been bianco romano. My guy at the stone yard kept pushing for marble but I refused. I did a classic marble in my butler’s pantry but that gets minimal use.

Marble is lovely, but juice rings, marker etching would bug the crap out of me. I have enough wear and tear on everything else!

11 years and two renos later, the mid tone cherry is great because they are elegant and warm and understated and not fussy ( I hate fussy kitchens) and easy to maintain. Painted finishes are harded to maintain. The backsplash is white, hand made and hand cut porcelain subway tile which I love, classic but a little different. I refused with the second reno to put in a glass backsplash. The uba tuba does bore me but I think its a classic in its own way. It is dark, has little movement but those warm flecks of gold. Sometimes I wish I had honed it but honestly I like the reflective surfaces. My kitchen faces east, so its sunny in the morning but dark for the rest of the day. The reflective surfaces help bounce light around. They also bring a bit a glamour to a kitchen that is otherwise understated.

A lot of granite is definitely overdone but it is practical. And now there are so many options for any budget. My minivan is overdone too but it’s also practical. I really don’t like my minivan but I need it!

hookedonhouses March 6, 2012 at 9:56 am

Love what you said about your minivan! I can relate to that. :-)

Katie March 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Who knew granite countertops would bring on such passionate commenting? :) I like the look, depending on the kitchen, but I’m not in the “granite or nothing” camp. I have seen dream kitchens with other types of countertop that were beautiful. I agree with those who said HGTV is a double-edged sword – it’s great for all of us who are home-obsessed, but I think it does lead people to believe they have to have certain things in their home. I hate when people on House Hunters turn their noses up at a beautiful kitchen because it doesn’t have granite countertops or stainless steel appliances.

Granite Countertops St Paul March 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

Lots of discussion here! We’re fans of them if not for their look, then for their durability. That’s one big advantage they have over other counter types, and why we think they’re worthwhile to have.

collette March 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

After slaving over my white kitchen tile countertops (and grout) for over a decade, the choice between granite and quartz was a mixed blessing. There is no question that Granite is shiny and beautiful. I can’t put it down. Only because I didn’t want another maintance nightmare, did I feel more comfortable going with the never seal bacteria resistant Silestone Quartz. Sensa also sells a granite with a 15 year warranty against staining. But for me, it lacked the movement. Santa Celica is their number one seller for all of you who want to look alike. :) When it comes time for me to sell my house, I could care less if the new owners like quartz or not. For now, I do :)

betty in munich April 5, 2012 at 3:16 am

I am so late to the Granite party, but here is my two cents. I LOVE my granite counter tops that are now 12 years old. I have never understood why people think granite is a maintence nightmare or that they are so “delicate”. I take things off the stove and oven directly on to them with no trouble what-so-ever. Never a trivet nothing, always directly on them. A scratch on granite? How is that possible? Granite cracking? I don’t see one crack. Spills including red wine wipe up no problem, nothing has ever stained. I have never put any special coating or something on them and they still look brand new. If you bake, they are wonderful for rolling out dough – just sprinkle a bit of flour and no sticking. I can only tell you they have been the work horse in our kitchen and they still look great. I don’t think I could go back to anything else. If you want to see a picture of our kitchen there is one here: http://www.thekitchn.com/bettys-bistro-kitchen-in-munic-117848

Go team Granite….although I must admit, I love looking at pictures of kitchens with white marble counter tops. I remember reading an article once if marble counter tops would soon be passé and had to giggle. Because I had just been to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany built in 1880’s and in the main kitchen many of the worktops especially in the “baking” area of the kitchen are carrera marble. I walked into that kitchen and thought, this is a dream kitchen today just as it was in 1880. Lot’s of gorgeous copper pots etc. Here’s nice picture of that kitchen:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk_five_0/2250230798/

Go Team Marble!

Kelly April 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Feb 2011 we redid our kitchen. My husband and I disagreed on the granite. He won and we got an extremely busy looking slab. I hated it. Fast forward to Feb 2012. I discovered my dishwasher had been leaking, probably for 6 months. The water had been seeping under the (new) hardwood flooring, saturated the subflooring and leaked into the basement.

During demo they accidentally broke the granite. Darn it. I have on order a creamy granite with very little going on it. I hope granite does not go out because I will never do another kitchen reno!

Seema May 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I have two toned granite counter tops and I wanted veined white marble counter tops (I still do) but was told they stain and are an especially bad idea for people with children who also use turmeric, beets, etc etc Easter eggs…. colored fondant… anything. Is this true? I really never fell in love with the granite as much as I wanted to. Thanks! :)

hookedonhouses May 24, 2012 at 6:11 am

Marble can stain, definitely.

Roark May 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

Not liking granite basically makes you a bad person. That’s a fact.

Cathy June 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Built home in 2000. White painted cabinets, black appliances
and medium oak wood floors. The countertops were a light
silestone with black specks. Fast forward 11 yrs and we decided
to get a more contrasting countertop: granite slab terra cotta.
Imagine my surprise when I was visiting Chicago and looked down
in the subway station and I was standing on my new granite.
Unpolished of course but even attractive to walk on. Really enjoying
all these comments.

Barb September 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Our home was built in 1912 and is a simple farmhouse. Our desire in adding on was to retain ,and even add to, the original character of the house.I had absolutely no desire for granite. My kitchen is large but old-fashioned with the original style mission, white cupboards. Some have glass but not all ,as I do not care for the look of cans and cartons seen through glass! For counters we chose a laminate that is suppose to look like dark slate. It even has some texture . We have had some people ask if it was slate! THIS is what we could afford and I love my kitchen and get comments on it and the house all of the time! Most people who did not know us in the 32 yrs. we lived here before the remodel, have no idea we added on or WHAT we added on. THAT is keeping with the original character of a house. Granite ,for me, does not look right in all homes.

Jennifer October 15, 2012 at 7:41 am

I live in a better neighborhood that is older and established. My house is in very good shape, I don’t really WANT to update but it does feel like buyers consider it a strike against a house if it doesn’t have granite countertops, stainless steel and hardwood floors throughout. Maybe if I just leave it alone, it’ll come back in!

tammyCA October 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Not all buyers would consider it a strike. I despise granite…can you say gravestones? Marble? I think of tombs. Stainless steel? Where they do autopsies. So dead and cold these “in” materials. Give me color and warmth.

Judi Enins October 20, 2012 at 5:27 am

I had red appliances when I first got married in the 70s. They lasted for years, but when the refrigerator finally went kaput, I still had the red stove and dishwasher, but by then “poppy red” appliances were out and I couldn’t find one to match my other appliances, that is when I decided then and there to only buy “white” appliances because (1) the color white compliments all other colors and decors and (2) manufacturers will always produce white appliances (they have been doing so since day one, so I’m figuring they’ll continue to do so). That way you’ll always be able to get a replacement appliance to match your existing ones and you don’t have to end up buying all new stuff (only the one that went kaput).

I have white Corian countertops and I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t have anything else from now on. They are durable and if they get scratched, just sand it out….easy as pie. Yes, they are kind of expensive, but worth every penny. Also, I agree with the statements that stainless steel can sometimes feel (in my opinion) very “cold”. Its not that I don’t think they look okay, it’s just that when I think of stainless steel (especially stainless steel countertops), I think that either you’re going to perform a science experiment or an autopsy. Stainless steel looks (and again, this is just my opinion) like something from a laboratory.

Lori Sellers January 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

For what it’s worth, Martin Lawrence Bullard called granite “pedestrian”. He removed the granite in favor of black marble with white veining and lacquered the white cabinets black for an actor’s home on Million Dollar Decorators. It looked chic. But then again, most of us don’t want the Hollywood glam look. I’d say white marble is classic and timeless for the rest of us.

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