Is our love affair with granite cooling?

Design gurus have been predicting the decline of granite countertops for several years, but the surface remains popular. Will we still love it in 10 years?

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 7, 2012 12:20PM

I resisted the lure for years. My first kitchen redesign, back around 2001, most definitely did NOT include granite countertops. We choose a tasteful tile.


But by the next redesign (different house), in 2004, granite's falling price and rising popularity had lured me in — despite my fear that the popularity of granite wouldn't last nearly as long as the stone.


People have been predicting granite's demise for years, despite the enduring love for the material expressed by clueless couples on HGTV's "House Hunters." A new poll by Julia at Hooked on Houses on whether granite has had its day or is here to stay inspired me to do a little research.


Has granite had its day?


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Justin Fink, a senior editor at Fine Home Building, was predicting a fall in granite's popularity back in 2010, and he couldn't wait. He wrote:

I don't know about you guys, but if I'm spending $4,000 for kitchen countertops, I'd prefer not to have to buff the surface with a diaper and sing it lullabies before bed.  © Design Pics/LJM Photo/Getty Images

If you've never been to a granite warehouse, it's a fun excursion. The variety of stone is amazing, even if you can't afford most of it; I had a choice of about six colors in the cheapest range. Alex Nerland, an architect who works as a designer-builder in California, notes that you can get the same look for half the price with prefab granite.

If you don't want granite or laminate, which Fink said is still used in 75% of new kitchens, Paul Anater, a kitchen and bath designer writing at Houzz, offers 10 alternatives, with photos of each.

The readers at Hooked on Houses are split, with 52% hoping granite countertops have had their day while 47% hope they are here to stay. Julia's previous poll, in 2010, found 37% of readers declaring granite "so last decade" while another 37% deemed granite countertops "a classic design choice that will never look dated."

A reader named Sue wondered whether HGTV has too much influence:

"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."

A reader named Dina, who works with designers and architects in New York City, says she sees a decline in the popularity of granite. She writes:

"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 '70s. Of course, now they say that avocado green is making a comeback. 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 countertop trend is, but I see a lot of wood and bamboo being installed."

What do you think? Is granite on the way out? If money were no object, what surface would you choose for your kitchen countertops?

Aug 5, 2014 4:20AM

I, for one, am sick of the granite/stainless steel trend. I do love SOME granite, but not an entire kitchen of it. I actually prefer quartz.


Jul 19, 2014 9:24PM

Granite is NOT going away.

What we are all tired of is the idiots that keep pretending that solid stone is somehow inferior to glued together sawdust with some plastic on top

Granite has become the standard. And will stay the standard for many years to come.

So suck it, all you pretentious idiots that don't like it!

May 24, 2014 3:46AM
I watch some of those "home"shows and am constantly amazed at those young 20-something twit girls who turn up their button noses whenever a home they are looking at does not have granite, or a color of granite they don't like.  I got a big laugh out of the comment by the husband of one of those twits who explained to her that the purpose of a countertop was to keep a glass from falling to the floor.
May 14, 2014 4:20AM
I'm fine with my laminate butcher-block look countertop.  I have an Ikea island and an Ikea long kitchen cabinet that both have real wood tops I can set hot stuff on.  To me, granite looks so outdated-- "housing bubble chic" or "McMansion foreclosure special".
Apr 28, 2014 9:28PM
Granite counter tops are to the 2000s what mirrored wall tile with random gold accents was to the 70s. Grantite blocks belong in the inspection departments of machine shops not the kitchens and bathrooms of homes. Properly sealed grouted tile is timeless, attractive and offers far more scope for a custom look matching the age, architecture and decor of the home. Anyone in 2014  putting in new granite in a home they wish to sell is in danger of deterring a significant portion of the buying public. It is really looking so 1990s now.
Oct 29, 2013 4:54AM
A Honed marble or limestone looks very nice and it has the soft earth tones look to it.the scare on putting marble on your counter tops has been a myth for many years ,if you meet someone that has it ask them if they were happy with it.a guarantee they will say i wouldn't replace it with anything else 99% of the time.what else are you going to put on your counters but stone we humans have been using stone for thousands of years and if your going to put that fake stuff like Cesar stone sile stone don't put anything hot on top of it or let sunlight hit it your brand new tops you spent thousands on will get ruined within months iv seen it multiple times..
.i am marty marble the stone man and granite will live on forever !
Oct 27, 2013 6:16PM
We remodeled our kitchen last year and we opted for granite countertops.  Not only do we love the look of granite but It is durable and sanitary because there is no grout.   Personally, I think granite will be in style for many more years.  During our remodel we also opted for white appliances opposed to stainless steel which I think is too hard to keep clean.
Sep 14, 2013 9:38AM
Everyone has their own opinion. In the 70's my wife and I have had the avocado green kitchen with yellow appliances' and tile counter tops(cleaning grout is horrible!). In the 80's we had the laminate gray counter tops, black appliances , and sponge painted walls. Now we just finished a kitchen remodel on a hew home and went with tropic  brown granite counter tops, beige walls, stone flooring, and white appliances. Which do we prefer after having lived with all three? The kitchen we have today by far! As far as cabinets we have had dark and now have light wood. The dark looked good but showed every finger print and film from cooking with gas, the same with stainless appliances. With children in the home stainless is a nightmare to keep clean and the same with black appliances. Everything has plus and minuses, and you must choose what makes you happy and not what the trend is. Remember after it is all done and finished your the one who has to have coffee with it every morning and keep it clean.
Sep 14, 2013 9:23AM
Just bought a house with Granite tops and have no issues with them. I like butcher block and Stone as well so doesn't really matter to me as long as it 'fits the house'. 
I do not like the Stainless Steel appliances, too hard to keep clean. But the new brushed steel which doesn't show smudges is fine. I had the stainless option and went with the brushed. 

Bottom line to me is this: If you plan to live in your home for a long time, put whatever you want in it, regardless of what's trendy. Less than that, you may want to keep it neutral because you'll be selling it to someone else.  Don't do anything to your house that you don't want to neutralize before you sell it because if you're too lazy to undo it, buyers certainly won't want to unless you seriously account for that in a lowered price.  Cant count the number of homes we toured before buying, that had only been lived in for 2-3 years and had every conceivable color and trend possible in them--things that couldn't be easily undone. Walked away from them all.
Nov 1, 2012 5:47AM
I love granite--but not the beautiful dark blackish/grey (verde paveo) that I installed.  It shows EVERY SMUDGE, whether it is grease, fingerprints, dirt, etc.  It is an incredible pain to keep clean if you are married to a slob, have children, or entertain.  Also, the rim around the sink has multiple tiny chips from my significant other banging his large cast iron pot against the rim.

Oct 14, 2012 9:00AM
Granite is too cold. I have never liked the look of it. I love wood, which is what I have, but hate the upkeep. My inclination, if money were no object, would be to have counters of recycled crushed glass. Colorful if you want...white or neutral if that is your preference. 

Plus it feels like a "green" choice. 
Oct 14, 2012 5:49AM
I definitely am not a person who is dictated to by trends or HGTV, although I love that show. I chose granite for my countertops for one reason. The solid rock surface is cool and works wonderfully for rolling out pie pastry, scones and biscuits. You use less flour on the surface so your pastry/dough does not get tougher. The granite is also great for kneading bread but you do want your dough to be warm so the coolness of the rock does affect your bread dough. Overall though, with todays sealing processes, and granite "wipes", cleaning granite is not an issue at all and I LOVE MY GRANITE.  I simply love the crystal patterns in it. I am open to Silestone or quartz though, but I have to look more into those.
May 20, 2012 12:55AM
I did not want granite. It seemed so cold and hard and busy.
Plus the fact it has to be sealed made me realize there was other options and there were and I am glad I didn't jump on the bandwagon.

May 19, 2012 1:53PM
I am a contractor and the only reason granite will 'go out of style' is because of idiots on the designer shows and mags will say it is. It is a durable and attractive counter surface with few rivals.
May 19, 2012 10:52AM
I am a builder and remodeling contractor, my customers want granite!
May 19, 2012 9:48AM
For 3 yrs. I have been tired of granite; I regard it as trendy and without the staying power of earlier countertops.  In another 5 yrs., we will find granite broken up and lying at curbside, awaiting collection and final deposit in dumps. What a cost, and what a waste.
May 19, 2012 7:58AM
Imagine an Italian household that cooks for family and/or friends individually or collectively. We have cooked for and served upwards of fifty people with no problem with serving multiple dishes or the flow in and out of the kitchen.  Now, granite prices retail for installation of course is a fortune.  First we have granite on every countertop in the house including a very large laundry room. We purchased 11 sheets of Neptune granite with matching cuts on a piece by piece arrangement on every surface. The grain follows all cuts. The kitchen Island is twelve feet by four and a half feet. Absolutely perfect for those huge buffet meals. Cleanup is a snap with a twelve inch deep sink and dishwasher under.  Trash and recycle bins are also under. The stove top is forty five inches, six burner with the same granite backsplash. Four bathrooms including master has the same granite. The price for the granite, all cutting and polishing, pre measuring, installation and delivery!!!!  $14,207.14 including eight point seven five percent sales tax on the granite. Not a day goes by that the kitchen isn't used for it's intended purpose.  COOKING.
Apr 17, 2012 1:17PM
We had tile in our last home for 5 yrs and 31 yrs in current home.  Finally decided to upgrade and chose granite, not because of a television show but because WE liked the look of it in other homes.  We love our granite.  It's gorgeous with a trememdouly beautiful flow to it.  It blends perfectly with our dark walnut kitchen cabinets and the gold in it matches golden oak cabinets in the master bath.  I love making pastry on it and it's a snap to keep clean.  It came with a 15 year warranty.  We went with black appliances because stainless seemed too trendy, ugly, and a catch for fingerprints.  We are senior citizens and plan on not making any changes for the rest of our lives here, at least as far as countertops are concerned.
Mar 17, 2012 3:13AM

Form follows function. The quality of the food I produce in my kitchen is the important thing; everything is chosen with that in mind. The kitchen I currently have is a u-shaped with island. The "u" countertops are of commercial-grade stainless. The island is a baking kiosk with marble top; it is for bake prep. I'm wary of porous stones and of grout for reasons of cross contamination.


Having said that, I know most people don't cook like I do, so designing a kitchen for the next owner down the road seems futile to me. Get what you like!

Mar 13, 2012 1:17PM

How can ANY natural product NOT have a timeless beauty? The endless colors & patterns of

each piece of granite, marble, slate, wood, etc. cannot be replicated with faux versions.  I  replaced laminate with slab granite in my bathroom & kitchen & the result was stunningly gorgeous! No cleanup porblems.   

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