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Is granite passé?

Kathy's Remodeling Blog

Have we fallen out of love with granite?

I would never ask this question except that an article by Liz Pulliam Weston on MSN Real Estate titled “The Hottest Remodeling Trends for 2011″ suggests that, yes, granite is old school, so 1990s. It states that people once liked the sleek hardness of granite, but now they want materials that look softer.

What do they suggest? Composite countertops like Corian and Silestone, which are made of ground stone and acrylics, and which seem to be the “in” thing. Like, hip.

I’ve got a problem with that. I love granite. It speaks “earth” to me. Did you know it’s created by massive geologic actions over millions of years and comes pretty much like it is, except for the polishing, directly from the ground? Yeah. It’s that real.

Some granite has wild mineral veins. Some is mellow and predictable. I like green granite best. And tan is good. Black with shimmery specks in fun. What’s not to like, other than the cost, which is about the same as the engineered products.

Corian, I love ya, man. Silestone, dude, you’re awesome. But if I get to know you, and we end up moving in together, it will be for your qualities, not because you’re trendy.

(Photo: Palm Springs kitchen, courtesy of Nina Smith.)


14 Comments on Is granite passé?

  1. Elaine Layfield // August 9, 2007 at 10:12 am // Reply

    Does any one know any companies in southern california that does honed granite for kitchen coc
    untertops?

  2. notyou, I have a big surprise for you. Today I was touring a remodel and the homeowner shows me her kitchen counters and tells me they are made out of recycled newspaper and resin and “are comparable to the stuff in science labs.” Recalling your post, I almost fell off my stool. Check it out at http://www.richlite.com.

  3. notyou: regarding those counters from high school chemistry class, that material usually has a good amount of asbestos in it. Explains a lot about its durability and flame resistance, but you might not want it in your kitchen.

  4. We have granite counters in the bathrooms since 11 years, never sealed them, and they still look like new.
    But whatever choice you make, it will look dated after some time. New materials will come on the market and one day people will even get tired of their granite counters. That’s just the way it goes.

  5. Granite is timeless and classic. It’s like a hardwood floor. Not only will it make you happy while you own the house, it will help when it’s time to sell your house.
    The problem with all the other countertop materials out there is that they don’t evoke the emotional response and recognition that you’ll get when you say, “Yes, the house has granite countertops” at selling time…
    Granite should be sealed once a year. If you haven’t sealed your countertop yet, do so as soon as possible. It could be that you’ve been lucky and haven’t gotten the right stain on it yet.

  6. Granite’s great, I guess, but everybody has granite. So it’s stale.
    I’m thinking about kitchen counter tops done in whatever super-material went into those lab benches I remember from high school chemistry.

  7. Ryan Anderson // May 14, 2007 at 9:43 am // Reply

    There were a couple incorrect statements in the story.
    Silestone quartz is actually four times harder and more durable than granite, not softer. This is why consumers receive no warranty against breakage from granite, while they receive a 15-year warranty from Silestone.
    Silestone has 97 percent natural quartz content versus 40 percent quartz content in granite. This explains the difference in durability.
    Qualities are specifically why granite is losing market share. Quartz countertops are more durable, scratch resistant, scorch resistant and stain resistant than granite. Because they are permanently non-porous they never need to be sealed to prevent staining or bacterial contamination.

  8. I use the same Home Depot sealer in the orange sprey bottle. There is another one I like too; Marble & Granite Magic. It comes in a green can. It really makes marble and granite shine. My home has black granite counter tops so I used Calcatta marble on my island to add some dimension. My marble supplier suggested a satin/honed finish which is more durable than high polished finishes. Granite will always be around, just like stainless steel appliances. Don’t be afraid fun to mix it up a bit.

  9. Matt Thomson // May 11, 2007 at 2:26 pm // Reply

    I’ve had my granite counter tops in for 4 1/2 years and never sealed them and they look great. It depends on the hype you read.

  10. I have granite counters in my kitchen and two of my bathrooms. I bought a bottle of sealer at Home Depot, you just wipe it on, much like polishing your wood furniture. It takes no time at all and looks the same. I don’t know if it’s necessary or not, but a huge bottle costs $30 and will last several years.

  11. Kathy Price-Robinson // May 11, 2007 at 1:29 am // Reply

    I have a small piece of granite counter that I use for a tabletop. I’ve never sealed it. Does anyone out there seal their granite every year? What do you use?

  12. “What’s not to like” should also mention annual required resealing, from what I’ve read. It’s probably not a huge problem, but it does need doing.

  13. Larry Kaplan // May 10, 2007 at 9:24 pm // Reply

    When I remodeled my kitchen a few years ago, my guy suggested ceramic tile because he predicted that granite was so trendy that it would soon become dated. So I went with tile and it still looks good.

  14. Nice to see that you’re up and running with the new blog!

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