Column: Granite: In or out?

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Commentary by Krista Bocko

Is the granite kitchen countertop trend on the way out? I have to confess, I was never aware of the complete takeover granite held on kitchen countertops until the last three years. I mainly wasn’t aware because I have never really cared for the busy, highly glossed look of those sleek slabs and couldn’t fathom doing that in my own kitchen, although there is a type of granite that I really like, and I’ll get to that in a second.

So, why did granite become so ubiquitous in kitchens, anyway? And in the years since it’s popularity peak, how many people daily are Googling ‘how to cover ugly granite countertops’ in order to try to live with their counters another day? After all, it’s a hard rock that isn’t going to wear out anytime soon and is pricey to install and pricey to replace. Well, that’s a topic for another day, but let’s take a look at what’s in, if, in fact, granite is out.

I visited a kitchen and bath store last week to look at countertop samples. The samples taking up the prime real estate at the front of the store were quartz, and probably some quartzite. And most of them were very, very pretty. Of course, there were a few trendy ‘out there’ ones too. Some were even marble-like (hint: marble is gorgeous and timeless, and I love it, but be very aware of its limitations before deciding on it for your kitchen). If you don’t know what quartz is, it’s an engineered stone created with quartz and resin. And then there’s also quartzite, which is naturally occurring stone. Its color typically ranges from white to gray, and therefore it appears marble-like.

Then I asked the designer at the store about the popularity of granite, and she confirmed my hunch that the trend is definitely toward more subtle and timeless counter looks—a definite sign we’re moving away from the crazy busy granite we’ve seen for two decades. Which leads me to my favorite granite look—honed black granite. If you haven’t seen it, it’s like soapstone (another favorite). It’s pretty and a look that will stand the test of time.

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