Granite countertops:are they the norm for kitchens now?

Granite countertops are passe, and have been for a while now.

It is, as HNS says, a “middle-class McMansion flip-my-house thing.” Or an “I updated my kitchen but wanted the exact same thing as everybody else” thing. They definitely do not connote “high-end.” Maybe they did at one point, but they don’t now.

countertops? I teally like the look. Also, coppercountertops-nice look!

Which probably means the trend will reach northeast Ohio in about five or ten years. Seriously, granite seems to be rare here except for high-end new builds and urban loft-like units. Even stainless steel appliances are uncommon. Quartz, zinc, recycled glass: nonexistent. Formica/laminate is the norm, even in the $1M+ estates in the Chagrin Valley I’ve visited.

I’m guessing it may be due to the median base price of housing; who’s going to spend $5K to $10K on countertops for a $130K house? That same $130K house may sell for $400K and up in the rest of the country, and so the expense of $5K countertops is nothing by comparison.

I’m a designer in Santa Cruz California. I sign about 3-4 remodel contracts a month.
I haven’t put one laminate top in in the last couple of years. There is a fair amount of granite spec’d so I would say it’s close to norm. From my experience Quartz ( Silestone, Cambria, CaesarStone) and Corian is much more the norm. Corian Comes in a lot of great colors now and no longer looks industrial.

The drawbacks of granite is the porosity, it can stain easily. Then there is the maintenance of resealing.

Though we occasionally use concrete, I doubt it will ever be the norm. It cracks, stains and discolors. It’s also very hard to work with and is pricey.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but it seems that your question is: “Advertiser-sponsored TV is telling me that I need an expensive thing in order not to be a social outcast. Is this true?”

What definition of passe are you using? They’re most certainly not passe; they’re everywhere, and they’re still being put in in high numbers.

Have you ever looked at granite? There are hundreds of different rocks available (they’re not all true geological granite, by the way). You have better chances of getting the “exact same thing as everybody else” if you choose Corian, or if you choose another solid surface, or if you choose any of single brand of the laminates. Even then, there’s no variation in a single pattern. If you expose your entire line of options to all solid surfaces and laminates, then you have to include granite and other stones as available options. Essentially, you’re not going to get the “exact same thing as” anybody else unless you make it a point to do.

Granite countertops never connotated high-end on their own any more than big rims on a rapper’s Cadillac connote high-end. Kitchens are systems. If you put granite into a mediocre kitchen with 20 year applicances, floors, and cabinets, that’s just trashy; no one of any intelligence will consider a kitchen high-end solely because of granite. On the other hand, if you design a kitchen system that works well with granite, then it’s most certainly high-end. Does that mean that solid surface or laminates can’t be high end? Certainly not, because it’s the entire kitchen system that you have to consider.

It’s not unreasonable that a kitchen be both functionally superior and aethetically pleasing, especially considering the amount of time and entertaining done in modern kitchens. Granite is one of the legitimate options that can fulfill both of these design concerns. For people with limited experience with all options, it’s shortsighted to insist on granite as superior to all other options, but for people who use their kitchens and spend time in their kitchens, it’s disingenious to suggest that they have granite for the same reasons everyone’s daughter in named “Britney.”

You kind of remind me of my niece, in that you sound like someone that doesn’t like something because so many other people do like it.

Our house is very much the 1890s farmhouse it was born as. Granite would look pretty much out of place unless we made a lot of other changes. When we remodeled, we put in average oak cabinets and an inexpensive tile floor. We have the standard cheap-ass countertop, which will do for us.

That’s not to say I don’t think the fancy-schmancy stuff isn’t fabulous. I adore those gorgeous kitchens. It’s just not for us at the moment.

This is a problem because people aren’t getting the real story. There seems to be a misconception that you get your money back with kitchen upgrades, when selling a house. Not true. What kitchen upgrades allow you to do is simply SELL THE HOUSE. People like an updated kitchen, and it will help move the house but you likely won’t get your money out of it. The last estimate I read was around 80% ROI.

FYI, I repainted my kitchen cabinets (quality job, stripped, sanded, primed, & painted). replaced the old crappy countertops with laminate countertops.
My home was on the market 2 1/2 weeks before we had a firm contract. We closed last Wednesday.

I have seena lot of high-end kitchens, and a few things make no sense to me:
-double appliances: WHY do you need two stoves, two microwaves, two dishwashers?
-chandeliers in a kitchen: even in the most modern kitchesn, frying results in a mist of oil/grease, getting on to surfaces-anybody LIKE to clean a crystal chandelier??
-restaurant style ranges (VULCAN, VIKING): do you really need 6 burners? Are you cooking for an army?
-copper pots: do you LIKE cleaning and polishing copper pots? (and re-tinning when the lining wears out)?
-walk-in freezers (are you feeding an army)?

We often need two ovens, but not stoves. The gas grill serves as an excellent second oven in a pinch.

With proper ventilation, grease doesn’t get everywhere. If you have a recirculating vent hood, that’s not good ventilation. You need to vent to the outside. Oh, and use the vent fan.

I wish I had a fifth burner for big meals, such as for entertaining. But… I get by, and in a pinch the gas grill has a reasonably effective side burner.

Copper pots? Man, those are beautiful, but out of my league. I don’t see that they’d be difficult to take care of.

Walk-in freezers? That’d be awesome, but I need to be promoted four or five pay grades before I could consider such a thing. Plus I’d have to look at cost of operation and so on. I detest going to the store, so it’s help with stockpiling. In the meantime, I really am considering the purchase of a chest freezer for the same purpose. But, damn! A walk-in. That would be sweeeet.

If you are an observant Orthodox Jew you need two dishwashers so that you are not putting the plates and utensils from the meat with the ones you use for milk (or something like that). Very observant Jews have two sets of dishes, pans and utensils and they are never combined.

If you are talking about the Fisher & Paykal dishwasher that is essentially two small dishwashers in the space of one, then you obviously have never used one. They are great! The top is easy to load and great for small loads. For large loads you can separate the dishes and run different cycles simultaneously.

Maybe stainless will be, but not stone countertops. Sure, certain colors and styles will be passe, but people have been using stone countertops for a long time. The material itself won’t go out of style anytime soon.

Then don’t buy polished granite. Have it honed instead.

It’s the creeping bloat of the middle class house. At one time a typical suburban house had a living room, 2 or 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a dining room. The rich might have a den or study. Pretty soon we saw the half-bathroom and family room become “normal.” Then it became “necessary” for each kid to have it’s own bedroom and bathroom. Soon we have showcase master baths, walk-in closets, kitchen with sprawling islands, formal and informal dining rooms and sitting rooms, laundry rooms, finished basements, etc.

Hee hee. My new place has a 3-foot wide stainless steel gas range, with six burners and a massive oven. I could easily fit two roasts in there. And I don’t have to worry about grease spatters, because the vent hood roars like a jet turbine. (It’s also got a couple of heat lamps.)

But my countertops are wood, and the only double I have is the sink.

Being from the granite city Im proabably a little biased - always love to see all the granite buildings sparkling in the sunlight (when we get it!)

When we did our kitchen I liked some of the “greener” materials especially some of the ones made from pressurized resin treated recycled paper and terrazzo style from recycled glass, but our designer was pretty firm: if you want durability and functionality granite is just a great material. We are a large family and slobs. No staining. (Btw, honed granite loses the sheen - they fire it - but that opens it up to staining much more easily.) We also have some that are made of wood - Spekva - and they have held up well too.

I worry that granite is becoming an endangered material.


Mom jeans are still being sold in high numbers, too.

Baloney. The details may vary, but it all looks like granite.

Okay, not sure what the point of all that was, but I do apologize for making you feel bad about all that money you just spent on brand-new granite countertops.

I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that I don’t like things because they’re popular. I was addressing the OP’s question. He was noting that these shows are touting granite as a standard “upgrade.” I’m pointing out that it may not be such a no-brainer after all. I don’t necessarily dislike granite countertops, but they do look dated to me already.

Do yourself a favor, and bow out gracefully. You don’t know what you are talking about.