If you’ve ever watched HGTV, you know Americans love their granite countertops. You’re also probably aware the material saw a huge boom in the '90s and 2000s as laminate and solid surface counters faded out, and granite became more and more accessible to average consumers. Phil Edwards, of Vox.com, actually chronicled the fascinating and fanatical rise—and eventual plateau—of the natural stone surface. “Based on estimates from the US International Trade Commission, total United States imports of processed granite were about 206,000 metric tons in 1996. In 2014, they exceeded 2 million metric tons,” Edwards writes. That’s a lot of granite.
The surface was, and is, popular for many a good reason. It’s sanitary, heat-resistant, it has a one-of-a-kind look, it’s durable, increasingly affordable, and well, who doesn’t want something everyone is raving about? The only downside is it needs to be sealed regularly, as many countertop surfaces do.
And while it is certainly still a popular choice, the particular color and style is changing. Natural stone surfaces are wildly popular—how many kitchens do you know of with white marble counters or backsplash? But that’s just it—folks are opting for sleeker, veined, solid, or “marbled” stone cuts, and less of the speckled, spotted styles, like the one below:
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While sleeker, more subdued granites are making their way on the scene, this like powder bathroom vanity from our 2017 Idea House:
Between marble, quartz, quartzite, stainless steel, butcher block, concrete, granite, laminate, and many more, it can be overwhelming to pick the right countertop that works for you. Then, even after you pick the material, they all come in a variety of cuts, colors, and finishes now too. Don’t be afraid to mix and match to get a kitchen setup that works for you.
WATCH: How To Clean Butcher Block Countertops
Tell us, what counters do you have? Are you holding on to speckled granite (hey, everything does come back around!) or are you more of a clean-and-bright marble type? Old school butcher block? Let us know!