It wasn’t long ago that the ultimate in luxury in kitchens were granite countertops. And with them came dark woods, glazed warm whites and walls of travertine tile. We couldn’t get enough of traditional kitchens, often themed to look like Tuscan or French Country villas. They were detailed and often dark and formal, and all topped with granite slabs.
But are they still worth putting into your kitchen—or keeping, if your kitchen already has granite?
Also Read: Best Countertops for Farmhouse Style
The Appeal of Granite
Designers loved how much “movement” there was in stone countertops. Homeowners loved it too because it was stain-, scratch-, and heat-resistant.
But it was also expensive, something reserved for luxury homes or gourmet cooks. Most everyone who redid their kitchen insisted on granite countertops.
Then we started calling the process of choosing countertops “choosing your granite.” Granite started to become standard in development houses, which was quite a selling feature to the first-time buyer. It showed up at big-box home improvement stores, and then listed on special, and finally, it showed up in “before” pictures of kitchen remodels.
So...What Happened to Granite Countertops?
Granite didn’t have a chance of staying popular forever for two main reasons—bless its heart.
The first reason is that once a style trickles down to big box stores, it becomes builder-grade and everyone has it. Therefore, it loses its feeling of luxury. As soon as almost every remodeled kitchen in America had realized its granite-sporting dreams, granite got bumped from its position. Everything from white granite and black granite countertops to granite slabs has fallen out of style.
The second reason granite countertops have lost their appeal is that the preference for light, simple kitchens has replaced the trend of dark, warm kitchens. Designers quit wanting “movement” and instead wanted peace.
Also Read: Options for Budget Countertops
Are Granite Countertops Outdated?
The short answer? Yes. If your granite is busy and warm (or looks like meat), then it is outdated. But that's not the only answer. It also depends on what you’re trying to do. If you love your granite and aren’t selling your home, keep it and enjoy.
But if you’re planning to sell your home or are updating your kitchen with new cabinets and countertops, choose a different countertop material like quartz for a fresher look.
Maybe you can paint your cabinets if you already have granite countertops and want to update the space without replacing them. Choose the lightest and coolest color in your granite for your cabinet color. Alternately, if you have white granite or another light-color, it might work well already.
What's Trending in Countertops?
Granite’s heyday as the primo countertop material has given way to quartz, with its similar real-stone properties. In fact, more than twice as many people are choosing quartz over granite, according to my stone countertop supplier in the Nashville area.
Quartz is an engineered stone that can be made to look like any natural or manmade material. It doesn’t require sealing and can mimic marble, which is currently the most popular “look” of quartz.
Other Countertop Options
So what other countertop options are available? First, check out this guide for pros and cons between top options like granite, wood, quartz and soapstone.
Wood is a popular choice, which you can either have professionally installed or DIY it yourself. Marble is beautiful, of course, though pricy. There are alternate ways to create marble lookalike countertops, including DIYing the project. Also, quartzite is gaining popularity for people who want eye-catching natural stone countertops that are available in cooler colors.
Will Granite Be Back in Style?
Absolutely. I think it’ll be back in style when the public taste pendulum swings back to warmer colors. The blotchy builder-grade granites won't be back for a very long time, though. When tastes head back to warm, my prediction is for new kinds of granite (maybe from an undiscovered granite mountain somewhere) that show up that feel fresh and new. Quartz will stay in style as well, because it can be made to match any color preference or taste.
What If I Already Have Granite Countertops?
Lastly, what alternate options do you have if your home already has granite? Maybe you bought the house like this, or you remodeled with granite countertops several years ago and now want an update without replacing your counters entirely. If you don't want to replace your granite but still want a different look, you can cover over your granite countertops with paint, epoxy or even contact paper. Check out this Pinterest board for some ideas, as well as other DIY kitchen and bath renovation ideas!
Want to brighten up your kitchen? Add some color with these 3 fool-proof tips! Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!
For savvy, down-to-earth advice and plenty of inspiration from across the country delivered to your door (or inbox), subscribe to American Farmhouse Style magazine! Find out more and sign up for a one-, two-, or three-year print or digital subscription here!
Holly Thompson is an interior designer in historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee. She specializes in high-end kitchens and thoughtfully-designed interiors, and holds a Master’s degree in Interior Design from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). She focuses on enjoyment and livability in her spaces, incorporating vintage and unique pieces to give them a sense of history and individuality. She is currently in the process of adding consulting services and affordable video content to her offerings for aspiring designers and DIYers. She works with her husband Dave, a contractor and realtor, on many of her projects. They are currently working on rehabilitating a small town in middle Tennessee, where Dave also serves as the mayor. They have three kids, three cats, and an adorable guinea pig named Scooter. In her free time, Holly loves to read design books about everything from historic architectural styles to biophilic design. She also frequents flea markets and antiques stores, buying antique transferware, midcentury modern chairs and vintage decorating magazines whenever possible. Follow along with Holly at hollythompsonhomes.com and on Facebook and Instagram.