Lately, a lot of our consumer questions have centered on the “next big thing.” Homeowners remodeling their kitchens want to know which material they should use now that granite is no longer “tops.” First of all, let’s pump the brakes! This isn’t entirely accurate, and here’s why…

It’s true that for the past two decades, granite has been the “go to” material for high-end residential countertops. Granite has been the “gold standard” to which all other materials have been measured. It’s only been over the last decade or so that any other material has come close to rivaling granite in the countertop department. That rival surface is quartz. Materials such as quartz are gaining ground on granite for many reasons. It’s resilient, durable, resistant to stains, and can be fabricated to look more “seamless” than natural stone can. Also, advanced technology has made it possible for quartz to mimic the look of real stone in manufactured slabs, so you’re getting a product that offers the look of natural stone with a few more benefits. 

Even though quartz is being used more often, and in growing numbers, granite actually remains the top choice for kitchen countertops. According to the UK’s National Kitchen and Bath Association (NBKBA), 91-percent of respondents to a recent survey of kitchen and bath designers say they specified granite for new kitchen countertops. So although those who seek out the latest “trend” might think it’s time to move on to the next “big thing,” granite still has a lot to offer in the kitchen. For example…

It’s natural! While engineered products such as quartz can imitate granite, they can’t be granite . The look may be similar, but it’s not the same. Manufactured surfaces will always have repeating patterns. With natural stone, the only pattern is the one Mother Nature herself creates. She has the ability to add far more variety and creativity than those materials that come from the assembly line.

It’s valuable! Consumers love the natural beauty of granite and they’re willing to pay for it. Granite adds a sense of luxury in the kitchen and this hasn’t faded with time. Even the most common types of granite  still look beautiful and reflect their own personality. Granite slabs are truly one-of-a-kind, making them well worth the price for those who prize uniqueness. Remodeling Magazine also reports that sellers of homes with granite countertops can expect an 80.3-pecent return on investment when selling a home with granite countertops.

It’s durable! All things considered, granite is very resilient. It’s resistant to heat, stains, and etching. While granite might take a bit of care to maintain, it’s not “high maintenance.” It’s easy to clean with a damp cloth and can be protected with a good sealant. Ask your stone provider for recommendations and don’t be afraid to live normally on your granite countertop. Using trivets and wiping up stains as soon as you can will help increase the longevity too.

Granite countertops can be a wise long-term investment. Keep in mind that the kitchen countertop is an area you are going to use every day, many times a day. So be sure to select a material that you enjoy looking at. Whether your style is contemporary, transitional, or traditional, there is a granite choice that will beautifully coordinate.