Are Granite Countertops Timeless? Yay or Nay

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I was clearly a little too opinionated without giving you context yesterday when I posted about my preference of quartz over granite so here’s the reason why I’m not a big fan of granite:

I have talked to hundreds of clients who don’t like the granite they inherited.

Why?

Because the colour and pattern of granite is very personal. It would be like choosing a sofa in a pattern that you loved and permanently installing it into your living room with the expectation that a future homeowner should love it as much as you.

Or they made a mistake when choosing the colour and their husband/wife/partner has assured them, it’s never coming out.

When I talk about choosing backsplash tile, accent tiles, floor tiles or countertops my question is always:

What would be the most timeless choice?

There is nothing wrong with granite, and if you talk to a real estate agent they will probably tell you that granite is a huge upgrade that sells the house faster than not having it. I think in the right context that is probably true, here is where it won’t help.

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If you do choose granite for your kitchen, consider that to be your most important ‘look at me, look at me’ feature of your kitchen. Choose a floor tile with no more than 2 colours from your granite (something like the above photo) to coordinate or take your wood flooring through the space, and of course keep your backsplash simple and solid, like the kitchen I’m showing here.

One pattern is enough in fixed finishes. Keep all your other choices more solid.

And please, do not let me make you feel bad if you have granite. Ignore this post and my last one and if you are reading this and are about to select your finishes, take my advice and do it correctly.

Mixing granite and tile does NOT work like coordinating patterns with fabric, I wrote a great post that explains it best here.

And if I’m missing the timeless aspect of granite? Post your comment below!

Related posts:

 5 Steps to a Kitchen you’ll Love

Will Installing Granite Sell your House Faster?

Which Backsplash Tile goes with Granite?

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones to learn what you did not get in Colour Theory.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

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  1. Granite is very personality specific. Realtors like it b/c it is an upgrade they add to their notes. Ten years ago, when I first started, I suggested black granite (Ubba Tubba?) in most of the homes I consulted on. Then it went to suggesting Venitian Gold. I think the type of granite a house has will date it in the long run. When I updated my kitchen, I went with a white/almond color of Corian. I love the neutrality of my countertop choice–not to mention it is easy maintenace. No, granite is not timeless.

    • I agree with you in that granite has definitely had trends over the years. If you have followed the trends then you could probably pinpoint the decade that the granite was installed. However ALL of the man made surfaces whether it is quartz or “solid surface” not only have the same types of trends, they also have colors that are discontinued.

      Granite and Marble, if chosen properly can absolutely be timeless. Just go to Europe, The Middle East or South America.

      BTW: Ubatuba is a Green Granite 😉 It is very dark but it is a green.

      • Amen Bill!!! UBBA TUBBA is dark green and I have this conversation with contractors and big box store people all the time. I also agree that granite and marble can be timeless. There are black granites like absolute black and black pearl that will always look current.

  2. To a realtor, granite may be an upgrade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Most of the realtors I’ve met know absolutely nothing about interior design.

    Granite is not timeless. It was a trend whose time is now up.

  3. I’m redoing my kitchen right now and am considering installing soapstone countertops to go with my 12-year-old white cupboards. Am I making a mistake? Do you think it falls into the same category as granite?
    Thanks, Maria! Love your blog and am really enjoying your 37 days of Learning Undertones Series.

    • Love the look of soapstone…not sure how it works with oil spills etc. but the black and white would look great.

      • Michelle, let us know how the soapstone works for you. I’m thinking about soapstone for a couple of areas in the house.

    • I had soapstone counters installed in my previous house, also for a white kitchen. I feel soapstone is timeless – what sold me was realizing the softly worn counters in chemistry labs were often soapstone. Then I visited someone’s heritage home and saw them after 20 years of use – so gorgeous, but obviously worn. I love that.

  4. I personally am not a big fan of granite and like the other commenters, I feel it is a trend; one that has been around for longer than some trends, but a trend nonetheless. However, right now it does seem to be one of the best selling features of houses…just like stainless steel appliances which I also have some issues with 😉

    I saw a house that was renovated with all the top quality floor tiles, granite countertop, glass backsplash, etc. You name, they had it! Trouble was although every individual item was beautiful, none of it worked together. The kitchen and dining area are a hodge-podge of pattern after pattern and none of the undertones work well together. It is clearly a case of quality does not equal money, sad to say.

  5. Granite, stainless & plantation shutters are dead to me…. Seriously. I am doing a renovation & was determined not to do any of the above as they are so “Me Too” & have been around FOREVER. Will say it has been a challenge BUT did mange to figure it out. Using quartz, black appliances & wooden blinds.

  6. Oh wow! I thought it was just me!! 🙂 Other than black— heavily patterned granite countertops,especially when combined with multi-toned backsplashes, just hurt my eyes. I am amazed to see photo after photo of what decorators consider to be “upscale” kitchens that contain more “patterns” than an old lady quilt. I have to laugh when I watch some of the HGTV shows where what all the young couples want is hardwood floors and granite countertops—talk about lemmings!!!

  7. I agree completely. The light granite above with white cabinetry is my favorite, but I prefer the cleaner look of quartz as well. Most granite is way too busy for me. As a realtor, my pet peeve is granite on builders oak cabinets. Ugh! I don’t understand why people would do that.

  8. I agree with you. I have never liked granite and am hopeful that the trend is over. We just bought a home and one of the big selling points to me was that the kitchen had been remodeled with Corian and black appliances – I had stainless steel at my former house and it was so difficult to keep it looking clean.

  9. Having gone from white laminite counters to busy granite, I will say that it does have some plusses. I am tired of the granite already though after only 2.5 years. In the new house we are building I chose corian. I would have gone quartz, but it was out of our price range. So instead, I chose a quartz that I liked and found the corian in a very similar shade. Here’s to hoping I don’t tire of it after 2.5 years.

  10. I will concede that not every slab of granite will give a timeless look. One must choose carefully, just as with brick, stone and any other natural product. But isn’t this the same with manufactured solid surfaces, too? I have a friend who installed a quartz countertop a few years ago which had flecks of something glittery in it. Though it was pretty then, it seems very dated now. So, I think choices must be made carefully, no matter what you are buying.

    • EXACTLY my thoughts. We chose Juperana Bordeaux after looking at 100s of granite slabs. It has “movement” and reminds me of the bottom of a stream or river. It’s not too “busy” and is the best part of our kitchen (white caninets and no backsplash yet). I love it more than anything else in my house and would not consider any other countertop although it was expensive. When I look at it I am overwhelmed with the beauty that it is God-made and a piece of Nature. It is True Art. If we ever sell our house whoever buys it will have to deal with it. I would never have considered anything other than granite – THIS granite. Some slabs we’ve seen almost look manufactured as they have no “movement” and/or were a color you may get tired of. Like anything else, not everyone will love your choice of countertops, so if you fall in love with granite….GET IT! I will love it no matter what comes into style in the future. It is like being outdoors in Nature and so, so beautiful!!! I can appreciate other countertops and think they look great, but my little part of nature makes me smile EVERY time I look at it. “Sorry” any potential Buyers in the future. 🙂

      • We recently bought a house that has beautiful oak (much higher quality than builder grade), black appliances (much better than stainless – classic and they don’t show smudges!) and granite counters which at a glance are black, but have a lot of ‘movement’ too them — I love the depth of blues, greens, tans and grays.

        However, if I were redoing a kitchen, I honestly think I would use a laminate – be durable and the best value – and perhaps a butcherblock top on the island. Likewise, while I now have ceramic tile flooring (large, white square tiles with a hint of yellow-beige-cream), I find it to be hard for standing and would much sooner choose a high-grade vinyl.

  11. I just installed my new kitchen in warm white shaker cabinets with white subway tile backsplash and kashmir white granite countertops and it is breathtaking. The countertop is a melange of grays and beiges and whites and goes beautifully with my new wood flooring. It is so pretty I don’t see tiring of it any time soon!

    • Jill that’s exactly what we are doing except my floor is very light tile. I was afraid all of it together would be too light but glad to hear someone else is into that! I love the subway tile, so clean and classic! Post a pic if you can:) thanks!

  12. I am one of the unlucky ones who inherited a granite I don’t like. I don’t have the cash to replace it right now but every single day when I walk into my kitchen the dark green/black busy granite brings me down. I dream of the day I can rip it out and put in white quartz.

  13. Any choice we make is personal – so people will like or dislike any counter someone else has installed, whether granite or white quartz. While there’s “look at me” granite, there’s also calm granite that doesn’t take center stage.

    And while a white counter is more versatile than a patterned one, the right granite can also be versatile.

    Me personally? White wouldn’t work, but next time I’d choose a non-patterned quartz manufactured in the U.S, as a more eco-friendly choice.

  14. I down sized six years ago to a new, but smaller home. The new house has granite. I totally agree with you! I would never install granite. I had a neutral top (corian) in the old house and I loved it. I find from a cooking aspect (not baking) the granite cools everything quite quickly from coffee to meat. The sink rim has chips. If a bug from the garden happens to be in flowers or hidden in the veggies, you cannot see it crawling across my counter. Give me anything, even formica, but no more granite.

  15. I can’t agree more with you Maria – if granite is the the ‘look at me feature’ of a kitchen everything else should take a back seat to it or it will look way too much. I find too that granite is often overdone when it carries on to the backsplach. What one person likes may not be the next owner’s dream at all so it can definitely make or break a future sale. I’m so glad that I did my backsplash tiles plain (contrary to a friend’s suggestion for busy glass tiles) because I felt the granite was busy enough. Your advice is always bang on.

  16. I do love granite, but I do not like the fact that it has alot of pattern to it. I like a more swirly pattern in granite, not all that spotty looking stuff. I love the fact thats its natural and not man made. I would have to find a very light or almost white, if I were to use it in my home.

  17. Never been a fan of the dark heavy look of granite – too busy for my taste, too difficult to match up. That being said, I think the granite in your example pictures works well with the white cabinetry and soft beige tiles. We’re in the midst of trying to decide which way to go – I’m not going white, but cream cabinets so a warm beige quartz is probably the way to go.

  18. Cambria is manufactured in the USA–and I was sooo lucky to win new kitchen counters, after they’re installed in a few weeks, I’ll be posting about them.

  19. I guess I am one of the minority: we have had granite in two homes. The first was blue pearl and our current home is a combination of two dark granites (on two different levels). I like the smooth surface and became a major fan when I got carried away baking Christmas cookies one year — I pulled a tray of hot cookies out, didn’t see a place to put them and one of my guests said “don’t be silly: you are surrounded by rock!” Our new home (next month!) has Corian and I love it too, but my husband is already talking about putting granite in. Of course, he does 90% of the cooking, so it rather ends up his call.

    But can you put hot pans on quartz? I’ve not been able to find the answer to that.

  20. I don’t care for competing design elements in a kitchen. One should remember that the food and the cook are the stars and need an appropriate backdrop in which to shine.

  21. We inherited hideous granite in our kitchen- salmon pink and cool gray. Very busy and very ugly. It was paired with orangey-stained cabinets, yellow-beige ceramic floor and dark greenish brown paint. UCK! I am now 99% finished we the remodel. All wood floors, white shaker style cabs, soapstone, and white marble backsplash. Love it! The soapstone is waxed so oil stains are not an issue. It is a very soft stone, so it can be easily scatched. But the honed surface can be easily sanded down to remove b

  22. Though I have seen some gorgeous examples of Granite, I personally feel its use has been over-rated by …. yes and I am going to say it …. the Real Estate industry! So to answer your question are granite countertops timeless; my answer is nay because consumers are educating themselves and are more than ever very savvy shoppers.
    -Brenda-

  23. Counter top cognitive dissonance -sigh. I just got my first solid counter top and said good bye to grout! I chose a beautiful light granite (white spring) in part because of the price, needed only one slab for my tiny kitchen as opposed to two slabs of quartz. I agree granite can be personal, how sad to decide everything based on resale and not just pure joy —woohoo no more grout.

  24. Everyone is demanding granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. I just wonder how dated this will be in a few years. What will be the next trend? Stainless will deffinately be dated. Just as the awful colors of carpeting from years ago. Whitewash Is out and espresso colour woods are fashionable. Trends are made to keep consumers remodeling.

  25. Susan @ Susan Silverman Designs

    I do love the look of quartz and it’s physical properties are more practical than granite. However there are some granites that are “works of art” and look beautiful in powder rooms or kitchen islands. In my own home which we purchased new 7 yrs. ago, I had Nero Impala (a soft black) put in with a matching backsplash. I probably wouldn’t do that today but I do still love it. Cambria (quartz) is very beautiful and some of the patterns mimic the look of granite and marble without the negative properties of either one.

  26. Dear Maria… Glad to hear you have finished your kitchen…I am a realtor and see hundred of beautiful kitchens and the most beautiful one I have ever seen had white marble counters with long splashes of grey…it’s called sanctuary marble.

  27. Hi Maria. Your kitchen is looking great. Other than honed Absolute Black Granite, which is a workhorse and very neutral, I am not a fan of granite. I do prefer white marble, such as Statuario, Calacatta d’Oro, Arabescata or Carrara to an engineered stone. (I also love the grey natural stones like Pietra Cardozo and Basaltina.) All of these stones have been used in Europe for centuries and I definitely consider them timeless. A reputable fabricator can create clean seams and it is a good idea to see shop drawings of the installation in advance and go out to the fabricator’s yard and template the slab so you are satisfied with the placement of the movement and. Guess I’m opinionated on the subject, too!

  28. Common or cheap granite is dated. But there’s a HUGE difference in the look of the cheapest granites and the priciest ones. Most people who loath granite are thinking about the 10 choices they stock at the big box stores which are boring and/or ugly. No, granite isn’t timeless but if you choose a slab from the stoneyard that you fall in love with you’ll be happy (provided, as mentioned, you don’t go crazy with your other finishes).

    I cringe at all the people who spend more than they can probably afford on their kitchen reno’s thinking that it will be “the” style for the next 40 years. I think it’s better to keep your reno budget low so that if you do tire of your kitchen in 5-10 years you can freshen it up a bit. Also, I remember my mom choosing an all almond kitchen years ago because it was “timeless”, she would never tire of it and it would never date. Well, guess what?! I worry that all white kitchens will suffer the same fate.

  29. Sadly, nothing is timeless or trendless.

    Granite is great, if everything else is quiet. My sis-in-law recently installed a new kitchen. It is gorgeous…the granite is creamy with clear agates, and it wouldn’t ever scream at you. Then she decided it was too expensive to take up the wall as her backsplash, and installed a tile she thought worked. Not so much. The pattern clashed, and it was a pink-beige, and it takes the whole space down. I didn’t say a word though! It was done.

    I also have seen plain, corian-type counters that look terrible in three or so years. There’s not much you can do about it.

    Just get something that makes you happy, and if it’s patterned, keep everything else quiet. I think the problem is pattern and patten, and of course, undertones. Granite can still be beautiful, and I don’t think it will go away. People will be saying the same thing about marble 10 years from now.

  30. Nothing is timeless. Including the white kitchen. Sigh. Get what you like and by all means, please post in 10 or 15 years about whether you love your white kitchen.

  31. Very few things are timeless. Hardwood floors and white trim would pretty much be it in my book. I have always laughed with friends that we are going to look at granite and claim how “2000’s” it is. I inherited a kitchen with cream glazed cabinets with granite. If I had to do a dream kitchen, I would go with white cabs and quartz counters. I’m in the process of picking products for a bathroom remodel. My friend just did hers in Carrara and it’s absolutely gorgeous, but is Carrara way to trendy? It’s a little too everywhere. Knowing that this bathroom is not going to be completely remodeled for years, I’m trying to pick timeless. When my sis in law built her home in 98, black granite and cherry was big. Then the venetian golds were big. I think we are always going to have the newest and greatest, and just when you think one thing is over, it might be coming back in.

  32. Design & Decor By Shelley

    Hi Maria, I agree with your comment on how granite counter tops are a very personal choice. Most of my clients think granite is the above all end all..In particular it’s the trend and of course whenever you see a home listed for sale one of the main features would be granite counters, so I think it’s market trend and everyone feels they have to have it. You would need a crystal ball to know how long the trend will last.
    I am a big fan of quartz, it has consistant detail, beautiful color choices and is 93% natural. I always find exactly what my clients want. Quartz does not have to be sealed like granite so is 100% maintenance free. As for heat tolerance, no stone is full proof. They will crack..They sell granite and quartz both to be heat resistant only.
    Not a big fan of corian, my client chose corian in her brand new kitchen and it was only a few months old and was scratched terribly.
    We need to remember that we use our kitchens more than any other room in the home..Kitchens need to be functional as well as be a beautiful comfortable space..

  33. Big thumb’s down for me with the granite. For me it’s right up there with:

    1. TV placed above your fireplace – ugg; and
    2. homes built that feature those large “first-thing-you-see” garage doors.

    I’m with you Maria.

  34. you are so right when you say that granite is a personal choice that the next homeowner may not like but I also believe you should decorate your home for you, not furutre homeowners. And youa re right again whenyou say to keep the backsplash and flooring simple so that very expensive granite you have chosen can have its moment. I am currently smack in the middle of a kitchen remodel and did not want granite until I stumbled upon the beautiful slab with subtle red streaks running through it so now I have granite…

  35. To Colleen – I have never hated anything in my kitchens as much as our upscale, stainedless steel appliances. They create more work, not less. I had hopes that more smudge-free stainless would hit the market, but there’s less, not more, and what I found was at the lower end. Unfortunately, I don’t see an end to the trend.

  36. When we bought our home, my husband insisted the kitchen remodel be done in a month’s time! Under pressure, I had honed, absolute black granite installed. The cabinets are white, of course, and yes, most of the appliances are stainless. We also have a Carrara marble top on a red island and hardwood floors. We’re still happy w/the black granite, but the marble and wood floors are higher maintenance than anticipated.
    LOVE your kitchen, Maria!

  37. Granite timeless? As with many things, it depends on the specific choice, how it’s used, how the granite relates to the other elements of the whole design. One of the most disastrous choices I see is using the counter top granite for the back splash. It’s almost always a mistake. And I see it a lot! A busy granite or one with movement, viewed on the horizontal plane of the counter top, becomes a totally different element viewed vertically on the back splash. It’s so important to think of the whole kitchen as a composition.

  38. Stainless Steel???? I have never thought it was great even though everyone says it’s a MUST! Not for ME! We have an off white fridge that matches the caninets and a black dishwasher, The stove is stainless and black and that’s quite enough stainless for me. SS sticks out like a sore thumb to me in an otherwise traditional kitchen. On a stove? OK, but NOT everywhere. You may think I have too many appliances that don’t match – not the case. A touch of black looks good in ANY room and my fridge looks part of the cabinets and doesn’t scream FRIDGE!!!! SS?? TOO COLD!!! 🙂

  39. I am certainly in the minority here, but I love my granite countertops. Five years ago, I replaced Corian with dark green/black/grey granite. The contrast with my creamy glazed cabinets is lovely, and I never tire of looking at it. My oil-rubbed bronze hardware and lighting also complements the granite beautifully. It has been very low maintenance — sealing takes less than a half-hour once a year. Like everything else — flooring, lighting, wallpaper, paint, etc. — countertop decisions are a very personal choice. So, I say ‘yay’ to granite, if it’s done correctly. And that means keeping other finishes clean and understated, as you pointed out.

  40. I don’t think it’s a cut and dry type of question. Any product, ie: quartz, marble, granite can look dated if incorporated into a design that follows trendy patterns. I remember when quartz came out that I couldn’t stand it because it looked like formica to me but just more expensive. My husband and I remodeled our first kitchen with natural maple cabs, white appliance, a granite countertop and tumbled marble backsplash. It was beautiful and it sold our house. Today, I wouldn’t be designing it like that. I want my white cabinets, honed soapstone, carrera marble and ss appliances. I wonder if we can truly build a ‘timeless’ kitchen. Don’t we get bored after 20 years anyway?

  41. Let’s be honest. The majority of the population is tasteless, as are many realtors. If a realtor uses the same three descriptions, the homeowner is convinced they are either buying/selling something of value when most of the time it’s a cookie cutter house made of cheap materials in a bland subdivision. The phrase “curb appeal” is another. And, stainless steel appliances is the third. Yawn.

  42. I have a client who was looking for advice on updating her 1990s kitchen, which had the original white melamine cabinets and a blue laminate countertop. She initially wanted granite, but she also wanted to make a number of other changes in her open concept first floor, and the granite would have eaten up most of the budget. I had been reading Maria’s blog for a while, and I advised her to get a new laminate with a simple edge profile in a neutral color – Formica Flax Glaze, which looks like linen. We painted the walls a lovely gray green and are now choosing a backsplash. I’m so happy that we decided not to add new shiny stone on top of her older cabinets, as the laminate looks fabulous and cost a fraction of what the stone or quartz would have.

  43. Maria, with regard to making timeless choices, can you comment on the use of soft-colored, white marble such as calacatta gold relative to granite and compared to quartz? Thank you.

  44. When we purchased our new home it came with black granite counter tops which also extended up the walls as the back splash. The kitchen also has black slate floors which look like a chalk board, and medium oak tone cabinets, can you say nightmare?! I am doing my best to work with it but it is not my idea of an updated kitchen, the agent said the resale value would be big with all of that and the stainless steel appliances. I am considering painting the cabinets white or an antique white to lighten up the room. It would be just too costly to rip it all out right now. Any thoughts?

  45. I had white cabinets with black galaxy granite for 15 years. I liked the easy care of the granite but I was pretty tired of the contrast between the countertops and cabinets. When we remodeled the kitchen a couple years ago, I again chose white cabinets but this time white/gray Calacatta D’Oro marble for the counters. I absolutely love my new kitchen and I don’t care about potential resale. Counters, tiles, cabinet style and colors are personal choices just like wallpaper and unless you are flipping a house you should choose something you love.

  46. Maria
    Personally I think anything too “patterny” is dated ie most of the granites you showed above. Absolute black granite with white cabinets is lovely I think. Caesar stone and all of the other quartz surfaces are great as well as long as they don’t have too many sparkly things in them. I agree simple (and cheap) subway tile, and a solid surface of some sort works best.

  47. Any type of finish in your home is a very personal choice whether you talk of granite, quartz or marble. You should always do what makes YOU happy. Trends will come and go, that is the way the world rolls. Where the problems creep in is the mixing of everything. Most people (and it’s not there fault) don’t have a sweet clue how to put finishes together. They don’t understand pattern, design, colour or undertones. The problem with most people when they buy granite is they end up right or wrongly with very busy granite. Then they add a very patterned tile for the backsplash and now you have a hot mess! I don’t think Granite is the problem, the problem is how people put it all together. And if people choose a “loud” granite or one that is very colour specific well…. someone inherits someones eles’s choice. But the same could be said for a coloured Corian. I happen to have granite in my white kitchen and it works just great for us. I have had it for 8 years now and it has held up great. I too am a huge fan of other finishes like Marble, Soapstone and Quartz. But again, what YOU choose for your home is important, just make sure whatever you buy, you buy because YOU love it. Don’t buy it because your besty has it and don’t buy it because some magazine say’s it’s a trend or “you gotta have this!!” Buy what your heart and your head tell you too. Take all the advice and make the right choice for YOU!

    • Such a great analysis. I should have read your comment first before writing mine. I couldn’t agree more.

    • Well said. I chose granite for our kitchen about 10 years ago for our last home. The buyers wanted to know the name because they wanted to add it to an island. When we redid our counters in our current home, we chose the same granite. It’s what WE love. Other surfaces are also beautiful, and we all are fortunate that choices are available. Viva la difference!

  48. There are high end and low end elements to any materials used for kitchen counters. I think it’s a disservice to readers of a design blog to have such strong opinions because the overall design of the kitchen space has so much to do with how a countertop selection looks. I have black Emerald Pearl granite from Norway in my kitchen and I have never grown tired of it because no matter what hue my cabinets are, the counters anchor the room which happens to be quite large. Would I change it to marble, yes but only because it would be fun to have a material that I haven’t used before in a kitchen. The downside of reading too many design blogs is that it is easy to become dissatisfied with your own taste simply because someone announces “the trend is over”. Granite is a work horse material for a room that gets plenty of traffic.

  49. I think granite, quartz, marble or Corian can all look beautiful providing they are tastefully coordinated with other elements in a space. We often get too caught up trying to follow the latest trend instead of reflecting our individual personalties, taste and style in our spaces. If everyone only used quartz and subway tiles it would get boring fast. I say put in what you love using care to properly coordinate all elements and don’t get caught up in chasing trends, instead reflect your own unique personality and style.

  50. Maybe I am missing something here, but i stood in front of a display today at a big box store and thought I was looking at granite samples and it was a quartz display, it was every bit as busy as the granite display a few feet away-of course there are many more plain designs in quartz,but the new cambria line is rather busy, a lot like granite-it is strictly a personal choice-quartz actually costs just a little more in our town-I was completely happy with a white formica countertop with little flecks of color in it for 18 years-recently put in blue volga granite on the island and emerald pearl on the sides-I could stare at it for hours,it looks awesome and when I move, i might do a quartz next-I never had the idea that I would be completely satisfied for the rest of my life with just one style or color-I think “timeless style” is part myth-maybe an antique grandfather clock,secretary, etc will still be great 100 years from now, but countertops, cabinets, appliances, heck no!

  51. In 1990 we had a house built in Texas and I had a choice of oak or painted white cabinets. The only countertop choice was large tiles with large grout lines or Formica. No granite. Hating the grout lines, I chose white cabinets with white Formica and convinced the builder to add a wood edge to the counters that was stained to match the dark wood floors. It came out great and it would look great today. Ultimately almost everything can be dated. As Maria said early on, expresso is out and so are those over the to French country kritchens with al the corbels and heavy antiqued cabinets. But for the homeowner for whom they were their dream kitchen, priceless!

  52. I just finished a full reno of my builder’s special ten year old kitchen. I replaced the granite with quartz and love it. We have used the same solid surface as a backsplash for easy maintenance and a clean look. Regarding stainless appliances, the current look is fully integrated refrigerator and dishwashers, finished the same as the cabinets for a seamless look. The only stainless is on the oven doors and gas cooktop. As much as I like Maria’s new kitchen, her stainless (and bulky) fridge and dishwasher already make it look dated.

  53. Love your blogs Maria, but don’t always agree with them. I think it is very hard to create anything that is truly timeless and that you should choose what appeals to you. I love white cabinets and that is my only choice but I know many people who must have wood and lets face it there are many beautiful kitchens with wood cabinets. I think what you say about granite is true of all decorating you shouldn’t overdue it with too many patterns. A beautiful well thought out kitchen can come with all different finishes, how boring if every house we went in had all the same finishes.

  54. The only “timeless” countertop is cararra marble (grey/white) and granite is DEFINITELY late-20th C to me.

    I’m loving the new quartz stuff…your’s is great Maria. SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE in a kitchen is what I constantly preach to clients. Kitchens get visually junked up the minute you move your stuff in! Dont’ make it worse with busy stone or B/S.

  55. don’t believe there can be a blanket statement
    of yay or nay for granite application is key
    the right granite for the right application can
    be beautiful particularly if it is honed.

  56. Sonja M, Barlow Interiors

    Yes, granite can easily be the wrong color or the pattern may not be to your taste, but the same can be said for quartz which is often bland and beige or pretending to be granite without the natural beauty of real stone. That being said, in the right context granite, soapstone, marble and quartz all have their place and should not be discounted. I have seen crazy wild granite that in the right space are breathtaking and white counters that are perfect in their rightful space.

  57. My sister and I are already starting to brainstorm what to do with all the granite found in salvage yards after people remove them from their kitchens.

  58. Hello Maria, this may be off topic but since everyone has their point of view and I just love natural stone. I would also love to hear your thoughts on Onyx for any application. Fireplace, counter top, wall covering, light fixtures, etc… I’d appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

  59. I am about to renovate a small galley kitchen using blue pearl granite for the counters, white shaker cabinets and gray porcelain floor. Cannot decide on what color to use for the backsplash glass tiles. Grateful for your advice.

    Thank you.

  60. Many thanks Maria for your excellent advice. I have now selected white glass 3 x 6 glass subway tiles for the backsplash. I think that the gray floor tiles that I selected will work with the granite. I am now trying to decide on the wall paint for the trim and side walls as I don’t like placing the tiles only half way up the side walls as it looks unfinished to me.

  61. I think it’s funny how everyone is on the anti-granite bandwagon now, with most going to soapstone. I can’t wait to see soapstone get ditched in a few years because everyone has it. LOL

    The problem I see with everyone’s argument is that they are assuming all granite is busy and “personal.” The granite we put (tan brown) in is dark and not busy at all. We did not run it up on the backsplash, but instead used polished Travertine subway tiles.

    What I think is happening is that people are “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” Granite is a very hardy, useful countertop surface. If you will be selling your home, then you need to pick a counter that will be neutral and appealing to all sorts of potential buyers. If you are in your home for life (as we are – family farm house, 5th generation) then pick what suits you.

  62. I had granite in my previous home and loved it, but I picked it out, but I hate the granite I inherited in my current home. It is just personal taste. I love soapstone and would really like to have it in my kitchen (planning a remodel in the next 2 years) but at $70 per square foot it’s not doable from a financial standpoint. And spending $10K on countertops in a $200K house doesn’t make sense, either. I think what bothers me about a lot of granite is the high shine. Perhaps honed granite might be an option. I’ve heard that a black honed granite looks similiar to soapstone.

  63. We are buying a house that has two different and not co-coordinating granites with black cabinets. I really prefer white cabinets but I can live with the black for now. I HATE the one granite but don’t mind the other one. The problem is the ugly one is on more counters and the bar where the stools go. I am not sure how to make it work without getting rid of the whole thing. I think that would cost a pretty penny and don’t have the money right now. Any suggestions?

    • What cabinets are currently a trend yes but they also happen to fall into a ‘timeless category’ as well. I can immediately tell you within 5 years when your wood stained kitchen was installed. Can’t do that as easy with a white kitchen. Just sayin’. Maria

  64. I just replaced the Formica counters in my 90’s home, that incidentally has the predictable oak cabinets. My intention was to keep the solid wood cabinets rather than replace with “wood product” cabinets. I wanted quartz so looked at 4 different quartz company products. The choices were OK but cost more than a lot of the granite. I went to 2 wholesale warehouses and looked at hundreds of slabs of both quartz and granite. I chose a subtle predominantly cream with veins of black & olive granite that complements the oak cabinets. It will go with anything if new owners decide to paint or replace the cabinets. I agree that there are trends in everything and some granite patterns are suited best in restaurants where loud patterns are better suited. True classics never go out of style. Oak paired with the right colors and patterns can be pretty. I’m happy with the results. I learned from the specialists at the granite/quartz whole sellers that when adding counters, chose a flowing, not spotted, granite. 2 competing pattern; wood grain and granite, will appear busy otherwise. The backsplash is 5″granite. Less is more in my case.

  65. We are just now completing our 1980 kitchen and have decided on painted maple (white with Latta glaze cabinets). The granite we chose was called Kashmir cream and we love the look. Loved Quartz but found the choices quite boring. I will go with a neutral subway tile in hopes that it doesn’t clash with the rest of the kitchen.

  66. I’m a Realtor who is also a faithful student of design and color. I serve as a Parade of Homes judge for new build quality and design every year. I would have to say here in the SE US that granite countertops are still a huge selling point for buyers and they often they do tend to zero in on the fact that they are there and discuss fixing other things around it. I have heard it again and again and had many people buy those homes despite the clashing finishes and the granite was a big selling point. That said, I have never suggested installing granite on a house I have listed for the reasons you described and when working as a buyer’s agent I will readily point out that sometimes it’s better not to have busy granite already installed even if you are dealing with formica because you can pick the finish. Real estate, like every profession, has a great deal of variety in personalities and ability levels and it sounds like you dealt with/heard from one that did not take the other aspects of the color and design into account before his suggestion.

  67. Soooo I just installed an entire kitchen of Giallo Verano granite…counters and full height backsplash. I was concerned about seeing seams and the colors were neutral to go with my cream cabinets. Anyway, it works and it doesn’t. It’s pretty when lit by under cabinet lighting. Are black counters the way to go when I replace these? It will be a nightmare to remove this. Here’s hoping Giallo Verano may come back in style…to some degree.

    • Continuing granite up on the backsplash is generally considered to be more of a modern look so that might be what you’re reacting too, maybe just remove the granite on the backsplash and install cream subway tile instead. Hope that helps, Maria