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Who Hates Granite Countertops?

chicago kitchen contractor modern granite and custom cabinets

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of having a long conversation with my big brother about home improvements. You see, he and his wife bought a new/old house last year that needed quite a bit of TLC. One room in particular in need of attention was the kitchen. Because circumstances being what they are, big bro will be selling this house in then next 2 years, so he's been doing his improvements with an eye toward resale. When it came to replacing the old laminate countertop, bro had to install what everyone isgoing ga-ga about these days...namely, granite. 

Both bro and SIL are very pleased with how the granite looks, but that's about it. Their #1 complaint? It's cold. Very cold. A hot plate of food doesn't stay hot long if you set it on their new countertop. Ditto for a cup of coffee. Bro doesn't even like to lean on it in the wintertime, and for we who can have 8 months of winter temperatures, that's not pleasant. Ultimately, in bro's words, he hates it. If he did it all over, he'd make sure to install some sort of heating element underneath it.

Enter big sister. A few years ago, she and BIL redid two of their bathrooms. They chose lovely granite tops for their new vanities. The one bath that gets the most use--the master--is showing water stains. Sis is not pleased.

Enter ME. Boo and I put in a black granite vanity top in one of our bathrooms a few years back. Yes, it's cold to the touch, but it's a bathroom vanity top. I'm not resting my forearms on it or eating a plate of pancakes off it. And although we have no stains, there IS the teeny tiniest little chip out of one of the top edges. (I have no idea how it happened.) We're still happy with our decision to install granite, but its seeming fragility does make me wonder about a big installation in a busy place like a kitchen. 

bathroom remodel, granite countertop, granite shower tiles, cherry wood cabinets

Others out there are having the same issues to be sure. Add in the whole radiation issue and you just might have a surprising amount of people who wish they didn't have/hadn't installed granite in their homes. Another sticking point is the trend itself, which some say is on the downslide.

So what say you? Are you pleased as punch with your granite countertop or do you wish you wouldn't have jumped on the granite bandwagon? If the latter, what material do you wish you would have installed instead?

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Allie on Sep 05, 2018:

My house has granite countertops. I hate them. The people who lived here before me installed them when they were updating the kitchen, presumably to make the kitchen appealing to buyers. (I wish they spent more time updating the cabinets and working on the kitchen layout instead! They didn’t do a good job with it.) I suppose they picked out a popular style, but I don’t like it at all. It’s a slight beige color with dark marbling. It’s just not my style. All the other houses I looked at before buying also had granite countertops. I didn’t like the look in those kitchens either. But I didn’t cook much at the time, so I didn’t really mind compromising on it. I figured I could always replace it someday.

The only good thing about granite countertops is that they’re fairly durable and easy to clean.

I personally like recycled glass, wood, and tile slabs that look like wood. Heck I even like laminate and Formica or whatever the popular choice for countertops was in the 80s and 90s more than granite countertops!


Anonymous on Apr 26, 2015:

Granite is the stone that jumped out of the graveyards into everyone's kitchens just because shows like HGTV brainwashed us. I prefer the warmth of butcher block.


Linda T on May 17, 2014:

My partner, besides other things, likes carpentry, so when we did our 'little' kitchen' (there is the original 'big' one, and the 'now' one, which we Brits might have called a scullery back in the day) he made inch wide butcher block strips with alternating walnut (dark) and cherry (warm brown)  It's very beautiful and any bad burns or what ever, can be 'patched' or sanded and re polyurethaned.


Jeffg on May 17, 2014:

Chrisinsd - there are drawbacks with solid surface products too.


ChrisInSD on May 12, 2014:

I don't like the stuff either.  It was a fad, that reached it's zenith.  Most people don't seem to know this yet...anyone installing it these days will reall date their homes.

It's cold.  It breaks dishes.  It needs sealing.  It absorbs liquids and stains.  Bleach/cleaners can discolor it.  We later learned it emits radon radiation.  It's a beautiful rock, but besides its hardness and heat resistance it honestly isn't terribly functional for a countertop.

I for one was pleased to leave the stuff behind when I sold my home last summer.  It was really cool when I bought it--back in 2004.

We are completely remodeling the new house and after researching everything extensively we settled on Corian.  Surprised the hell out of me as I always dismissed it.  But the new colors and patterns are beautiful and it's really functional.  Will go great with our contemporary design.

Also love the quartz surfaces, but warmth, integrated sink, and restorative properties of Corian seeled the deal for us.  Good luck to everyone as they search for the perfect surface as everyone slowly begins to explore the brave new "post-granite" world.


mcfolo on Apr 22, 2014:

I do not know what the deal is with granite counter tops. Everyone seems to love it (but me). Not only does it have the above problems, it is totally cheesy to me. Everytime I turn on a home show on hgtv the prospective buyers do not like any kitchens if they do not have granite. If the do have granite, they are giddy....doesn't even matter what color or style. 


Dan on Feb 07, 2014:

To please my wife we replaced our laminate with some beautiful granite.  That is the only thing good about it.  It is HARD, loud, hard to clean and even harder to find the stuff on it.  The thermal mass cools food and hot drinks quickly.  It is good for thawing out foods.  Beauty wins over practicality.  The only thing worse is stainless steel.  It has no redeeming value and should have stayed in the institutions where it came from.


linbo on Nov 29, 2013:

I bought my house with a remodeled kitchen and granite countertops--they're very pretty but have a lot of pattern and an orange cast to the color of the stone.

Impossible to see if there is food left on the counter when wiping down due to the pattern so I always find an area that has crumbs left after dinner cleanup.   The orange and busy pattern is proving to be a challenge to make work with my pale turquoise flowery color scheme--definitely not going out and buying new dishes, cookware and dining set.

I'd love to replace them when I can and will probably do a mix of Buddy Rhode's concrete in an off-white and butcher block from Ikea.  Incidentally if you're replacing your counters with butcher block and have standard sized shapes, Ikea is the best deal on the planet.


Moogie Tuesady on Nov 06, 2013:

If you are on well water do not get granite.  Minerals will erode it,   You have to be totally obsessed with cleaning to be able to keep it up.  Do not think you can wipe it down with anything other than straight water or special granite cleaner.  Wine, vinegar, soap and almost any spills will erode or stain it in some way.   Have had it for five years and wish I could afford to replace it with something more durable.     


Woody Luvr4eva on Sep 28, 2013:

I always go for quality and put unpainted plywood everywhere.  It's cheap, smells great, and I replace it every 8 months, so it works out great and I always have a new house.  It is a little unforgiving in the bathroom and kitchen, but the stains and mildew just feels like home to me.  I will never put another material in my home. Ever!  Now with the new pressed particle boards that came out, I am in wood heaven!  I can't wait till it's time to rip everything out again and refresh my 1928 bungalow by the beach!!  Life is good!!  


Linda T. on Aug 04, 2013:

Another comment.  At a party a while back, I accidently tipped a pretty wine glass and because of the granite it shattered in a thousand pieces!  Luckily I guessed it was Pier One and was right, so I was able to replace it for $6.00 (More than I would EVER pay for one glass as I buy mine at thrift stores, yard sales and auctions, but not so much that I couldn't make our hostess happy!  Wood, though still hard, is more forgiving.


Anonymous on Mar 07, 2013:

After months of back-and-forth Formica vs. Granite, we just had Black Pearl granite installed this week! I saved $$ an extra few months and went with granite. I LOVE it!!! The sealer is supposedly good for 15 years and the company (Hallmark Stone - St. Louis) has been super to work with. It's AMAZING to go into their plant  to see these huge beautiful slabs of stone! Anyway, we are more "simple look" people, and went with the Black Pearl because there is just a really pretty subtle patterns (blacks, greys and whites). BEAUTIFUL!


J Jones on Jan 27, 2013:

Me. Our lovely 50's Ranch was updated before purchase with cheetah print granite. Ugh


Gobi on Nov 14, 2012:

We purchased a house 1 1/2 years ago that has granite in the kitchen. The first time I've had it. I HATE IT. I immediately broke a Waterford vase that my son gave me decades ago. Today I chipped a dish. I can not stand the clanking of dishes on the granite. It is totally overrated and I truly think people were brainwashed to think it's so great. As soon as I can afford to replace it with something softer it goes.


Anonymous on Sep 06, 2012:

I put black granite in my bathroom.  Big mistake.  I am not a granite fan and when I remodel my kitchen this winter, it will be with a good quality laminate.  The only person I need to impress is me and I am not impressed with see-it-everywhere impractical granite.  I can afford it, but I don't want it.


j on Jul 31, 2012:

i'll join the club - granite hater! =) granite is less expensive. if you want something better, less maintainence, more durable, go with quartz. my husband and i wanted to get caeserstone quartz for our basement kitchen bar, but opted not to because of the $1500 price difference. when we remodel our main kitchen, we'll most likely do the caeserstone.


mel on Feb 01, 2012:

My parents chose granite countertops (and stainless steel appliances!) when they built their house in 1994. I must say that the countertops held up amazingly well over time, and the kitchen still doesn't look dated after almost 20 years. Personally I would go with wood though :-)


MotherLodeBeth on Jan 31, 2012:

Today when you walk into a home in a planned/tract home community and see granite everywhere, you realize granite is nothing special. The builder is probably getting a good deal buying so much granite.  It's what sells a house, but doesn't make a house special to the buyer who isn't average, and especially 'green' and upscale minded. 


Goes to show how the industry convinces folks what's popular. Like when paint manufacturers gather to discuss what colours they will push as being the colours to have. It's the independent minded home owner who will make the home THEIR home and not some cookie cutter looking magazine home.


Honey924 on Jan 31, 2012:

My husband and I had granite countertops installed in our home shortly after we bought it, and we love it. When we bought our house it had a really badly damaged laminate countertop. There was a huge, round burn mark by the stove and three separate areas were water damaged so badly that the laminate peeled off (include a 4ft section of the backsplash behind the sink) and the wood underneath was rotten. Needless to say there was no way in hell I was going replace that with another laminate countertop.


I love that I won't have to worry about those things with our current countertop. I hate the look of Corian (it reminds me of cheap public bathrooms), I'm not crazy about marble (too veiny) or quartz (too simple for my taste), so granite was the perfect choice for us. I haven't notice my counter feeling very cold (although, I don't usually lean on them, so that's not saying much), but I would imagine that would be a problem with any natural material like marble, quartz, concrete, or tile etc. About the chipping, that only happens when cheaper, thin granite (that is only supposed to be used in bathrooms)  is used in the kitchen.  Finally, the work involved with maintaining granite is pretty over exaggerated; it only needs to be sealed once a year.


Really, I feel like the only reason to avoid granite is if you don't like the look or the price.


Jen S. on Jan 31, 2012:

Granite is much too expensive and has all the problems mentioned by other folks here.  I went with WilsonArt HD instead and saved a bundle. easy to clean and soo durable.  I also like concrete counters and some of the products that used recycled glass, etc.  But basically I'm a cheapskate so I went with wilsonart!


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