The Most Popular Kitchen Counter Isn’t Granite Anymore
Granite countertops, once a hallmark of luxury in modern kitchens, have seen a shift in popularity. There’s been a steady decline in clients requesting granite for the last few years in favor of quartz and Silestone, a countertop made from natural quartz crystals mixed with polyester resins, color pigments, and antibacterial ingredients. The final product looks similar to marble, with a little extra shine. If you’ve ever spent any time on Instagram or Pinterest then you’ve definitely seen Silestone. This trend reflects a broader change in consumer tastes and demands within the home buying market.
Granite, known for its durability and the prestige it once brought to a new home, has become less desirable, particularly in higher-end real estate markets.
A survey by the NKBA around 2017 indicated that granite was no longer the leading choice for kitchen countertops, likening its ubiquity to that of Formica in previous decades, a standard but uninspired choice. This is mainly due to the low price of builder grade granite.
While granite is still a baseline expectation in homes across all price ranges, it’s not a premium choice and prestige has worn off. Buyers looking at properties above $500,000, which is about an average sales price in many areas, prefer quartz.
Quartz countertops, an engineered stone composed of about 90 percent natural materials such as marble, granite, quartz, ceramic, and glass, combined with 10 percent polymeric binders, offer the aesthetic of natural stone without the associated maintenance drawbacks. The most popular type of quartz and Silestone by far is marble.
Many buyers often associate granite with lower-end or starter homes. The countertop of choice at the top end of the market is quartz and Silestone because it looks like marble, but is much more durable and requires no maintenance.
Here at Gambrick, we’re involved in around 100 projects per year, mostly at the higher end of the real estate market. For the past 5 to 10 years we’ve seen about a 10% 15% drop per year in clients asking for granite which has greatly accelerated for the past 3 to 4 years. This past year we only had a handful of people even ask about granite and it was for areas other than the kitchen. We use quartz and Silestone in all of our homes because that’s what the market demands.
Even though it’s not a staple in homes under $500,000, using quartz is a huge selling point vs. granite and other materials. Making a kitchen look high end will sell a home fast at any price point.
Despite the waning trendiness of granite, it remains a durable and functional option for many homeowners. The choice between granite and quartz often boils down to personal preference, lifestyle, and budget. However, the current market shows a clear preference for quartz, attributable to its diverse color offerings, sustainability, and low maintenance, it doesn’t require the annual sealing that granite does due to its porosity.
A big fan of quartz is millennials and urban dwellers who favor a more contemporary, minimalist aesthetic in their kitchens. The versatility of quartz is also a significant factor, with certain granite patterns, especially those with dated color schemes, falling out of favor. These days everyone is in love with white and all things marble.
Quartz and Silestone, especially when it’s white and looks like marble, go with everything. When you use granite, especially a color, it looks dated and completely out of style.
If you’re designing a kitchen at any price point, opt for quartz or Silestone that’s as white as possible and looks like marble.
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John Mazzuca | About | More Posts |
Custom Home Builder
John Mazzuca is a custom home designer and builder at Gambrick with over 25 years experience in the construction industry. John has designed, built and/or remodeled hundreds of homes, small buildings, and commercial projects. He writes about business, real estate, home building, and household electronics. His work has been featured in Fox Business, Better Homes & Garden, House Beautiful, and more.