How Did Granite Counter Tops Become America's Obsession_ Find Out

You have to wonder how granite has continued to sustain such a level of popularity over the years, but it has truly broken barriers as to what a countertop material should consist of and it how it should be used. As granite has been around for centuries in various structures and monuments throughout the world, there is no reason to doubt its usability in any area of design.

Granite Trigger

Deborah SussmanThe more current obsession with granite was triggered in the mid-1980s through a native New York graphic designer. The late Deborah Sussman decided to use a more earthy choice (in granite) for her kitchen countertops. She was lauded for her innovative design ideas by the New York and Los Angeles Times, which led to her artistic and environmentally friendly notoriety on both coasts.

Her visionary insight in graphic and environmental design helped pave the way for use of granite in more moderate homes. At the time, both the granite that Sussman loved and its competitive marble material were considered luxuries. Though both granite and marble weren’t as readily available as they are now, the media coverage concerning her design ideas caught on and put granite on a whole other level.

Increase in Imports

What further stimulated the wider range use of granite was its increased availability and affordability through imports into America. Italy was the original leader in granite processing and importing. By 2000, other countries, like Brazil India and China dominated granite quarrying and processing. Though America has granite sources, these top three countries have abundant supplies at lower costs. With a greater number of sources in the import marketplace, the demand for granite by businesses and everyday homeowners steadily increased over the years and thrust its use to the forefront. With the expansion of the supply of granite, consumers found that granite was a good option for their countertop needs, not to mention that it was beautiful, durable and more readily available.

Other Reasons for Granite Availability

The access to granite has gone from more local suppliers to those on a global level, which has made it more affordable for contractors, homeowners, and businesses. Shipping granite in slabs that have been prepared, packaged and transported through large shipping containers has also helped lower the costs of granite for consumers worldwide.

Computerized Control

Once granite has arrived at its destination, it is taken to a shop and is sized and rough cut. It is either shaved by hand or finished with a specific grinder designed for granite. Much of granite today is quickly cut through with a computerized program that directs cutting saws to make necessary sizing cuts as well as other exacting cuts for openings to accommodate sinks and other fixtures.

Granite Trends

The surge in granite popularity has also been aligned with housing booms in the early 2000s. Builders were turning to granite as a standard in countertop use for newly built homes, and the idea caught on that granite should be part of any new building project as well as renovation projects with older homes.

What was once a deluxe option became traditional fare. Though granite has had its ups and downs during intermittent periods of housing starts and stops, it has continued to remain in the forefront of kitchen countertop use. Advances in varieties of granite colors and patterns have also helped to feed the granite obsession and propel it from the 1980s into the 21st Century.

This craze seems to have passed the point of no return. Granite counter top use may fluctuate, but its association with luxury and lasting quality at a reasonable price point makes it unlikely that granite will disappear from the countertop scene anytime soon.

Granite does have its advantages over other materials like marble, quartzite, quartz and similar natural and engineered stones. Granite is considerably more durable, resistant to stains and etching, and it radiates a feeling of luxury at a cost that most middle-income consumers can afford. So, if you have an obsession for granite or just have general questions, fill out the contact form and an expert will get back to you with answers to your questions

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