How granite countertops took over American kitchens

  • Published on Oct 11, 2017
  • Granite countertops are an American obsession. But how did they become so ubiquitous? Our nation's countertop history has had a few surprising twists and turns.
    This is the final episode in the first season of Overrated - you can learn more about it here:
    Follow Phil Edwards on Facebook here:
    You can read the Vox article here:
    Granite countertops are beautiful, but aren't they a little overrated? In the past, Americans loved their formica and laminate countertops, so what changed the kitchen landscape?
    It turns out that stone imports from countries like Brazil and Italy, improved means of importing and cutting granite, and a general decrease in cost made the once-elite material accessible to the HGTV-loving masses. The history of granite countertops isn't just about shiny counters, but about international trade, technology, and how trends trickle down from elites to the masses.
    Is granite here to stay? Who knows - quartz may prove to be formidable competition. But now at least you won't take it for granted (yes, we knowingly passed up the opportunity to write "take it for granite" - classy, right?).
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Comments • 1 881

  • Sam Morrow
    Sam Morrow 2 days ago

    Youngstown! The most publicity its ever gotten in a video!!

  • Velma Velvet
    Velma Velvet 6 days ago

    I like ordinary countertops. You can get them in groovy colors.

  • No pleb Chee Chen
    No pleb Chee Chen 7 days ago

    Dear America's Government,
    Trends Trickle Down, Money Don't

  • Cherobu
    Cherobu 7 days ago

    mine are still wooden covered in thick cloth

  • LeanBeef23
    LeanBeef23 14 days ago

    imo granite is ugly

  • Lucian Spampinato
    Lucian Spampinato 15 days ago

    I like quartz and butcherblock wood countertops more than granite. I also love the white on a light color theme of kitchens.

  • frecklejuice
    frecklejuice 16 days ago

    Am I the only one that finds granite really ugly?

  • foodank_atr
    foodank_atr 17 days ago

    If I were rich, I'd have Blue Hone Granite counters... Only because of the rarity... It comes from one quarry in the world, in Scotland, and is only money to make Olympic Curling stones...

  • safazi
    safazi 21 day ago

    hillary did granite

  • M16Joe
    M16Joe 23 days ago

    God I hate vox, but I love watching overrated.

  • 0Clewi0
    0Clewi0 23 days ago

    Quartz would probably fit as well but for me granite has always been about comfortable and safe cooking.

  • GetMeThere1
    GetMeThere1 25 days ago

    Er....sorry: a thing isn't "hype" just because you say it is. I REALLY like how it looks and feels and -- no hype -- I ain't alone. I like it more than any other food work surface. Simple as that.

  • SilverShrimp TX
    SilverShrimp TX 26 days ago

    @VOX I work in Real Estate and this Video is A+!!!! PLEASE O PLEASE CAN YOU DO MORE VIDS ON THE HOME LIKE THIS?!?!?!?

  • Jeffrey D.
    Jeffrey D. 26 days ago

    everyones talking about quartz countertops now but what about marble

  • Jeffrey D.
    Jeffrey D. 26 days ago

    everyones talking about quartz countertops now but what about marble

  • Jack Anderson
    Jack Anderson 26 days ago

    Functionality to sparkly 😂 Sounds legit

  • TheRubinator13
    TheRubinator13 27 days ago

    Hey as long as it looks natural i dont care what kind of rock it is

  • TheRubinator13
    TheRubinator13 28 days ago

    Hey as long as it looks natural i dont care what kind of rock it is

  • Jonathan Carswell
    Jonathan Carswell 29 days ago

    Is it just me whose obsessed with that smooth concrete they use at skateparks?

  • Teona
    Teona 29 days ago

    Granite countertops are ugly af, THEY ALWAYS HAVE BEEN

  • thumbwarriordx
    thumbwarriordx Month ago

    Laminates kinda suck but ain't nothing wrong with stainless steel countertops.
    That shit's classic and professional.

  • Julia Dodds
    Julia Dodds Month ago

    i watch a lot of hgtv with my mom and i'd been wondering why granite shows up in every episode

  • CE000
    CE000 Month ago +1

    When watching american tv shows about house hunting all you can hear is:
    1.) Granite countertops
    2.) Place to entertain
    3.) Extra bedroom for relatives and friend to come over

  • K A
    K A Month ago

    give me teak so i can actually use the counter top...

  • Helen E
    Helen E Month ago

    This trend never reached my part of the world... (Norway)

  • Chloe_louise648
    Chloe_louise648 Month ago

    I've always loved butcher block countertops

  • Trias Adisoemarta
    Trias Adisoemarta Month ago

    2:04 did i just see a annable doll ?

  • cbante svdski
    cbante svdski Month ago

    Why noone bying swedish granit!! We have tooooo much 🤔

  • The guy who's complaining that Majestic Horse is under every Video

    I think granite is ugly, i prefer wood

  • lovely 2
    lovely 2 Month ago +1

    I’ve never liked granite countertops, I’ve always loved marble instead.

  • NDV135
    NDV135 Month ago +3

    This video has a surprising amount of dislikes, maybe it's from a bunch of people who bought expensive granite counter-tops.

  • Alejandro Alba
    Alejandro Alba Month ago

    Everything is overrated. With so much freedom to live the way you want, but most are all just trying to live like another. Strange and sad sometimes

  • Techy
    Techy Month ago

    I am not the only one who is more in for the Metal right? Concrete and Metal.

  • madhvi kaistha
    madhvi kaistha Month ago

    2:04 sec has Annabelle in it !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TheMagnificentZoltar

    Granite countertop, paper walls.
    Only in the US.

    • Steve Smith
      Steve Smith 20 days ago

      Pretty Canada also has granite counter tops at least

  • aryan ambastha
    aryan ambastha Month ago

    Thank god everything is so cheap in India, even a middle class family has a Concrete and Brick house and Granite Counter!

  • ZowieFawn
    ZowieFawn Month ago

    Agreed!! I just had granite installed in the kitchen. It was an upgrade Formica. They tried to get me to put it in the bathrooms and pay for it out of pocket. NO. I put Formica in the bathroom and wish I would I have put them in the kitchen!! Cheap and looks better!!

  • E. hrdz
    E. hrdz Month ago

    I have granite on my floors, about 10 different types of stones. Since I work for a tile and granite construction company, it was very easy to get, paid zero dollars for $20k worth of material.

  • Jessica W
    Jessica W Month ago

    I am the great Cornholioooo!!

  • jeff Webb
    jeff Webb Month ago

    My advise: Stay away from those house hunting and house design shows....

  • kk P
    kk P Month ago

    i had granite counters in 1992.

  • Teni
    Teni Month ago

    The next more over done thing...."The kitchen must have a large island". I see so much people requesting islands in their kitchen where it may not even be necessary. If you have a tight space you can not put an island people! It will only make your space more congested and small. What about a functional kitchen for its space? People are just asking because it sounds trendy.

  • Pastel Jelly
    Pastel Jelly Month ago

    **watches video**
    **notices kitchen countertop is granite**

  • Pauline Alama
    Pauline Alama Month ago

    Recycled glass counter tops are great.

  • Marina Marcucci
    Marina Marcucci Month ago

    Granite counters are terrible, only there for looking pretty

  • Akbar, Allard Freichmann

    1950 - 1960 granite was standerd in many common houses in the Netherlands. Than there was a period of stainless steal.

  • Jmana
    Jmana 2 months ago

    1:35 I noticed that butt touch, you aint fooling nobody

  • Princess D
    Princess D 2 months ago

    Do one on why sunshine is overrated

  • brickman409
    brickman409 2 months ago

    We often take marble for granite

  • KGB Comrade
    KGB Comrade 2 months ago +1

    Wood is Better

  • Logan Sloan
    Logan Sloan 2 months ago

    Don't get your information on housing from "reality-tv" or blogs.

  • ice
    ice 2 months ago

    Granite countertops are definitely overrated!

  • 42crazyguy
    42crazyguy 2 months ago

    Garanite counter tops are overrated. We need granite floors and walls now.

  • Ted McFadden
    Ted McFadden 2 months ago

    I get a call or two a week about scratched, chipped, stained, or etched Quartz. It can be hard to repair.
    Granite is much easier to repair. But I have to admit I get a lot more calls for granite countertop repair, mostly because of the support rodding used around sink holes.

  • lupinearsenalALT
    lupinearsenalALT 2 months ago +1

    state of 2018 = quartz (bleh)

  • Emeline Emeline
    Emeline Emeline 2 months ago

    I've always thought granite was hideous in the kitchen so you guys are speaking my language lol

  • Ali Adnan Haider Darwish

    or it is just that they look nice.

  • 64 bit
    64 bit 2 months ago

    You shouldn't take things for granite

  • David Coombs
    David Coombs 2 months ago

    I'm too clumsy for them.

  • Ice cream Science
    Ice cream Science 2 months ago

    I always thought that granite looked ugly as

  • Nix0996
    Nix0996 2 months ago

    I would love working at vox as a research team. I love finding out obscure histories of things. My family not so much with me sharing the things I figure out

  • error
    error 3 months ago +1

    as a developed country u guys can spend time money on such topics. In my country such topics are way for the future. hope so

  • Kat K
    Kat K 3 months ago

    I destroyed a $5000 Carrara marble countertop. Or that's what I was told it was by a very angry landlord. To be fair he had no knowledge on how to care for marble and didn't even get it tested on if it needed sealing (some do some don't) and quite clearly it did need sealing since a little bit of split coffee left a stain which eventually did come out. Thank god I didn't have to pay for cleaning costs since he realised it was his responsibility to check if it needed sealing or not

  • Laura Reis
    Laura Reis 3 months ago

    granite emits radon.... which is very bad for your health

  • Frank Reynolds
    Frank Reynolds 3 months ago

    I wonder if people who do not have granite countertops have any respect for themselves or their household.

  • Shid Cat
    Shid Cat 3 months ago

    Watched this while eating on my granite countertop

  • mig san
    mig san 3 months ago

    Is this an advertisement for quartz countertops? Because it worked

  • stevenhs8821
    stevenhs8821 3 months ago

    If you go with granite, you get quartz also which is one of the three minerals in granite. Don't take it for granted it.

  • Luke Rochevot
    Luke Rochevot 3 months ago

    Our kitchen is so outdated, that the one at 2:04 is basically what it looks like; countertops, cupboards, and all. I wish we got literally any new countertops, much less granite.

  • Ninja Man
    Ninja Man 3 months ago

    i like quartz better

  • dabuu the god
    dabuu the god 3 months ago

    My momy hast a perty gratite comper toups

  • MegaKaitouKID1412
    MegaKaitouKID1412 3 months ago

    Except laminate countertops of any time are crap.

  • pikanoob
    pikanoob 3 months ago

    im pretty sure to your average person, "granite" just means anything that looks like a cool rock. any kind of rock will do

  • Jackie
    Jackie 3 months ago

    I’ve had an older countertop my whole life (but it looks modern, idk what it’s called tho!) and I remeber like completely out of nowhere granite countertops became popular but I always thought they were ugly

  • Greta Hoostal
    Greta Hoostal 3 months ago

    Wow, never had heard of Youngstown Kitchens before, but about 10 yrs ago, we lived near Youngstown, & our house must have had a ‘Youngstown Kitchen’ b/c it had steel cupboards! I hated them, b/c they were a bit dented, somewhat rusted, covered in several layers of paint, & you couldn’t install baby locks on them. This was before adhesive ones were invented, so all of them screwed into wood (except that kind that loops over 2 handles together, but most cupboards are not that type). So we blocked off the kitchen w/ a baby gate. I think the counters were wood-patterned Formica, what little there was of them: some on each side of the sink, & not even wide enough to be square. And 1 side was taken up with a dish-rack. Funny that a few sq ft was once enough counter space for everything else.
    Now we have Formica again but nicer, wood cupboards. I think I’d consider quartz if I wanted nice counters. Speaking of trends, I just thought of something. When I was growing up in the ’70s-’80s, everybody’s kitchen was dark. There was a lot of brown. Ours had med-/dark-brown stained cupboards, royal-blue Formica, dark-brick-red linoleum, & enameled appliances (but white refr.). Everyone’s kitchen was in these materials (farther from Youngstown). Then I went to a friend’s house, built about ’89 or ’90, & everything was white & light beige, w/ ceramic tile floor, composite wood cupboards, & I think Corian counters & stainless appliances. I thought it looked refreshing then, but almost every kitchen since then, incl. ours, is similarly bright. So bright when I go in 1st thing in the morning, my eyes are tired. Now I think it’s better to have a dark kitchen, just in classic colors & materials (esp. not ’70s style! 🤢), b/c you can always turn on bright lights if you want.

  • Danny Boy
    Danny Boy 3 months ago +1

    Is cawl ya ca look like a boomerang

  • JB M
    JB M 3 months ago

    sell carbon fiber kitchens to those stupid housewives and charge six digits

  • benis envy
    benis envy 3 months ago

    I don't like kitchens that look like kitchens in general. Why can't there be normal stylish closets and cupboards without that specific kitchen look? Otherwise, it looks too much like a specialized room, like bathroom or office.

  • Rafa Llamas
    Rafa Llamas 3 months ago

    Let me tell you a secret:
    Granite is radioactive🙃

  • HyperSpify
    HyperSpify 3 months ago

    I want that flip down stove!

  • TwentySixCookies
    TwentySixCookies 3 months ago +1

    This doesn't even touch on how most of the granite countertops in homes worldwide aren't even granite. They're frequently schist, or gneiss (metamorphic! Not even igneous!!) which can be garnet-bearing and beautiful, or some other rock. Granite is a specific rock and those countertops usually aren't it.
    Your quartz one is similar, in that it's not quartz - quartz isn't even a rock, it's a mineral (silicon dioxide, SiO2) (jesus christ Marie), and the countertops aren't even all that - they're usually ground quartz pebbles (or something finer) in resin to make an easily-worked composite.
    The correct countertop is stainless steel, which is easy to sterilise and clean and which doesn't have a distracting pattern which makes it hard to see flecks of bacon or whatever you're making, and with a butcher's block somewhere in your kitchen you can slam down on the countertop for when you're cutting things.

  • Steven Dinh
    Steven Dinh 3 months ago

    Truth is, humans don't know what they want. They want what others want and base so much on opinions, not facts.
    Also, these are luxury items. People are free to want what they want, but are they wanting what they want or wanting what they perceive as what other people want?

  • Niahc
    Niahc 3 months ago

    Granite is freaking beautiful. Ive seen granite peices with amazing designs and there is a huge variety of colors and infinite patterns because each peice is unique. Plus Ive never seen chipped granite but Ive seen lots of nasty peeling laminate

  • HenryManson
    HenryManson 3 months ago

    her countertop really gets hot at 1:34

  • MK H
    MK H 3 months ago

    Personally I prefer polished cement as you can dye it, marble it etc.

  • Dr Abraxis
    Dr Abraxis 3 months ago

    Concrete countertops are best :)

  • Peter Grunwell
    Peter Grunwell 3 months ago

    Overated is probably my favourite series on this channel can't wait for the second season

  • iLupi
    iLupi 3 months ago

    I’ll take recycled glass countertops instead.

  • Carrie Tafoya
    Carrie Tafoya 3 months ago

    I never liked granite countertops 😝

  • Joyce Luna
    Joyce Luna 3 months ago

    I need more episodes of overrated

  • underwaterman
    underwaterman 3 months ago

    many of the so called granite bench tops are a cheaper stone.

  • Maximus Moretta
    Maximus Moretta 4 months ago

    I like poured concrete counter tops

  • Broseph Thomas
    Broseph Thomas 4 months ago

    Anyone wanna start a granite company?
    Seems it's a huge trend.
    I trained for 4 years to do the entire process front to back by hand by a privately owned company, and after I quit in 2017 haven't used the skills since.

  • Flamer Sparks
    Flamer Sparks 4 months ago

    *looks at wooden countertops*
    Boy we need to catch up

  • Sarah Rita Jean 16BBT0235

    Do more overrated series pleasse

  • Blind Bob
    Blind Bob 4 months ago

    Clearly toying with the idea of a lesbian relationship
    A time when nubile young women wore big fluffy skirts and high heels in the kitchen...
    Unlike the tattooed boiler suited blimps we see today.
    Personally I think its all down to a ventilation problem, as women started to overheat their lower body , they became angrier.

  • Ruth Cuadrado
    Ruth Cuadrado 4 months ago

    American houses are so boring... Just watching this video makes me sleepy.

  • Rodney Royal
    Rodney Royal 4 months ago

    Granite-high upkeep

  • anselmenator
    anselmenator 4 months ago

    It certainly isn't normal in areas where most homes are over 60 years old.

  • MissBBaller1231
    MissBBaller1231 4 months ago

    intersring . going through a kitchen reno and we're doing quartz