How granite countertops took over American kitchens

  • Added:  6 days ago
  • 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:

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    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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  • Runtime: 6:17
  •  vox  explain  granite  kitchens  countertops  hgtv  counters  interior design  quartz  soapstone  granite countertops  history  formica  laminate  youngstown kitchens  laminates  cultural history  formica counters  youngstown  formica countertops  fads  cultural fads  house hunters  television  kitchen design  design  trends  

Comments: 1 783

  • Pnag
    Pnag 2 hours ago

    Americans fetishising the kitchen when they mostly eat junk food is pretty weird.

  • Jonathan Hagan
    Jonathan Hagan 8 hours ago

    How Millennials are killing the granite countertop industry

    SULLY 9 hours ago

    Your next episode should be your channel

  • Felix Rohr
    Felix Rohr 9 hours ago

    Also, why there are so many Korean Sushi shops everywhere? (instead of the Koreans selling just Korean food and ruining the image of proper Japanese sushi and all food made by the endless pretend Japanese restaurants)

  • Felix Rohr
    Felix Rohr 9 hours ago

    Is there a video on how over rated Apple is?
    Love VOX!

  • David Seitz Jr
    David Seitz Jr 9 hours ago

    The emoticon’s reflection in the thumbnail is wrong. The designer added some skewing (squishing) to the reflection, but reflections usually don’t skew at all. The skew effect used in this thumbnail would be more appropriate for a shadow. But a reflection in this picture would be a simple 180° rotation and fade. Notice the window reflection on the countertop. It is not skewed, and in the same way, the emoticon reflection should not be either. But great video 👍🏼

  • Tony Marshall
    Tony Marshall 11 hours ago

    I'm from Aberdeen aka the granite city, my home town is made of kitchen countertops

  • Hangnhu Le
    Hangnhu Le 11 hours ago

    *Next video should be kawaii is overrated!
    I mean it really us

  • dvsteady
    dvsteady 12 hours ago

    I’ve brought this up so many times to people – granite is sooooo overrated and actually ugly! It always seemed like I was in the minority.

  • lifevest1
    lifevest1 13 hours ago

    I was waiting for them to blame their rise in popularity on white privilege or something

  • Curtis
    Curtis 13 hours ago

    Please do a video on the takeover of putting your kitchen in the middle of your living room. I think it's called "open concept".

  • LuKiSCraft
    LuKiSCraft 14 hours ago +1

    Quartz is the way to go

  • Gustavo Serrate
    Gustavo Serrate 16 hours ago

    Phil Edwards ruins everything.

  • Neal deGrasse Wallace
    Neal deGrasse Wallace 17 hours ago

    That flip down stove was dope. My next DIY project!

  • Samantha
    Samantha 20 hours ago

    I'm pretty sure granite was also quite sought after because it was a cheaper 'marble' ? Like a lot of the elite and luxurious homes now days have marble in them but middle-class housing has granite. Probably because they look and feel similar but just the prices differ ?

  • jorge6207
    jorge6207 Day ago

    Do I get status points by watching this?

  • missjess2687
    missjess2687 Day ago

    Lol I have the Formica boomerang in my kitchen. And it's pink! We bought this house in May and it was built in the 60's. Some stuff was updated but not the countertops lol.

  • Ciaragabs
    Ciaragabs Day ago

    I actually hate granite countertops they look tacky to me.

  • R A X O
    R A X O Day ago

    We don't have granite counter tops in my kitchen ._.

  • Kartik Kamat
    Kartik Kamat Day ago

    There is no perfect material, but granite has unmatched beauty that simply cannot be replicated. Natural materials are simply more beautiful than the best quartzes out there. A buyer must be sure, that they are buying a real granite, not marbles or dolomites that are sold as granite. The fading of quartz in the sun is a real issue that must be rectified.

  • Joaquim Silva
    Joaquim Silva Day ago

    Here in Brazil, granite is soooooooooooo cheap! Everyone haves it because is so cheap and easy to find

  • mraaronhd
    mraaronhd Day ago

    "We may not be rich, but we damn sure will try and pretend to be!"

  • Omar Abdelghani
    Omar Abdelghani Day ago

    Isnt that the Annabelle doll at 2:04?

  • IgWannA2
    IgWannA2 2 days ago

    Can you do one on America's love of travertine tiling? Seriously it's in every bathroom over there but you hardly see it in the UK.

  • TwilightVomit
    TwilightVomit 2 days ago

    there's a rise in 1950s style kitchenware where I live. if i got to the kitchen area of the local Dept store they have hundrends of 50s style appliances on display. feel like im living in fallout

  • Angel Gray
    Angel Gray 2 days ago

    I love the sims music in the background lol

  • MrNateSPF
    MrNateSPF 2 days ago

    No, the LOOK is in style. And the requirement for maintenance is often seen as a status symbol. And and the way natural materials wear add to the character (given it's taken care of with that whole status symbol thing).

  • Reuben Ackroyd
    Reuben Ackroyd 2 days ago

    *G R A N I T E*

  • Koalacutiepie253
    Koalacutiepie253 2 days ago

    I've been wondering about this for like five years thank you

  • Kiera Thomas
    Kiera Thomas 2 days ago

    Quarts or marble !!!

  • Guided Meditation
    Guided Meditation 2 days ago

    Like every other fad in history. This too shall pass.

  • Nuka Cola
    Nuka Cola 2 days ago


  • Sebastian Soto
    Sebastian Soto 2 days ago

    2:04 is that the actual Annabel !!

  • no sé
    no sé 3 days ago

    2:04 ANNABELLE

  • Adventures with Frodo

    Just typical Americians posing. Granite is pure hype poos.

  • Patrick Wumbo
    Patrick Wumbo 3 days ago

    The hater narrator has Formica countertops. Get on my level you broke ass

  • S Brian Chong
    S Brian Chong 3 days ago

    1:04 - "Glad we could help you with a life goal." *shoots milk from nostrils all over computer*

  • Cheese on Toast
    Cheese on Toast 3 days ago

    formica reminds me of formica davis, that reporter in the movie idiocracy

  • Chad Dunn
    Chad Dunn 3 days ago

    I really enjoy watching overrated. the amount of information and labor in the little amount of time between new videos is staggering. Keep up the hard work! 👍

  • justinjex1
    justinjex1 3 days ago

    I like laminate or plywood

  • Pewters Now
    Pewters Now 3 days ago

    When you dont have grantite countertops..

  • Luther Stokino
    Luther Stokino 3 days ago

    Laminated countertops. Lol. Granite is really really nice.

  • Léo Tousignant
    Léo Tousignant 3 days ago

    Are Greek philosophers overrated

  • Chinook Productions
    Chinook Productions 3 days ago

    Vox = The better BuzzFeed

  • Dung Bui
    Dung Bui 3 days ago

    Wow! I never realized how overrated my family's granite countertop is! Watching this video makes me wished that we should have gone with quartz (Ironically, the name of our street is Quartz!). Love how you covered these obscure topics, Vox! Keep up with the great works!

  • vlad hateg
    vlad hateg 3 days ago

    Travertine for the win!

  • Internet Shaquille
    Internet Shaquille 3 days ago


  • Flowers Of Flesh and Blood

    Don't take things for granite.

  • Jørgen Håland
    Jørgen Håland 3 days ago

    As a non US guy I really wonder why is so much dark brown in US interiors?

  • Eddard Liebber
    Eddard Liebber 3 days ago +1

    ............I love Granite Countertops almost as much as I love tearing down the walls to get an _Open Concept_ , you know, so I have lots of space to entertain

  • Randii Ascano
    Randii Ascano 3 days ago

    I just want a clean rock/stone countertop, no matter what kind it is.

  • Randii Ascano
    Randii Ascano 3 days ago

    In the coming years, marble will be the trend and we'll say "isn't marble a little too overrated?"

  • Jan Baars
    Jan Baars 3 days ago

    Granite broke too many of my glasses.

  • Matt Davison
    Matt Davison 3 days ago

    I sell granite with a 15 year warranty on staining because of the sealer technology getting better everyday and I always sell it with a double radius edge so it is hard to chip the edges.  Quartz is no where near the same price.

  • Morten Andersen
    Morten Andersen 3 days ago

    I like to beat my meat on granite countertops.

  • 8bitmagic
    8bitmagic 3 days ago

    Don't take those countertops for granite

  • wizzzer1337
    wizzzer1337 4 days ago

    what happened to good old table?

  • Albin Cha
    Albin Cha 4 days ago

    Anyone saw the Annabel doll at the back?

  • The lord Tachanka
    The lord Tachanka 4 days ago

    Pls do supreme on fashion like for supreme or Calvin Klein pls

  • wikichris
    wikichris 4 days ago

    Weirdest Vox video ever?

  • aznneozanet
    aznneozanet 4 days ago

    Did that formica lady stroke the other lady's butt?

  • Himanshu Sharma
    Himanshu Sharma 4 days ago

    In India almost every middle class family has a GRANITE countertop.
    Too low for a every american life goal.

    Even i have a four story house with flooring of Marble and Granite

  • Catwow
    Catwow 4 days ago

    Never take things for granite.

  • Stupid Rock
    Stupid Rock 4 days ago

    It always goes back to the 50's 🤔🤔🤔

  • DJ Shoji
    DJ Shoji 4 days ago

    I don't think granite is over rated. Laminate counter tops do not last long, and I'd have to be careful with hot pans (they melt). Granite is great for defrosting food too. Mine is black granite, so I don't have to worry about stain. Also it is great for making cookie dough.

  • GiGas
    GiGas 4 days ago

    Is the doll at the right at 2:04 Anabel? Looks the same lol

  • Adam Scarpetta
    Adam Scarpetta 4 days ago

    5:20 that lady is so tacky. Poss elegance at her finest.

  • Adam Scarpetta
    Adam Scarpetta 4 days ago

    So vindicated! I found granite counter tops silly the first moment I saw them. I much prefer my formic and wooden butcher's block.

  • Carlitox b
    Carlitox b 4 days ago

    Sex is overrated

  • Clax C.
    Clax C. 4 days ago

    My laminate countertop will survive the apocalypse

  • Erik Mm
    Erik Mm 4 days ago

    nah but soapstone is legit the best

  • Zikora Agbapu
    Zikora Agbapu 4 days ago

    Please do an episode on something fashion related.

  • R B
    R B 4 days ago +2

    Lately, Vox doesn't do its research thoroughly. I will tell you my granite is better. It is a naturally occurring substance, as opposed to a laminate which is a plastic. People dont like laminate on their kitchens or their floor because they dont want formaldehyde containing VOC gases emitting substances in their home. And granite is among the cheaper natural options. Marble is considered more exclusive than granite but is expensive, hence the trend is towards using granite in most cases. It is the least expensive natural substance that is tough enough for kitchen use with the added quality of looking gorgeous(subjective). How can this be considered an 'obsession'? This is just common sense!

  • A. I. Carr
    A. I. Carr 4 days ago +1

    You suck

  • Merl Ball
    Merl Ball 4 days ago +1

    This video is yet further proof that if you produce enough left wing propaganda, you can get YouTube to post practically anything to Trending.

  • Chris Dragotta
    Chris Dragotta 4 days ago

    They look good.

  • TheHumanRace
    TheHumanRace 4 days ago +1

    Here’s an idea, granite just looks good!

  • TheCadillacCat
    TheCadillacCat 4 days ago +1

    I'm betting on cardboard for the next big trend in countertops. Invest accordingly.

  • Leandro Lopes Pereira
    Leandro Lopes Pereira 4 days ago +1

    But go on, love it. Granite is beautiul and you can afford. It is way more expensive in my country, Brazil

  • matthew banta
    matthew banta 4 days ago +1

    What about stainless appliances? They became popular at about the same time as granite. Painted appliances are cheaper and you don't have to constantly clean the fingerprints.

  • fcgfgcfg
    fcgfgcfg 4 days ago +1

    Come to think of it, Capitalism is really about brainwashing women into consuming. Hmm

  • Abby Hernandez
    Abby Hernandez 4 days ago +1

    I only like granite because there's no grout to clean

  • Ben S
    Ben S 4 days ago

    S T A T U S P O I N T S

  • DJ COCAT - FREE Remix Party Songs

    we used granite on our toilet

  • Brenden Bourne
    Brenden Bourne 4 days ago

    No tacky McMansion is complete without it!

  • Princess Girl
    Princess Girl 4 days ago +1

    the 50s kitchen is still my dream kitchen

  • Drunken Master II
    Drunken Master II 4 days ago

    Thanks! Granite is overrated long live wood!

  • Jacob Staten
    Jacob Staten 4 days ago +1

    I never saw what the big deal was. Give me a cheap, durable counter and I will use a cutting board.

  • Salty Admiral
    Salty Admiral 4 days ago +1

    Thick warm *wooden countertops* is where it's at folks, once you bond with countertop made of *_pure reclaimed White Oak,_* you will never know loneliness again, and that's a promise! ;)

    Also, they kill fascists.

  • CamNM1991
    CamNM1991 4 days ago

    I have formica boomerang in my bathroom. hahaha

  • mariel ivana
    mariel ivana 4 days ago +9

    So moral of the story we need quartz counter tops?

  • Bryce.W.Soccer
    Bryce.W.Soccer 4 days ago

    I have no idea why I'm watching this video...but I am

  • Alexander Columbus
    Alexander Columbus 4 days ago +1

    i prefer stainless steel, no offense

  • Random
    Random 4 days ago +1

    Marble is way better, no argument needed

    • Random
      Random 4 days ago

      Marble is actually quite inexpensive if you're fine with having some lower-quality marble. High quality marble is pretty expensive, though

    • Matthew Hemmings
      Matthew Hemmings 4 days ago

      That maybe. Still fairly expensive for something so impractical. Especially, when I live in one of the top Quartz export region in the world.

    • Random
      Random 4 days ago

      If you seal it it's fine, that is if you put more layers of sealant every 6 months or so. If you are a careful and considerate person you should be fine with having marble kitchens

    • Matthew Hemmings
      Matthew Hemmings 4 days ago

      Marble is soft. Within 3 month you won't be able to lay a glass on the counter.

  • john G
    john G 4 days ago +1

    What about marble

    • Juosta
      Juosta 4 days ago

      john G Marble is much softer than granite and quartz and can't handle daily wear and tear. It scratches too easily. It's also pretty porous so it stains easily and permanently.

  • bluegas
    bluegas 4 days ago +1

    seriously...who cares?????? :/

  • DeShawn Terrance
    DeShawn Terrance 4 days ago +1

    Overrated? Hype?

    Reminds me of people who buy iPhones.

  • Sardar jaiveer singh sidhu


  • x2ceyez
    x2ceyez 4 days ago

    Ive worked for a contractor for the past 3 years, maybe installed 50~ish granite kitchens etc. First of all you can get some decent prices now. And there's a ton of different color patterns. I do agree on the chipping part. But the biggest problem is not getting it sealed properly and having water leak into it or beneath. Lament is now associated with cheap, where as Granite is more "high class"

  • Mario Schacher
    Mario Schacher 4 days ago

    I’m Swiss and my countertop is granite!