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:
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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: 1 504

  • some kid from surrey

    i made a snowboard and the base was Formica, it works really good

  • Golf3819656
    Golf3819656 5 hours ago

    I dont even need a kitchen ☺

  • Steven Abbott
    Steven Abbott Day ago

    Youtube used to just be for memes, but these Vox videos prove its actually a great platform for news. Good job Vox.

  • Clickco
    Clickco Day ago

    i dont even have a granite countertop

  • Banana Bot
    Banana Bot Day ago

    2:05 look at the doll in the right windowsill

  • mike stu
    mike stu 2 days ago

    Granite releases radon gas!
    A big enough kitchen is equivalent to 1/2 pack of cigs

  • Afonso Bragheto Palomares Medeiros

    Why just now? Granite here in Brazil are so regular. From the poorest to the richest houses have Granite countertops. They are all pretty the same, except the color or the "rock design", of course. Even in the 50s, my aunt, for example, had this Formica kitchen, with a granite countertop on top of everything hahaha.

  • Nicholas Bernards
    Nicholas Bernards 3 days ago

    Why is no one talking about the wicked-cool flip-down burners at 5:55?

  • Exo
    Exo 3 days ago

    granite is so ugly on countertops

  • Vignesh Venkatesh
    Vignesh Venkatesh 4 days ago

    Who saw Annabelle. 2:02 look in the right

  • Abdiel Alfonso
    Abdiel Alfonso 5 days ago

    It isn’t exclusive of USA, I’m from Mexico and almost everybody has it.

  • Omeb Gaming
    Omeb Gaming 6 days ago

    Don't Take Life For Granite. 😤👌

  • Aaron J
    Aaron J 6 days ago

    Uh.. what year is this? Quartz has been the rage for 5-6 years and is and, has been, more expensive than most granite.

  • TheArfdog
    TheArfdog 6 days ago

    1:34 she felt her butt

  • 6Star MBN
    6Star MBN 6 days ago

    Granite causes CaNCER

  • tealduck
    tealduck 6 days ago

    Granite counter tops are so loud... Can't put a plate down without alerting the whole house.

  • Farpas MasterFarpador

    This series are overrated

  • Reuben Hayward
    Reuben Hayward 7 days ago

    Vox videos could be a lot better if the didn't run this "we are wrong about everything" schtick. It's exhausting and tacky

  • Moorisha Lamshad
    Moorisha Lamshad 7 days ago

    Before this video, I didn't even like granite countertops. I preferred quartz

  • Diamond Empire
    Diamond Empire 7 days ago

    3:37 tells that this person is a Hippocratic person!

  • Chris Spencer
    Chris Spencer 8 days ago

    Granite is granite melamine is good enough for my dog's food it's good enough for my counter tops.
    The new fad will be polished concrete tops sealed with resin

  • Terrell Cary
    Terrell Cary 8 days ago

    i like marble

  • Jess Hull
    Jess Hull 8 days ago

    This video is a SHAM! No where do they talk about how the Free Masons manipulated the market to popularize the granite counter top industry!

  • Nathan Cortese
    Nathan Cortese 8 days ago

    Anyone know what the name of the background music is (starts 1:50)

  • Chocolate Wings
    Chocolate Wings 9 days ago

    G R A N I T E C O U N T E R T O P

  • billybassman21
    billybassman21 9 days ago

    We are going to look at granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances in 20 years the way we look at kitchens today from the 80s and 90s. People will say "wow kitchens were so cold and surgical looking in the 00s."

  • Squishy Bob
    Squishy Bob 10 days ago

    we need good kitchens to keep our women in

  • Joshua Marsh
    Joshua Marsh 10 days ago

    No joke I just clicked this vid because my family is installing granite countertops to our newly remodeled house right now

  • rehab joe buffet
    rehab joe buffet 10 days ago

    My last apartment had mika counter tops paired with 1940s wood cabinets! I like the mika but I would rather have steel cabinets! My aunt has a big 1800s farm house with them! They are new compared with the rest of the house! It has a wraparound porch and lots of built it hutches and drawers! It's amazing! I haven't kept my jealousy a secret lol I don't even care that the tub and toilet are in odd places because it was built without indoor plumbing originally! It's beautiful!

  • Ayenate' Lawson
    Ayenate' Lawson 10 days ago

    It's all about Quartz!!!

  • OOH 2 WEE Productions
    OOH 2 WEE Productions 10 days ago

    Totally OVERRATED!!!!

  • Drew Bergman
    Drew Bergman 10 days ago

    Solid Carrera marble or bust. Bathroom too.

  • Sklain X
    Sklain X 10 days ago

    2:05 Annebell ?

  • memethan
    memethan 11 days ago

    we have wood, drywall, plaster and plywood stacked and painted and it looks pretty cool.

  • Pusheen Cat
    Pusheen Cat 11 days ago

    Ive never had a granite counter top..

  • Annie Jckson
    Annie Jckson 11 days ago

    Why catcher in the rye is overrated?????

  • Eevee & friends Eevee
    Eevee & friends Eevee 12 days ago

    At 2:10 i think i saw annabelle

  • Alicia
    Alicia 12 days ago

    After working at a hardware store, I learned that you most definitely do not need a granite countertop. I want a recycled glass counter. They're awesome.

  • Micheal Fergerson
    Micheal Fergerson 12 days ago

    Pause, did she just drop down a strove top???!!!

  • Daniel G
    Daniel G 13 days ago

    You and my grandma are more than welcome to laminate counter tops lol

  • Lauren Fennelly
    Lauren Fennelly 14 days ago

    Marble countertops are my favorite

  • [autistic screeching]
    [autistic screeching] 14 days ago

    I juat dont understand the point of the video like super nit pucky

  • Salted Beans
    Salted Beans 14 days ago

    Granite counter tops are gross imo

  • Moflix
    Moflix 15 days ago

    Maybe is overrated, but is what people like, so this vid is not that helpfull or interesting

  • Savage Baby
    Savage Baby 15 days ago +1

    My grandma's house has granite countertops in her kitchen. I didn't expect a video about this topic.

  • Jeffrey Hyder
    Jeffrey Hyder 16 days ago

    Go concrete. It's a timeless classic.

  • Marie Brunner
    Marie Brunner 17 days ago

    Envelope serious matter running third depth yard wage pastor sail establish river.

  • Elegant Furball
    Elegant Furball 17 days ago

    Meanwhile in Canada, *OH NO I DON'T HAVE A GRANITE COUNTER TOP!*

  • BlitzenRider
    BlitzenRider 17 days ago

    Would marble make good countertops?

  • Janki Nair
    Janki Nair 18 days ago

    When I firsr saw the title I was like bullshit. In India literally EVERY SINGLE HOUSE has Granite kitchens. Its not rare or expensive.

  • Sherman Tsui
    Sherman Tsui 19 days ago


  • Manny Acevedo
    Manny Acevedo 20 days ago

    A Little tip to the editors ...that side pan/scroll animation hurt my eyes @ 3:05

  • Theodore Winston
    Theodore Winston 21 day ago

    The fold-down stove is still cool though

  • Clorox Bathroom Spray

    My kitchen has an Recycled glass

  • AzureDrag0n1
    AzureDrag0n1 21 day ago

    Quartz is easier to maintain but it just does not look as good as some higher end granite., Well it has been several years now since I left the countertop industry so maybe the technology changed since then. I have Blue Pearl granite countertops and they look absolutely amazing compared to pretty much any quartz countertops you could find. There are other nuances as well. I found quartz a little bit harder to work with than granite but it depended on the granite as materials varied a great deal while quartz is pretty consistent on how it behaves. There is a huge difference between blanco antico and black absolute.

  • Andres Gutierrez
    Andres Gutierrez 21 day ago

    Just get out of Politics and you would be ok Vox.

  • Dr. Weird
    Dr. Weird 22 days ago

    No, granite countertops took over because they are high quality and last forever. Literally the only downside to granite is that you have to seal it annually. Aside from that it is superior to quartz.
    You get what you pay for, if you have the money and plan on having a busy/high traffic kitchen then stop scouring the internet for the best countertop and get yourself a granite slab.

  • klabloban
    klabloban 22 days ago

    I only like granite counter tops because I can cut stuff on them and not worry about ruining the counter

  • Jason Lieberman
    Jason Lieberman 22 days ago

    "Glad we could help you with a life goal!" XD

  • Michael Spikes
    Michael Spikes 23 days ago

    Anyone know the titles of the older kitchen films that were featured in this piece?

  • NovelistDienne
    NovelistDienne 23 days ago

    Granite is okay but I'm a fan of Marble😍

  • Daniel Edwards
    Daniel Edwards 25 days ago

    why do you wanna f*$# with brazil's GDP Vox? let them have this!

  • ItsJhoy Draws Production

    2:04 Annabelle?!

  • Oskar winters
    Oskar winters 26 days ago

    i'd rather have wooden or slate

  • Bas
    Bas 26 days ago

    My grandma still has one of those 'hi-tech' early 60s kitchens. I don't even know what half of the materials used in it is, mostly aged well though.

  • jonathan Robbins
    jonathan Robbins 26 days ago

    Quartz and marble countertops are much better tbh

  • Caden Rolland
    Caden Rolland 26 days ago

    I like the laminated asbestos counter tops for fire safety reasons. You don't want to die from fire right? Always follow the trend to the end!

  • Nick Oberg
    Nick Oberg 27 days ago

    don’t even get into open kitchens for “entertaining guests” and for watching the kids for safety!

  • ABH
    ABH 27 days ago

    I know quartz looks pretty good these days and is very practical, but with 35% of it being a manmade product (resin polymers, UV absorbers, stabilizers, hydrogen peroxide), then ground down into a dust, then colours added, do we really want to go all-in, full on, down this path? This was an interesting short video on the evolution of granite's popularity, as I'm interested in how a trend came to be, and why it left, rather than the actual product itself being in or out., so much. Granite is beautiful. It comes from the earth and is 100% natural, not something you can say about many things these days. It is virtually indestructible. Do we really need something even more maintenance-free now? I'm sticking with natural materials, patinas and all.

  • Passed High School Physics

    Hope you do a video on the cost of the Broadway performance of "My Bathroom". I think something like 10 times more money was spent on this one evening Broadway performance than was spent on a Broadway hit musical.

  • asdfgoogle
    asdfgoogle 29 days ago

    I don't know much about it (limited research), but concrete countertops appear to be very cool with flexible designs.

  • lozoft9
    lozoft9 29 days ago

    Bamboo and maple are the new thing now.

  • ben anar
    ben anar 29 days ago

    now the new wave of white marble is becoming trend

  • Shadygames Little boii

    I got quarts

  • Something
    Something Month ago

    Ill take for granite

  • Jason Hassler
    Jason Hassler Month ago

    People really shouldn't take counter tops for granite.

  • Laio Brum
    Laio Brum Month ago

    I didn't know in america granite was status. Here in Brazil is the cheapest material for countertops...

  • DJ ToKyO
    DJ ToKyO Month ago

    i don't think granite looks nice

  • Noah
    Noah Month ago +1

    We shouldn’t take things for granite

  • India JACOBS
    India JACOBS Month ago

    I want white marble bench tops

  • Personator
    Personator Month ago

    Marble masterrace

  • 박현서
    박현서 Month ago

    at 2:05 in the right corner, there is the doll that looks like annabel. Not the cinematized one, but the original one.huh, weird

  • Taeyeon Kim
    Taeyeon Kim Month ago

    In sweden all we have is wood countertops loooool

  • Sally Marie
    Sally Marie Month ago

    Why did that conductor conduct facing away from the choir ?

  • Kat Reagan
    Kat Reagan Month ago

    I'm pretty sure most people cannot tell the difference between Quartz and Granite....

  • punkrockviking
    punkrockviking Month ago

    What about stainless steel or concrete countertops? Those are becoming more popular.

  • Brian Cogsdil
    Brian Cogsdil Month ago

    That people are sheep and bubbles are created by women.

  • greenbluepurple000
    greenbluepurple000 Month ago

    I've lived in homes with formica, tile, and granite counter tops. Granite is the best. Sorry to disappoint, guys.

  • Jeremy Forbes
    Jeremy Forbes Month ago

    This guy obviously has a quartz countertop

  • Denariian
    Denariian Month ago

    I just bought a new house despite the granite contertops not because of them. I would have preferred butcher block.

  • Bárbara Olyntho
    Bárbara Olyntho Month ago

    Granite is not considered a luxury material in Brazil, but it definitely is not cheap. The cheapest ones are gray ones like Cinza Andorinha or Cinza Corumbá - around R$100/m2, and white like Branco Siena and Branco Itaúnas, around R$140/m2, most houses use them as countertops - but they are VERY different (uglier) from the ones popularized in the US. In Brazil, luxury materials for countertops are Silestone, Corion, Dekton... There are expensive granites as well, but they’re not very commonly used here (probably exported). Popular homes in Brazil opt for solutions like “Gabinetes”, which I guess is more like the 50’s solution: kitchen cabinets sold with laminate or steel countertops already installed (but the structure material is of no good quality, usually “MDP” -plywood).

  • Sachinthefish
    Sachinthefish Month ago +1

    Plz no cancer in the thumbnail

  • BaronVonSTFU
    BaronVonSTFU Month ago

    I can't even imagine being so invested in my company that I join a company choir to sing a pep song about it.

  • isabella josephine
    isabella josephine Month ago

    After that choir seen I couldn't focus on the rest of the video because I'm too busy worrying about why the director wasn't facing the choir

  • Babalooza
    Babalooza Month ago

    Slate>Polished cement> butcher block>>>>>>>>most other materials> granite> formica

  • horchata tee
    horchata tee Month ago

    Granite tops are ugly and have always been ugly, I can't be the only one who thinks this??

  • Bre
    Bre Month ago

    Lmao I actually remember this peak my parents freaked out at how popular it was and changed all the counter tops in the house to granite in about 06,07

  • Ginger Pops
    Ginger Pops Month ago

    YES! Overrated. Had to get one to sell my house though my countertop was in great shape.

  • Valve Wizard
    Valve Wizard Month ago

    Any kind of stone is still better than the alternatives!

  • LPintendo
    LPintendo Month ago

    Am I the only one who thinks that granite with all the weird brown colours looks ugly as hell?