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 • 1 625

  • Aquilifer X
    Aquilifer X 10 hours ago

    Those 50's counter-tops just look so sexy.

  • C. V.
    C. V. 22 hours ago

    I have soapstone countertops, I love them.

  • David Johnston
    David Johnston Day ago

    Composite countertops are nice and all, but I miss the matte black granite countertop we put into our previous house. No shiny to pick up fingerprints. Good surface for prepping bread and pastry. No problem with hot pans. It's better because it functions better.

  • Bon Bon
    Bon Bon 5 days ago

    Don't use emojis in your thumbnails please '-'

  • Josue Fontes
    Josue Fontes 5 days ago

    This music really sounds like the Sims.

  • eemil koskinen
    eemil koskinen 6 days ago

    Greatest bread architect greatest and/or carpet eating drive taste line confuse

  • Schneider W
    Schneider W 9 days ago

    I can’t relate to this at all as a non-American. What is wrong with granite tops? It’s extremely common here. Not super luxury, super expensive types but pretty much all kitchens have good old black granites. They are very durable and easy to maintain, plus you literally don’t need to use cutting boards etc on them. Most people I know here use granite for efficiency, not for luxury. I am talking about very middle class and lower middle class households. Granite is easily available at pretty much all stone dealers, where as quartz is something you will have to specifically seek out for and hence would likely be way more expensive.

  • Naive Girl
    Naive Girl 12 days ago

    In finland everyone has white homes and white kitchens. Minimalists everywhere.

  • Biscotti Doggie
    Biscotti Doggie 12 days ago

    marble is where its at... more beautiful, expensive, chic, timeless, classic.

  • XxX_69_edgy teen_69_XxX

    So this is why my family hates the "common people" so much. just look at them. They don't even know what they're talking about. They just think it's elite. No honey. Spending money doesn't make you elite. Manners, history, values and etc. take you closer to the elite than money. Unless by elite you mean the rich. By elite I mean more like royalty and etc.

  • Jason Ricker
    Jason Ricker 16 days ago

    Thanks, Phil.

  • bookmarkthis
    bookmarkthis 19 days ago

    Who is the pretty face lady 01:34 who gets groped 01:35

  • Peter Nierop
    Peter Nierop 21 day ago

    Downvoted for explaining boomerang

  • king james488
    king james488 22 days ago

    50s: talks about practicality of the product

  • InabilityToBeBrief
    InabilityToBeBrief 23 days ago

    The "used to be dream kitchen" is still my dream kitchen. Mid century rules.

  • Tortoise
    Tortoise 24 days ago +1

    Nice series :D Do one overrated video on pepper!

  • K O
    K O 25 days ago

    You didn’t answer the question you just provided trends and what current state of granite countertops is

  • Rocks and Oil
    Rocks and Oil 25 days ago

    Nine of ten "granite" countertops are not really granite, but resin or slabs of diorite, gabbro, etc. A waste of money to follow fashion.

  • Mr BenjiBoy
    Mr BenjiBoy 25 days ago

    Wood counter tops

  • Younes ZH
    Younes ZH 25 days ago

    American like flashy sparkly things , they prefer looks over efficiency this is clear in every single category of goods , Iphones , Muscle cars ...

  • C
    C 26 days ago

    American kitchens are so ugly. Dreery hard wood and marble slapped everywhere possible

  • Parampreet Anand
    Parampreet Anand 27 days ago

    Most other English speakers pronounce it as gra-night

  • Xano Trevisan Kothe
    Xano Trevisan Kothe 27 days ago

    You said brazillian? brazillian? HUEHUEHUE

  • Sailor Barsoom
    Sailor Barsoom 28 days ago

    I'm getting in on the slab of raw lava counter top trend before the price goes up! I ain't gonna get burned this time, not like I did with that silk counter tops boondoggle.

  • FlydareZ | Flip
    FlydareZ | Flip 29 days ago

    I'd rather have a wooden countertop

  • Josh Derak
    Josh Derak 29 days ago

    Talk about how buns with sesame seeds cost the same as buns with no sesame seeds. Or maybe why digital watches haven't changed much since the 90s. Or how you can tell how expensive a car is by closing the doors.

  • Ray Watson
    Ray Watson 29 days ago

    A kitchen sales history lesson. The value of this video ? Overrated.

  • Yatsura2
    Yatsura2 Month ago

    That thumbnail tho' ...

  • TBC_offline
    TBC_offline Month ago

    Yes, i am a teenage girl watching granite countertops

  • MrKrakowian
    MrKrakowian Month ago

    I think Vox is Overrated!

  • 0MindSwept0
    0MindSwept0 Month ago

    "The freedom of the American people" what freedom?

  • Dire Wolf
    Dire Wolf Month ago

    Idk about you guys but I like matte color countertops

  • Pano Maniac
    Pano Maniac Month ago

    Granite. Matched only by the crazy for stainless steel appliances.

  • Lucy Merrett
    Lucy Merrett Month ago

    Did this man have a childhood run-in with a granite countertop?

  • Ava Winehouse
    Ava Winehouse Month ago

    Americans are weird

  • StOOk 8
    StOOk 8 Month ago

    Funny. Granite countertops in wooden house made like chicken coop...

  • guilherme sant'ana
    guilherme sant'ana Month ago

    very affordable in brazil. we’ve been using it forever.

  • Lucas Fernandez
    Lucas Fernandez Month ago

    Granite is popular because it's the prettiest laminate and Quartz are super ugly I hate those all white kitchens where they have white cabinets countertops and a white backsplash it's ugly and way too white

  • potlovingchef14
    potlovingchef14 Month ago +1

    I have no kitchen let alone countertop live in flat with no windows

  • Bonnie Locey
    Bonnie Locey Month ago

    Thanks my kitchen is good

  • Whyareureading this

    all i hear in the vid: Granite Countertop Granite Countertop Granite Countertop Granite granite granite granite granite Countertop.

  • Shri 2311
    Shri 2311 Month ago

    Ooh that's why laminated countertops are hyped now a days and usual granite countertops are unnoticed

  • William Esposito
    William Esposito Month ago

    We do have lots of things made with granite in Brazil.

  • Morahman7vnNo2
    Morahman7vnNo2 Month ago

    How LIMESTONE Countertops!?You know what else is overrated, stainless steal refrigerators.

  • Atlas Ellis
    Atlas Ellis Month ago

    3:48 why important when we have a state of granite

  • Juliana Avila
    Juliana Avila Month ago

    I don’t understand why people think that looks good. I’m marble all the way

  • Willie Stroker
    Willie Stroker Month ago

    I'd rather have Butcher block countertops but I have old world tastes. The Gleam of a well cared for Butcher block counter top is much more luxurious than a polished rock.

  • SLurSs
    SLurSs Month ago

    lol my house and almost entire city is made of granite yet you get hyped over counter tops

  • Terra Craft
    Terra Craft Month ago

    Why use granite when you can use quartz

  • Ram Laska
    Ram Laska Month ago

    It might be a fad, but I sure love being able to put a hot pot on the counter without destroying it.
    I also love the heat conductivity for saving good from burning in a hurry (rapidly cooling by plopping it down in the counter).
    Quartz would work as well, but might not be as pretty.

  • Jay Quek
    Jay Quek Month ago

    2:04 we just gon ignore annabelle?
    We are?

  • Texian 1836
    Texian 1836 Month ago

    If we do away with granite countertops can the Homeless/Jihadi beards go also?

  • skull gamer
    skull gamer Month ago

    My father installs granite and makes alot of money every week/day

  • Nightshade Hunter
    Nightshade Hunter Month ago

    i like quartz

  • Whole Food Plant-Based Man

    The ongoing trend is tiny houses. The kitchen must also be the bathroom and family room.

  • Ghost Playz
    Ghost Playz Month ago

    Its in Ireland too

  • rex mundi
    rex mundi Month ago

    Granite countertops look dated now.

  • offlinemess -
    offlinemess - Month ago

    Mine is marble

  • Helga Devin
    Helga Devin 2 months ago

    I don't use granite countertop for my kithcen

  • Faunny C.
    Faunny C. 2 months ago

    I personally think any countertop is overrated unless it cleans itself.

  • Theodore Azaria
    Theodore Azaria 2 months ago

    Now it's marble

  • Ruben de Groot
    Ruben de Groot 2 months ago

    Granite countertop? Granite countertop!

  • Arcadian
    Arcadian 2 months ago

    Formica chips way more than granite.

  • Mattie
    Mattie 2 months ago

    This should be titled 'How NOT to decorate your kitchen'

  • Miscellaneous Mind
    Miscellaneous Mind 2 months ago

    Granite Countertops are the Beats of kitchens

  • That Girl
    That Girl 2 months ago

    Definitely weird how popular it is in America but yet not so much in other places

  • Emmanuel Diaz
    Emmanuel Diaz 2 months ago

    Ironically this videos are overrated

  • Raine Villa
    Raine Villa 2 months ago

    Quartz is better but watch that become overrated.

  • Angry Kittens
    Angry Kittens 2 months ago

    The next big fad: quartz.

  • fuzzywzhe
    fuzzywzhe 2 months ago

    It's called a fad.
    It was produced by the media.
    Granite is a terrible surface to use for a counter top. They are heavy, very easily damaged, and a bad design. Formica is awesome, go with that. You can't mar that, and to cut it requires a diamond blade.

  • Chris Lee
    Chris Lee 2 months ago

    i just too it for granite

    one out of that number idk

  • Max Cates
    Max Cates 2 months ago

    Liking Granite Countertops is a basic trait.

  • Lord Apathic
    Lord Apathic 2 months ago

    I think we should get a video on why Times New Roman is the only font we can use in High School and up.

  • RedLight GreenArrow
    RedLight GreenArrow 2 months ago

    Quartz counter tops look better anyway!

  • Blazeee
    Blazeee 2 months ago

    Marble is better.

  • Ryan Williams
    Ryan Williams 2 months ago

    I'd rather have an all stainless steel commercial style kitchen.

  • TxcGren
    TxcGren 2 months ago

    Just kinda replace Granite countertops with Supreme

  • Plat Daddy Sean
    Plat Daddy Sean 2 months ago

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

  • Steven Abbott
    Steven Abbott 2 months ago

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

  • Clickco
    Clickco 2 months ago

    i dont even have a granite countertop

  • Banana Bot
    Banana Bot 2 months ago

    2:05 look at the doll in the right windowsill

  • mike stu
    mike stu 2 months ago

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

    • mike stu
      mike stu 2 months ago

      Knowledge is power

  • 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 2 months ago

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

  • exo
    exo 2 months ago

    granite is so ugly on countertops

  • Vignesh Venkatesh
    Vignesh Venkatesh 2 months ago

    Who saw Annabelle. 2:02 look in the right

  • Abdiel Alfonso
    Abdiel Alfonso 2 months ago

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

  • Omeb Gaming
    Omeb Gaming 2 months ago

    Don't Take Life For Granite. 😤👌

  • Aaron J
    Aaron J 2 months 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 2 months ago

    1:34 she felt her butt

  • 6Star MBN
    6Star MBN 2 months ago

    Granite causes CaNCER

  • tealduck
    tealduck 2 months ago

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

  • Farpas MasterFarpador
    Farpas MasterFarpador 2 months ago

    This series are overrated

  • Reuben Hayward
    Reuben Hayward 2 months 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. 台灣人!

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

  • Diamond Empire
    Diamond Empire 2 months ago

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

  • Chris Spencer
    Chris Spencer 2 months 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 2 months ago

    i like marble

  • Jess Hull
    Jess Hull 2 months 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 2 months ago

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