I thought granite was so over. But according to a study done for the National Association of Home Builders, (NAHB) it still rules the American countertop, going into a remarkable 64 percent of new homes. TreeHugger has complained about granite many times, going on about how it is unsanitary (it is full of fissures and cracks that can harbour bacteria and has to be sealed) that it is environmentally problematic in many of the places where it is quarried, and even that it can be radioactive.
Countertops are so interesting because it is one of the very few things that homebuyers really have a choice about when they walk into a builder’s sales office. Granite is popular because it used to be really expensive and luxurious, before it got globalized, commoditized, containerized and computerized.
I have tried to make the case that good old laminate, which everyone had 50 years ago, is still a good choice.
Granite countertops are overwhelmingly the most popular with 64 percent of new homes having this material type. It is no surprise that only 14 percent of new homes have laminate countertops. Based on data from Houzz and NAHB’s Consumer Preference Survey report, laminate countertops are the least desired kitchen feature and are likely only installed when affordability is a major concern. Besides these material types, 9 percent each of new homes have engineered stone and solid-surface countertops.