The Granite Countertop Style That Might Make Your Home Look Dated

Granite countertops are known for their stylishness, durability, and affordability, coming in a variety of colors, cuts, and finishes sure to fit any kitchen design scheme. While the material was once ubiquitous in kitchens throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, popularity eventually fell off, leaving kitchens with certain kinds of granite countertops looking drab and dated as the design world moved onto other kitchen materials like marble and quartz. 

According to experts, however, granite is still a great material for your countertops. Not only is it more widely available as a material, but much more diverse in varieties. Dramatically or subtly veined granite comes in all sorts of colors and textures and is great for adding another dynamic layer of interest through your countertops. It is also a more budget-friendly alternative that offers better durability than marble, as it resists staining from things like wine, citrus, and tomatoes.

Dark, speckled granite is out

Granite styles from the 1990s were often dramatically dark and speckled in pattern. As the material became more widely available that decade and more affordable to use, it proliferated in kitchen remodels and new builds, forming a striking backdrop for kitchens in shades varying from neutrals to bolder shades like reds, burgundy, and golds. The popularity, however, was more than an aesthetic factor, since dark-colored granite was a material that would show fewer scratches or damage in a well-used kitchen. 

Since it was so popular and could be found in homes far and wide, its look became almost synonymous with the next two decades. Real estate agents often advise against these dated counters. While other styles of counters like marble, quartz, concrete, and butcher block have endured and continue to remain favorites, this variety of granite seems trapped in the past, despite its superior durability and cost-friendliness compared to marble. The trend toward lighter and brighter kitchens has also marked a move away from darker counter materials in general. 

Lighter, veined granite is IN

As a material, granite, however, is still a sound choice, though today's granite is not necessarily the same stone proliferating around the turn of this century. The granite of today is often very close in resemblance to luxurious stones like marble and quartz that complement those lighter, brighter kitchens. The veining is usually subtle and lighter in color or more dark and dramatic, resembling the popular statement marbles. You can find modern granite countertops in an array of colors like beige, copper, and pink. 

Today's kitchen designs also change how the stone is used, with many designers running the stone much higher to the cabinets, or in some cases, up to the ceiling, presenting a great backslash alternative. The stone is much easier to clean than tile and is an element that draws the eye up, minimizing breaks and horizontal lines, making the entire space feel larger and more cohesive. 

Granite also complements a wide variety of aesthetics, making it perfect if you know your style may change down the road. White subtly veined granite, like this one from Home Depot, can be both traditional or sleek and modern. Similarly, a granite with a more natural craggy custom edge can work perfectly in a rustic kitchen but also is sculptural enough to work in more contemporary spaces. For a high-contrast look in a lighter kitchen, choose a deep black veined variety like this one from Lowes.