Granite Countertops: An Evolution

Granite countertops are nothing new, so why don’t we see them in vintage houses or even popular 1980s homes?

Centuries ago, granite was the top choice of royalty and the uber-wealthy around the world. The elite loved it for the same reason we do today: It’s gorgeous, durable, available in a range of colors and patterns, and is blessedly cool on those hot summer days. Ancient Egyptians built entire buildings of granite.

In time, people began to see the usefulness of granite for more than construction. The Great Pyramid of Cheops in ancient Egypt was covered in granite, and it didn’t take long to discover that using this hearty material as a cooking prep surface made a lot of sense.

After all, if granite can withstand Egyptian heat, sandstorms and more, it can surely hold up to food prep!

The Granite Countertop Love Affair Begins

Like most materials, the use of granite was a slow and steady evolution.

However, the idea of countertops as we know them didn’t emerge until the 20th century. Previously, solid wooden tables, floors and any other readily available surface was the “prep space.” Using granite as a countertop started around the 1980s.

Humans can be a little slow to adopt such a new kitchen concept, and granite didn’t really begin gaining mass appeal until the late ’80s.

In America, using laminate and tiles in some regions had been working perfectly well for decades. Plus, America was still in the throes of a love affair with Formica and other man-made solid surfaces (remember the Wilsonart brand of the ’70s?). A few very wealthy Americans dabbled in natural stone countertops, including granite countertops, marble and limestone, but such an indulgence didn’t seem feasible or possible for most.

Product of the ’80s

In 1987, when granite countertops were just starting to be marketed to the general public, only two colors were available. Consumers were unimpressed by the relatively high price (compared to laminate) and lack of durability. At the time, granite processing wasn’t even close to perfect, which led to poor-quality granite that cracked, broke and chipped.

We’ve come a long way, as processing has highly advanced, and it’s well-known that granite countertops are among the most durable available.

Today, granite countertops are the No. 1 pick for kitchen countertops around the world. Granite is much preferred over any other man-made material, and the options for colors, patterns, finishes and slab thicknesses are nearly endless.

As kitchens and bathrooms just keep getting bigger, having quality, stunning granite countertops is more important than ever. Get in touch with Intermountain Stone & Marble today to find the granite countertop of your dreams.

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