Though the use of granite in various architectural applications is quite common, the natural stone is found to be amazingly popular among Americans for its use in countertops. According to the latest study (NAHB), it has been discovered that granite is the most popular countertop material despite the availability of numerous materials at present. In most cases, granite’s upscale look and premium visuals make it a countertop material of choice. Let’s find out more in the below article.
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise for you that granite countertops are overpoweringly the most prevalent with 64 percent of fresh homes preferring this material. At the same time, it is shocking to know that only 14 percent of the new households feature laminate countertops. According to a study done by Houzz and NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), laminate countertops are the slightest preferred kitchen feature and are possibly only chosen when affordability emerges as a big concern. Apart from these material types, 9 percent of new homes have countertops of engineered stone and solid surfaces.
So how granite went from a niche stone choice to mass obsession? American imports of granite have gone up by nearly tenfold in the past 2 decades. It’s not only altering consumer preference that triggered the shift — major global market forces also played a role in this granite takeover.
Reasons that make granite countertops so popular in the USA
- More countries are coming into the granite business. Particularly India
If you are looking for high-quality granite slabs wholesale, it is more likely that you would choose from Indian granite suppliers. The first and foremost reason is the premium quality of Indian granite. Second, there are lots of varieties available to choose from. Third, the cost is quite reasonable as compared to other countries like Brazil.
Before the mid-2000s, Italy was known to be a pioneer in granite shipping and processing, but things changed over a period of time. More countries like India, China, and Brazil got into the granite business and changed the dynamics of the industry to large extent. Though the United States has ample deposits of granite, other countries can provide a wider granite variety at a much lower price. That led to the increased popularity of granite countertops and resulted in a surging cycle of demand and supply.
Mostly, American imports of finished granite are controlled by China, Italy, and Brazil, with India providing meeting nearly half of the granite demand.
- Shipping granites gets simpler
Previously, buyers usually got their granite from local granite suppliers, and that kept them coarsely in a match with local costs. As procuring granite from other countries became easier, it made the stones more affordable for builders and households.
Though the concept of shipping granite blocks in containers is not new, it got more acceptance due to competitive granite prices.
As granite slabs are primarily used for preparing countertops that could be pretreated on the site and then securely packed and transported, which was mainly new to the 90s, it became thinkable for buyers to procure granite from different parts of the world.
- Granite is easier to treat
When a granite block or slab arrives at a site, it gets cut into the best matching size and is then hand-shaved by an expert operating a commercial grinder. But at present, computer-operated saws are being used to make major cuts, for example, the hole for a sink, quite easily and effectively.
- Newer Technologies
The modern miners use such a unique process from those of their early precursors, and with the help of high-end machinery and innovative technology, the mining of granite has become a lot more efficient than ever before. For example, instead of cutting the stone by hand, computer-controlled saws are being used to make major cuts, including slab dimensions and kitchen sinkholes, whereas granite stone processing experts use industrial grinders to hand-process the granite. The introduction of advanced processing methods and labor charges from the introduction of artificial intelligence has resulted in the reasonable pricing of natural stones including granite.
Though granite mining techniques may have been evolved, the arrangement of the stone has always been untouched. Each piece is completely unique distinctive as there are over 3,000 granite varieties, and the vicissitudes in hue are an outcome of its mineral composition. But, with more accessibility, today’s buyers are can get to choose from a much wider variety of colors and patterns. Certainly, granite comes with advantages over softer stones such as marble that can more easily stain or etch, but it did not always challenge other natural stones as it does at present.
- The rising trend
The scheduling of the granite acceptance is closely related to the boom of the housing sector of the 2000s. That’s possibly not by chance. Drifts in home construction during that time period may be helped altered public opinion on what a “great” countertop should look like.
As builders make use of granite in their projects, it rapidly became a norm. In turn, even ancient structures requiring renovation latched onto that granite trend. Just one style — a surge in home construction has taken granite along for the jump and preserved the impression that granite was the prime element of newer construction.
With the presence of so many pluses, granite stone is truly a winner when it comes to sprucing up a countertop. Not only the USA, but this trend is covering other regions too including UK, UAE, Europe, and Australia and so on. Considering this surge, it can be easily said that the current inclination towards granite countertops doesn’t seem to take a break.