Did granite countertops actually look good in the early 2000s?

I have been looking at houses and the dated granite countertops are a dead giveaway the place was last renovated in the early 2000s. It looks so ugly now but did it actually look good at the time or was it just used because that was the best material available?

I think a couple of things. The phrase ‘granite counters’ became a huge deal somewhere in the early 2000s, give or take. I suspect the rich people had them, and then builders figured out how to get cheap enough granite that they could be installed in less expensive homes. So a lot of what you see on houses from that era are the cheapest granite the builder could buy, see pic below. So there was a boom with builders being able to add ‘granite counters’ to the listing, and for many people, any granite is better than no granite.

Why do they look dated? Same reason a lot of things seem dated, they were really popular and the trends moved on. Happened to Corian before granite, and I suspect quartz is next to become dated.

Related, I’m looking at counters now for the master bath. I’m currently really obsessed with doing soapstone but am also considering a marble that’s on the whiter end. Trying to find something that’s reasonably appropriate for a 1912 craftsman house and that will age well. Limestone is also of interest but not as readily available.

Granite seems wasteful to me. Like, it’ll be used for 20 years, then live in a landfill for eternity. They should recycle it somehow.

We do laminate because I get wholesale pricing, my SO has some weird aversion to etching work surfaces. And laminate is an easy change and update every half dozen years. Paint and new counter tops, about 750 for me.

How often should a house be renovated? I think I’m still ok with the early 2000s look. Probably cheaper for me to buy a dated house and upgrade it to current standards and be happy with it for the next 20 years than pay a lot more money for a house that was renovated 10 years ago that will look dated sooner.

But I’m also not looking to move out of this house ever again and my standards are likely lower than most on here. My carpet has needed replaced since I moved in and I keep putting it off because who really cares?


I have grown to really, really hate house trends. I’m supposed to spend however many tens of thousands of dollars updating the kitchen, and then do it again in 20 years???

Don’t even think about doing gray-on-gray right now, that will be super dated in a decade. Or modern farmhouse, or whatever the Joanna Gaines look is called. Future you will thank you for not having a barn door on the bathroom.


I bought a house in the late 90s. All the pricier, newly renovated places I looked at had granite countertops, most of those looked nice at the time. I bought a home with white Formica countertops, and I’ve been happy with that. But I liked the granite enough that I bought a 2’x2’ slab for the bit next to the stove. It’s nice to be able to take a hot item off the stove or out of the oven and plop it down there. Also, it’s fairly easy to chill it and use it to make pastry. I bought a tight-grained granite and never bothered to seal it, so it has gradually darkened with age. I’m sure it look “dated”, but I don’t care. It’s extremely functional.

(I use other parts of the kitchen to process raw meat, as I worry about bacteria lurking in the granite pores. But I have plenty of non-granite countertop, and plenty of cutting boards. So I don’t worry much.)

I would recommend a sturdier surface, or one that is cheaper to replace. They used to use those stones because they were easy to cut, but better cutting tools are available now.

It’s not as problematic to have a softer surface in the bathroom as it would be in the kitchen… but old marble fittings don’t just look “outdated”, they look worn and stained.

Also, limestone is porous. Like, a lot more porous than granite or marble. It can be pretty on … the interior wall of a bank or something, but I wouldn’t want it in my bathroom.

They kinda dig it out of “landfill” in the first place. I don’t see any problem with removing a chunk of stone from the ground using it for some length of time, and then putting it back into the ground. I really don’t think Canada is going to run out of space where they can put landfills.

When stuff stops working, or when the appearance or functionality bug you. If you own it, and you like it, who cares whether it looks “dated”.

My house was built in the 50s and the kitchen has all original cabinetry. I LOVE it. It’s so much more practical than modern trends. Yes, it’s a little hard to pull the pie plates out from the corner, but it seems better than just throwing away that space, which would be the other option.

Granite is still king per National Association of Home Builders

I admit my concern is irrational.

Ontario sends a whole bunch of it’s garbage to michigan. We’re all full up here.

It may be cheaper to ship it to Michigan than to build a new sanitary landfill, but you have PLENTY of space for new landfills.

We looked at granite, I thought I could find a black granite and have it honed rather than polished to get a soapstone look with granite durability, but I couldn’t find one I loved.

Our house is 110 years old, and the lighting fixtures going in the room are about as old, we are putting in a piece of ~120 year old stained glass and an old transom window. So a little wear and tear around here is just character.

And yes, my wife is 108% tired of the word ‘appropriate,’ as it pertains to what materials we use for this remodel.

OT: I have two windows high up (20 feet or so) in my foyer that don’t open. They are original panes, and I’d like to replace them with electric opening “transom” windows (not over a doorway, but they are transom-sized), so that I can open them from the ground floor. The reason I want these is for airflow, to cool the house later in the day (or all night). Or, warm it up during the day (rare).
Do these exist? Seems like it might be a custom job.
Like this, only way higher:
Please see this Award Winning project in the October 2014 issue of New York Cottages & Gardens Magazine: NYC&G

Back to your topic: unless you are looking to place your home in some magazine, or win some best antique home in the city, or it was designed by a famous architect, I’m not sure why you’re bothering. Most kitchens of that day didn’t have nice refrigerators, so you’re already blowing it. You can get stuff that looks like it was built yesteryear when it was actually built yesterday.

My house will be undergoing major upgrading (no major remodeling as it’s pretty much open plan) within the year, as most everything is 40 years old original. Have already upgraded fridge a few times, oven/stove (to gas from electric) and dishwasher twice, so those aren’t leaving, but wife wants new everything else, plus knock down an overhanging storage area, put more storage in the dinette area, replace all of the flooring (carpeting and ceramic tile) with wood-looking floor that won’t break glass dropped from one inch off the floor. Wants to convert living room into a workout room.

All this written because she is going to want some new countertops (currently again tiles that break every glass dropped). So, what should we get?

It’s custom, but most windows are because there are a million sizes. And you can get motors to tilt them for a few hundred bucks. Install could get expensive, you have some fabrication to hook it all up, and electrical work.

Check this out:

I’d say it is more an awning than a transom, in a literal sense.

I have Pella windows (so they’ll match), but they don’t seem to carry motors. And there’s no way I’m climbing up a 20 foot ladder to open a window every day. Well, unless I build in one of those library ladders on a track at the top and wheels on the bottom. Hmmm…

Anywho, granite countertops? Whatev’s, man. They do last a long time, so one less thing to remodel frequently. You just have to like them forever.
And when you’re looking at houses, it should not be a deal breaker, just that you’ll have to spend a month or so without a kitchen while it gets remodeled.

Bucket list item. Do it.

It’s Done!
On the Bucket list!

If the goal is “doesn’t break stuff”, you want laminate, or corian, or off-brand corian, or wood. Wooden counters are a bitch to maintain, so you don’t want wood. Stuff breaks on granite and quartz and tile, and to a lesser extent on marble. I guess you could go stainless steel, but that’s pretty ugly and industrial for home use, and it’s hard to keep it looking good.

My kitchen came with a tile floor, and EVERYTHING that falls to the floor breaks. But we never bothered to replace it, and it does hold up well. We lost a lot of plates and bowls when the kids were small, though.

The first condo I bought had granite and I thought it was the sign of luxury.

Now I think it looks ugly af.

I prefer marble/stone with large patterns.

Our house has granite, but the people we bought it from got the fancy kind with big huge sweeping patterns. I personally love it. The previous owners of our home did a full remodel so we haven’t done anything except by some furniture to fill space.

They did a couple of things that I really love. They didn’t use white paint anywhere. I hate the white and grey everything trend. We have far too many beautiful colors in this world to live in an all white space. They also installed luxurious curtains in the whole house. Every window grouping has different curtains. I first thought it was a bit much but they are really functional and make the house look dignified and timeless. Our foyer is 2 stories high and has a window on the door and 2 long windows on each side of the door. They hung a 10’ curtain above the door frame that goes all the way to the floor which I had never seen. That curtain has become a daily ritual for me as I open it in the morning and close it when we start settling in for the night. Keeps us from ever answering the door after dark if we don’t want to.