Is the granite/stainless steel kitchen a fad? - Page 4
Occasionally you'll see soapstone or corian or whatever, and steel countertops are very industrial feeling. But styles always change - partially market driven to get you to buy shit at Home Depot and partially just because people don't want the same stuff they had 10 years ago.
I wouldn't even be surprised if the whole combined kitchen/dining area/living area went away and we went back to separate rooms.
OT - I was watching House Hunter's International the other day and the buyer was complaining about not having granite and windows in the kitchen in this beautiful house in Morocco. Of course, nobody in Morocco with that kind of money would even step foot in the kitchen and I kept thinking how Americans don't really know how to be rich.
That's fantastic. And very true.
I always note the people who want a nice kitchen because they entertain a lot and "that's where people tend to gather." I'm always thinking, what kind of shit party are you throwing that people are gathered in the kitchen?
IMHO: The granite does serve a purpose in its durability, but expense is another issue. On the other end of the cost spectrum...Mica is still very much alive and Formica and Wilson Art have made some nice advances in this line, like the Wilson Art HD surface, and the prefabricated edging.
I will say that for certain appliances like your cook-top it makes sense to go with stainless. However, I am not constantly having grease and an over boiling pot going all over my frig and dishwasher.
#1 It's just the ugliest goddamn rock out there. The textures and colors are often too grainy and poorly scaled. Slate, marble, and soapstone are really the only stones I'd touch, because they offer a more useful delicacy and refinement.
#2 When you put granite on your counters, that means you'll need another 2-3 more materials to complete your kitchen ensemble, seeing as how granite is not for cabinets. Because most granite varieties are visually unique and "loud" it is very difficult to utilize granite within a palette of other materials, especially when those other materials are also loud or feature textures (which never complement granite's textures). Granite can really only be effectively used with a palette of very homogeneous materiality from ceiling to floors. Stainless steel offers that homogeneity, but that material simply doesn't go with granite, because they are too far removed on the scale of formality. Stainless steel is intrinsically refined and industrial. It's modern. Granite, despite its polish, is naturally rustic, which makes it a natural complement to wood, especially wood that is painted white. But if you use white cabinets, now you need a flooring option to mediate between them. You can't really go with white floors due to the nature of work in the kitchen, so you're almost stuck with the granite as your flooring option too, unless you paint your kitchen floors black, but then that affects the rest of the house. Every other attempt to work with three different materials of three different colors comes off as tacky and unrefined. You could potentially do everything in darker stained wood, but that's another whole set of issues.
If you primarily want stainless appliances or cabinets, or both, I would halt all attempts to link the classical stone counters with the stainless stuff. I would use butcher block or stainless steel counters and stick with a palette of similar "origin" or industriousness (with a generally preference towards stainless). I would only use stone counters within traditional kitchens as part of an authentic restoration attempt or with minimalist plastered or subway tiled kitchens, which give you a very large degree of homogeneity. But even in those scenarios, I'd be much more likely to use concrete with plastered kitchens, or untreated wood with white subway tile. So basically, fuck granite.
Check out how fucking stupid this looks:
Edited by StephenHero - 7/4/12 at 9:48pm
While I understand the mechanism of pricing what I do find a bit of bullshit is that granite is granite but the stuff with fancy grains costs significantly more. I would not have been able to afford all the expensive granite this house has if I was having it built. Housing meltdown ftw.
+1 to this. I did consider doing something else for my appliances but arrived at the same conclusion - for ovens basically all your choices suck.
We did opt for panel-front dishwashers but didn't splurge on them for the refrig (especially since doing so had other ramifications to the refrig. type), and I did consider a custom paint job for our range, but then it wouldn't have matched the wall ovens or the refrig. and it was just getting to be all trying-too-hard.
StephenHero will be happy to hear we did not go with granite countertops.
I've stayed in homes that had SS counter tops. Although functional, the sound of metal on metal is irritating to me.
For my next house, I will probably go with butcher block countertops, white sinks, white cabinets, white tile back splash and SS appliances. Maybe black and white tile floor or light hardwood.