A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Marble Institute of America went out in search of answers about the public opinion of granite countertops. The results are staggering; American homeowners consistently approve of granite countertops in both their aesthetics and their utility.
Over 1,500 homeowners were surveyed online with a focus on those who are intending to remodel their kitchens in the next few years. Of those surveyed, three fourths stated that they want granite countertops, and a slightly higher percent agreed with given positive statements about granite countertops. Consumers widely agreed that “nothing beats the beauty and value of granite countertops.”
Marble Institute member G.K. Naquin stated, “The survey shows what our customers tell us: no matter what the economy looks like, homeowners recognize that granite countertops enhance the value of their homes.” Naquin himself works for Stone Interiors in Loxley, Alabama—a company that sells granite in many forms, including countertops. “Consumers who are remodeling their kitchens see granite countertops as a safe investment in their homes. They prefer this natural stone to other materials because they understand it pays for itself in terms of higher resale value.”
Part of the survey involved rating countertop materials against each other. The metric by which they were measured was by home value increase; granite was voted better than its competitors by three-to-one. The runner-ups were solid surface materials (e.g. Corian®) at second, and manufactured stone products like Silestone and Caesarstone at third.
Homeowners were asked whether or not they agreed with statements about the quality of the material, and the overwhelming majority spoke positively about multiple aspects of granite countertops.
• 93% stated that granite countertops are an attractive addition to any home
• 91% agreed that granite countertops are strong and long-lasting
• 89% agreed that granite countertops pose no safety risks
Furthermore, 93% of the homeowners that are remodeling their kitchen in the next couple of years said that granite countertops are safe; their opinions are corroborated by recent scientific studies investigating the safety of granite countertops.
The latest of these studies was done by the independent laboratory Environmental Health & Engineering Inc. (EH&E). EH&E sought to investigate whether or not these countertops were a significant source of radon in households, as this was the chief concern about the danger of granite in households. They found conclusive results stating that 99.95% of all countertops produce less radon than can be found outside in the United States. In normal usage, granite countertops can transmit no level of radon concentration that would require remediation by the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (4 picocuries/liter).
“The most typical granite countertop installations would produce radon concentrations in the home that are 10,000 times lower than the EPA action level, and are so low they are not even measurable,” concluded the head of EH&E Dr. Joseph Allen. For granite countertops to produce the level of radon considered dangerous by the EPA, 13% of the home would have to be covered in the substance.
The statistical model created in the study by EH&E leaves the chances at one in one million.
The CEO of the Marble Institute of America, Gary Distelhorst, was outspoken about the safety concerns of consumers. “Natural stone like granite has been used in homes for thousands of years and now that new technology has reduced the cost of producing and shipping it around the world, more homeowners are embracing the beauty, durability and safety of granite countertops.”
Distelhorst had commissioned the survey, confirming the MIA’s beliefs on customer opinion. “Independent consumer surveys have consistently shown that Americans love the natural look of granite and value it above other countertop products.” Compared to other similar styles of countertop, granite has a persistent classical feeling in many different kinds of kitchens. As home designers approach 2020, consumers voting (both in surveys and with their wallets) agree that granite manages to shine even in modern kitchens.
The survey itself was demographically and geographically focused as well, taking care to measure the backgrounds of consumers. Those who have graduated from college and those in higher income brackets spoke highly of granite countertops, voting that they preferred granite over other materials. Households that had greater than four members heavily preferred granite. 87% of those measured from these demographics agreed that they desire granite for their next kitchen remodeling venture.
This survey is the second major project to show the opinions of consumers on granite. In 2008, a study conducted via Harris Interactive’s QuickQuerySM service showed that 55% of prospective buyers wanted granite countertops in what they described as their “dream kitchens.” That study measured adults 18 and older.