If you spend any time watching home renovation shows, you know one thing: You need granite countertops. “Granite” has almost become a magical word in the housing industry, instantly striking up interest among homebuyers. If you look around Spokane, you’ll notice that the majority of recent builds and renovations sport this material in their countertops. But how did America become so obsessed with granite? When did this craze begin, and what made everyone decide it was such a necessity in a modern home? Here’s an interesting look at America’s granite obsession, and how granite countertops in Spokane Valley went from a niche material to an absolute necessity.
In the Beginning…
You actually don’t have to look back that far to find a time when granite wasn’t all the rage. In fact, it was only about three decades ago that granite began gaining attention as a “cutting-edge” building material in Los Angeles. However, at the time, it was far too expensive for most consumers, and was reserved to the upper-class homes. For the next several years, granite remained a very exclusive building material, and competed with marble for popularity among the social elite.
But by the late ‘90s, a few major changes occurred in the granite industry, and they made it easier than ever to get granite countertops in Spokane Valley, Washington, as well as throughout the rest of the country.
More Importers Entered the Scene
Prior to the mid-‘90s, Italy had an almost exclusive pass to import granite to the United States. But then, a few other countries started entering the granite market; Brazil, China, and India began quarrying, processing, and shipping the material. Naturally, the increased supply caused the price of granite to drop, and quite suddenly, it became a more accessible material for middle-class Americans. Homeowners and builders quickly snatched up this cheaper material and, in Spokane Valley, granite countertops soon became a must-have.
In fact, Italy isn’t even the main man when it comes to shipping granite to the US anymore; Brazil provides roughly 50% of America’s granite materials. In fact, in the early 2000s, Brazilian importers were scouring the United States for buyers for their excess granite. And that’s when the granite boom really began, truly making it a necessity to have granite countertops in Spokane Valley.
Granite Shipping Got Simpler
It wasn’t just new importers that drove down the price of granite though. Around the same time, containerized shipping was growing in popularity, and granite suppliers soon learned that they could precut their granite on site, and then pack and ship them safely to another country without fear of damaging the slabs. This saved costs for suppliers, and added another drop to the cost of granite for buyers. Washington homebuilders and remodelers began installing granite countertops in Spokane Valley, WA, in greater numbers.
Cutting Granite Is Easier
Another major reason that granite was such a niche material in the past was that it required a very specialized and experienced mason to precisely cut and shape the material for countertop use. When these things had to be done by hand, it was a time-consuming and difficult process, and very few masons could accomplish it. Now, however, we have computerized controls that allow us to cut very precise and clean lines the very first time. Reduced labor for the material means, once again, reduced seller costs, and so granite prices dropped even further.
Of course, you still want an experienced mason to handle the material to ensure it’s done properly. At Cornerstone Granite and Tile, we combine this new and efficient technology with time-tested processes and decades of experience. The result is some of the finest granite countertops in Spokane Valley.
The Housing Boom
With all of these factors at play, granite was suddenly available for the average homeowner. Usually, this would make for a gradual rise in the material’s popularity. However, all these factors also coincided with the American housing bubble of the 2000s. Houses were going up at an alarming rate, and builders utilized this suddenly affordable material as an enticement for new homebuyers. Granite countertops became standard in many of these new homes, and a major selling point for the builders. New constructions in Spokane Valley with granite countertops would always highlight the addition of this once-exclusive material.
The reduced price of the material hadn’t yet erased granite’s reputation of a high-end, luxurious building material, and homebuyers quickly jumped at the opportunity to own a home with granite countertops in Spokane Valley, WA. Soon, they became the standard for what Americans considered a “nice” home, and homebuyers in the US now refuse to settle for anything less.
It was really a perfect storm of factors that brought granite to its current level of popularity. And while other materials like marble and quartz countertops in Spokane Valley are gaining in popularity, it’s unlikely that granite is going to be losing its luster any time soon. So if you’re looking for granite countertops in Spokane Valley, you can rest assured that you’re investing in a material that offers durability in both its form and its popularity.
Contact Cornerstone Granite and Tile to learn more about getting your own granite countertops in Spokane Valley. Our granite experts can help you to oversee your project from start to finish, and offer superior craftsmanship on every project we install. Contact us today!