Will quartz countertops still be popular in the future?
I guess the real question is:
“If I invest in quartz countertops will I be happy with my decision in the long term?”
Predicting The Future
While it is obvious that no one can predict the future, especially the future of kitchen design and trends that seem to always be changing, we can make an educated guess on what the future of quartz countertops will look like based on the evolution of kitchen countertops over the past 70 years or so. Post WWII, with the US coming out of its evolution of the war efforts and just recovered from the effects of the great depression, Americans found a new sense of hope and future. With their ever-growing families, the need arose to produce homes quickly and affordably and so it is at this point that kitchen trends really blossomed.
1950 – 1970: The early 1950’s the kitchen still sees the trends of the 40’s with modern home kitchens mostly consisting of tile, wood, or soapstone countertops but soon a new trend emerges, formica countertops. This product was easy to produce, install and clean. It was not as durable or repairable as a tile countertop nor could it be refinished like a wooden countertop but it came in a range of dazzling colors that could match or contrast the colorful cabinets and appliances. Formica would rule the design trend well into the 1970’s.
1970 – 1980: Sometime in the 1970’s we saw the emergence of granite countertops. Since the 1920’s granite had been used for countertops but typically were installed in the homes of the wealthy but we saw it start to appear in the kitchens of the middle class.
1980 – 1990: The 1980’s brought about the trend of tile kitchens. There was an ever-growing variety of color and texture and homeowners found they could personalize their kitchens like never before. What they forgot was how difficult and frustrating it was to clean, and keep clean, all of the grout joints, not to mention that not all installations were installed properly. This meant that they would often experience uneven surfaces, cracked tiles and joints, and delamination of tiles from the substrate.
1990 – 2000: And so, the 1990’s brought about a change in kitchen countertop trends. It’s as if Americans were trying to answer this question: What material mimics the look of stone but is comparable to the price of tile while eliminating all of the heavy maintenance cleaning grout and yet doesn’t remind us of our parents’ kitchens of the 1960’s?
The answer was solid surface countertops like Corian. This material meant you could eliminate all joints including the sink joints by having one molded directly into the countertop! Like all materials this had its own drawbacks. The surface, because it was man-made, was not as durable as real stone and would often stain from acidic food like tomatoes and red wine. It was susceptible to hot objects and could actually burn under a hot pot. It also did a poor job of imitating the granite stone it was trying to impersonate. But despite its negatives, it was cheaper than real stone and was a very sleek look in a 1990’s kitchen.
2000s: In the 2000’s we saw granite countertops come down in price to the point where they were considered a viable option for middle class homes. This helped satisfy the need for a quality material that was not as susceptible to stains, had very few seams to clean, and was durable.
Like all countertop materials, granite had its negative aspects as well. First, it needed to be sealed at least once a year to resist staining. Second, it was still pricey compared to other countertop materials. Third, the color pallet was very limited especially in the price range of most middle class American kitchens. And 4th, the natural stone meant that no two kitchens would be identical and this meant a limited supply of any particular color. Despite its negatives, it has been, and still is, a popular choice for kitchen countertops.
During the 2000’s we also saw the popularity of quartz countertops gain traction. It actually has existed since the 60’s but mostly in European nations. This new material could realistically imitate real stone but provided more consistency and predictability of the countertop look. It still had the issue of damage from hot items but it did not need to be sealed, ever! It also was just as durable as real stone.
Today, there are two main kitchen countertop materials used in kitchens: quartz and granite.
No doubt that trends tend to be cyclical, reinventing themselves and repeating the process every couple of decades. With that being said, there are a few attributes of kitchen counters that are timeless.
It has to be durable. – Nobody wants to pay money for countertops that will need to be replaced or repaired often.
It has to be easy to clean. – For a countertop material to remain in the trend, people cannot become annoyed with the maintenance and upkeep.
It has to be cost effective. – Money. The trendiness of a material will heavily rely on whether or not most Americans can afford to put it in their kitchens.
It has to look good. – The design of a kitchen starts with the eye of the beholder. Manmade materials tend to look good with fresh eyes but then seem to wear out their welcome after a bit.
How to Future Proof Your Kitchen Countertops
Let’s return back to our original question. If I invest in quartz countertops will I be happy with my decision in the long term? Probably, yes. That is to say, even natural materials can tire the senses. Because quartz is durable, easy to clean, and cost effective it will probably see the longevity that granite countertops have.
For a kitchen to remain on trend try to stay with the classics.
1. Select a quartz that does a great job of mimicking real stone.
2. Select a neutral color with a modest level of movement in its surface patterns.
3. Select a quartz that gives you the ability to add texture, color, and pattern with the accessories in your kitchen and not with your countertops.
Or don’t! Half of the fun in having a new kitchen is to push the boundary of design and have the most visually stunning and trendiest kitchen you can have. Somebody has to start the trend. Maybe it’s you!
How Superior Stone Can Help
If you are looking for the latest quartz countertop materials in the Phoenix metro area we are your best choice. We have over a hundred different quartz colors to choose from and a wide variety in textures and edge profiles. We also offer wholesale prices since we order directly from the manufacturers. Stop by our 60,000 square foot warehouse and showroom located in Phoenix or contact us and we can schedule a free in-home estimate.