“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Granite Schmamit
Friday, October 31, 2008

My mom has always been a trendsetter without trying. She has this knack for spotting new things waaaaay before they hit the mainstream. Proof: She installed her kitchen granite counter tops in 1983! Yep, a quarter of a century ago. They were so new back then that only one company in all of Colorado knew how to install them.

Well, I'm tired of granite counter tops. They've become ubiquitous and cliche and therefore, in my mind, outre. They have become a sign of nouveau riche. Whenever I hear anyone say, "Oh, and we installed GRANITE counter tops!" I have to close my eyes so they can't see me rolling them. "Why?" I generally will ask them. And they usually can't give me a good reason. Usually the people who choose granite counter tops aren't serious cooks because they are impractical as hell. You can't cut on them. (They ruin your knives) They stain easily. And talk about environmentally destructive: Think of all the clawing into Mother Earth that's being done to satisfy this senseless craze.

In my opinion, the best counter tops out there still are Corian ... or any other generic solid-surface counter. If you stain or scratch them you simply buff them with a fine-grade sandpaper.
In my current kitchen I have Formica ... made to look like faux black marble with white swirls in it. It came with the house. And it's fine. Granite does not belong in a 1954 ranch-style Florida home.


6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, granite does not stain. It cleans like a dream. Marble stains. And who in blazes cuts on their counter tops? (Unless they're wood, of course.) Otherwise, I can't find anything else to argue about in this blog.
You the man, Mr. Clean!

October 31, 2008 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Points well taken. Oh...and I did forget to mention something else about granite: You can set hot pans directly onto it. Very handy.

October 31, 2008 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss the terrazzo floors of olden. Oh how I loved those terrazzo floors.... My sibs and I would move all the chairs out of the way and sweep the floors and load a bucket with hot sudsy water and scrub. One of my sisters had a habit of using too much dish washing liquid for a cleaner and the suds were a riot. (Hey we lived in Ft. Myers and it was the sixties...we were a LITTLED BORED, Ok?!) After several buckets of rinse water we'd get out the towels and slide around to rock & roll, drying and dancing and shining those waxed terrazzo floors. We did it every Saturday. Thanks for starting a memory today for me Ad.
LU

October 31, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granite also emits radiation - see New York Times article......

What's Lurking in Your Countertop?

SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.

TESTING Reports of granite emitting high levels of radon and radiation are increasing.

DETECTION Using devices like the Geiger counter and the radiation detection instrument Stanley Liebert measures the radiation and radon emanating from granite like that in Lynn Sugarman’s kitchen counters.

“He went from room to room,” said Dr. Sugarman, a pediatrician. But he stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, which had richly grained cream, brown and burgundy granite countertops. His Geiger counter indicated that the granite was emitting radiation at levels 10 times higher than those he had measured elsewhere in the house.

read more....
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/garden/24granite.html

October 31, 2008 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Kathy Grey said...

OMG, radioactive granite! Who knew? Put your nutrient-sucking microwave on it and you've got quite a combo.

My home came with aqua blue formica countertops and I really liked them. Been in the house 4 years and I still really like them. They "pop" just the right color.

But you are breaking the heart of every decorina and household fashonista in America.

Good for you.

November 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, doing a simple google search reveals that granite stains quite easily, so no need to apologise to the granite fabricator that took offense to your staining cmmment. You have to be very careful cleaning it, use the special granite cleaners that have diluted sealer in them to keep it clean and the sealer continually renewed.

And DO NOT SET HOT POTS ON GRANITE! Ever see a cracked car window from using hot water to thaw it? Thermal expansion is the culprit. Again do a google search to prove it happens.

And granite does emit radiation and Radon. Both the CRCPD (state radiation officials) and AARST (Radon scientists) are currently meeting to set maximum allowed radiation/radon standards and measurement protocols for granite countertop materials. This controversy has been embraced by the scientists as being truly of concern.

We currently conducting a full scale radon test, 18 square feet of granite in a 96 square foot room has elevated the Radon levels to over 10 pCi/L, about like smoking 1 1/2 packs a day according to EPA information. Here is a link to veiw the test and the current results.

http://forum.solidsurfacealliance.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=98

December 25, 2008 at 10:39 PM  

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