Three-fourths of Homeowners Planning a Kitchen Remodel want Granite

Marble Institute of America
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New Survey Finds Homeowners Believe ‘Nothing Beats Value, Beauty of Granite Countertops’

CLEVELAND, OH, February 6, 2012 — A new survey of American homeowners shows they overwhelmingly recognize the value, beauty, durability and safety of granite countertops.

The survey of 1,588 homeowners, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Marble Institute of America found that 75 percent of homeowners who intend to remodel their kitchens in the next two years indicated they want granite countertops and 76 percent of homeowners agreed with the statement “nothing beats the beauty and value of granite countertops.”

“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,” said Marble Institute member, G.K. Naquin, of Stone Interiors in Loxley, Alabama, whose company sells granite and other 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.”

When asked to rate which countertop material most enhances the value of their homes, homeowners favored granite by more than a three-to-one margin over the second choice: solid surface materials, such as Corian®. Synthetic or manufactured stone products, such as Silestone, were rated a more distant third by the homeowners.

By overwhelming margins, homeowners agreed with the following statements about the natural stone:

  • 93 percent said granite countertops are beautiful
  • 91 percent said granite countertops are durable
  • 89 percent said granite countertops are safe

And 93 percent of homeowners who intend to remodel their kitchens in the next two years agreed that granite countertops are safe, reflecting the findings of several comprehensive scientific studies conducted during the past several years.

The latest scientific study, conducted by Environmental Health & Engineering Inc. (EH&E), an independent laboratory, definitively shows that granite countertops are an insignificant source of radon in the home and that 99.95 percent of countertops produce lower radon concentrations than are typically found outdoors in the U.S. The study also concluded that in normal applications there is no risk granite countertops will produce radon concentrations even close to levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says require remediation (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,” said Dr. Joseph Allen, who heads EH&E. He said the study’s statistical model predicts there is only a one-in-a-million chance of a granite countertop producing radon concentrations in the home that approached the EPA action level and that case would require that 13 percent of the home’s surface be covered with granite countertop material.

“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,” said Gary Distelhorst, CEO of the Marble Institute of America, which commissioned the survey. “Independent consumer surveys have consistently shown that Americans love the natural look of granite and value it above other countertop products.”

The study also showed consistent support for granite across regions of the country. Homeowners with college degrees and higher incomes voiced slightly higher preference for granite countertops. Homeowners with households of five people or larger were especially supportive of granite. Eighty seven percent of these respondents agreed with the statement, “The next time I remodel my kitchen, I want granite countertops.”

This is the second national consumer survey to show consumers prefer granite. A 2008 study showed 55 percent of consumers wanted granite countertops in their dream kitchens. That survey was conducted via Harris' QuickQuerySM online omnibus service between Oct. 7-9, 2008 of 2,021 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older.


The new homeowner survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Marble Institute of America from January 5th -9th, 2012 among 2,541 adults ages 18 and older, 1,588 of which were homeowners. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Garen Distelhorst at

About the Marble Institute of America
For over 65 years the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has been the world's leading information resource and advocate for the natural dimension stone industry. MIA members include marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and other natural stone producers and quarriers, fabricators, installers, distributors, and contractors around the world.


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