If you go into almost any home that has granite countertops, you might notice that their countertops have a black-gold-green sheen to them. That’s a specific type of granite known as “Uba Tuba” granite in the interior design community, and for the longest time, it was everywhere you looked.
Uba Tuba granite countertops were featured on homes in TV shows. Uba Tuba was found on homes in Martha’s Vineyard. Uba Tuba was even dubbed “a must-have” for every home that was even remotely stylish. Nowadays, white marble countertops are the “in thing,” or so it seems.
So, what’s the deal? Is Uba Tuba really going to be the 60s shag carpet of our generation? Let’s take a look…
Is Uba Tuba Granite Out Of Style?
It’s no secret that Uba Tuba was once used with little regard to color matching around 10 to 20 years ago. You’d see it paired with cherry wood (nice!), blue tile (uhhh…) and even more extreme matches like salmon-colored tile.
Sadly, if you were to ask most interior designers today, they would tell you that Uba Tuba has a dated look. This is mostly because they were considered to be a staple among upscale kitchens—to the point of being a “design material of the decade.”
Since it was so popular back in the day, you’re inevitably going to have a certain retro (or dated) look to your kitchen if you have this type of granite as your countertop of choice. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it…
Why Use Uba Tuba Granite Today?
Though it may be considered “dated” as a general rule, there are still plenty of reasons to use this material in your home. Some of the best reasons include:
- No Fuss Cleaning. Truth be told, dark countertops can offer a lot of ease when it comes to cleaning your kitchen. That includes Uba Tuba. Dark countertops don’t stain as easily, and since Uba Tuba is granite, it’s also fairly easy to wipe away messes after a serious cooking spree.
- Though this material is considered to be retro, it’s still possible to put together a visually-striking kitchen together using it. Black goes with a lot of different looks, and that includes “clashing” it with white marble.
- Oh yeah, and Uba Tuba also happens to be remarkably strong. This is a countertop material that won’t quit on you anytime soon.
- It’s Unique. Believe it or not, there aren’t any other types of granite out there that have that beautiful iridescent flakiness that Uba Tuba has. You can credit the mica flakes found in the mines of Brazil for that.
Can Uba Tuba Be Modernized?
Yes, but it’s going to take a little bit of effort. Uba Tuba is a lot like shag carpet. You are going to have to get very creative or very bold to make people rethink its aesthetic. It just screams early 2000s.
If you are smart about how you design your kitchen and have a specific look in mind, there’s a good chance that you can make Uba Tuba look modernized. After all, there’s always a new way to design using an old-fashioned material.
How To Use Uba Tuba Granite In A Modern Way
If you are a little heartbroken hearing about Uba Tuba’s label as “dated” by designers, don’t worry. You can still style up a totally modern kitchen using this mica-laden countertop. It’s all about knowing what to do, and what to avoid…
What To Avoid When Using Uba Tuba
When you’re using a material that’s cliched, the number one thing you never want to do is be a stereotype. This is especially true if you want to prove to people that Uba Tuba doesn’t have to be out of style. We suggest the following:
- Don’t use it with cherry cabinets. Everyone had this look back in the early 2000s. You can be more imaginative than that.
- Don’t match it with other dated decorations. Remember how everyone had that creamy yellow curtain color back in the day? Yeah, don’t do that.
- Avoid using it with darkened faucets. This was another strong match that became incredibly cliche as days went on.
- Don’t be dark! The big reason this granite fell out of style is because it darkened up kitchens and made them seem smaller than they really are.
What To Do When Using Uba Tuba
There’s nothing wrong with liking a material and using it in your home, even if it’s considered to be dated. If you are going to insist on using Uba Tuba and want to make it look more modern, consider these options:
- Lighten up. You want your dark countertops to be somewhat of a contrast with the rest of your decor. So, if you want to get with this granite, we suggest pairing it with light grey wooden floors or with a bright white backdrop.
- Work with newer textures. The brushed wood look that many vinyl floors have today is super modern, but also has that timeless look to it. Having sanded tiles can also give yur kitchen a unique contrast that adds an exotic flair.
- Go minimalist. Uba Tuba was a thing during the days of a maximalist kitchen, where everything was dark and a little glitzy. White, crisp backgrounds and a minimalist look are an easy way to go more modern.
- Add space and lighting. Most kitchens from yesteryear were dark, dingy little things. Adding brighter lighting and opting for space-enhancing add-ons (like mirrors or large windows) is a good move.
What Uba Tuba Alternatives Are There?
If you’re a fan of dark granite, the best alternative you can get is a straight black countertop. It’s hypermodern and can be matched with almost anything. Aside from that, any textured dark grey countertop (such as marble) could be a good match that has a more modern aesthetic.
So, Is Uba Tuba Really Out Of Style?
Yes, but there’s a catch. When most people think of this type of granite, they tend to think of the hackneyed kitchens that featured dark wooden cabinets, gaudy curtains, and dim lighting. That look is old and there’s not really much one can do to save that in the eyes of the design world.
What we’re saying is that the problem isn’t the material. Uba Tuba is remarkably resilient and will look great for years to come. If you take the time to create a kitchen design that’s bright, sunny, and has that “open” look that modern design trends espouse, the fact that you used Uba Tuba won’t be a sin.