The beauty, hardness and utility of granite make it a highly desirable material for counter tops in home design.

In addition to its natural strength, granite is a beautiful stone that adds color and warmth to a room. Though the cost to add granite counter tops to any new or remodeled kitchens can sometimes be quite high, they remain the premiere choice in many new and remodeled homes.

The price of granite counter tops ranges from $39.95 to $150+ per square foot, which may or may not include the cost of installation. The premium cost is not in the stone itself, but rather in the costs related to transportation and installation, the availability and scarcity.

The stone industry remains unregulated, which can make it confusing to consumers. Every entity that handles the granite, from the quarry to the supplier and the fabricator, can establish their own pricing based on the demand in the local market.

Granite suppliers will typically have multiple groupings (or “levels”) of granite to choose from. The first level will consist of the more available products that sell for the lowest price. Stones are grouped based on several criteria including the country of origin, color, veins or patterns, thickness of slab, amount of soft minerals in the stone, and current fashion trends. Some granite colors exhibit “movement” or a distinctive pattern within the color. The combination of color and movement also affect the final price of granite counter tops. Any granite which consists of semi- precious stone will be elevated in pricing.

 

Granite from lower levels have the same beauty and utility as the slabs in the upper groupings. Additionally, stones in a lower level could be harder than stones in a higher level. A lower level could also be referred to as “commercial grade”. Typically the commercial grades had a large number of  “pits” that have been filled in. The presence of softer minerals may require additional cabinet supports or penetrating sealant, which adds to the final price of granite counter tops.

Cheaper, thinner cut stone may be a little less than two centimeters instead of a recommended three, in which case the installer would laminate it to plywood backing for additional stability. We do not advise purchase of thinner stone due to increased chances of damage with heavy use. Discount granite suppliers will typically deal with a thinner cut stone; many suppliers now carry stones that are intentionally cut thin and laminated at the quarry. It is now common for stone that originates in Asia or India to be cut thin and fabricated prior to shipping; consumers will often find these products used in prefabricated granite vanity sinks.

The price of granite counter tops is greatly affected by the number of seams and cuts that will have to be made in the stone slabs. Discuss how the cuts will be made when the installer or fabricator makes their preliminary measurements for the template. Depending on the length and shape of the counter tops being installed, there will be some waste by the time the fabricator is finished, such as the cutout for sinks. The cost of wasted material is paid by the homeowner as it is part of the fabrication process.

Another factor for pricing granite is the profile edge that is fabricated on the ends of your counter tops. Easier cuts such as a half bullnose, eased edge or quarter bevel (quarter inch) will commonly be offered as standard features with no price increases. More elaborate cuts such as ogee, cove ogee, waterfall; Dupont and others will often be charged by the linear foot of edge to your counter top, and though they will create an elegant finished edge to your counter creation, they can cost considerably more.

Shopping for granite counter tops doesn’t have to be frustrating. Focus on working with our teams who are willing to answer all your questions and guide you through the process. Despite the fact that labor expenses are the largest price of granite counter tops, this is one project that need to be left to the professionals. The over- sized sheets are extremely heavy while delicate and must be precisely cut. Failure to properly set granite counter top could create an expensive mistake for do- it- yourself homeowners.

As a synopsis, if you have a 12 foot long countertop with 1 undermount sink cutout ($200), no splash, you select a Level I granite with a standard profile edge, your cost will be $1,300 installed.

That same length countertop in a Level IV granite would run $2,036; a Level 8 granite would be $3,186 – about 33% more.  If you keep in mind this common rule of thumb calculation, 14% difference in lower levels, and about 10% difference in higher levels.  If you are considering both a Level I and a Level III, the price difference between the two would be approximately 28%.

In comparison with other countertops, a lower level granite countertop is quite affordably priced, provides durability and little maintenance, can stand up to the trials of time and kitchen prep work while offering a unique, natural product: an individual look all of your own!