Cost of Granite Countertops

Granite countertop costDon’t let your remodeling budget go over-board by hidden surprises – understand what the average installed costs for Granite Countertops is in your zip code by using our handy calculator. If you’re looking for 2018 breakdown for Cost of Granite Countertops materials and what installation cost might be, you’ve come to the right place.

As an experienced licensed home improvement contractor, I know first hand what it should cost for various levels — from Basic, Better, and of course the best. This Granite Countertops estimator will provide you with up to date pricing for your area. Simply enter your zip code and the square footage, next click update and you will see a breakdown on what it should cost to have Granite Countertops installed onto your home

Example: a 10 x 10 area = 100 square feet.

Granite Countertops CostsZip Code Sq. ft.
BasicBetterBest
Granite Countertops – Material Prices$405.00 – $459.00$504.00 – $559.00$653.50 – $907.50
Granite Countertops – Installation Cost$156.00 – $168.50$173.00 – $188.00$202.50 – $207.50
Granite Countertops – Total$561.00 – $627.50$677.00 – $747.00$856.00 – $1115.00
Granite Countertops – Total Average Cost per square foot$59.42$71.20$98.55

How much does it cost to install Granite Countertops?

Granite countertops cost on average $40 to $90 per square foot and higher. Why the large differences in price? Granite has a grade system with a grade rating of 1 to 8, with 8 being the most unique and expensive slab of granite. The higher the rating, the less impurities such as: Fractures and odd grain patterns. For an average kitchen with 40 square ft. of counter space to install, using mid-grade grade level 5 granite, look to spend roughly $50-$70.00 per square ft. Labor will cost you between $15-$23 per square ft. with material cost running between – $2,600-$3,720.

Additional Costs and Considerations:

  • Imported granite – This type of granite usually costs on average 30% more than your basic granite starting price of $40 per sq ft. If you’re on a budget, you’re better off going to a local stone fabricator shop as they will have the best prices and normally will have stone that was cut in your region.
  • Granite Colors – Darker shades of color have a higher cost than lighter shades of stone. Darker colors tend to cost on average $10 per square ft more than lighter tones.
  • Edging – Depending on the style of edging you choose, these prices can run in the neighborhood of $7-12 per linear ft.
  • Granite Polish – This will run you about $1-2 per square ft depending on the polish used.
  • Granite thickness – 3/4″ will run you between 20-30% less than the standard 1 1/4″ slab.
  • Sink cut-outs – Expect to pay around $75-$125 each.

Other types of Granite

In general, granite countertop prices vary depending on the type and format of the material. With that in mind, here is a detailed look at various types granite cost per square foot.

  • Granite Slabs: $40 – $90 per square foot
  • Granite Tile: $10 – $40 per square foot

Granite Tile:

The process of converting granite rock into granite slabs (slabbing), typically generates granite offcuts. Instead of throwing away these offcuts, granite fabricators use them to make granite tiles. This means that granite tiles and slabs consist of the same material and as a result, largely offer the same qualities associated with granite rock including durability, heat resistance, rich hues, and a sense of texture and luxury. However, a granite slab is typically much bigger than a granite tile. More specifically, a granite slab is essentially a long continuous piece, with dimensions ranging anywhere from 400 to 450 square feet. This means that a single granite slab can cover the entire area of your countertop, eliminating the need for seams.

A granite tile, on the other hand, is much smaller, measuring anywhere from 15 to 32 square feet. This means you would need several granite tiles to cover your entire countertop area, translating to more seams, which can make diminish the beauty of your countertop. Fortunately, granite tiles are significantly less expensive than granite slabs. Granite tiles cost anywhere from $6 to $10 per square foot, making them the most cost-effective way to get granite on your countertop. What’s more, granite tiles are generally easier to install compared to a granite slab. It is important to note that installing a granite slab requires special tools, professional knowledge and meticulous care. To lower the installation cost, you can butt the tiles up against each other and affix with epoxy instead of using grout and mortar.

Modular Granite: $25 to $50 Per Square Foot

Similar to granite tiles, modular granite is made from granite offcuts generated during the processes of converting granite rock into granite slab. However, modular granite is much larger than granite slab and therefore requires fewer seams than granite tile. A typical box of modular granite weighs anywhere from 35 to 80 pounds, meaning it is much easier to transport and handle than a full-size granite slab, making it ideal for DIY projects. In fact, if you are a DIY enthusiast, modular granite is probably the best mid-range granite option available on the market today. That being said, modular granite is typically available in standard countertop shapes, configuration and sizes, making it a particularly ideal option for a conventional option. For instance, the edge pieces typically feature a built-in bullnose while the back pieces feature a built-in backsplash. Additionally, corner configurations are available for sinks. Modular granite often comes pre-sealed, eliminating the need for a granite sealer.

The cost of modular granite generally varies from one fabricator to another, but expect to pay anything from $25 to $50 per square foot, which is about half the cost of a granite slab. At the same time, depending on the fabricator, you can purchase modular granite as individual pieces or in sets/kits. In regards to installation, modular granite installation normally requires professional knowledge, tools and materials. If you lack any of these things, you should hire a professional installer for the job. If you hire a professional installer, expect to pay anything from $5 to $10 per square foot installed.

Slab Granite: $40 to $90 Per Square Foot

Measuring about 10 feet long, 6 feet wide and 3/4 inch or 1 1/4 inches thick, a granite slab is basically a large, processed sheet of granite. In terms of weight, the thicker and thinner slabs weigh around 20 and 13 pounds, respectively. At this point, it is important to note that you can also purchase a laminated granite slab, which typically consists of two 3/4 inch slabs glued together to create a 11/2 inches thick slab. To produce slate granite, the raw material (granite) is first mined from granite mines located in countries such as China and India and China and then processed into granite sheets, which are shipped to the U.S. or Italy for more cutting

Because it is obtained directly from granite rock rather than granite remnants, it is the best granite countertop material. However, slab granite is huge and heavy, making it unsuitable for DIY projects. In fact, slab granite is difficult to transport and the Installation process typically requires professional expertise as well as special tools and materials. On average, the cost of installing a granite slab countertop is more or less the same as the cost the granite slab, according to a recent survey. This means that, if a foot of granite slab costs, say, $40.00, expect the installation cost to be about $23.00, too. In other words, you would spend around $63.00 to purchase and install your granite slab.

However, this slab-to-total cost correlation tends to vary depending on the quality of a granite slab. More specifically, the cost of installing high-end granite slabs is significantly lower than the cost of installing low-grade granite slabs. For example, the aforementioned survey found that the installation cost for slab granite that costs $10 per foot is $35 per foot, meaning the slab-total ratio is around 3.5. On the other hand, the installation cost for a high-end granite slab that goes for $40 per square foot is $66, translating to a 1.65 slab-total ratio. Put another way, this ratio drops drastically as the price of granite slab increases. Still, installation costs account for about 50% of the cost of a slab granite countertop. Fortunately, most granite fabricators who sell high-end slab granite offer lower installation costs. The possible explanation for this scenario is the profit margin for high-end slab granite is high enough to cover the cost of the material, as well as the installation costs, such as edging, transport and labor costs.

Money-saving Tips

Some of the measures you can take to lower the average cost of granite per square foot include:

Simple edge treatments — If you want to install a granite countertop on a budget, minimizing the edge treatment will help you lower the total cost of your granite countertop. In essence, you should go for simple edges that require little or no fabrication because fabrication will increase the cost of your countertop.

Cheaper options — The price of granite depends on various factors including the type, format and quality of the material. This means that you are more likely to get a good deal if you understand how these factors affect granite countertop prices.

Tiles and modular granite — As discussed above, tile and modular granite are significantly cheaper than slab granite. What’s more, these granite formats are ideal for DIY projects. This means, if you are a DIY enthusiast and you have the right tools, materials and expertise, you do self-install your tiles or modular granite countertop, reducing your installation costs significantly.

Conclusion

Granite countertops cost anywhere from $40 to $90 per square foot depending on the type, format and quality material. The common granite formats include slab, tile and modular granite. Out of these three formats, slab granite is the most expensive, whereas tile granite is the least expensive. On the other hand, the installation cost usually depends on the quality of the granite. Specifically, the cost of installing high-end granite countertops is typically lower than the cost of installing low-grade granite countertops.

Granite Countertops – Pricing and Installation Cost Checklist

  • Expect the Granite Countertops prices to fluctuate between various Granite Countertop companies – each and every company have different operation expenses and over-head.
  • Try to get prices in late Fall, early winter – you should expect aggressive pricing discounts by waiting for a contractor’s down season.
  • Try to budget and additional 7-15% more on top of what our calculator gives out for Granite Countertops costs.
  • Visit every supply house that sell your particular brand of Granite Countertops and try to negotiate a better price with each supplier – I save on average 20%.
  • Installing Granite Countertops isn’t an easy task to perform and can leave you with a sore back. You might find it more cost effective to hire a Kitchen Countertop company or a General contractor to perform the work for you. Granite Countertop, or General contracting companies will most always get better prices on Granite Countertops than a general consumer would — hire a professional and save your back and additional costs of Granite Countertops, so shop around, ask your neighbors if they can recommend someone.

View other Countertop Options and Costs: Stone, Butcher-block, Laminate, Tile, Glass & Concrete Systems

 

References:

  1. Hud Homes and Development – Volume 9, The Rehab Guide
  2. Estimating Countertop Costs: for Residential and Light Commercial Buildings
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