In this article, we will explore a range of possible strategies and methods, from finding preferential suppliers to smart shopping, to help you effectively reduce the cost of granite materials and bring a more affordable solution to your project or renovation plan.
Want granite countertops in your kitchen? A professional can do this for you. Get a free, no-commitment estimate from an expert near you.
Granite countertops’ organic appearance gives any kitchen warmth and charm. Additionally, granite countertops can raise your home’s resale value. When considering the cost of installing granite countertops, it is helpful for homeowners to understand other considerations and price factors in granite countertop installation costs. But how much do granite countertops cost?
Granite countertops range in price from $2,000 to $4,500, with the average price being $3,250. Material panels typically cost about $40 to $60 per square foot and labor $35 to $85 per hour. The granite’s pattern, color, texture, and quality will all affect the final cost. Total project price may vary from the national average due to project size, number of countertops required, kitchen or bathroom configuration, and materials selected. Granite countertops may be more expensive than other kitchen countertop materials, but their durability, value, and appeal more than make up for the price.
Homeowners looking to upgrade their kitchen might consider installing granite countertops. The typical cost of granite countertops is $2,000 to $4,500, with the national average price being $3,250.
1. Granite countertops typically cost between $2,000 and $4,500, with the national average cost being $3,250.
2. Some factors that affect the total cost of granite countertops include the quality, color, cut, rarity, source, and texture of the granite, countertop size and style, edge design, labor and delivery charges, installation location, and the number of cuts.
3. Granite countertops have many advantages, including durability, sustainability, aesthetic appeal, resistance to heat, scratches, dirt, bacteria and stains and high return on investment.
4. Due to the weight of the granite countertop material, professional installation is recommended. Additionally, professionals can install countertops properly without inadvertently causing damage or injury.
Granite installation can get expensive quickly, especially with the higher-end types of granite. But you can choose to lower your costs. Homeowners should adopt the following tips:
The average price for granite is $35 to $75 per square foot, but due to its rarity, some types of granite, such as Van Gogh’s, can retail for up to $500 per square foot. While its natural blues, browns and golds are eye-catching, and like all granite it will increase the selling price of your property, you may not recoup your total selling costs.
One of the inexpensive ways to update your kitchen countertops is to choose a color in the low to mid price range. Generally speaking, dark, black granite tends to be cheaper. For the budget-savvy, our granite is an affordable option.
If you want to stay on a budget, your best option is a dark tan slab, while black granite slabs are the cheapest. An example is the so-called Absolute Black Granite. It is not black in its original state, nor is it artificial. What makes this granite one of the most expensive is the process used to ensure that it is jet black throughout. In quarries, when granite is cut, some samples are trimmed off and thrown aside. This means that all “non-black” pieces are thrown away. The finishing process to create the Black and Galaxy Black varieties (which contain medium-sized golden copper flecks) adds to the cost.
This is why color has little to do with price, but “color scale” does. Low-grade granite, known as commercial granite or secondary granite, contains an excess of soft materials mixed into the stone and has less color variation than higher-grade products. Mid-range granite has clear colors and interesting patterns, but doesn’t have much that’s unique. Exotic or high-end labels are reserved for gemstones with unique colors, variations, or patterns.
Granite types vary widely in their appearance, origin and rarity. As we mentioned in our previous article: Granite Cost Factors, you can significantly reduce costs by choosing less expensive forms of granite. Make sure it matches your kitchen color scheme – this is the most important part. If possible, choose granite from a closer location. The more localized you can get something, the cheaper it’s likely to be.
Note: We do not recommend downgrading granite. Quality is important, and lower quality granite may be more susceptible to cracks and damage.
Precast stone is stone that has been cut and polished, making it ideal for simple counters that don’t require extensive cutting. They have three finished edges and a polished surface, and while they’re as good as new, they cost about half as much.
Precast granite stone is cut and polished. One of the main reasons homeowners choose this option is because it is an inexpensive way to upgrade their countertops. Unfinished slabs are more expensive and trickier to install, which is why many people choose prefabricated options, which are available in a variety of popular colors.
Prefabricated countertops often come with an additional backsplash, which enhances the look and feel of the kitchen and ensures moisture protection from nearby walls and cabinets. The only drawback is that they come in fixed sizes and colors and may not suit your needs if your kitchen design is highly specialized in counter size and color. Otherwise, you are still buying real natural granite countertops.
Many types of granite are available in different thickness grades, usually measured in centimeters. Thinner granite is more fragile during installation but otherwise has many advantages and relatively few disadvantages. As long as you like the look of thinner granite materials, you can choose them to keep costs down. Granite countertops are usually 3cm thick, but you can also go for 2cm thick. instead.
The final look may not be that luxurious, though. If you are also installing a granite backsplash, this is a great place to thin it. Plus, thin-profile granite typically doesn’t require additional underlayment installation, which can help you save even more.
Another inexpensive way to replace your countertops is to ask your supplier or outfitter for leftover granite chips from previous projects. When granite slabs are cut for a specific project, leftover pieces are often created. These pieces won’t fit on large flat kitchen countertops, but in some cases the pieces are large enough to be repurposed.
Granite remnants are suitable for smaller scale projects, you can decorate your kitchen with a luxurious backsplash or have a smaller countertop surface that can be covered with leftover pieces. The downside is that you may not get the exact type of stone you want, but if you’re happy with something similar, it can save you money in the long run, especially if you choose a popular stone type.
It’s impossible to argue with the math about this choice. Granite tiles are much cheaper than opting for a full slab. In return, you lose the specific style and look associated with granite slabs, but many of granite’s other advantages remain. If you’re concerned about your budget, you can save even more by choosing tiles instead of slabs.
Many homeowners don’t know they can choose between ceramic tile and slab. The slab is suitable for floors or large wall and countertop surface areas, especially modern kitchen islands with granite waterfalls.
While granite tiles and slabs actually cost the same, tiles are faster to install. They are also cheaper and easier to repair. If one of them breaks, you can simply replace the tile without having to make an entirely new counter. Due to their size, tiles are mined from smaller deposits, so you may find unique colors not found in larger tiles.
The final cost of your granite countertops will depend on the edge profile you select. The best edge profile for pockets is a standard eased edge, rather than a layered or beveled edge. If you’ve been considering something fancier but you’ve cut too close to your budget limits, you really need to think carefully before you splurge.
Some finishes cost more than others. Instead of opting for a traditional polished finish, consider a matte or leather finish. Choosing a matte or leather texture instead of a polished finish will increase the price. In addition to the basic rounded or square edges, the same goes for edge treatments.
The design plan you have in mind will affect the cost of your granite countertops. For example, the number of seams and the type of corners and edges can all affect the ease of installation. If these are fewer, the labor costs for the granite installer will be reduced.
Edging also accounts for a large portion of the total cost. Prices are often calculated in linear feet. While you may not be able to minimize the length of the polished edge, the edge itself will have an impact on the price. Standard edging keeps costs to a minimum. These edges include straight or pencil edges, quarter round or quarter bevel. Premium edging may add $5 or more per foot. Ogee and waterfall edges fall into this category: While they add another dimension to the countertop, it comes at a cost. Laminate or beveled edges are by far the most expensive because it doubles the thickness of the countertop. The cost per foot can be $10 or more, and more granite material will be required, which will increase the overall cost per square foot.
Today, there are many alternatives to granite on the market. While granite is the most affordable natural stone, materials like ceramic tile, granite overlay, or laminate can all save money.
Granite overlays are a relatively new alternative to granite slabs. While it’s not typically purchased through granite manufacturers, it can be found in big box stores. Granite overlay is a material consisting of a thin layer of granite attached to a backing.
It is less expensive than granite slabs because it uses much less stone while still providing nearly the same look. Unlike granite slabs, overlays are shipped directly to your home and fabricated on-site. Some homeowners choose to do the installation themselves, while others hire a handyman or contractor to help.
A granite backsplash is an add-on option that has the greatest impact on the total price of the project. When choosing a countertop, most manufacturers offer customers the option of adding a granite backsplash. There are two options: a short 4-inch backsplash, or a full backsplash that extends from the countertop to the wall cabinets.
A 4-inch backsplash is a great way to save on the overall cost of your project. Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, this type of backsplash protects the wall from splashes and spills. It is an economical alternative to ceramic tiles and is guaranteed to match the countertops. These custom backsplashes can also be manufactured to custom heights and can be thinned to the desired thickness. Some homeowners may choose a 3-inch or 5-inch backsplash for their project, depending on their personal needs.
Another common choice is a complete backsplash, however this will raise the cost of the countertop by around 50%. Since a complete backsplash reaches the wall cabinets, the countertop, and occasionally the ceiling, it is installed after the countertop is installed to ensure a proper fit. It has a height of approximately 18 inches, making it one of the best wall decorations available from an aesthetic standpoint.
Wholesale granite has traditionally been reserved for granite businesses, but this has changed in the past five years. Buying wholesale can help you save money. Granite countertops purchased wholesale cut out the middleman and reduce costs. This means that the stone you purchase comes directly from the quarry.
You won’t have to pay the additional costs your granite business would incur to store or replace shipping containers. Many granite countertop stores also have in-house manufacturers that customers often choose, but when you’re shopping for wholesale granite countertops, you can shop around for the best offer.
Buying locally is an inexpensive way to replace your kitchen countertops because it requires less travel and costs less. If your granite comes from a different state or country, shipping and import costs may increase because more middlemen are needed to transport the stone from start to finish.
Local suppliers can help you stay within your budget by helping you select boards that are cheaper but still suitable for your kitchen countertop design. It’s also a good idea to get multiple quotes from local companies to ensure you’re being charged a fair price.
When you work directly with a material supplier, you’ll save money compared to purchasing countertops from a custom builder or interior designer. The average savings is around 15%, but you can save up to 25%. Look for someone who offers in-house design and fabrication services, and choose a local stone yard to fabricate and install your countertops. You can also save on shipping costs by having a local granite installer.
For example at George Marble, we are a full service natural stone manufacturer which means we design, supply materials and install so you don’t have to hire many different people to achieve the same result.
Any tap, basin and plumbing component can be purchased at a reasonable price if you shop around. Ask your manufacturer if you can purchase pipe parts from other suppliers. This ensures you have more control over your choices and can shop around for basins and taps before choosing products that the manufacturer has in stock. While it may require more management on your part, it does save money. This also means you can choose from a variety of design options that the manufacturer may not offer.
If possible, arrange to pick up the granite yourself and move it to a garage or other safe location before installation. This step is more likely to happen with ceramic tiles than with stone slabs, which are very large and heavy and require great care during moving and transportation, which is why it is not common for them to be handed over to consumers. But if possible, handling pickup and shipping yourself can save you a ton of money.
While many homeowners want to measure their countertops themselves, we recommend hiring a professional. A skilled decorator will take into account any irregularities and ensure that the panels you order are cut to the perfect size. They also have the knowledge to recommend the best type of edging and can provide solutions to design challenges.
If you order the incorrect size, the granite will need to be reshaped, or new slabs will have to be cut, which may make your project cost more than it actually needs to. For best results, measure your kitchen countertops during your consultation.
Removing old countertops can also save you a ton of money. If your existing cabinets are in good condition and you just need to replace the countertops, you will need to remove the old ones before you can install the new ones. It costs manufacturers $5 to $10 per square foot to remove and dispose of old countertops, but this can often be a DIY project.
If you’re willing to remove the old countertops and dispose of the waste, you can deduct another portion of the bill. However, this isn’t always a safe DIY project. Very simple laminate counters offer little resistance. But removing tile requires more work and care. If a homeowner is not careful, it can damage nearby surfaces and create new problems. If you’re not sure if this project is within your capabilities, read our guide on how to remove countertops to learn more.
If you dream of installing an uninterrupted slab of granite on your counters, it’s best to skip the DIY route. With large slabs weighing hundreds of pounds, improper sealing, grouting, or leveling of your granite countertops can end up costing you more during the repair process.
Granite tiles and modular pieces, on the other hand, have the potential for DIY work if you are so inclined. Granite tiles range in price from $5 to $15 per square foot, while modular units range in price from $25 to $40 per square foot. While you won’t have the same clean look as granite slabs, it’s a way to save on the overall price. You can save about $35 to $85 per hour in labor costs, and the project typically totals about $1,500. Also, keep in mind the cost of adding grout, mortar, sealant, and tools.
One final warning: Even installing tile and modular granite blocks to a sink requires advanced DIY skills. We still recommend hiring a professional fabricator to properly measure and cut your piece. You may also want to hire an electrician when working near electrical outlets.
Installing granite countertops can be an affordable job if you take the time to research and consider cheaper options, and something as simple as edging and color selection can help you save a lot of money.
At George Marble, we help many clients achieve the kitchen plan they want within their budget. If you need help installing your granite countertops, contact us today so we can schedule a consultation to provide you with the most affordable solution.