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What Factors Affect the Cost of Granite?

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Granite countertops vary in price, therefore it’s important for consumers to know this information in order to make an informed choice.

The average cost of granite countertops is determined by a number of factors, with the material having a major influence on the final cost. Prices may vary due to regional labor costs and size, quality, color, cut, rarity and texture of granite.

Homeowners should also think about the granite’s origin, the style and design of the countertop and edge, where the installation will take place, and any additional expenses associated with shipping and cutting.

In this countertop guide article, you will learn what factors influence the price of granite kitchen countertops. These criteria will help you understand the offers you get during your shopping experience.

to consider when remodeling a kitchen area is the type of countertops you will be using. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, the top job for renovations is a kitchen remodel.

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Table of Contents

I. What are the factors that determine the cost of granite?

Granite countertops are one of the most popular choices among homeowners due to their durability, beauty, and versatility. However, there are 10 factors that affect the price of granite countertops, including the color, texture, and finish of the granite, the size of the countertop project, and whether installation is included in the price.

1. Granite color (including availability and cutting)

● Availability

Granite is an expensive stone, but it’s worth the investment in your kitchen. Granite is hard and not easily stained. Dark colors have greater depth and pattern in the light, which makes them more expensive than lighter colors like white or beige. It is important to know that some granite colors are less expensive than others because they are easily available in large quantities, while other colors are rare and uncommon.

● Cutting

Basic granite slabs cost between $40 and $60 per square foot. Prices jump to $75 to $100 per square foot for rare colors, stones and patterns. Prices vary according to color, from white to gray, green to blue. Patterns can be mottled, swirly, and striped with different inclusions of gemstones. The sections below provide a detailed description of various granite colors and their associated expenses.

Granite countertops are cut to order, and some colors are more difficult to cut than others. This increases the overall price, which is often added to the labor price.

● Granite slab cost by color

Basic white, gray, brown, and black granite slabs are generally more abundant and on the lower end of the price spectrum, while rarer colors like red, blue, and purple command the highest prices.

Basic and premium options are available in almost all color ranges, with prices depending on pattern availability. Simple designs that are widely available cost the least, while rare and unusual patterns sell for the most.

➢ Uba tuba (a mix of dark green, black, and gold) is a popular, budget-friendly option that costs $30 to more than $50 per square foot before installation.

➢ Van Gogh granite is one of the most expensive options at $300 to $400 per square foot, and its surface resembles the painter’s famous work, “The Starry Night,” with stunning swirls of blue, green, gold and white.
pattern availability. Simple designs that are widely available cost the least, while rare and unusual patterns sell for the most.

Color
Average Material Price per Square Foot*
Example

White

$30 – $70

Aspen White, Blanco Romano, River White, Snowfall

Green

$30 – $60

Silver Cloud, Monte Carlo, Silver Paradiso, Polar Ice

Gray

$30 – $60

Silver Cloud, Monte Carlo, Silver Paradiso, Polar Ice

Brofwn

$30 – $50

Tan Brown, Santa Cecilia, New Tunas, Black Thunder

Black

$30 – $80

Uba Tuba, Black Pearl, Giallo Napoli, Noric Black, Black Galaxy, Absolute black

Gold

$30 – $90

Namibiam, Golden Eagle, NiagaraColonial

Red

$65 – $80

Red Dragon, Lava Jewel, Juparana Crema, Jacaranda Fantasy

Blue

$50 – $100+

Blue Bahia, Blue Eyes, Lemurian, Blue/Blue Pearl, Blue Louise

*Installation not included. 

2. Textures and finishes

While the actual cost of installing granite countertops depends on factors such as the size, color, and quality of the stone, one factor that has a significant impact on the price is the texture. As with most kitchen countertop materials, there are only a few textures to choose from. So if you want more ornate patterns, such as swirls or marble-like textures, be prepared to pay more.

Finishes can also affect cost. If you are interested in having your granite slab polished rather than honed, you will need to pay more than if you opted for honing (flattening the surface).

● Granite texture

There are three types of granite textures for countertops: polished, honed, and leather. Depending on the countertop texture the homeowner desires, additional fees may apply. The additional cost per square foot for various finishes is displayed in the table below.

Granite Texture
Additional Cost per Square Foot (Labor and Materials)

Polished

Not Any

Honed

$10 – $20

Leathered

$15 – $25

● Polished

Face polished granite is smooth, reflective and easy to clean. It’s also the least porous option, making it the most scratch-, stain-, and bacteria-resistant finish. All granite countertops start with a smooth surface. Polished textures are the most common and come at no extra cost. Polished countertops require very little maintenance over the years and are usually the cheapest option.

● Honed

Honed granite has a low-shine, matte finish that is more natural than polished granite and more textured than leather granite. Polished granite also has a softer color.

Due to its higher porosity, honed granite stains more easily and requires more frequent sealing. Due to the challenging installation process, honed granite countertops can add $10 to $20 per square foot to the total price.

Honed countertops have a matte finish, require regular applications of sealant, and are susceptible to staining.

● Leathered

Leather granite has a textured, rustic surface that hides fingerprints, chips and stains better than polished granite. Create a cracked and pitted texture similar to aged leather by moving a diamond-tipped brush across the surface. Due to low availability and unique texture, leather countertops cost an additional $15 to $25 per square foot.

The process produces a textured finish with small ridges and dimples on the surface. This type of texturing is typically done on black and other dark-colored granites because lighter granite countertop colors are not strong enough to withstand the process.

Countertops with high mica content or soft stone cannot be coated with leather. Leather granite is stain-resistant but can be scratched easily.

3. Granite type

Depending on the type of granite you select, granite countertops can vary in price. Although it is available in various grades and colors, all granite is an igneous rock type.

Mediterranean granite is mined for its superior quality, uncommon colors, and distinctive patterns. Installing premium options can run you more than $100 per square foot.

Less expensive commercial-grade granite usually comes in gray, black or white and is mined in India, Brazil or Canada. These budget options start at $30 per square foot installed.

● Most popular granite types prices today

Type
Description
Price per Square Foot

Alaska White

White with rivers of gray and brown, this stunning granite is a staple thanks to an all-white kitchen aesthetic.

$40

Ubatuba

This popular option features attractive dark green swirls with hints of black and gold. It stands out in the kitchen and looks great paired with dark, elegant cabinets.

$60

Silver Cloud

Cloud-like swirls of gray and white are what give this granite its name. This is a popular choice and perfect for both dark and light kitchens.

$55

Absolute Black

Sourced from India, this solid black granite creates a beautiful and dramatic effect. It looks just as stunning on the floor as it does on the countertop.

$40

Black Galaxy

With its striking shiny bronze color, Black Galaxy Granite is one of the most popular choices for granite countertops today.

$70

Solarius

It is a creamy mix of light and dark shades and is another extremely common granite choice. Its advantage is that it pairs well with any cabinet color you can imagine, including a variety of colors including yellow and black.

$60

Crema Bordeaux

This mysterious granite contains hints of pink, brown, black, and gold, making it a great choice for maple cabinets. Crema Bordeaux is considered a slightly rarer option and one of the more expensive.

$80

Blue Louise

This stunning blue granite is something you won't soon forget once you see it. It brings a playful yet elegant vibe to any space and is one of the most expensive granite slabs.

$100

4. Countertop size

The price of granite countertops depends on the size of the countertop you are covering. The larger the kitchen area, the higher the price.

On average, a granite countertop costs between $40 and $60 per square foot. If a homeowner decides to go with higher-quality granite that contains rare stones, it can cost $75 to $100 or more per square foot.

Assuming you have a relatively large space and are considering granite as your material of choice, you might be looking at a cost between $2,000 and $4,500.

A smaller space may cost as little as $1,200, while a larger home with a spacious kitchen may cost $6,000 or more.

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5. Countertop thickness

Generally speaking, the thicker the countertop, the higher the price. This is because thinner granite is generally considered a lower quality stone. While you can buy other countertop materials in three sizes, granite comes in either 2 centimeters (cm) or 3 centimeters thick.

A countertop that looks like a thick slab of granite is usually not as thick as it looks. These granite counters are created by using feather bevels to create a dramatic edge. The key to these impressive pieces is edge contouring.

6. Granite grade

While all granite is technically unique, some homeowners seek out particularly rare textures, inclusions, and colors to match their counter design vision.

Granite comes in various grades, which determines the quality. The lowest grade has a simple patterned board, ⅜ inch thick, in the most common colors of gray, green, and white. Intermediate granite has slabs that are 3/4-inch thick, more vibrant colors, and interesting patterns. High-end granite slabs are thicker, brightly colored and beautifully patterned.

One type of granite can come in different color variations and contain different stones. The more common gemstones are on the lower end of the price spectrum, while the rarer gemstones will increase the price significantly.

The table below shows the cost per square foot of granite countertops for different grades of granite.

Granite slabs come in six levels or grades, depending on the supplier. The grade of board depends on a variety of factors, including color, pattern and thickness.

Granite Grade
Price per Square Foot*
Detail

Level 1: Basics (A)

$40 – $50

Entry level; also called "commercial" or "builder's" grade
3/8 inch thick
Commonly seen in apartment and manufactured home conversions
Basic design; perfect for an understated look
Mainly from China

Level 2: Medium (B)

$50 – $60

Mid-range
3/4 inch thick
More color and pattern options
Imported from India and Brazil

Level 3 and Above: Exotic (C, D, E, F)

$60 – $100+

Best quality
Unique colors and patterns
3/4 inch thick or more
Imported from India, Italy, Brazil

7. Granite edge contour design

The cost of granite countertops also depends on the edge profile you choose. Typical edge profiles are straight edge, beveled edge, gentle edge, rounded corner, semi-rounded corner, gentled and customized. Each option has a unique look and feel, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your style.

Manufacturers often include one or more of these options in the base price. Finer edges that take more time to create can add $5 to more than $40 per square foot to the cost. Listed below are the different types of countertop edge designs and their costs.

Edge Type
Description
Additional Cost per Linear Foot

Straight/Squared

Basic square, straight sides
Corners slightly softened to prevent chipping

$0 – $5

Eased

Square edges with "gentle" or slightly rounded corners
Make the counter look thicker

$0 – $12

Bevel

Flat 45 degree edge
Celebrate contemporary design

$8 – $16

Double Bevel

Two beveled edges—one on the surface and one on the bottom.

$36 – $40

Bullnose & Half Bullnose

Classic curved edge
Fuller curves are more noticeable; half curves are less noticeable

$15 – $46 (Full Price)
$12 – $22 (Half Price)

Ogee

S” curve profile
Classic/traditional

$15 – $25

Rounded Corners

Slightly curved ¼" radius
1" radius allows for a more dramatic round

$50 – $140

Waterfall

The board continues above the cabinets and down to the floor.

$40 – $100+

Dupont

Similar to Ogee Edge
The edges are a sleeker version of the standard square edge design

$20 – $25

French Cove

An alternative style to the standard square edge.
There is a square lip at the bottom, a rounded cabochon in the middle, and a square lip all the way to the top of the edge.

$30 – $35

Cole Smith

The rim has a rounded front, a square lip at the top, and a rounded concave lip that extends under the base of the countertop.

$40

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8. Granite countertop styles

Most granite countertops are slab tops, but there are other options for homeowners interested in using granite in their kitchens: tile, prefabricated, or modular countertops. Each countertop style and its average cost are shown in the table below.

Granite Styles
Cost per Square Foot
Description

Tile Granite

$6 – $15

Typically 12" x 12"
Can be installed on existing countertops
More grout lines and maintenance

Modular Granite

$25 – $40

Larger than ceramic tiles but smaller than standard boards
Thin, usually requires reinforcement
Fewer joints and faster installation than ceramic tiles
May be pre-sealed
Limited choice

Slab Granite

$40 – $100+

6' to 10' long × 5' to 6' wide
Customize to your space and design preferences
Seamless look
Installation takes longer than precast

Prefab Granite

$20 – $80+

Standard length and width
Mass-produced; fewer design options
Installation is faster
Best for kitchens and single wall kitchens, small kitchens and covered outdoor kitchens

9. Number of incisions

Granite countertop cutouts are holes cut into the countertop to accommodate a sink or stove. The hole’s dimensions, shape, and countertop material all affect how much opening a hole will cost.

A granite countertop will cost more the more cuts there are on it. The average cost for a basic sink cutout is $200, but can range from $100 to $500. The cost does not include sink installation.

10. Installation

● The cost of removing old countertops

When it comes to granite countertops, the installation process has a significant impact on cost. Installation costs will vary based on many factors, such as whether the current countertops need to be removed or if the under-counter cabinets need to be emptied. It can add hundreds of dollars to your project.

The average cost to remove and dispose of existing countertops is $7 to $14 per square foot, depending on size and materials, with most homeowners spending $100 to more than $250. Some companies include removal of the old countertops in their replacement estimates, so be sure to check with your installer.

● Labor cost

Another factor is the installation method you choose. For example, if you hire a professional to install it, the price will be higher than if you do it yourself. The same applies if you purchase prefabricated kitchen countertops and install them yourself. If you choose this route, be sure to accurately estimate the cost of labor and supplies. When you start to budget for a kitchen remodel, the cost of materials is just one factor to consider. The price of countertop installation can double your final cost. You can save on labor costs if you install your kitchen countertops yourself.

Granite countertop installation costs can range from $35 to $85 per hour, depending on labor costs in the homeowner’s area. When hiring a local granite countertop installer, your estimate will likely be broken down into two parts: square feet of material and an hourly labor rate. Total labor costs may increase depending on the number of countertops installed, the countertop material and the size of the project. Labor costs usually include delivery fees, but homeowners will need to ask their granite countertop installation team to be sure.

II. Additional factors and considerations that increase the cost of granite

When budgeting the cost of granite countertops, homeowners often consider other price factors and considerations. The removal of outdated countertops, plumbing adjustments, unique countertop treatments, upgrades, renovations, and repairs are a few examples of these.

1. Removal of existing countertops

Most granite countertop professionals will remove old countertops for free, but homeowners will ask for confirmation. If the old countertop is very heavy or challenging to remove, some professionals could charge more.

Homeowners who choose granite tile can keep their existing countertops and install the tiles over them, saving the expense of old countertop removal. If existing countertops do need to be removed, the average cost to remove and dispose of existing countertops is $7 to $14 per square foot, depending on size and materials, with most homeowners spending $100 to more than $250.

2. The cost of cutting granite for sinks, stoves, faucets or sockets

Most manufacturers charge per cut to process granite slabs into finished countertops, depending on the size, shape and difficulty of each cut. Some cuts will require edging and polishing, such as undermount sink holes, while other cuts won’t require as much detail as the edges will be covered by appliances or fixtures.

Cutout Type
Average Cost

Sink Cutout

$100 – $300

Cooktop Cutout

$120 – $400

Power Outlet Cutout

$20 – $60

Faucet Cutout

$20 – $60

➢ New sink installation costs $330 to $1,300, depending on type and features.

➢ A single stove sells for $400 to $1,300. Installation costs add $150 to $370.

➢ Some manufacturers provide faucet cutouts for free with the purchase of the board.

3. Pipeline modification

When installing the countertop, the contractor may need to disconnect and reconnect the sink pipes. In some cases, new plumbing lines may need to be installed, such as if the location of the sink changes. If any plumbing work or renovations are required, homeowners can expect to pay $40 to $150 per hour, depending on the plumber’s skill and experience level.

4. Padding and reinforcement

Some countertop installations require underlayment, cabinet reinforcement, or both:

Most floor slabs less than 1.25 inches (3 cm) thick require plywood underlayment (sub-ceiling) support to prevent cracking and cabinet reinforcement support if the overhang exceeds 6 inches.

Slabs thicker than 1.25 inches may require lining in certain areas, such as above a dishwasher, because there are no cabinets for the slab to rest on.

Some cabinets require support brackets to bear the weight of the boards, and support may need to be added for longer overhangs.

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5. Leveling

The installer may need to add shims to level the cabinet surfaces on the floor—this is common in older homes with uneven floors.

6. Special treatment

Porous granite countertops that stain easily can be treated with an anti-stain treatment. Sealing is typically performed when the countertop is installed; the cost to seal 120 square feet of granite countertops ranges from $93 to $200, with the average being $140. Some types of granite require annual sealing, while other treatments can last up to 10 to 15 years. Homeowners need to ask a granite countertop professional whether their countertops need to be sealed and, if so, how often they need to be treated. Although homeowners can use one of the greatest granite sealers to learn how to seal their own granite countertops, they may prefer to leave it to the professionals to ensure the job is done correctly.

7. Enhancements and improvements

A granite backsplash is not required, but it can provide extra protection to the wall. A 4-inch backsplash is priced by linear foot and typically costs between $10 and $15 to install. Other enhancements include stain resistance or undercounter stove installation. Listed below are some common enhancements and their costs.

Enhancements
Cost

Tailgate Installation

$10 to $15 per Linear Foot

Stove Installation

$650

Sink Installation

$400

Stone Sealant

$20 per Bottle

8. Maintenance

Any repairs to the cabinets where the granite countertops go will need to be done before installation. Base cabinets need to be strong and strong enough to support the weight of the granite. If the walls are damaged and require repairs, it will increase the overall cost of the project.

III. Conclusion

If you’re looking for a countertop material that’s durable, heat-resistant, and easy to clean, granite countertops may be an excellent choice. Keep in mind that granite is not completely maintenance-free and it will require periodic resealing.

Additionally, when considering which granite countertops to choose and where to purchase them, take the time to explore several showrooms that display a variety of granite slabs and get multiple quotes, paying close attention to color and pattern choices as well. If you have any other questions about the cost factors of granite, please feel free to contact us. We also have a wide range of granite to choose from in our George Marble showroom.

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