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Granite Countertop Installation Prices
One of the best things about granite is that its timeless beauty never goes out of style. The granite craze may have died down a bit, but the material remains the top-selling natural stone countertop in America. And with more granite options than ever before, there's never been a better time to add the look and value of natural stone to your kitchen or bathroom.
Granite Countertop Considerations
Whether you've made the decision to go with granite or you're still mulling over the possibility, here's what you need to know about granite countertops.
Types of Granite Counters
Granite slab (which is installed as one solid piece) is the best-looking and most expensive type of granite countertop. If slab granite is out of your price range, consider granite tile or modular granite (a compromise between slab and tile). The latter two options can be installed as a DIY project, cutting costs considerably. The heavy weight of granite slab makes DIY installation very difficult. Seams are inevitable with modular and tile granite but uncommon with slab granite (most slabs are 9 to 10 ten feet wide).
Granite comes in a wide range of colors and is known for its veining. You may need to shop around a bit to find granite that matches your décor. When comparing granite, keep in mind that the final product may have a slightly different color and grain than the store sample.
Care & Maintenance
Granite is one of the top-performing countertop materials. It has excellent durability and resists acids, stains, moisture, heat, and scratches. Despite being extremely hard, however, granite is porous and should be sealed regularly for stain protection. A sealer that also provides oil resistance is recommended. Clean granite with a soft cloth, warm water, and a mild household cleaner. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the countertop.
We're not talking about granite that's green in color (although it is available). We're talking about trying to minimize the environmental impact of granite countertops. On the plus side, your granite counters will probably last for your lifetime and beyond. Still, granite is non-renewable, and much of it is imported from far away countries such as Brazil, China, and India. Reduce transportation costs by purchasing granite that comes from the United States. You can also install what's known as "reclaimed" or "used" granite, which comes from old or remodeled buildings.
Most homeowners choose to install a backsplash of the same material as their granite countertop. A full backsplash, one that extends from the countertop to the bottom of the cabinets, will be more expensive than a partial backsplash (which is usually around 4 inches tall). You'll also have a choice when it comes to the countertop edging. A rounded edge is less prone to chipping and is a good choice for a countertop that receives heavy traffic. Other edge options include straight (aka square), beveled, bullnose, and ogee. The more detailed the edgework, the more expensive it will be. To go along with your new countertop, you might consider installing a new sink. Undermount sinks are popular with granite counters, although other sink styles can be used.
Granite Countertop Average Costs
While granite's reputation for being expensive is mostly justified, it's not impossible to get granite countertops for a relatively modest price, especially if you're willing (and able) to perform the installation.
- Granite slab starts at $50 to $100 per square foot installed and can cost as much as $150 to $250 per square foot installed.
- Going the do-it-yourself route, you can buy granite tile for as low as $5 to $10 per square foot and modular granite starting at $25 to $35 per square foot. You can buy a granite slab from a slab yard or similar retailer for $500 to $1,000 or more (or less, depending on the quality and rarity of the granite). The slab, however, will still need to be fabricated and installed, which could cost $40 to $100 per square foot.
- Factors that influence the actual cost of a granite countertop include the quality, amount, and thickness of the granite, the type of edging, whether or not you install a backsplash and/or a new sink, the countertop layout, and the local market.