Granite countertops are a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their beauty, durability, and resale value. However, granite is also one of the more expensive countertop materials on the market. Here is a detailed look at what goes into granite countertop costs.
Factors That Affect Granite Countertop Prices
Several key factors impact the total installed price of granite countertops:
Stone Type and Color
- Granite comes in over 200 different colors and patterns. Rare granite colors like Blues in Green or Taj Mahal Gold cost more due to limited supply.
- Premium granite slabs with no flaws or vibrant colors can cost $80-$150 per square foot.
- More common granite colors like Santa Cecilia or Uba Tuba generally range from $40-$70 per square foot.
Stone Cut and Finish
- A basic polished finish is included in the square foot price. Additional finishes like leather, flamed, or brushed add $10-$15 per square foot.
- The cut or edge detail like ogee, bullnose, or chamfered also impacts cost with more intricate edges pricier.
- Fabrication to cut slabs to size and install typically adds $40-$100 per linear foot.
- Complex projects with many seams, cutouts, or edge details take more time and cost more.
- Demolition and removal of old countertops can add $2-$6 per square foot if required.
- Delivery fees to transport slabs from distributors to shops range from $200-$500 depending on distance.
- Some contractors will markup certain materials, services, or travel fees on top of the base costs.
Typical Price Ranges for Granite Countertops
Given the many variables, granite countertop costs can range dramatically:
- Low end: Basic granite colors with a polished finish and straight edge details can start as low as $40 per square foot installed.
- Mid-range: Most granite projects with some edge detailing and cutouts fall in the $70-90 per square foot range installed.
- High end: Premium granite slabs with intricate edging and widespread fabrication can cost $150+ per square foot installed.
- Average cost: Expect to pay around $80 per square foot for materials and professional installation.
For a typical 10-foot long kitchen countertop, a homeowner may pay $1,000-1,800 total depending on options selected.
Cost Saving Tips
Some ways to get the look of granite for less include:
- Select a more affordable granite slab color and style. Stay away from rare or imported material.
- Choose a simple edge style like eased or straight instead of an ogee or chamfer.
- Use stock edge profiles instead of custom edging.
- Install countertops yourself if experienced with tools.
- Purchase remnants or smaller pieces for island tops.
- Consider alternative materials like quartzite that mimic granite at a lower cost.
What Does Granite Countertop Installation Entail?
Installing granite countertops requires careful planning, precision cutting, and expert installation. Here is an overview:
- Template and measurements – The installer will come measure and create a template to ensure proper sizing and fit.
- Fabrication – Slabs are transported to a shop to be cut to measurements and edged using diamond tipped blades and water jets.
- Installation – The fabricated pieces are installed using adhesives, adjusted, aligned, sealed, and any backsplashes attached.
- Finishing touches – The installer checks for any needed tweaks, cleans up the counters and work area, and reviews the final product with the homeowner.
Granite requires strong support and professional techniques to create seams that are level, tight, and inconspicuous. Hiring an experienced fabricator and installer is highly recommended.
Granite Countertops: An Investment in Your Kitchen
Upgrading to granite countertops is a significant investment that typically costs between $2,500-$5,000 for an average 10×10 kitchen. While not cheap, granite adds aesthetic appeal, durability, and value to your home. With proper sealing and care, granite countertops will last for decades with minimal signs of wear. If selecting a style and color you love, the added resale value and daily enjoyment is well worth the initial expense for many homeowners. Discuss your budget and design goals with countertop professionals to explore the many granite options that fit your project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the thickness of the granite impact the price?
Most granite is 1 1/4″ thick but 3cm or 2cm options are available for a thinner look. Thinner granite is 20-30% less but more prone to cracking and flaws. 3cm granite can only have simple polished edges.
Are there additional costs beyond $/square foot pricing?
Yes, expect to pay extra for removal of old countertops, plumbing or electrical modifications, custom cutting or edging, and shipping/delivery fees. Some contractors also add surcharges for travel or working weekends.
Is installation of granite countertops difficult?
Granite is very heavy and fragile requiring experienced installers. The slab must be transported and mounted precisely on sturdy cabinetry able to bear the weight. Seams need tight precision and corners shaped carefully. Definitely hire professionals.
Does the granite need to be sealed?
Yes, granite is porous and sealing is recommended every 1-2 years to prevent staining. Most installers provide an initial sealing. Expect to pay around $150 for periodic resealing.
Can granite chips and cracks be repaired?
Yes, chips and cracks can be filled in with color-matched epoxy fairly invisibly. However, repairs may be visible on certain granite patterns or with significant damage. Prevent cracks by avoiding sitting or placing heavy objects on countertops.
Granite countertops undoubtedly add beauty and luxury to any kitchen or bath. Due to the many impacting factors, total installed costs typically range from $40-$150 per square foot with the average homeowner paying around $80/square foot. Carefully select your preferred color, finish, and edge profile to balance looks, functionality, and budget. With proper maintenance, granite countertops will last for many years providing daily enjoyment.