The beauty, toughness and usefulness of granite makes it a highly desirable material for countertops in home design. In addition to its natural strength, granite is a beautiful stone that adds color and warmth to a room. Although the cost of adding granite countertops to any new kitchen or remodel can be quite high, they are still the best option in many new and remodeled homes.
The price of granite countertops ranges from $ 60 to $ 120 per square foot, which may or may not include the cost of installation. Discounted granite can be found for as little as $ 30 per foot, not including installation. The cost of the premium is not in the stone itself, but in costs related to transportation and installation.
The stone industry remains unregulated, which can make it confusing. Each entity that handles granite, from quarry to supplier and manufacturer, can set their own prices based on local market demand. Full-service dealerships, so the owner doesn’t have to shop or plan, will add a profit margin of up to 50%.
Granite vendors typically have three or four groups (or “tiers”) of granite to choose from. The first tier will consist of the premium products that are sold at the highest price. Stones are grouped based on several criteria including country of origin, color, veins or patterns, thickness of the slab, the amount of soft minerals in the stone, and current fashion trends. Some granite colors exhibit “” movement “” or a distinctive pattern within the color. The combination of color and movement also affects the final price of granite countertops.
The granite of the lower levels has the same beauty and utility as the slabs of the upper groups. Also, the stones on a lower level can be harder than the stones on a first level, so it is worth going out and looking around. A lower tier could also be called “commercial grade”. Typically commercial grades have a large number of “holes” that have been filled in. The presence of softer minerals may require additional cabinet supports or penetrating sealant, which adds to the final price of granite countertops.
The cheapest and thinnest cut stone can be a little less than two centimeters instead of the recommended three, in which case the installer would laminate it to the plywood backing for additional stability. Discount granite suppliers will typically deal with a finer cut stone; many suppliers now carry stones that are intentionally cut and quarry rolled. It is now common for stone originating in Asia or India to be cut and manufactured prior to shipment. Prefabrication creates a lower cost product with less waste shipped to the supplier. In addition, manufacturing is done in countries with much lower wages, saving on labor costs at the final destination.
The price of granite countertops is greatly affected by the amount of seams and cuts that will have to be made in the stone slabs. Discuss how the cuts will be made when the installer or manufacturer makes his preliminary measurements for the template. Another thing to question is the hidden costs of wasted material. Depending on the length of the countertops being installed, there will be at least three square feet of waste by the time the manufacturer is done. The cost of the wasted material is paid by the owner.
Shopping for granite countertops doesn’t have to be frustrating. Focus on finding a reputable supplier and installer who is willing to answer all of your questions. Even though labor costs are the highest price for granite countertops, this is a project that should be left to the professionals. Large sheets are extremely delicate and must be cut precisely. Failure to properly position a granite countertop could create a costly mistake for a do-it-yourself homeowner.