Not all granite is created equal. First of all, there are dozens of different types of granite. Secondly, granite is a mixture of different minerals, by definition. That’s why there can be such a wide discrepancy in granite countertop prices.
Granite can come in a wide variety of colors. Different minerals come in different shades. Different minerals are more rare and valuable than others. This can have a large impact on granite countertop prices.
Granite comes in multiple formats, as well. This has one of the biggest impacts on countertop prices. To help you decide which style of granite countertop might be best for you, we’ve compiled a thorough guide to granite countertops.
Your Guide To Granite Countertop Prices
Granite is an igneous rock. That means it’s created as a result of volcanic processes. This leaves granite with large pores which are easily visible to the eye. This accounts for the wide variation in coloring which can have such an impact on granite countertop prices.
Common Minerals Found In Granite
Granite is an intrusive igneous rock. This means it was never expelled from the earth in a volcanic eruption. The gradual cooling of granite happens gradually, accounting for the different shades and textures of granite.
Granite can be comprised of nearly anything due to its porous nature. There are a few minerals which are found most commonly, however. The variety and percentages of different minerals which can have a big impact on granite countertop prices.
Each piece of granite is usually a composite of numerous minerals in varying degrees. The percentages of different minerals are what account for the wide variance of appearance in granite countertops.
The Most Common Minerals Found In Granite Include:
- Potassium Feldspar
Quartz typically makes up between 20 – 60% of a piece of granite. Feldspar can account for between 10 – 65%, and biotite and muscovite can make up 5 – 15%.
The percentage of different minerals in a slab of granite has a great effect on the coloration. Each piece of granite is unique, but there are some commonalities of appearance.
Granite which is predominantly blended with quartz has a milky white color. It’s one of the most common forms of granite, so tends to have some of the lowest countertop prices.
Still off-white, but slightly darker than quartz. Feldspar is slightly less common than quartz, so can command slightly higher countertop prices.
Granite which is rich in biotite appears black or dark brown. It creates a striking effect and is perfect for kitchens or bathrooms with darker color pallets.
Potassium Feldspar is one of the most striking forms of granite. It creates a salmon pink color that is soft and playful, yet still elegant and refined.
Granite countertops come with different percentages of these common minerals. This can create wild variations in granite countertops. This is part of what makes granite so popular, also. You could have a creamy white granite kitchen or a coral pink bathroom.
There’s also manufactured granite to further complicate matters.
Now that we have a better idea of what granite is made up of, let’s look at how it impacts granite countertop prices.
Granite Countertop Pricing Guide
Here are some things to keep in mind to find the best granite countertop for your budget.
Natural Slab Vs. Manufactured
The first thing you’ll need to decide is if you’ll be wanting natural granite or a manufactured slab.
Natural granite has a wild look, due to its unpredictable patterns. It can also be prohibitively expensive.
Manufactured granite has a more even appearance, due to its synthetic origins. It’s created out of a mixture of minerals and resin which is subjected to intensely high pressure. Manufactured granite can make for much lower prices.
Granite’s Not As Strong As It Looks
Granite appeals to many people due to its rugged appearance. Just because it’s blocky and heavy doesn’t mean it’s indestructible, however.
Granite is tough but it can also be brittle and bulky. Make sure the space you’ll be installing your granite countertop. Inconvenience doesn’t drive up the price of a countertop, but it can result in higher installation fees.
Granite Needs To Be Sealed
Granite is a porous stone. This makes it susceptible to staining. You’ll need to seal your slab, which could have a bearing on your countertop price. It is naturally resistant to heat and water. It shouldn’t need too much treatment to go near sinks or bathrooms.
Granite Slab Rough Pricing Guide
As you’ve seen, there are many variables in a granite slab which can impact countertop prices. It’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all estimate but there are some general guidelines.
For slab granite, installation can make up to 50% of the total cost. Ironically, the more expensive the slab of granite the cheaper the installation tends to be.
For slab granite, installation and material cost roughly the same. Slab granite costs between $10 – 40/square foot when it’s not installed. It costs between $35 – 66/square foot to have it installed.
Granite tile is the cheapest and easiest way to get the look and feel of granite. It’s easier to install than granite slab, so installation fees are significantly cheaper.
Granite costs an average of between $6 – 10/square foot.
Modular granite splits the difference between full-scale granite slab and the DIY tile method. Modular granite pieces are slightly larger than the 12″ x 12″ tiles, so there are fewer seams. It’s still easier to install than granite slabs, so installation costs are less prohibitive.
If you’ll be using modular granite, you may need to custom-fit edges, backsplashes, and corners. This could drive up your countertop price a bit.
Modular granite costs an average of $25 – 40/square foot.
Keep these considerations in mind and you’ll be able to enjoy the timeless elegance of granite countertops in your home no matter what budget you’re working with.
Ready To Bring A Granite Countertop Into Your Home?
Granite countertops exude calm and class. The organic quality of natural stone makes spaces feel more earthy and inviting. You can’t have too much peace in your home life! Schedule your in-home consultation today!