Granite countertops are one of the most popular choices for kitchen remodels these days – and for good reason. Granite is incredibly durable, comes in almost any color you care to name, and is timeless. (Seriously, they used granite in ancient Rome.)
On average, the cost of a granite countertop installation in the US is between $2,000 and $4,500, with the overall average coming in at $3,100. So what exactly goes into that cost? Read on to find out.
Cost Per Square Foot
When you’re looking at granite installation pricing, one of the first numbers you’ll run across is price per square foot. In theory, if you take this number, calculate the amount of square footage you’ll be covering, and multiply the two, you should get your cost. But there are a lot of other factors to consider.
Many per square foot prices do not cover the cost of installation, modification, or tear out. It only reflects the cost of the material. Before you get too far into your granite installation plans, be sure to ask what is covered in the per square foot cost.
A bit part of what determines granite material costs is availability, difficulty in harvesting the material, and demand. Given all this, it should come as no surprise that color can be one of the biggest factors in granite pricing. Granite comes in every color of the rainbow, so there are a lot of different price levels you can work with.
Generally blue and green granites tend to be on the pricier side. Likewise, white and cream granite tends to be a little bit more affordable. When picking the color that will best suit your space, be sure to account for those pricing discrepancies.
Some regions of the world are particularly known for the quality or beauty of their granite. Brazil, in particular, is renowned for its granite exports. But just because a stone is labeled as being from Brazil does not necessarily mean that it is; your granite supplier should be able to show you papers documenting the stone’s place of origin.
Shipping costs can also factor into the price of granite. If you live close to a coast, your costs may be lower as it will be a shorter trip in from the seaport. You can also see higher shipping costs depending on the source of the granite (the more remote the area, the higher the costs).
Not all granite is created equal. While the low cost of some granite may seem attractive, keep in mind that it can be an indicator of poor quality stone that will crack or scratch very easily. In this case, “you get what you pay for” holds true.
That being said, you also don’t necessarily need to get the most expensive stone on the market. Make sure the granite you pick is a solid middle of the line stone that will last you for a long time. It is worth having a long discussion with your granite supplier about the quality and source of your granite before you move forward with your granite installation.
Installation costs can be one of the biggest parts of your total granite installation price. Not only are you paying for the labor, there may also be additional costs here and there for custom components of your installation (more on this below).
The fact is there may not be a great way to lower these costs because you’re paying for human labor. But you also want to shop around and get estimates from a few different providers. Keep in mind during this process, though, that the same “you get what you pay for” principle applies here as in selecting the quality of your granite.
Cutouts, Sinks, and Other Features
More than likely, the workers installing your new granite countertops will need to make some cuts to the granite they will be installing. Sinks, stovetops, electrical outlets, plumbing, and other such features will require careful measuring and cutting to custom fit the stone to your space. This can show up as an extra cost on your bill.
Before you begin your project, make sure to take careful stock (and probably several pictures) of any such fixtures in your kitchen. Take a list with you when you meet with your supplier and ask what extra costs, if any, those features will add. Keep in mind that if you have a backsplash, you will need to calculate for anything that will be covered by that.
Backsplashes and Edging Treatments
If you’re planning to add a backsplash with your new countertops, that can account for higher costs. For one, you will be using more square footage of material. But in addition, when you add a backsplash, you will usually need to account for outlets, light switches, and other features that will add some additional costs.
Edging treatments can cost extra too. You can select a mitered, ogee, or bullnose treatment, and depending on who does your granite installation, one style or another may cost you more. Be sure to have a discussion with your granite supplier about any edging cost differences before you start your project.
Tear Out of Old Material
Finally, of course, you have to account for the tear out of whatever existing countertops you have. This can involve moving plumbing, taking out sinks, working around cooktops, and dealing with electrical wiring. As such, depending on the complexity of the job, it can be expensive.
You and your granite supplier will likely want to have a discussion long before anyone shows up with a crowbar about what will be required during your tear out. As far as possible, have a plan. That way you can avoid any surprises come demo day.
Florida’s Best Granite Installation
Granite countertops can be a stunning addition to a kitchen and, given the right stone selections, can last for a very long time. If you’ve decided to add a granite countertop to your home, you can feel confident that you are making an excellent choice. Be sure to account for all the installation costs when budgeting and you won’t have to worry about anything except how jealous your neighbors are going to be of your stunning new kitchen.
If you live in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota, or Orlando areas, contact International Granite and Stone about your granite installation. We have dozens of beautiful granites available, and you can rest assured that each is of high quality. Contact us to get a quote for your granite installation project today.