There was a time when granite countertops were the epitome of wealth and were only to be found in the homes of designers and celebrities. However, almost anyone can now get gorgeous new granite countertops to make their kitchens beautiful. Many homeowners now dream of beautiful countertops due to several benefits that this hardy material provides. But while these countertops provide resiliency and great beauty, they can be expensive and it is natural to ask if they are worth the investment. In this article, we analyze the cost of remodeling your kitchen with granite and if you should do it.
The countertop material is made from heavy rock and hence shipping and delivery costs tend to be higher as compared to other materials such as laminate or wood. Part of the expense of these countertops is due to the installation being more complicated.
They usually come in both tile or slab variations and the decision on what you install will depend on your goals and budget. Slab countertops cost anything from $40 to $60 per square foot while you should expect to pay between $5 and $15 per square foot of tile. The average cost of granite countertops including materials and installation is between $2000 and $4500 depending on the size of your countertop. While these countertops used to be very expensive when first introduced into the market, they have become cheaper in recent years. As it stands, the average cost of installation of most countertops including wood and laminate is $3000 while that of granite is $3100, just $100 more than regular installations.
Factors that Influence Cost
When you intend to install granite countertops for your kitchen, you will get different quotes due to a variety of factors. The price of the stone slab or tile and installation are not the only cost that you need to take into account. Other important factors include:
1. All in one service versus subcontracting – If you obtain your slabs from a company which also provides installation and fabrication, you will save a lot of money. You will have to pay more if you are using several contractors for the fabrication, installation, design, and supply of the slabs. When you get all your services from one contractor they are more likely to give you discounts which will significantly reduce the costs of the slabs and of the installation.
2. Who you buy the tiles from – Local sellers are typically cheaper than your big chain home improvement retailers. You can also get more variety from smaller retailers as you can shop around to get what you like. Moreover, smaller sellers are more likely to provide design, fabrication and installation services.
3. Stone quality – Higher quality tends to be more expensive. High quality is characterized by better-looking patterns and finishes and harder material. It will also not crack or chip as easily as softer low-quality slabs or tiles. Stone quality also has to do with fabrications, as the best countertops will typically have excellent finishes, blending and edge placements. These will also need to be made by professionals who will want to charge more for their better quality countertops.
4. Origin of the tile or slab – Granite is heavy and costs a lot to ship. Depending on where your slab was quarried and where it was manufactured, it can cost significantly more or less. As such, slabs made in the US will typically be cheaper. Since some stones are only found in some countries such as Brazil or China, you will pay a lot of money due to the rareness and the costs of shipping to the United States.
5. The color – Rarer colors such as purples, reds, and blues tend to cost more since they are in high demand. For instance, Blue Bahia, the exotic Brazilian granite costs will set you back up to $199 per square foot. Since they are rare and may have to be imported the price goes up even further. Browns and reds also tend to be more difficult to cut since the stone is harder which can result in higher prices. Lighter colors such as greens, white and beige will be easier to cut and design making them cheaper.
6. Finish and Design – Higher quality finishes and complex designs cost more since they take more time to cut and fabricate. For instance, if you are looking for a metallic-flecked green piece, it may cost as much as the rare rocks with simple designs. High quality finishes also add in other things such as sealants and intricate designs that drive up the cost.
7. Size and Thickness of the Slab – Thinner slabs tend to be cheaper as compared to thicker slabs. If you are short on cash you can ask the contractor to get thinner slabs though thicker slabs often provide better value in terms of durability and quality. A slab made of a few large pieces will cost more since it provides a more consistent color and pattern in addition to seamless finishing.
Why Buy Granite Countertops
Besides the visual aesthetics, they provide a significant return on investment. High-quality granite countertops are highly durable and will look good for years as compared to other materials such as wood. They will outlast wood and laminate which will be replaced multiple times before you have to replace granite.
They are unique and you will be hard pressed to find two that are exactly the same in design color or quality. This makes these countertops something akin to art rather than just ordinary kitchen remodeling work. Since they are so unique they can make it easier to sell the home when you put it on the market. A lot of modern buyers are looking for homes with modern designs and these countertops are definitely one of the things buyers take into account.
These countertops are low maintenance and will save you a lot of time cleaning your kitchen. If the countertops were installed with good sealant, they will not stain for a long time and cleaning will not take up much of your time. You might spend some money getting the best professionals to install large slabs of granite countertops that are perfectly sealed but you will recoup the cost in low maintenance. Slabs installed by professionals need little if any maintenance except for the occasional resealing.
They are made from a hard rock which makes it one of the most durable materials for your countertops. As such, they can last for years, maintaining their good looks without getting scratched, dented, or stained. You can use put your hot pans and pots on the counters without worrying about them getting damaged. This means that you can have your granite countertops looking as great and as good as new, years after their installation so that you do not have to spend more money on countertops.
You never have to worry about your countertops getting stained. Once the professional has sealed your slabs, it will not absorb any stains or liquid that other materials tend to get very easily. This means that you will enjoy the countertops for years while those that used other materials will have stained countertops that will need expensive replacement.
They are very sanitary countertops as once they have been sealed they will not absorb any liquids or solids from your cooking. As such, you get less dirt and bacteria infesting your countertops. Moreover, it is very easy to clean these countertops as all you need is some warm water, and soap and you can clean any split food or liquids from the countertop.
So is it worth the cost?
Yes, it is totally worth the investment. The best thing about this countertop material is its unparalleled durability as compared to other countertop materials such as marble, wood, and laminate. It is chemical and heat resistant, which makes it almost impossible to destroy or damage while you are going about your normal kitchen activities. When you are installing these countertops you are set for a lifetime except for some little maintenance. The countertops are also very modern looking and will add value to your home if you intend to sell.
On the other hand, it is very expensive to buy and install and according to realtors, you should only expect to get back about 57% of the cost of remodeling when you sell a house. Therefore, if you are installing the countertops for the sake of selling the house it only makes sense if:
- Comparable houses in the neighborhood have installed similar countertops
- The countertops go well with the overall feel of the house’
- Buyers in the area have a preference for move-in ready houses.
Granite has become one of the most popular countertop materials found in contemporary and modern households. Some of the reasons for this include their high durability factor, the coming down of costs, great aesthetics, and their low maintenance cost. What you will pay for the countertops will typically be influenced by a combination of factors ranging from shipping costs, location, color, and installation costs. The design of the slab and the quality will also significantly impact the final price of your installation. Another positive is that these countertops will add value to your home fetching you a better price when you sell.