How Much Do Granite Countertops Cost?

Assess the costs to help decide between DIY or professional installation

Cost of granite countertops

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Replacing old, out-of-date countertops with new granite countertops is a great way to improve the aesthetic of the home. Granite countertops are heavy, durable, and heat-resistant, making them well-suited for food preparation. This material comes in a range of colors, finishes, edge designs, sizes, and styles. Additionally, the stone construction results in unique patterns in the granite created by the natural rock formation.

However, it should be noted that granite countertops do need to be sealed to prevent liquids and moisture from seeping into the porous material. While most granite countertops will come pre-sealed, it's a good idea to ask the manufacturer or the installer to ensure that the counter is sealed before using it. After installation, the granite countertop will need to be resealed about once every one to two years, depending on the frequency of use.

Before picking out the ideal color, texture, and design for the new granite countertop, it's necessary to consider the cost of the material, labor costs, and any additional fees associated with the installation. On average, you can expect to pay about $3,250 for the purchase and professional installation of a granite countertop. Use this guide to discover the factors that influence the cost of granite countertops, so you can find a product that suits your tastes and your budget.

Types of Granite Countertops

There are several types of granite countertop that vary in price based on the color combinations, patterns, and the presence of unique flecks or speckles. The most common types include Alaska White, Ubatuba, Blue Louise, Absolute Black, Black Galaxy, Silver Cloud, Solarius, and Crema Bordeaux.

  • Alaska White is a relatively affordable option at about $35 per square foot that features white and gray tones.
  • Ubatuba is another affordable choice at about $30 to $60 per square foot, known for having dark green coloring with gold and brown flecks.
  • Blue Louise is a more expensive granite due to the rarity and difficulty in sourcing this material. It cost about $70 to $100 per square foot and has blue, green, and red hues in swirling patterns throughout the granite.
  • Absolute Black granite has a pure black appearance that looks great in modern kitchens. The cost of this material falls about mid-way between the affordable Alaska White and the premium Blue Louise, with an average price of about $45 to $65 per square foot.
  • Black Galaxy is a mid- to high-range product at a cost of about $50 to $70 per square foot. It features a black background with white specks that mimic the look of stars in the night sky.
  • Silver Cloud granite is typically considered a low- to mid-tier material that has a similar appearance to marble. It costs about $35 to $40 per square foot and features shades of gray and swirls of cream or ivory.
  • Solarius is another mid- to high-range product that has warm yellow and brown tones, and an average cost of about $60 per square foot.
  • Crema Bordeaux isn't as rare as Blue Louise granite, but it's still considered a premium product that is somewhat difficult to source. This granite costs about $80 per square foot and comes in shades of red, pink, brown, and gold.

Size and Thickness

The cost of materials should always be considered separately from the hourly rate for labor, so you know exactly how much of the total price is attributed to the material and how much is based on the installer's rate. Generally, the cost of the granite countertop will depend on the size and thickness of the material.

According to Home Advisor, on average, a slab of granite countertop will cost about $40 to $60 per square foot, granite tiles cost about $5 to $15 per square foot, and modular granite countertop pieces cost about $25 to $40 per piece. However, the cost can range from $40 per square foot to $100 per square foot, depending on the thickness, color options, and rarity of the designs.

The lowest grade granite has simple patterned slabs that are 3/8-inch thick, with common color options, like gray and white. Mid-tier granite slabs are about 3/4-inch thick and may be available with more attractive patterns and colors. High-grade granite slabs can be one inch or more in thickness and typically have a wide range of colors and patterns, including relatively rare or hard-to-source designs.

Color and Texture

The look and feel of a granite countertop are primary reasons for selecting this material over cheaper options, like laminate. However, the cost of the granite countertop can increase or decrease depending on the appearance and texture. Rarer colors and patterns of granite with difficult to source inclusions, like white flecks on a black background or blue, green, and red swirls, tend to have a higher price.

Similarly, the texture of the granite can influence the final cost of the material. Polished granite is the standard option for this material, but you can also find honed granite and leathered granite. Honed granite maintains the natural look of the stone, but costs about $10 to $20 more per square foot than polished granite. Leathered granite adds a natural finish to protect against staining, but this texture increases the cost of the material by about $15 to $25 per square foot.

Edge Designs

The color, patterns, texture, thickness, size, and style are not the only material considerations to keep in mind when trying to decide on a granite countertop for the kitchen. It's also necessary to think about the type of edges you want the countertop to have, including standard square edges, rounded edges, Ogee edges, Dupont edges, French cove edges, and Cole Smith edges.

  • Standard square edges are the most common option for countertops, with a squared-off design and no increase to the cost.
  • Rounded edges can be a good idea for homes with kids, though this change from the standard square edge comes at an increased cost of about $10 per linear foot.
  • Ogee edges are a stylish version of the rounded countertop edge. Due to the improved look, you can expect to pay an additional $20 to $25 per linear foot for Ogee edges.
  • Dupont edges have a similar price of $20 to $25 per linear foot as Ogee edges. However, Depont edges are the more stylish version of the standard square edge design.
  • French cove edges are another stylistic take on the standard square edge. This design costs about $30 to $35 per linear foot and features a square lip at the base with a rounded convex bullnose in the middle that comes up to a square lip at the top of the edge.
  • Cole Smith edges cost an additional $40 per linear foot due to the complexity of the edge design. This type of edge has a rounded front with a squared lip on the top and a rounded concave lip that extends below the base of the countertop.

DIY vs. Professional Installation Cost

After looking into the cost of the material for a granite countertop, you may be thinking about trying to save on the total price of this upgrade by handling the installation on your own. If you have the skills and at least one other person to help, this could be an effective way to cut out the cost of labor and any additional fees, like old countertop removal or sink cut-out fees.

However, for most DIYers, it is not recommended to take on this installation project. Instead, you should budget for the additional cost to hire a professional granite countertop installation company. On average, you can expect to pay between $35 to $85 per hour for the cost of labor on a granite countertop installation. The slab delivery fee may be included in the labor costs, but if it is not, then you may end up paying an extra $150 to $200 in delivery costs.

The cost for a sink cut-out is about $100 per sink, while the fee to remove an old countertop as part of the installation ranges from about $100 to $200. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the total labor costs range from about $600 to $1,500.

  • Is granite cheaper than quartz?

    Granite countertops and quartz countertops are typically about the same price per square foot, though granite has a broader range of prices, so some granite countertops will cost less than the average quartz countertop, while premium product can cost more than the average quartz countertop.

  • Can you put a hot pan on granite?

    Granite and other natural stone countertops are resistant to heat, so placing a hot pan on the counter for a few seconds should not damage the surface of the counter. However, granite must also be sealed to protect it from moisture and the high temperature of a hot pan has been shown to damage the sealant of countertops made with other materials. It's best to use the stove or a pot holder instead of the countertop.

  • Does coffee stain granite?

    A drawback to natural stone countertops, like granite, is that they are porous, which means that water, coffee, and other liquids can seep into the stone, causing staining and discoloration. While granite stone countertops are typically sealed to protect against this problem, it's still recommended to clean up coffee spills quickly to avoid permanent staining.

Article Sources
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  1. Pros & Cons of Granite. U.S. Natural Stone Institute.

  2. Sealer Options for Countertops. The Concrete Countertop Institute.

  3. Pozo-Antonio, J.S. et al. Effects of Staining Agents on an Ornamental Granite. Journal of Building Engineering, vol. 44, no. 102700, 2021. doi:10.1016/j.jobe.2021.102700