Granite countertops are beautiful and can turn a plain kitchen into a stunning one. Sadly, granite doesn't last forever, and it cracks and breaks like any countertop. If you're stressing about the cost of new granite countertops and the different types to choose from, you're in the right place. We've done the research on the cost of granite countertops for you.
Different types of granite countertops usually range between $50 and $100 per square foot, or anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for materials and installation costs. These costs are based on an average kitchen with 40- to 60-square-feet of counter space. Additional considerations include the grade or quality of granite and the installation method.
Selecting your granite can significantly influence the overall cost for new countertops, but we'll discuss what to look for in terms of type, grade, and installation. How long do granite countertops last? Can damaged granite be repaired? What is a cheaper alternative to granite? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
Types of Granite
Depending on the granite you choose for your countertops, your price will vary. Here are some of the most popular types of granite to go with many decoration styles:
River White granite is commonly used in more modern homes because it goes well with monochromatic schemes and makes a kitchen feel light and open. It also works, however, with most colored cabinets and is a clean choice.
Nero Mist is black granite with white running through it. It provides a strong contrast to your kitchen and goes extremely well with white cabinets. It also can go well with light cabinets and a more rustic style kitchen.
Steel Grey granite is mainly black granite with patches of grey spread throughout. It's a gorgeous natural stone that goes well with monochromatic kitchens and provides a cool feel.
This granite is almost marble-like, with a white background and swirls of grey. It's also a very durable type of granite that will last you for a long time.
Venetian Gold granite is a golden brown flecked with brown, black, and grey that creates a very complex stone. It goes really well in kitchens with natural cabinets and makes a kitchen feel very warm and welcoming.
Grades of Granite
Different grades of granite determine the quality of the stone. Grade 1 is a lower grade of granite usually used for commercial use. It's cut thinner and therefore requires plywood backing to help provide support. Grade 1 granite usually has typical colors and plain patterns. It's often imported from China and not from top quarries.
A step up from Grade 1, Grade 2 granite is less commercialized and has more unique patterns and colors.
Grade 3+ granite is better quality because it's imported from more reputable quarries and features even rarer colors and patterns. The higher the grade, usually the thicker cut, so the more durable and longer-lasting the granite will be.
It's always best to use professionals for large home projects. Especially with heavy granite countertops, it's all too easy to crack them when you're trying to install them or incorrectly align them with the base. Professionals can correctly level the granite and prevent stress fractures caused by insufficient support during or after installation. Furthermore, grout work is easy to do incorrectly and can disrupt the sleek look of granite in your kitchen. To avoid these issues, it's best to hire a professional who knows how to handle granite and create smooth lines.
Why is granite a great choice for countertops?
Granite is a popular countertop choice because it's not only elegant and unique, but it's very durable. Especially with thicker cuts, granite is particularly strong and less prone to cracks and scratches than other countertop materials. Furthermore, it's heat resistant and won't crack, warp, or scorch if you set a hot pot directly on it.
Granite adds value to your home because it's a unique pattern and gives a kitchen a more modern feel. The wide range of styles and patterns make it easy to find something to fit any kitchen.
How long do granite countertops last?
Because granite is a strong, natural stone, it can last over a century if it's well cared for. To do this, you should apply a sealant to the countertop to further prevent heat or scratch damage. Avoid dropping anything heavy on granite. This could cause part of it to break, and then you would have to replace the entire countertop. You should also regularly clean your granite to prevent dirt buildup.
For more information on the durability of granite, check out our more detailed post "Are Granite Countertops Durable and Easy To Maintain?"
Can damaged granite be repaired?
Despite its natural durability, granite can chip or crack under stress or intense pressure. Thankfully, it's fairly easy to fix these cracks. Most granite repair kits use epoxy to fill the crack or chip. To use this to repair your countertop, you need to clean the surface, apply epoxy and wipe away excess, and apply a hardener.
How do you rejuvenate granite countertops?
The best way to rejuvenate granite countertops is to polish them. There are three different ways to do this: polishing cream, polishing spray, and polishing powder.
Granite Polishing Cream
Polishing cream uses light abrasives to restore the shine to countertops with a high-gloss finish. To apply the cream, you should wet a polishing pad, dip it into the cream, and evenly apply it to the granite in circling motions. Apply some force to really work it into the surface.
Granite Polishing Spray
Polishing spray is a more superficial polish, but it can help hide scratches, and it helps the granite resist water stains and fingerprints. To apply the polish, spray it evenly over the countertop and use a non-abrasive cloth to rub it in.
Granite Polishing Powder
Polishing powder helps buff out minor scratches in your granite countertops. You can apply it either wet or dry, and you should use circling motions and rub it in with a polishing pad.
What is a cheaper alternative to granite?
Granite is a great countertop material, but it can be expensive. Here are some cheaper alternatives:
Laminate countertops are also very common and come in many different styles. It typically costs between $10 and $40 per square foot, and with new and better technology, it's extremely durable. Unlike laminate in the past, new laminate is fairly scratch-resistant, though it doesn't have the heat resistance granite does.
Tile countertops can be a bit more of a hassle to keep clean with small cracks in between tiles, but it's a much cheaper option than granite. Depending on the type of tile you choose, it can cost between $1 and $15 per square foot on average for materials. There are many different options to choose from, and you can use a unique installation to help create a beautiful design on your countertop.
Wood is a less common material for countertops because it's more susceptible to water damage and stains, but it's a cheaper option than granite and still creates beautiful kitchens. On average, wood costs between $30 and $60 per square foot. It creates an especially warm feel and goes well with natural cabinets.
Granite countertops are a beautiful addition to any kitchen. On average, granite costs between $50 and $100 per square foot for materials and between $2,000 and $5,000 for materials and installation. Take care of your granite by sealing, and immediately wiping clean after use.
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