What Is the Cost of Granite Countertops?
Looking to upgrade your kitchen counters to granite? The typical cost of granite countertops ranges from $2,000 to $4,500, with the national average at $3,250.
- Typical Range: $2,000 to $4,500
- National Average: $3,250
The natural look of granite countertops adds warmth and character to any kitchen. Granite countertops can also improve the resale value of your home. When considering the cost of granite countertops, it helps to know the additional considerations and price factors that go into the installation cost. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of granite countertops is between $2,000 and $4,500, with the national average at $3,250. Slabs of material usually cost approximately $40 to $60 per square foot, and labor runs from $35 to $85 an hour. The pattern, color, texture, and quality of the granite will determine the final price. The total price for the project can vary from the national average due to the size of the project, the number of countertops that are needed, kitchen or bathroom configuration, and the selected materials. Granite countertops may cost more than other options, but they more than make up for the price with durability, value, and appeal. Are granite countertops the right choice for your home? To find the best kitchen counters for you and your budget, search online for “granite countertops near me.”
Factors in Calculating Cost of Granite Countertops
Calculating the cost of granite countertops depends on several factors. Prices can differ from the national average of $3,250 due to labor costs in your area and the granite’s size, quality, color, cut, rarity, and texture. Other considerations are where the granite was sourced, the type of countertop you choose, and additional charges for delivery, cutouts, and old countertop removal.
Granite Quality and Slab Size
Granite comes in a variety of grades that determine the quality. The lowest grade has simple patterned slabs that are ⅜-inch thick and come in the most common gray, green, and white colors. Mid-grade granite has slabs that are ¾-inch thick and comes in more vibrant colors with interesting patterns. High-grade granite has thicker slabs, vivid colors, and elaborate patterns. One type of granite can have different color variations and include different stones. The more common stones are on the lower end of the price range, while rarer stones will significantly increase the price.
Granite slabs cost between $40 and $60 per square foot. If you decide on higher-quality granite with rare stones, the cost can increase to $75 to $100 or more per square foot. In addition, the thicker the slab, the more expensive it will be.
Granite Color and Cut
Basic granite slabs cost between $40 and $60 per square foot. The price jumps up to $75 to $100 per square foot for rare colors, stones, and patterns. Prices vary according to color, which can range from white to gray to green to blue. Patterns can be mottled, swirled, and streaked with different inclusion stones. Here are some of the most common colors of granite countertops.
- White. One of the most popular colors, white granite is rarely pure white. Many granite countertops that are labeled as white have undertones of tan, brown, and even red. Some granite labeled as white may be more gray or cream colored. Many types of white granite countertops are weak because they’re not true granite and are prone to staining. White granite countertops need to be properly sealed so they won’t stain. They commonly cost from $30 to $78 per square foot, but the price can go up to $400 per square foot for high-quality white granite.
- Green. Durable green granite countertops can range from pale to dark green. The color comes from the mineral serpentine, and they are less likely to stain than other granite colors. These hard-wearing countertops run from $40 to $120 per square foot and up to $250 for higher-end green granite.
- Gray. Gray granite countertops are usually the most budget-friendly and cost around $30 to $50 per square foot. The price can go up to $200 per square foot for high-end gray granite with rare inclusion stones. Only a few gray granite countertops are labeled as truly gray. There are many white granite countertops that are gray but have white undertones, so they’re classified as white. If you’re interested in gray granite countertops, also look at those that are labeled as white.
- Black. Black granite is unique in that it isn’t actually granite; it’s gabbro. Gabbro is one of the hardest and most durable stones, which makes for a solid countertop. A bonus is that black countertops don’t need any special treatment or sealing. They can run between $40 to $80 per square foot and up to $300 per square foot for high-quality black granite.
- Gold. Gold granite countertops can cost between $30 to $90 per square foot and upward of $240 per square foot for high-end versions. Gold granite can also be classified as brown or a mix of the two colors. Gold granite countertops are common, but many options are dolomite rather than true granite.
- Red. Red granite countertops come in different hues, from deep burgundy to pale pink and some with orange tints. These countertops can range from $65 to $80 per square foot.
- Blue. Blue granite countertops are usually the most expensive since they’re the rarest of all the granite options. They can cost between $70 to $100 per square foot and sometimes upward of $400 per square foot. The colors range from blue to turquoise and can have brown or gray inclusion stones. There are four types of blue granite countertops.
- Blue pearl granite. This type of blue granite costs between $50 and $100 per square foot. The least expensive option of blue pearl granite is more of a silvery-gray in color than a true blue. The countertops with more of a blue tone are more expensive. This granite is covered with mica that reflects the light as a glittering sheen. Honing does not work on blue pearl granite since it contains mica. This type of countertop looks best polished.
- River blue granite. Expect to pay between $70 and $100 per square foot for river blue granite countertops. It’s another option that has primarily gray stones with a beige background. Some of the gray stones have a blue tint, and the bluer it is, the more it will cost. When river blue granite is polished, it resembles rippling water.
- Blue bahia granite. This is a true blue granite, and it costs between $120 to $200 per square foot. Lower quality blue bahia granite will have some blue stones with a lot of white or brown mixed in. Higher quality will have brilliant blue stones with white or brown flecks on the surface. This type of granite is difficult to find, which results in higher costs.
- Van Gogh granite. This high-end blue granite runs from $300 to $400 per square foot. This rare granite has wonderful color variation, and the blues range from pale sky blue to vibrant turquoise. It has swirls of white and gold and looks best as a polished countertop. Van Gogh granite countertops make a bold statement wherever they’re installed.
Granite countertops are cut to order, and some colors are more challenging to cut than others. This can raise the overall price. It usually costs between $300 and $500 to cut granite, and that price is commonly added to the price of labor.
Granite Rarity and Source
The rarer the granite, the higher the price. Rare colors are usually found in higher-end granite, and the price reflects the scarcity. Blue granite is the rarest of all the granite options and is the most expensive. The granite quarry’s location also affects the price. It typically costs more to ship granite from a long distance than from a local quarry. Keep in mind that the costs to quarry and process granite in the United States are higher than in other countries. To keep costs down, see if there are quarries close to you and search online for “granite near me.”
There are three types of granite texture for countertops: polished, honed, and leathered.
- Polished. All granite countertops start with a glossy finish. The polished texture is the most common and is available at no additional cost. Polished countertops require minimum maintenance over the years and are typically the least expensive option.
- Honed. Honed granite countertops add $10 to $20 per square foot to the overall price due to the challenging installation process. Honed countertops have a matte finish. They need regular sealant applications and are prone to staining.
- Leathered. Leathered countertops cost an additional $15 to $25 per square foot due to the low availability and unique texture. This process produces a textured finish with small ridges and pits on the surface. This type of texturing is commonly done on black and other dark-colored granite. Lighter colors are not strong enough to endure the process. Countertops with a high mica content or soft stones cannot be leathered. Leathered granite is stain resistant, but it’s prone to scratching.
Type of Countertop
Most granite countertops are slab countertops, but there are two other options if you’re interested in including granite in your kitchen differently: tile or modular countertops.
- Tile. Granite tile countertops cost between $8 and $15 per square foot. Granite tiles typically come with a polished texture, and honing or leathering isn’t available. The tiles are usually 12-inch squares that need to be grouted and sealed to avoid stains.
- Modular. Expect to pay around $25 to $40 per square foot for modular granite countertops. These polished sections are thinner than granite slabs and require reinforcement. The pattern of modular countertops may not match from piece to piece, and they also need to be grouted and sealed to prevent stains.
Labor and Delivery Fees
Labor can run from $35 to $85 per hour, depending on the labor cost in your area. The total labor cost can increase, depending on how many countertops are installed, the countertop material, and the size of the project. For an average-size kitchen counter of 24 inches by 180 inches, expect to pay $600 to $1,500 for labor. Installing a kitchen counter can sometimes take up to 20 hours, and a bathroom installation is usually less than 10 hours. Labor costs typically include delivery fees, but be sure to ask your installation team.
Removing the Existing Counter
Most granite countertop professionals include removing the old countertop at no additional cost, but always ask to make sure. Some contractors may charge extra if the old countertop is unusually heavy or proves especially difficult to remove.
It costs about $100 per sink cutout in a granite countertop. This charge is in addition to the sink installation and cost, which can run up to $400. If you’re interested in a cooktop mounted under the countertop, that cutout can run you $200. Again, this price is in addition to the cost and installation of the cooktop, which can commonly cost $650. Additional cutouts for hardware and plumbing will increase the overall cost of granite countertops.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for the cost of granite countertops, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. These can include special countertop treatments, enhancements, improvements, and repairs.
Stain prevention treatments are available for porous granite countertops that are susceptible to staining. Sealing is usually done when the countertops are installed, usually at no extra cost. Some types of granite need to be sealed every year, while other treatments can last as long as 10 to 15 years. Always ask your granite countertop professional about sealing treatments.
Enhancements and Improvements
A granite backsplash isn’t a necessity, but it can provide extra protection for the wall. A 4-inch backsplash is priced by the linear foot, and it usually costs between $10 and $15 to install. Additional enhancements can be stain protection or under-the-counter cooktop installation.
Any repairs to the cabinets that the granite countertops will sit on will need to be completed before installation. The base cabinets need to be sturdy and strong enough to support the weight of the granite. If walls are damaged and need repairs, it will add to the overall cost of the project.
Cost of Granite Countertops: Benefits of Installing Granite Countertops
Installing granite countertops can improve and update the look of your kitchen. Old or cracked countertops can result in water damage or mold growth. Here are some additional benefits of installing granite countertops.
Durability and Long-Lasting Nature
One of the top benefits of installing granite is that it’s resistant to chipping and scratching. Granite is one of the hardest materials—second only to diamonds. When a sealed granite countertop is correctly installed and properly maintained, a granite countertop can last a lifetime.
Appeal and Look
Each piece and slab of granite is unique in color and pattern. Granite can vary in shades of color, inclusion stones, patterns, veining, and textures. The earthy and natural appeal of granite can add warmth and depth to any kitchen. The organic beauty of granite is appealing to homeowners, and many revel in the process of finding just the right swirled, mottled, or streaked color combination for their home.
Heat and Scratch Resistance
Since granite is formed by heat and pressure, it makes for a great heat-resistant countertop. Place hot pots and pans directly onto the surface of a granite countertop without worry. Even though granite is scratch resistant, use caution when using sharp or heavy items on the counter.
Return on Investment
When it comes to increasing your home’s value, installing granite countertops is an excellent way to do it. Granite countertops raise the value of your home, even if you’re not planning on selling it any time soon. The kitchen is where people spend the most time, and investing in granite countertops can provide a fresh, updated look. If you do decide to sell your home, granite countertops are appealing to potential buyers.
Cost of Granite Countertops: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
It’s recommended to hire a professional when installing granite countertops. Granite slabs can weigh up to several hundred pounds. They are difficult to move, and professionals have the experience and the right tools for the job. If you damage a granite slab and it can’t be used, it will be extra money out of your pocket. If you don’t have experience cutting granite, you would still have to hire someone to do the cutouts for the sink and fixtures. The DIY method isn’t suggested for this project.
How to Save Money on the Cost of Granite Countertops
The cost of granite countertops can be high, and the additional considerations associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save on granite countertops is to choose the cheapest option, but there are other ways to save without compromising quality.
- Buy local. Find a local quarry or stone yard that will also install the countertops. It costs less to transport granite from a short distance rather than far away.
Get multiple quotes. Call around and get at least three quotes from countertop installers. Look for companies that fabricate and install the countertops themselves to save on costs.
- Don’t skimp on the quality. It may seem counterintuitive to buy more expensive granite to save money, but lower-quality granite can chip and crack more easily than a slightly more expensive option. Buying quality now can save on replacement costs in the near future.
- Ditch the texture. Honed or leathered textures can significantly add to the overall cost of granite countertops. Polished granite comes with no additional cost.
- Opt for a thinner cut. If you don’t mind the overall aesthetics of a thinner countertop, go for a thinner option. A 1¼-inch-thick option will cost more than ⅜-inch-thick or ¾-inch-thick options.
- Remove the old countertop. If your contractor charges extra to remove the old countertop, consider ripping it out and hauling it away yourself.
- Go for the common colors. White, gray, beige, and green granite countertops are more common and less expensive than red and blue.
- Buy remnants. If you have a small area where you’d like to install granite in your kitchen or bathroom, consider buying remnants. Carefully measure the area to get an accurate estimate.
Questions to Ask About the Cost of Granite Countertops
Asking a professional the right questions about the cost of granite countertops can minimize miscommunication, save money, and get your desired results. Here are some questions to ask before hiring your countertop installers.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have references?
- Who will be installing the countertops?
- How long will the project take?
- Do you offer slab viewing?
- Can I choose what parts of the slab I want installed in my home?
- Do you also handle plumbing?
- What type of warranty do you offer?
- Does your company fabricate and install the countertops?
There are many choices to make when it comes to granite countertops. From standard brown or gray granite countertops to the eye-catching waterfall trend, the sky’s the limit. Staying within budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about the cost of granite countertops to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. How much are granite countertops?
Granite countertops cost between $2,000 and $4,500, with the national average at $3,250. Slabs of material usually cost approximately $40 to $60 per square foot, and labor runs from $35 to $85 an hour.
Q. Why is granite so expensive?
The price of granite is based on how desirable and available it is. If a particular type is rare and only available from a faraway country, it will be more expensive due to shipping and rarity. The rarer a color, like red or blue granite, the more expensive it will be.
Q. Which is cheaper: granite or quartz?
Granite is typically cheaper than quartz, but the prices have recently been balancing out. Granite can start around $40 per square foot, and rare colors will range from $70 to $100 per square foot. The average installation costs for granite countertops average from $2,000 to $4,500, while quartz can cost between $2,500 and $5,000.