Granite is in high demand due to its durability and long-lasting quality. However, not all the granite you see in the market is identical – whether physically or in terms of quality. Consequently, you should consider using a granite buying guide for that purpose.
Granite is a natural stone composed of igneous rocks like mica, feldspar, and quartz. It has been used for various construction purposes in buildings, monuments, and homes from times immemorial. Today, we use it for different purposes like flooring, kitchen countertops, building blocks, tiles, staircases, and many more.
The contemporary market has dozens of retailers offering granite countertops, flooring, and more. In fact, the range of available options is so fast that merely choosing one of the options can be an achievement in itself!
However, once chosen, your granite floor or kitchen countertop can last for years and serve you well. There are several variants of granite differing in looks, texture, patterns, porosity, and more. You should consider all these features and their pros and cons before making a decision.
What Is The Cost Of Granite?
On average, the price of uninstalled granite slabs is between $10 to $40 per square foot. When installed, you will likely end up paying about $35 to $66 per square foot. Given below are the average charges of leading granite counter suppliers, according to a reliable survey:
- Cost of slab alone – $24.33
- Price of installation alone – $23.07
- Cost of both slab and installation – $47.40
Thus, the cost of installing granite counters in a regular-sized kitchen or bathroom will likely tally up to about $2,000 to $4,500. These costs are also influenced by a number of factors such as the variety of granite selected, its color and patterns, and much more.
Pattern and Color
Every granite buying guide tends to begin with the vast range of colors that natural granite is available in. They can range from black, blue, and brown to red, blue, green, and violet. They also come in a wide variety of shades, from light to dark.
Patterns in which granite is available include movement, veining, and graining. These features depend a lot on the granite’s composition and mechanism of formation.
Remember that granite is a natural stone, and thus no two slabs of granite can ever be identical. At some level or the other, you are always going to come across differences. Thus, many customers are adamant about choosing the exact slab they wish to install at home.
Visualizing the Granite Product
Even after making a choice, you need to know how it will look in your home. For that purpose, you will need visualizer tools that can allow you to see how the kitchen or granite vanity top for your bathroom you have chosen looks next to other elements like the cabinetry.
Apart from this, we also advise you to order samples beforehand. That will help you look at the granite color and pattern in your own house and lighting.
Edges and Finishing
Continuing with our granite buying guide, it is now time to give your granite a custom look. For that, a lot of people tend to choose granite countertops with an edge profile or specialty finish. The edge influences not just the aesthetics of granite but its safety and functionality as well. When it comes to finish, you have quite a few options available:
Flamed – For this finish, the granite is exposed to a high temperature that changes the grains’ color embedded in its lattice. A flamed finish features a characteristic texture with a faded look.
Honed – A honed surface is a flat matte sans any reflective finish. It is the natural finish of granite before you give it a polished shine.
Leathered – It is a recently developed, contemporary finish with an intriguing, dimpled texture. It is created with the help of special diamond-tipped brushes.
Polished – A polished finish is, by far, the topmost choice among customers. It has a sleek mirror-like appearance that is resistant to stains and easy to clean.
There are a variety of edges available in the market as well. An eased edge is somewhat rounded to avoid breakage and do away with potentially dangerous sharp edges. On the other hand, a vintage ogee profile is S-shaped with two curves.
It is a popular choice in old-fashioned kitchens due to its sophisticated appearance. You will also come across many more options like bevel, bullnose, round edge, and more in the market.
Always Keep Your Budget in Mind
A granite buying guide would not be complete without mentioning this crucial fact. Not all of the varieties of granite available out there are going to fit into your budget.
It is your own needs that you need to serve, spending just the right amount of money. Several factors determine the price of granite kitchen countertops.
First of all, there’s the color and availability. Exotic colored variants like red and blue, which have limited availability or must be transported for long distances, are obviously going to be much more expensive. On the other hand, you can choose different colors of granite countertops in darker shades which cost much less.
Then there’s an obvious and essential factor – quality. Lower quality granite slabs, being softer and more comfortable to cut, are relatively cheaper. However, they are also more vulnerable to wear and tear as a result. Do not forget to consider these facts seriously before you make a decision.
The thickness of the granite countertop slab is another essential factor that determines its price. Thinner slabs are less expensive but not as durable. Fortunately, you can enlist professional help to make necessary adjustments and enhance a thin granite slab’s looks and strength.
Maintenance and Care
Regardless of the variety of granite you finally choose, it will require basic maintenance and care to last long. For instance, you need to seal your granite countertops. That makes it more resistant to stains and moisture.
Further, you can choose from specific variants of granite kitchen countertop, such as lighter shades, which you have to reseal more often.
Daily care is generally not too difficult. You can use a simple diluted soap solution to clean the surface off dirt and grime. For more vigorous cleaning, you can use a cleanser specially formulated to use with granite.
Granite has significant durability and longevity, after all. In fact, many granite slabs can last for decades, even after heavy use. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter whether you intend to invest in a brand-new granite top or upgrade your countertop; both purchases are worth every penny.