by Jeremy Troetti / October 24, 2019
Table of Contents
Last updated on December 20, 2019
Granite countertops are a favorite of homeowners, whether they are installed in the kitchen, bathroom or any other space in the house. In terms of aesthetics alone, there are few materials that can come close to matching the beauty of a granite slab.
Budgeting is a very important part of any home remodeling project. You will want to know for sure how much you can spend and how that amount can be appropriately used. Any countertop is a significant part of the remodel, so you will want to make sure you choose a surface that you will enjoy for many years to come.
This guide will inform you of the costs of slab granite, as well as more information about the stone, how pricing differs between stones and what your other options are.
How Much is a Slab of Granite?
If you want a countertop that is truly visually striking, slab granite is an excellent choice. As for price, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $35 to $75 per square foot. The cost of the specific type of granite you choose can vary based on a number of factors.
What Factors Impact the Cost of Granite?
Since granite is a natural stone, each individual slab is different. While they might look similar, no two slabs of granite will ever be exactly the same. This uniqueness helps contribute to the stone’s popularity on the market.
There are many different factors that can impact how much granite costs. These include color, texture, level and type.
How Does Color Impact the Cost of Granite?
Some colors of granite are rarer than others and will cost more as a result. Colors of the stone that are more readily available, such as white or black, will typically be less expensive than a color like red. That said, there are some more expensive types of white and black granite that you can find. The price will depend on the specific type of the stone that you choose.
How Does Texture Impact the Cost of Granite?
Texture is another factor that can influence the cost of granite. Texture refers to the finish of your granite. Different finish options include honed, polished and leathered.
What is Honed Granite?
Honed granite is granite that has not been polished. Instead of having a distinctive shine like polished granite, these surfaces will have more of a matte appearance. While polished is the most popular finish, honed granite is also very stylish. Honed granite is essentially the middle ground in cost when compared to polished and leathered.
What is Polished Granite?
As its name implies, polished granite is granite that has had a shiny finish applied to it. This is the most common choice among homeowners. Its popularity helps keep the cost down as well, as it is the cheapest among the three finish options. If you are looking for a granite countertop that will add some shine to your home, polished granite will be the way to go.
What is Leathered Granite?
Leathered granite is granite that has a distinctive textured feel to it. While honed and polished granite countertops are more popular and traditional choices among homeowners, leathered granite has risen in popularity in recent years. Leathered granite is the most expensive of the three finish options.
The table below compares the price range of all three finish types, as well as lists some characteristics that are associated with all three types.
|Polished Granite||Honed Granite||Leathered Granite|
|Lowest cost among the three||Middle ground in price for the three options||Highest cost among the three|
|Readily available||Will give your countertop a matte look||Not widely available|
|Easy to care for||Provides more of a natural look than the other finishes||Will give your countertop a rustic look|
|Will not require frequent sealing||Highlights the natural coloring of the stone|
|Will give your countertop a distinctive shine|
How Do Granite Levels Impact the Cost?
The cost of your granite will also depend on what level it falls in. Granite levels are designed as a way to guide the buying process for the stone. Most types of granite will fall between Levels 1 and 5, with 1 being the most affordable and 5 being the most expensive. For more information on granite levels, check out this article.
How Does the Type of Material You Choose Impact the Cost?
When buying granite, slabs are not the only option you have. In addition to granite slabs, you can choose from options such as remnants, granite tile and modular granite. Each option is described in further detail below.
Slab granite is just what it sounds like – a slab of this beautiful natural stone. As mentioned above, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $35 to $75 per square foot for granite slabs.
Remnants are the leftover pieces of granite from slabs that have been shaped for countertops. Remnants are not only great for smaller home remodeling projects but can also save you money as well.
Granite tile is less expensive than a slab; however, you will sacrifice a little bit in terms of appearance. With granite tile, you will have to deal with grout lines that are not present in a slab.
Modular granite is not common for many home remodeling projects. Modular granite is essentially a “mini-slab” – smaller than an actual slab, but larger than a remnant or tiles. It also falls in the middle of the price range for types of material.
|Granite Tile||Granite Remnants||Modular Granite||Slabs|
|Cheapest of the options||Suitable for smaller projects||“Mini-slabs”||Most popular option|
|Can be a DIY job||Saves cost||Falls in between the price of tiles and the price of full-size slabs||Incredible appearance|
|Will have grout lines||Durable|
|Typically costs between $35 to $75 per square foot|
How Will Your Specific Project Impact the Cost?
Not only will the type of granite you choose determine the cost, but your specific needs related to your remodeling project will as well. The size, shape and any cutouts you require can all factor into how much you will need to pay. If you have a countertop that will require many cuts for odd angles, in addition to cutouts for sinks, you can expect to pay more than if your project allows for more of a standard shape.
Edging is also another factor to keep in mind. The more customized edge you choose, the more it will raise the overall cost of the project. Below are some examples of different edge options you have for your granite countertops. Premium edges will be more expensive than basic edge options. You can find additional information about edges here.
|Basic Edges||Premium Edges|
|Double Quarter Round||Waterfall|
Lastly, you will need to factor in the cost of labor. Granite is very heavy – especially granite slabs. You will not be able to install a granite slab on your own. Granite tiles are the only type of granite that is suitable for you to install yourself, though even then it is a better idea to hire a professional. You will also need a professional to remove your old countertop.
Where Can You Use Granite in the Home?
Besides kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops, there are plenty of other places you can incorporate granite into your home. Other uses of the stone include backsplashes, fireplace surrounds and in some cases, outdoor applications such as outdoor kitchen countertops or grilling stations.
How Are Granite Countertops Made?
Granite is found in quarries all across the world. Most types of the natural stone come from countries such as Brazil and India. Granite can also be found in various locations in the United States. The granite is extracted from the earth, cut into blocks, shaped into slabs and shipped off to a fabricator. The fabricator will shape the slab according to your specific needs for your remodeling project. The slab is then transported from the fabricator to your home, where it will be installed by professionals.
What Are Some Alternative Materials to Granite?
Granite is not the only option you have for your new countertop, vanity top, backsplash or other home surfaces. There are several other types of stone, both natural and engineered, that you can choose from to complete your home remodeling project. Some of these materials are analyzed below.
Marble is one of the most elegant natural stones in the world. Much like granite, it is quarried in locations all across the world. This stone has been used to build everything from kitchen and bathroom countertops to some of the most famous statues in the world. Marble can be found in many different colors and styles and will look great in any home. However, there are some downsides to the stone. It is not as durable as granite and will also require more maintenance. For example, while you will only generally need to re-seal a granite countertop around once a year, you will need to re-seal marble countertops about once every few months. This is because marble is a more porous stone than granite – meaning that liquid and stains absorb into the surface easier. As far as cost goes, marble is more expensive than granite, but not by much.
Quartzite is another popular natural stone. This stone is known for its resemblance to marble. In fact, some types of quartzite even get mistaken for being marble. In terms of durability, quartzite is one of your best options besides granite. The stone will allow you to have the look of marble with almost the same amount of durability as granite. Compared to granite, quartzite is a more expensive countertop option.
Quartz, not to be confused with the similarly named quartzite, is an engineered stone. Because it is engineered, you will be able to find virtually any color or style of countertop that you are looking for. That said, granite will offer you the most variety amongst natural stone options. Quartz is a very durable material and is resistant to stains, just like granite is. However, while granite is resistant to heat, quartz is not. A quartz countertop can be damaged by exposure to excessive heat. Compare this to granite countertops – on which you can set down hot pots and pans without having to fear damage to the surface (although this practice is not recommended). Quartz is also more expensive than granite.
Onyx is a breathtaking natural stone that can truly give any home a distinctive feel. Onyx countertops can surely become the focal point of any room they are in. However, onyx countertops require much more maintenance than granite countertops and are more expensive.
Travertine countertops will give your space a feeling of light and life. But while the material looks nice, granite is much more durable and is easier to care for than travertine. You will have to be extremely careful with travertine countertops – especially in the kitchen. While this is not to say that you do not have to be cautious with granite as well, granite countertops will be more forgiving. In addition, travertine is a more expensive material.
If you are really looking for something that is elegant and stylish, gemstone countertops may speak to your taste. That said, gemstone countertops are not a feasible option for every home, as they are the most expensive among the stone choices.
Limestone is very similar to travertine. In fact, travertine is a variation of limestone, although some differences exist between the two natural stones. Limestone also requires extreme caution and extensive care compared to granite.
Slate countertops are a good option if you are looking for something that is darker in color. Slate also fits well with modern décor. While slate countertops are a high-quality option, granite will give you a much wider variation to choose from than slate. As with other options, slate is a more expensive material than granite.
Lastly, soapstone is yet another stone countertop alternative to granite. Soapstone can be found in a range of darker colors, such as dark greens and greys. The stone actually darkens naturally over time, although you can speed up this process by treating it with mineral oil. As with slate, granite will offer you many more color and style options than soapstone will. Soapstone countertops will cost more than granite countertops.
How Do the Prices of Granite and the Alternative Options Compare?
The following table is a price comparison between granite countertops and the alternative stone slab options. All prices are based on square foot.
|Granite||Between $35 to $75 per square foot|
|Marble||Between $40 to $100 per square foot|
|Quartz||Between $50 to $120 per square foot|
|Slate||Between $50 to $200 per square foot|
|Soapstone||Between $55 to $100 per square foot|
|Quartzite||Between $60 to $120 per square foot|
|Limestone||Between $70 to $200 per square foot|
|Onyx||Between $75 to $250 per square foot|
|Gemstone||Start around $100 per square foot|
Why Should You Choose Granite Countertops?
Granite countertops will incorporate natural beauty into your home
Granite is one of the most durable natural stone countertop options you can choose
The stone is one of the easiest materials to clean and maintain
Granite is resistant to heat, scratches and stains
Each slab of granite is unique
Granite is Naturally Beautiful
This amazing natural stone is extracted from the earth and can display its natural beauty in your home. As stated above, there is simply nothing that matches the beauty of a slab of granite. There are so many colors and styles to choose from, so you certainly will not be limited in your selection of granite countertops.
Granite is one of the most durable materials that you can install in your home. With proper care, which will not require significant effort, your granite countertops can stay in great shape for many years to come. In fact, your granite countertops are likely to live in your home longer than you do.
Easy to Take Care Of
Maintaining granite does not require significant effort. Compared to many other stone countertop options, caring for granite is easy. As long as you keep up on cleaning and re-sealing your granite countertops, they will stay in top shape. You will only need to re-seal your granite countertops around once a year, but the specific type of granite will determine how long you can go in between sealing.
Resistant to Heat, Scratches and Stains
Granite is resistant to heat, scratches and stains, while many other countertop options are not. For example, quartz countertops cannot handle the amount of heat that granite can. Materials like marble, quartzite and limestone are more prone to staining than granite is. While each stone countertop material has its advantages and disadvantages, granite is one of the best all-around options that you will find.
Each Slab of Granite is Unique
If you want a natural stone countertop that is one-of-a-kind, granite is an excellent choice. Every slab of granite is unique – even if they come from the same quarry. While specific types of granite will look similar, no two slabs will ever look identical.
How Can You Get a Better Idea of Cost?
To get a better idea of what your specific project may cost, you can use this countertop estimator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some common questions that homeowners ask related to the cost of granite.
Why is Granite So Expensive?
Granite is not really all that expensive in comparison to other stone countertop options. While there are some cheaper options for countertops, such as laminate, you will be sacrificing quality for the sake of saving a little money by choosing those. Considering that countertops are such a significant investment for your home, you will want to choose a material that will leave you satisfied both now and in the future.
What is the Cheapest Granite?
The least expensive type of granite you can find will either be tiles or remnants. Keep in mind that tiles come with grout lines, so your better option here is remnants. These are suitable for smaller home applications.
What is the Most Expensive Granite?
The most expensive granite you can find will be slabs of rare granite. Because these types are not readily available, be prepared to pay more for them.
What to Remember About Granite Slab Cost
The following is a list of things to remember about the cost of granite slabs.
Slabs are more expensive than remnants, tiles, etc. That said, granite slabs are less expensive than slabs of other stones and you will be getting a surface that is well worth the cost.
The cost of granite slabs is determined by many different factors, including color, texture, level and type.
Granite slabs are beautiful, durable and easy to care for. The combination of these factors, along with many other positive qualities the stone has, make granite slabs one of the best options you have for completing any home remodeling project. This guide will help you know more about the cost of granite slabs and what impacts those costs.