Granite Kitchen Countertops
Granite Slab is King, While Modular Granite and Tiles are More Affordable
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Granite is desirable for its looks alone, but the material is also extremely durable, able to withstand all types of physical damage, including high temperatures. Of course, the elegant look of granite countertops is what puts them atop many homeowners' kitchen remodel wish list. Whether your home decor is modern, traditional, country, or a combination of styles, granite will prove to be the perfect complement.
Types of Granite Counters
There are three main types of granite that can be used for kitchen countertops: tile, modular, and slab.
At less than half the cost of slab and modular granite, tile is a very cost-effective way to introduce stone countertops to your kitchen. Tiles come in many sizes - including 12" x 12", 18" x 18", and 24" x 24" - and are typically 3/8" thick. Although they offer the same aesthetic and performance qualities that solid granite does, granite tile counters do have one drawback: seams. Countertops are typically made to limit seams (or grout lines, in the case of tile), which can harbor bacteria and mold. The use of epoxy in grouting hinders the growth of harmful organisms, but you'll still need to take care to clean and maintain grout.
As their name implies, modular granite countertops are installed in modules, or pieces. Prior to installation, manufacturers take measurements of your kitchen and pass them along to a stone shop which then custom cuts granite pieces to form the new countertops and backsplashes. While this type of countertop is made from real granite (albeit not a solid slab) it does, like granite tile, have seams.
A granite slab - consisting of a single, solid piece of stone - is THE premier choice for kitchen countertops. To create a seamless counter surface, kitchen sink holes and corners are factory-cut. Backsplashes are caulked in order to ensure that water, mold, mildew, and food particles don't gain a foothold.
Granite Kitchen Countertop Costs
- Granite tile costs $20 to $30 per square foot installed for run-of-the-mill materials. Higher quality granite tiles are more expensive at $40 or $50 per square foot installed. Assuming an average size countertop with 40 square feet, that's a total estimated cost of $800-$2,000.
- Modular granite costs $30 to $40 per square foot installed ($1,200-$1,600 for 40 square feet of countertop).
- Slab granite varies widely in price. Some granite strains are preferred more than others, resulting in higher prices for certain pieces. Expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $150 per square foot installed for granite slabs ($3,000-$6,000).
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