10 Ways To Make Granite Countertops More Affordable

Have you ever admired the granite in someone's kitchen and were afraid to ask how many dollars that set them back? Don’t let price deter you from considering them for your own home.

While it’s true that natural stone can be more expensive than other materials, it also has many benefits that other options, like laminate, wood, or tile don’t have.

Here’s the lowdown on granite countertop pricing and the benefits of choosing it for your home or business. And if you need to find a low priced local fabricator or two, we have you covered there too.

Is It Worth The Expense?

Many people choose granite for the look it creates in any kitchen or bathroom. It’s simply stunning, and due to the nature of this natural stone, no two slabs are exactly alike. This means your countertop will look truly unique, no matter what name you choose.

It’s also hard as, well, a rock. It’s durable and can take years of daily use without losing its good looks. It is also heat and scratch resistant as well as chemical and dent resistant. You can use your countertops for lots of different things and not worry about damaging the look of the countertops.

Related: Granite counters do require some maintenance. Here’s the easiest way to do it.

Also, apart from resealing your granite counters, there’s very little maintenance needed with them. A good sealant will prevent stains and make cleaning a breeze, so it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular choice in kitchens. We have a list of good sealers for you here.

Let’s Dive Into The Cost

The cost of granite varies depending on the type you use. It actually can be pretty cheap if you use tiles, but they also have far more seams and look less attractive than having customized countertops made. If the grout doesn’t match the tile exactly, it can look cheap and tacky.

The tiles can be as few as $5-15 per square foot. This doesn’t include the cost of installation, which can drive the final price up to between $10-40 per square foot.

The average expense of a granite slab is more, ranging between $45 and $200 per square foot, including installation. The price of a slab can vary greatly depending on a number of factors including the quality of the stone, the thickness of it, the design of the countertop, and the size of the countertops.

How To Keep The Price Down

When you ask around for quotes on granite countertops, there are a number of things that will impact the figures you receive. You can’t get an accurate estimation of your final tally by simply looking at the cost of the stone–there are far too many other factors that will have an impact on the bottom line.

Location of the company - Choose a local stone yard they will also fabricate and installs the counters. This will save you not only money, since the finished product won’t have to be transported very far to reach your home, but it will also save you a lot of trouble. One-stop shopping is definitely the way to go!

Related: These granites make a good substitution for high maintenance marble.

When you wondering why it’s so expensive, you have to remember to factor in the cost of design, fabrication, and installation. If you’re using one company for all of these services (as well as ordering your stone from them), you’ll get a better price than if you buy cheap material from one supplier and try to have someone else do the fabrication and installation.

Skip the big chain home improvement stores. They offer less variety and higher prices for their services. Call around and get at least three quotes from respected local contractors for the best prices. You can check with wholesale companies, but try to choose someone who offers design and fabrication services in-house.

Quality of the stone -The better the quality of your granite, the higher the cost will be. Granite with a higher percentage of soft content tends to be cheaper and of a lower quality. It tends to look generic and have less interesting patterns than higher quality. Unfortunately, it also tends to chip and crack much easier. Don’t choose cheap to try and save money because you’ll only have to replace it sooner than if you had invested just a bit more.

Size of the slab - You can buy remnants of slabs for smaller jobs and save money, but if you want full-sized countertops, you’ll probably want to use full slabs. Make sure you have your kitchen measured properly so you can get an accurate quote before you buy. You can ask to keep the remnants for use in future projects, too. You can have them made into cutting boards and coasters pretty cheaply.

The origin of your slab - Granite is heavy and expensive to ship. This is why you can find two very similar slabs from two different countries with two drastically different prices. Whenever you can, buy from the US or a geographically close country to reduce the impact of shipping costs on your bottom line.

The color - Not every color is the same when it comes to how many dollars you’ll have to shell either. Rarer colors, like blues, reds, and purples, are often more expensive because they are less common. Red and brown stones tend to be harder and more difficult to cut, which can drive their price up, too. The lighter colors, like beige, white, and greens, are more common and easier to cut, meaning they typically are among the least expensive colors to choose from.

The edging - Some places may charge more for the fabrication of special edging styles on your countertops. Many fabricators offer a selection of edging designs to choose from, so be sure to ask about the price before you choose one.

The polish or finish - You can often opt for a highly polished finish on your counters, but the shine comes at a cost. Different sealants can add to the expense of the finished product, so be sure to ask what’s included and what you will need to shell out a little extra for.

The complexity of your design - Customized granite countertops are more complex to fabricate, especially if you have any quirks in your design plan. The size of the work surface, whether or not there are cutouts for plumbing and fixtures, and whether the counter includes a matching backsplash all influence the final price of the countertops. Put simply, the simpler your design has to be, the less expensive it will be.

Thickness of the slab - You can save some money by opting for a thinner cut of granite slab. Ask the contractor if you can use 2 centimeter thick stone instead of the typical 3 centimeter slabs. The difference in look is substantial however, and you may find that sticking with the thicker option is well worth the money.

Whether or not your contractor rips out the old countertops - Don’t forget that before your lovely new counters can be installed, the old ones have to be removed. If your contractor does this, they may charge you more for the service. If they have to take their time and care while removing the countertops (because of plumbing or electrical outlets), it will slow them down and cost you money.

Why are people willing to pay more for granite countertops than others?

Besides looking great, they offer a great return on investment. Good-looking, high-quality granite counters improve the look of the whole room and stay looking fabulous for years. It’s a great investment to make in your home, and it’s one that you’ll enjoy, too.

Are you not totally sure which kitchen work surface suits you best? Then you’ll find this helpful: 15 Striking Kitchen Countertop Options And What They Cost

Get The Perfect Granite Countertop At The Lowest Possible Price

Let’s call her Jessica.

Jessica procrastinated for months before deciding which countertops to buy. She endlessly researched on-line while continuing to use her 35 year old faded yellow plastic laminate counters with the peeling edges and warped corners.

With all the different options she had, she wanted be 110% positive she was choosing the right granite and getting a great deal on it.

The first stone yard she went to had about 30 different granites to choose from. Their “showroom” was literally a few narrow rows of slabs leaning against shoddy wooden stands.

The second had around 50 different options, but it was more narrow aisles with granite slabs stacked up at the back of their parking lot. It was just about impossible to see what you were buying and the selection was limited to whatever they had on hand.

Fortunately, Jessica was tipped off by an architect friend as to where most of the fabricators were buying slabs at wholesale prices. What was even more exciting was that she didn’t need a wholesale license to check out their inventory of 100’s of different slabs in their enormous indoor showroom.

When she got to the showroom she was amazed by their selection compared to what the fabricators had on hand. There were more than 100 slabs of granite alone, never mind all the different quartz, soapstone, and marbles to look at.

Jessica knew she wanted granite though and it took her all of 20 minutes to fall in love with one called viscont white. She let the salesperson know what slab she had chosen and they reserved it for her at no charge.

Next she called back the fabricators she had been to earlier in the week and let them know she had picked out a slab at a wholesale showroom. Within a few hours they got back to her with prices of what it would cost to purchase the stone from the wholesaler on her behalf and turn it into a custom countertop for her kitchen.

She was surprised to see just how much the quotes varied. She learned that they had different types of equipment and templating processes that deeply effected the bottom line.

She ended up choosing the cheapest quote, and within a couple weeks they had templated, fabricated, and completed the installation. She couldn’t have been happier with the result!

Jessica didn’t do anything that the rest of us can’t do. A simple Google search will turn up wholesalers. I already did the search for you, just click this link.

Next you’ll need a list of local granite countertop fabricators to get quotes from. Use the form below to find professionally screened companies that are ready to start your project. Each of these companies is well aware that you will be getting more than one quote so the bids will come back competitively priced.

Updated: August 24, 2018