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Granite Countertop Cost

The average cost of installing a granite countertop ranges from $3,000 to 3,500.

In this guide

Characteristics
Cost considerations
Types
Grade
Edging
Prep work
Installation considerations
Labor
Maintenance
Granite vs other countertop materials
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install a granite countertop?

Granite countertops are a great choice for any countertop thanks to their durability, availability, and wide range of options. Although they may be on the higher end of the cost spectrum, they make up for it both in monetary value and in their visual appeal and decor aspect.

A homeowner can expect to pay anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000 for the installation of 30 sq.ft. of granite countertop.

Characteristics

Granite countertops have one of the longest lifespans when compared to other countertop materials. Granite can last up to or beyond 100 years due to its hard surface, heat resistance, and durability.

A main characteristic to consider when purchasing a granite countertop is it’s finish. There are three main types to choose from: glossy (polished), honed, and leathered. Polished finish is the cheapest, as it is easily available, and it’s great because it does not require periodic sealing. Honed is also known as a matte finish. This finish gives off more of a natural look and is moderately priced. The most expensive finish is leathered, which can be either rough or smooth in feeling and gives off a natural look.

There are many colors and styles of granite to consider for your countertops. The more readily available stones, such as those that are quarried in the US, and those that have a large supply are generally less expensive than those quarried overseas and which have smaller supplies.

Generally, granites with a tightly packed granular color style are the least expensive, while those with more variation and veins are more expensive, but there are exceptions to every rule.

Most stone yards will rank their stones from levels 1 to 5, with stones classified as 1 being the least expensive and stones being ranked at 5 the most expensive, and usually the most exotic in color and pattern.

Cost considerations

If you are looking to budget your money, you should keep in mind the differences between locally quarried and imported granite. While there are many options of granite that can be imported, locally quarried granite is where you can save some money. There are many options of local granite to choose from that will save you the extra fees of having granite imported.

Granite slabs come in two basic thicknesses. 3cm is the most common thickness, close to 1-¼-inches. In some areas of the country, however, 2cm is the more common slab size, which is close to ¾-inch in thickness. 3cm slabs will cost more than 2cm slabs. Keep in mind, however, that using a 2cm slab will require an underlayment or support for some stones to help prevent cracking.

If you are looking for a cutout in the counter to install such things as a sink, drainboard, or backsplash 1, it can increase the final cost of the project. Cut-outs can increase the cost of the project by $100-$400, depending on what you have done, $100 is the standard cost for a sink cutout, and $400 is the cost for a cooktop cutout .

Types

There are four main types of granite countertops: granite remnant, veneer 2, scolarius, and titanium. They are explained in the chart below alongside their average cost.

TypeDescriptionCost
Granite remnant

Only for islands and small galley kitchens

Leftover piece of stone too small for the average kitchen

$20-$40/sq.ft.
Granite overlay

Oversized granite tiles

Meant to be installed DIY over an existing countertop

Natural stone

Very thin, and will have seams

$50-$100/sq.ft.
Granite slab

Full, customized 2cm or 3cm piece of granite

Cut to your cabinet’s dimensions

$75-$400/sq.ft.


Slab vs tile vs modular

Granite countertops come in three main types: slab, tile and modular. Below is a chart explaining the differences between the three and the cost:

TypeDescriptionCost
Tile

The best option if you are looking to save money

Do not have to move the old surface to install

Covers a smaller amount of counter space

$8-$15/sq.ft.
Modular

This is a mix between tile/slab based on expense and size

It helps to address backsplashes and corners

Not as popular and often called “mini-slabs”

Often used in DIY projects

$25-$40/sq.ft.
Slab

Covers a large amount of counter space

Expensive and heavy

$75-$400/sq.ft.


Grade

There are typically four categories of granite grades: closeout/clearance, builder’s grade, premium, and designer. The grade is determined by the thickness, vein colors, markings, and rarity of the piece. Below is a chart illustrating the grades, descriptions and average cost of each.

GradeDescriptionCost
Closeout/clearance

Smaller pieces or slabs

Less desirable colors

May have unusual markings

$40-$60/sq.ft.
Builder’s grade

Plain colors

Fewer choices

Smaller pieces or slabs

$40-$60/sq.ft.
Premium

More expensive

More color choices

More veining choices

Larger slabs available

$75-$200/sq.ft.
Designer

Very expensive

Rare colors such as blue

Exotic veining and style

Larger slabs available

$200-$400/sq.ft.

Most stone fabricators have a grading system of A-D, which refers to the quality of the stone. A grade, A stone is perfect with no flaws, while a grade D may have many flaws

Edging

There are a number of options for the shape of the edging for your countertop, which will have an effect on cost and durability. The edge can have a large impact on the look and feel of your granite countertops. More decorative edges such as bullnose, ogee, dupont, chiseled, and beveled will also cost more. Prices range anywhere from $10-$30 linear foot. Below is a chart illustrating the different edging options.

EdgingDescription
Eased edge

Very common

Simple look

Used on most granite backsplashes

Square, flat face with a sharp, slightly rounded edge

Half bullnose/Roundover edge

The edge is rounded over

Least expensive treatment for edging

Demi bullnose

Edging is very smooth and flowing

Makes the countertop appear thicker

Full bullnose

Offers the most contemporary look for a countertop edge

The side view shows a half circle

Makes the countertop appear thinner

Ogee edge

Looking at it from the side you can see an “S” shape

Most elaborate edge treatment

Offers a traditional look

Usually the most expensive

Bevel edge

A bevel edge is a 45 degree cut into the edge

This edge will more likely chip than a rounded edge

Dupont edge

Also known as a “Bird’s Beak”

Looks like a demi bullnose but with a notch at the top

More tendency to chip

Chiseled edge

Most natural or rustic edge

The edge is rough and looks like a broken piece of granite

Triple waterfall edge

Very elaborate made using special router bits

Made by gluing together different profiles

Makes the countertop appear very thick

This is the most expensive granite countertop edge


Prep work

It is important that a professional performs the prep work measurements to ensure that the proper amount of materials are ordered for the countertop. Typically the method professionals use is measuring the length of all existing countertop spaces, taking the total, and multiplying by 26 to find the total area in square inches. It is better and more accurate to do the measurements after the old countertop is removed to see if any leveling 3 should be performed beforehand and to avoid wasting time. After you have selected your granite slab, a fabricator will come out to take measurements and create a template of the area so that the stone can be cut. Approximately 2 weeks after the templating process is complete, the countertop will be installed.

When installing granite countertops, the appliances should be removed to prevent any damage. Large sheets of plywood 4 are laid prior to putting down the granite and therefore appliances may be in the way. In most cases, appliance removal is included in the project cost.

Installation considerations

The thickness of your granite will impact two parts of the installation. The first thing is the cost, typically the thicker the granite the higher the price. Secondly, the durability is affected as thicker slabs are generally more durable. When you decide on a thickness for your countertop, you should consider the location of the granite. A 1¼-inch countertop is more common in a kitchen, whereas a thinner slab of ¾-inches is quite common for a bathroom. It is also important to note that ¾-inch thick granite slabs require a piece of plywood to be installed underneath to increase the durability of the counter and that of course adds another step to the installation process. It is important to know that the industry standard uses cm instead of inches to express granite thickness. 

The purpose of an overhang is to provide more functionality, as well as a finished look to your counter. The overhang depends on the counter’s purpose and on which side the counter faces. The standard overhang on a basic granite countertop ranges from 1 to 1½ inches from the base cabinets. For an island 5 countertop, the overhang is typically 12-13 inches on the side where the chairs or stools go for people to sit. If the counter overhang is any deeper than that, additional support may be needed.

Another installation consideration is the type of edging you choose for your countertop. Edging is an important part of the appearance of the countertop. There are multiple edges to consider. The most common is an eased edge. More decorative edges such as bullnose, ogee, dupont, chiseled, and beveled will cost more and are harder to install.

If you are looking to have a sink installed in the countertop, this is often done during the installation process. A plumber will come in and install the sink approximately 24 hours after the granite is installed to give time for the epoxy 6 to cure.

The most popular granite countertop design is square, however, there are often different shapes to choose from. If the slab is not square in shape, this makes the installation process more difficult. Slabs have to be custom made into the shape that is requested.

Labor

Professional installation is required for the installation of a granite countertop. Since granite countertops are fabricated specifically for your kitchen, the slab with need to be cut to fit exactly and best show its features. Granite is very heavy and brittle so it is best a professional does the job to ensure it is completed properly.

The granite will be brought in slab pieces that will have to be joined together at the seams 7. The pieces of granite will be laid on top of the plywood and the installers will apply silicone between the slabs to allow for expansion and contraction. Epoxy will be installed between the slabs to keep the granite in place.

Before the epoxy is spread on to keep the granite in place, it will be mixed with a specific resin that will blend in with the color of the granite.

Usually, the cost of installation is included in the price of the project. The installation cost will vary based on the material used and size of the job, but normally ranges from $10-$30 per sq.ft. If you already have the slabs, a contractor or fabricator doing the job will charge between $35-$45 per hour of work.

Old countertop removal

If you are looking at replacing an existing granite countertop, then a removal and disposal process is necessary. On average, the cost for removal and disposal of an old countertop is anywhere from $100-$250. The price will fluctuate depending on the size of the counter and the amount of labor it takes to complete the process.

Maintenance

The amount of maintenance required for granite countertops all depends on the type of stone. Usually the lighter the color, the more maintenance the stone will need. Most granites require periodic sealing to prevent any stains on the countertop. The lemon juice and oil test is a good process to follow to determine when it will need to be resealed. To wash the granite surface, use a cleaner that is specifically designed with the proper pH to care for granite. If the proper sealing and cleaning procedures are followed, granite will not require any additional maintenance.

The better you take care of a granite countertop, the longer it will last and the better it will look. An important tip in extending the lifespan of your granite countertop is to make sure the granite is properly sealed. Most times granite can go 10 plus years without being resealed, but granite is a porous material and therefore tends to soak up many liquids. This is why proper sealing procedures are extremely important.

Typically, granite only needs to be polished every 10-15 years, depending on maintenance. There are two main methods of polishing granite, where one uses a dry polishing powder and the other method uses a wet polishing cream:

  • Granite polishing powder. Also referred to as “stone polishing compound,” it helps to restore a fresh gleam on granite, while helping to remove stains and scratches. If the powder is used dry, a polishing pad is the best to clean the surface, if wet, then the best tool is a muslin wheel. The average cost for granite polishing powder is $20-$25/bottle.
  • Granite polishing cream. This is designed specifically for countertops and contains abrasives that are best used on rich stone and premium finished granite. This is suitable to use on natural or engineered granite. Granite polishing cream costs around $25-$40/bottle.

Granite vs other countertop materials

Below is a comparison of granite with other popular countertop materials including laminate, quartz, concrete, and marble. They are compared by their appearance, installation, durability, maintenance and cost.

TypeAppearanceInstallation

Granite

$30-$500/sq.ft.


Made of natural stone

Multiple colors, edges, finishes and patterns

The installation  takes 2 weeks 

Fabricated specifically for your kitchen

May need plywood 2 for support

Laminate

$17-$40/sq.ft.


A mix of wood and paper products

Colors are more limited

Designs are printed

More uniform than granite

Laminate can be installed in a day

Pre-cut slabs

Quicker installation

Quartz

$55-$75/sq.ft.


Man-made of natural quartz

Consistent color and finish

Uniform slabs

Easy installation

Concrete

$74-$80/sq.ft.


Polished cement

Smooth surface

Many shapes and colors

Slabs can be created in place 

Concrete is poured into a mold

Marble

$55-$76/sq.ft.


Raw natural marble

Natural color and veining

Darkens with age

Very popular in luxury homes

Difficult process installation


Durability

Granite: Granite does not scratch easily. It can become dull if it comes in contact with acidic liquids.

Laminate: Laminate is susceptible to scratches and water damage. If exposed to a lot of water, it can peel.

Quartz: Highly durable. Susceptible to fading or changing color in sunlight.

Concrete: Is a tough material that resists scratching. It can stain and is prone to bacteria and mold.

Marble: Marble is porous so it will stain easily. Soft, etches (colorless watermarks) with use.

Maintenance

Granite: Requires periodic sealing.

Laminate: It requires very low maintenance. If it becomes scratched, there are repair kits to fix it.

Quartz: Quartz should be cleaned with soap and water. Resealing is not necessary. It is stain resistant.

Concrete: Must be sealed every 1-3 years. It should also be waxed on a monthly basis.

Marble: It should be periodically sealed. A specific marble cleanser can be used to clean it.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Backsplash

Installing a backsplash with your counter is an option that can be included as part of the installation. The backsplash will add to the cost of the project depending on the amount of materials. Adding 5 feet of backsplash will increase the cost of the project by around $200.

Cooktop

If you are in the process of installing a new countertop, it might be a good time to consider installing a new cooktop as well. A cooktop can be installed on it’s own, right on top of the counter, or together with an oven as one appliance. Installing a cooktop can range in price, anywhere from $400-$1,500.

Sink

Installing a sink cut-out can increase the cost by roughly $100. A plumber will come in and install the sink approximately 24 hours after the granite is installed, to give time for the epoxy to cure. There are also additional fees for purchasing the sink itself ($150-$1,000) and the cost of the plumber to come and install the sink ($44-$65 per hour)

Stain preventive treatments

It is very important to take preventative measures to avoid having stains that can affect the appearance of the granite. Sealing your granite is a preventative treatment to keep your granite looking brand new. A sealant helps to protect the surface of the stone against any water, oil, or other contaminants that may be present. A sealant can be purchased from any hardware store for $15-$50.

Additional considerations and costs

  • It is important that you give yourself plenty of time when ordering your granite. Give yourself approximately 3-4 weeks into your construction timeline for the granite to arrive. Sometimes granite may not be as widely available and therefore will take longer to arrive.
  • Be extra cautious when you store your granite slabs. A trick is to lay the slab pieces horizontally to avoid the domino effect from occurring and possibly damaging the granite.
  • Keep in mind that granite is a natural stone and therefore no two countertops will be exactly the same. When shopping for granite, it is important that you pick out the exact slab of granite you want because you will not be able to find that exact one again.
  • If you need any advice on the type of granite you want, or have any questions about the project, it is a good idea to contact a local countertop fabricator. They will be able to give you some advice and tips on what is best for your kitchen.
  • Before the fabricators install the granite, make sure to ask them any questions that you may have to clear up any uncertainties.
  • In addition to slabs, there are always the options of tiles, remnants, and overlays. This is extremely important to keep in mind if you are working with a tight budget as it can cut the cost. All of these other options can appear just as luxurious.
  • Other cost-saving measures can be taken when choosing the finishes, edging, and number of cut-outs.
  • It is possible to make this a DIY project, however, it would be a very difficult one. If you are in need of more than one slab, then the slabs would have to be cut perfectly to match up. It is a good idea to have it professionally done to ensure the job is done properly.

FAQ

  • Can you cut or put hot pots on top?

Granite is heat-resistant so it is ok to put a hot pot right on the counter. You should be cautious with cutting on a granite countertop as it will not necessarily scratch it, but it will dull your knives.

  • What is the average price for granite countertops installed?

The average cost for granite countertops installed is between $4,500-$6,000.

  • Which is more expensive, granite or quartz?

Quartz is more expensive than granite when it comes to countertops. You are looking to pay about $500 more.

  • What is the average price of granite countertops?

The average cost for granite countertops is between $4,500-$6,000.

  • What is the cheapest color of granite?

The cheapest color of granite is black ($30-$60/sq.ft.).

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Backsplash 1 Backsplash: The upright surface, often made of tile, behind a kitchen counter, sink, or stove, that protects the wall from damage from splatter due to kitchen activities
2 Veneer: A thin layer of decorative finishing applied to a coarser construction material
3 Leveling: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
glossary term picture Plywood 4 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
glossary term picture Island 5 Island: A kitchen counter that is not attached to walls or other surfaces, and that can be accessed from all sides
glossary term picture Epoxy 6 Epoxy: An adhesive, plastic, paint, or other material made from polymers containing epoxide groups. Epoxy is best used for bonding or for creating a protective coating
7 Seams: A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together

Cost to install a granite countertop varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Appleton, WI
+3%
Arlington, VA
+38%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Burlington, NC
-17%
Cary, NC
-5%
Charleston, SC
-1%
Chattanooga, TN
+1%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clemson, SC
-17%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Concord, CA
+30%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Fort Collins, CO
-11%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Hillsboro, OR
+15%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Lafayette, LA
+20%
Lancaster, CA
+4%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Macon, GA
+20%
Madison, WI
+13%
Manchester, NH
+33%
Mansfield, TX
+5%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milford, CT
+21%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Mobile, AL
-8%
Nashville, TN
+21%
Olathe, KS
+9%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orange, CA
+22%
Overland Park, KS
+15%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Piscataway, NJ
+36%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources