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How To Control The Cost Of Granite Countertops

Granite remains to be the number one choice of discriminating homeowners for their countertops. This is only natural because of granite’s natural beauty and strength.

However, the high price of granite also remains to be the number one reason why only a few can afford it. It doesn’t help the average homeowner that the price of granite is unregulated. This is quite understandable because the actual cost of granite countertops depends on many variables, not just its cost per square foot. Some of the factors that directly affects the actual cost are transportation, stone processing, countertop installation, marketing and administrative costs.

This is a major reason why you will be given different prices by different stone suppliers or countertop builders. Many homeowners are confused about these variations in prices because they are unaware of these hidden factors. You need to consider all these factors before you can arrive at a fair price for your granite countertop. Always remember that every process that granite undergoes, from mining it up from the ground, to its final installation in your home, has an effect in its cost. And these costs are also typically influenced by the demand in the market.

Having said that, we can now go on to the details of how the cost of granite countertops is established. This information will help you manipulate granite costs for your advantage. Following are items that usually go in the computation of the final cost of a granite countertop.

I. Grades of Granite – to give fair prices to their clients, most stone suppliers classify their granite into different categories. They differentiate granite according to their stone qualities and their colors.
1. Qualities of granite – not all granite have the same quality.
• There are first grade granites which are the hardest and the strongest. These are the most expensive granite.
• There are also granites that contain other minerals which makes them of lower quality. They will naturally be lower in price than the first grade.
• There are also granite slabs that have imperfections in their structure. This makes them less costly than the first two.
2. Colors of granite – most stone suppliers differentiate their granite according to their colors and vein patterns. Their classifications range from the base colors to the most exotic granite collections.
• Base Colors – these granite stones have simple colors ranging from white to black and all the color shades and color hues in between. They are labeled as introductory colors of granite.
• Exotic Colors – the colors of these granite stones have wide variations in colors. There are lighter shades of white, yellow, beige and gold. You can also see darker shades of blue, red, green, burgundy, black and brown. There are also beautiful variations of vein patterns in the stones which makes them more dynamic than the rest. Some stone suppliers even group these stones according to their demand, availability, country of origin, processing requirements and popularity.

It is also possible for lower grade granites to have the same beauty and strength as that of the higher granite grades. There are also harder stones in the lower grade than in the higher grades. Therefore, it will be wise for you to really look around and see for yourself what is available out there.

II. Number, Quality and Placement of Seams
Your cost of granite countertops will also be affected by the quantity, quality and where the seams will be placed. Before making the templates, it is very important to discuss this with your stone fabricator. This will definitely affect your choice of granite slab because you will pay for the whole granite slab prior to its cutting and shaping. Keep in mind that there will always be some waste materials in cutting a granite slab into a granite countertop. The average waste is about three square feet. These left-over wastes are paid by you.

III. Granite EdgesA granite edge is important because without it, your granite countertop will look unfinished. The granite edge that you will choose will also have an effect on your overall cost. There are several granite edges that you can choose from. From the simplest to the most intricate, they are:
1.   Straight or Eased Off edge
2.   Bevel Edge
3.   Bullnose Edge
4.   Ogee Edge
The least expensive edges are the straight edges and the most expensive are the complex and intricate Ogee edges. The right edge to install will depend on your overall room d├ęcor and the design of your countertop.

From the above information, you will see that the reputed high cost of granite countertops is not set in stone. In fact, there are other countertops which are more expensive such as onyx countertops which cost from $100 to $500 per square foot. You can exercise your ability to modify the cost of granite countertops that will suit your purpose. In this regard, the following basic price comparison of different types of granite will help you choose the right type of granite for your countertops.
1. Granite slab – average price at $60.00 per square foot but can reach up to $120 per square foot for exotic colors and vein patterns.
2. Granite Remnants – average price at $40.00 per square foot.
3. Granite Tiles – average price at $5.00 to $30.00 per square foot.