This article offers tips and advice on how to sift through some of the variables that determine the price of granite countertops. The same principles discussed in this article can be taken into consideration for other stones including marble and quartz. Read more about Granite Countertops:Tips and Advice.
By Tom Munro+
The price of granite countertops is actually based on many different variables other than just square footage. Sure the size of the kitchen countertop is taken into consideration, but the cost of a granite countertop is also based on other variables. An experienced estimator will consider the lay-out options, seam location, consumption of material, complexity of shapes, color selection, quality of the slabs, edge details, quantity and type of cut-outs, rod reinforcement, how many holes are drilled, geographical location of the project, size of the pieces, stone thickness and those variables will just get you started.
Pre-fabricated granite countertops are typically more affordable than custom fabricated kitchen countertops. Although kitchen counters with per-fabricated edges are cheap and readily available to the professional and non-professional installer, they are usually limited on colors, shapes, sizes, edge profiles and capabilities. A customers requirements might effect whether or not the counters should be custom fabricated. This will effect the pricing of granite countertops.
It is typical for marble and granite suppliers to offer stones in both 2 and 3 cm slab thickness, but not in all colors. When a stone color is available in a 2 cm slab, it is usually lesser expensive than 3 cm slabs. Keep in mind that the 3 cm thickness usually offers better structural strength and is also a standard for most stone fabricators and suppliers.
When considering granite companies, make sure they have popular granite colors like Uba Tuba, New Venetian Gold, Tan Brown, Tropic Brown, Black Pearl and Giallo Ornamental included into the base price of a granite countertop. Other than discount granite remnants, the base level selection typically offers the best pricing. This category can have significant differences from one fabricator to another and will certainly effect the price of granite countertops.
The way a stone company elects to purchase slabs, will impact the price of granite countertops. Some fabricators import containers of stone slabs directly from overseas and others will only purchase slabs from local stone yards in smaller quantities. A fabricator that deals directly with the source from overseas, typically buys large quantities of the same colors.
Over the years, I have given the analogy that purchasing natural granite is similar to purchasing a diamond. Although I don't know as much about diamonds as I do other stones, I know enough to say that all diamonds of equal size are not the same price. I believe that the cut and clarity of a diamond reflects a great deal of it's pricing. So, when shopping for kitchen countertops, pay particular attention to the amount of depth, clarity and movement within the granite slabs or samples. Stone fabricators can save money if they purchase slabs that have unsightly marks, excessive fissures, short lengths and lack of depth or clarity. These factors will effect the price of granite countertops.
Other fabricators are very efficient in the way they process slabs and countertops. Today the barriers of entry into the stone business can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. One CNC machine can cost upwards of $250,000.00. Or a water-jet cutting system could easily cost another $100,000.00. These machines can save a fabricator a tremendous amount of time and money by accurately mass producing countertops faster and more efficient than traditional methods. When considering granite companies, keep in mind that you don't always get what you pay for. Some granite companies offer great value by providing outstanding service, quality craftsmanship at competitive prices, while others don't and sometimes even charge more money.