Granite Countertops - Related Costs
It is not hard to arrive at the decision for a granite as a countertop.
Clearly beautiful and durable, granite as a stone can provide years of service.
Particularly though (a) knowing how will the counter come to arrive in you home
and (b) exactly what might contribute to impact costs while doing so
can prove helpful to your project.
Slabs no doubt offer appeal, but installing them in a professional
fit, and working with templates is not for the novice. Even if
you are able to get the slab formed with desired edging, professionals
are required for preparing the counter, assessing and fitting
any needed support, for moving the slabs around and for setting the stone level in place.
Consider the implications of a miscut, which on granite will show as an eyesore with
no room for error. Repairs on slabs typically are not done for $200 or $300, if at all.
Breakage too is possible. In either case, you could be faced with ordering a whole new
section and waiting on the shop. Delaying kitchen completion and ending up with a rough match.
If you are in the possession of fabricated slabs, it is possible to locate installers.
Many fabricators and installers (non-helpers) make $20.00 to $30.00 per hour
but don’t expect to pay this. They are hourly from the contractor/installation
firm. Flat lump sums are a customary amount to you, the customer.
Entire professional installs at $800 would not account for too many contingencies, nothing
too elaborate, perhaps setting manageable single piece slabs. If you need something so simple
as a sink cutout it might run $125 to $150.
For doing tiles, as an alternative, costs of $25 to $40 a foot for material depend
mainly on the stone chosen. In addition, you will need ¾” plywood, 3x5 ft sections
of backerboard at $10 ea, thinset at $20 -$25 bag (preferable formulated for
granite), a trowel at $3 to $10 for the rubberized grip versions designed to reduce fatigue,
a wetsaw with a diamond blade that can either be rented for about $30/day or
bought outright at $150 to $200 depending on brand and model. Spacers are cheap
but help square everything up, $3 for a bag to cover most counters. After setting,
unsanded grout at $12 for a 10 lb box will do most kitchens depending on joint and
individual dimensions. Add to thisn any fasteners like screws and nails, a roll of $5 mesh tape,
and caulking to match. Noting that the colored caulk might have to be ordered if you want to
achieve close match, so some lead time in this area may be necessary.
Cleanup comprises a larger part of the install with the squares. A common complaint with
cement based backer boards is that they do show a strong tendency to shed their
material from out the mesh, and onto the floor. Cuts into the granite will reveal blade-width
differences from one section to the next. One reason novice installers
opt for the wider than 1/6” joint is a clear effort to hide this.
Cost is a major factor and is not to be underestimated. Giving leeway for incidentals,
and double or triple-checking all measurements is always a wise decision for getting
a better handle on things.