How Much Do Bathroom Granite Countertops Cost?
Today's homeowners have a variety of bathroom countertop materials from which to choose. Excellent options include laminate, Corian, ceramic tile, marble and quartz. However, the natural properties of granite make it stand out as an especially durable and luxurious choice. Granite is quarried the world over and comes in a variety of colors and gradient variations that add to its unique beauty. Although the stone building material has come under fire in the past because it emits low-grade radiation naturally, it remains one of the most popular building materials for kitchen and bathroom countertops. In fact, the installation of slab granite countertops throughout a home is considered a major selling point in the residential real estate arena. As with most other significant investments, buyers must weigh the costs against the benefits while also considering any associated disadvantages or risks.
- The average minimum cost of slab granite is $34 per linear square foot
- The average maximum costs of slab granite is $75.37 per linear square foot
Even though granite is relatively expensive in comparison with other countertop building materials, many homeowners still decide to splurge for both aesthetic and functional reasons. For example, solid surface materials like Corian had the reputation for toughness against scratches and stains decades ago, but granite has now eclipsed it based on those features. Because many bathrooms occupy very small spaces, homeowners can somewhat justify the expensive cost per square foot.
Homeowners generally explore all money-saving avenues when considering costly countertop replacement projects. This usually involves an assessment of whether the work can be done without professional help. Usually it is a great idea to consider the do-it-yourself (DIY) aspect of home improvement projects, but this is typically not an option for slab granite countertop installation projects. The huge slabs that are especially chosen for their seamless beauty are heavy to transport and difficult to cut without special machinery. Maintenance is another cost factor for granite countertops. Granite is cleaned with mild liquid detergents and water, but experts advise against harsh scrubs. According to experts, granite countertops should be sealed every six months to help them resist dirt and staining. This activity does fall under the DIY category, and hardware stores carry special cleansers and sealants for this purpose.
A way that homeowners may legitimately save money on slab granite countertops is to shop around at stone discount centers locally and online. These venues usually have large remnants of slab granite in a variety of hues. Discounters usually want to move their inventory and make room for newer colors and styles. However, buyers must be careful not to be deceived by low per-square-foot prices because they usually do not include the entire cost of the installed slab granite. Here are some of the additional charges that homeowners will likely have to consider for slab granite professionally installed countertop projects:
- Under mount sink installation
- Cabinet bracing
- Edge design – e.g. bevel, bullnose
- Sealing granite
The big box hardware stores are great places to get a realistic picture of how much one's unique project will cost for material and labor. They often have online cost estimating tools that make it easy to accurately assess cost differences for the different types of granite available.
Some homeowners want the look of granite but are unwilling to invest their money in costly slab granite. These people normally consider granite tiles and modular granite as feasible alternatives for their bathroom countertops.
Granite tiles are made from the same natural stone as the unwieldy slab granite, but it comes in convenient square tiles similar to ceramic and porcelain tiles. Just like ceramic tile, granite tile can be installed by a homeowner with moderate DIY skills by following readily available installation instructions. Granite tiles offer homeowners the look of granite but with significantly reduced material and labor costs.
Modular granite is another type of granite countertop alternative to slab granite. It does not come in tile form but in pre-cut pieces that allow for greater ease of installation. Modular granite often gets higher marks than granite tile when considering fabrication challenges. The manufacturers of the pre-cut pieces anticipated things like bathroom sink openings, backsplash areas and finished edges. Modular granite costs significantly less in material and labor costs than slab granite, and it offers a more custom fit than granite tiles.
Advantages & Disadvantages
The advantage of installing granite countertops go far beyond increasing a home's resale value, and most people have the luxurious, natural stone installed for their own personal enjoyment. The sheer beauty of the polished granite stone sets it apart from other countertop building materials like ceramic tile or solid surface materials like Corian, which tries to imitate natural stone. Bathroom countertops made from granite will not become damaged if a hot object like a curling iron is place on it because the virtually indestructible stone is also extremely heat resistant. Additionally, granite's unique colors and striations give it a distinct look that cannot be copied.
A prominently cited disadvantage of granite bathroom countertops is the expense of labor for installation. Even though one can find good deals on materials through discount retailers and remnant sales, the cost to transport, fabricate and install the heavy stone remains the real cost driver. Also, granite can crack if forcefully struck by a sharp object at just the right angle, and these anomalies are nearly impossible to repair even though cracked granite is a rare problem. If a homeowner decides to lay granite tiles as an alternative to professionally installed slab granite, they will save money. However, they will have to deal with many seams that collect dirt and unsightly stains. Even modular granite countertop installations will leave homeowners with seams although there will be fewer of them than there would be with granite tile.
While homeowners have plenty of building material options for their bathroom countertops, granite is a classic one that lends an elegant atmosphere to almost any décor. Because other building materials bear some of the same advantages of granite like durability and strength, choosing one over the other is a matter of personal preference.
Last updated on May 6, 2016
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