Granite is a prevalent staple in many homes and is a commonly used design piece with designers and architects. Just like with everything, there are pros and cons when working with granite countertops. Thankfully, the advantages outweigh the cons with its natural beauty, functionality, durability, and overall design look. Although granite can be a costly investment, there are tips and tricks that you can implement to decrease the total cost of the granite. Here are a few methods to keep in mind when planning your installation.
Our Top Tips for Working with Granite Countertops
#1: Shopping the Levels
Granite is categorized into different levels. Some suppliers have less, and some have more depending on their inventory and preference when it comes to organizing their list. The first level is known as the “commercial” grade granite. This level is a thinner cut and tends to be cheaper than any other level. This level is commonly imported from China.
Level 2 is the mid-grade being around ¾” thick with more unique color combinations and is usually imported from Brazil or India.
Level 3 is the highest grade with the thickest cut. It has the most one of a kind and uncommon coloring, movement, veins, and patterns that are hard to find.
Like we said before, each supplier is different, and sometimes they go beyond level 3. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes the levels are referred to as tiers.
#2: The Add Ons
When it comes to purchasing granite-the price usually includes labor, delivery, installation, and of course the granite itself. All of these things can add up, and there are things that you don’t even think about, such as cutouts and distinctive detailing. Decorative treatments such as edge work or custom cutting is the number one thing that can cause the price to increase massively. Another thing that may not cross your mind is the cutouts that you need. Your sink, stove, cooktop, and plumbing features require a place to fit. If you can avoid having to get cut-outs done and build around them, it can save you a decent amount of money. Removing old granite or old countertops is also something that companies will charge for, and you might not even know it. These are vital things that can add up to a big deal.
#3: Use Remnants
If you have the opportunity to use leftover granite from prior jobs or maybe particular slabs that have been discounted, make it work! This is the perfect way to save some money, while also getting good quality granite. You can always ask your supplier if they have a discounted section of granite that wasn’t used, returned, or has minor imperfections.
#4: Tile Vs. Slab
Granite tiles are significantly cheaper than a slab, but they do alter the design look just a slight bit. The difference is one that would be barely noticed. If you can use tiles rather than slabs, you could save quite a bit of money.
#5: Triple Triple Check
When it comes to having a fabrication company install your granite, make sure they take the proper measurements and are under the same impression for what you want. Once they take measurements, before you order or even before you install- check again to make sure all the numbers add up. This is such a simple thing that most people don’t do, but could save their granite job and pocketbook from issues. If you ensure that your measurements are correct and everyone is on the same page, you will avoid problems of the granite not fitting, needing to be recut or even reordered and also avoiding needing cutouts in certain places and having them displaced.
Working with granite countertops is a scary thing to tackle not only because of the price tag but also because it is so particular when it comes to installing. The maintenance afterward can also often scare people away. But, granite is such a beautiful addition to any home, and the price doesn’t have to be scary as long as you are cautious. If you take the time to ensure all of these tips are met, you will avoid any issues and walk away from your install with a beautiful, naturally grown addition to your home!