There are a lot of variables that contribute to the cost of granite counter tops. In most cases, the cost of the stone slab is less than half the cost of the finished product. There is a large amount of labour involved in processing the raw granite slabs into the finished product that gets installed in your home or office. Also, the equipment and tooling required to process the granite is extremely expensive. Just the diamond router bits used to finish the exposed edges of the material can cost five to six thousand dollars per set, and a separate set of bits is required for each profile that is selected by the purchaser. These bits typically wear out within a few months of use depending on the amount of material processed. The equipment that the diamond router bits are used with can cost from several thousand dollars up to $ 400,000.00 for the one of the latest CNC machines.
In our local market in Western Canada, granite counters typically cost to 0 per square foot.
Some of this cost variation will stem from the way the final counter tops are cut from the slabs, as well as type of edge finishing and amount of finished edges. For example, a top for an island application will have more lineal feet of finished edges. Sink and faucet holes, and fancy edges will add to the cost of the finished product also.
There has been a tremendous amount of granite counter top blanks (8′ long X 25″ counter top slabs) imported from Asia in the last couple of years. These counter top blanks are usually supplied in 2cm (3/4″) thickness, and are sometimes built up on the front edge by laminating two layers together to achieve 4cm (1 1/2″) total thickness on the face of the front edge.
Because these counter top blanks are usually only 25″ in width, they are really only useful for counter tops that run along a wall on top of standard cabinets. Also, because they are usually only 8′ long, they will need to be joined together to make longer lengths.
A premium fabricator will supply you with counter tops fabricated from 3cm (1 1/4″) thick material, therefore eliminating laminated “built up” edges that may show an unsightly seam along the finished edges. The finished counter top will also be a lot stronger because it is the full 3cm (1 1/4″) thickness throughout. If your fabricator uses the 3cm material, he will usually be cutting your final top shapes from full slabs of material. These full slabs are usually 5 to 6 feet wide, and up to 11′ long. Most premium fabricators will try to create your counter tops with no joints or seams at all when using full size slabs to create your new granite counter top. Obviously this will be more expensive as there is a much higher waste factor, and the handling of the material is a lot more difficult. In my opinion, these drawbacks are offset by a much better product and installation.
Typically, the dark or black stone colors tend to be more expensive as well. Check with your local dealer/fabricator to find the range in the cost of various granites in your local area.
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Find out more at www.stonemark.com or at your local Home Depot or Expo Design Center. The natural stone countertops from Stonemark by Innovative Stone are protected with PermaShield and come with a revolutionary 15-year anti-stain warranty on Granite. Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or building anew the Stonemark collections offer an abundance of colors, styles and options for your design need.
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