FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GRANITE FABRICATION AND INSTALLATION
Get All the Facts about Granite before You Buy
If you’re just now starting to research the possibilities for adding granite countertops to your home, we can wager a guess that you’ve got questions. There are a ton of articles out there about granite countertops, but few actually address the questions that homeowners have most often.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with RCO’s resident granite experts in the Rocklin, California area, Andreas Reynoza and Tony Baumgartner. We asked them to shed some light on the granite fabrication and installation process. Read their answers to these frequently asked questions below.
Q: I KEEP SEEING REFERENCES TO “GRANITE LEVELS.” WHAT ARE LEVELS?
A: Most granite retailers separate their options into different levels in order to define price ranges. The lower the level, the cheaper the granite is likely to be.
Q: WHY WOULD ONE GRANITE BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ANOTHER?
A: Honestly, it has a lot to do with the look of the granite. The more luxurious and beautiful it looks, the more expensive it will be. Rare and unusual colors are going to cost more than common colors that are more easily accessible. For example, Aphrodite Granite, which comes from Madagascar, is going to be far more costly than a brown granite sourced from Brazil.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR THE BEST APPROACH TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLOR OR STYLE OF GRANITE?
A: Shop around. Don’t go home with the first one you see. Make sure you’re happy with the color and style of the granite and that it matches the décor in your home. While getting a sample of granite won’t necessarily match exactly what’s on the slab, it’s still a good idea because you can see how the granite looks in your home’s exact lighting conditions.
One thing to consider is that, depending on how busy the pattern or how many colors are visible, the granite may make it tough to see dirt. It’s also important to inspect the granite slab for flaws or imperfections before you buy.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TO TAKE FABRICATE AND INSTALL GRANITE COUNTERTOPS?
A: It depends on a couple of factors, such as the size and complexity of the countertops. Generally speaking, the process could be as short as a week or as long as two weeks. We recommend speaking with a granite fabricator for a more accurate estimate.
Q: HOW MUCH DO GRANITE COUNTERTOPS COST?
A: When you’re talking about cost with granite countertops, there are two main aspects. The first is the cost of the granite material, and that could run anywhere from $6 to $60 per square foot, based on the type of granite you choose. For an entire slab, it could be as cheap as $800 or as expensive as $4000.
The fabrication and installation process is the other part of the equation. Here, the cost will vary depending on how complex the kitchen or bathroom is. The type of angles and edging, sink and faucet style, size of the kitchen, cabinet pop-outs, and more can all impact the final cost, so your best bet is to bring in a granite installer to assess your home and provide a custom quote.
Another factor is the thickness of the slab. We offer multiple thicknesses of slabs at RCO. If the slab is on the thin side, we can use plywood underneath to reinforce it. The thinner slabs are a bit cheaper, but they’ll have custom edgework to hide the plywood, which could increase the installation costs.
So generally speaking, an average sized kitchen with standard edging would run around $7,500 for materials and installation.
Q: HOW DO I CALCULATE HOW MUCH GRANITE I’LL NEED FOR A KITCHEN REMODEL? JUST MEASURE THE SQUARE FOOTAGE?
A: You cannot go by square footage alone because the angles and shapes of cabinets can affect how much granite you need. If you have a galley kitchen, it’s more straightforward, but curved or cornered cabinets will be different. It’s best to bring in a professional to measure the space accurately.
Q: CAN I INSTALL GRANITE MYSELF?
A: Definitely not. You’ll want to bring in a professional. Granite installation is a complex process involving cutting angles, sink and faucet areas, polishing the stone, and so on. You’d also need to buy some pretty pricey tools. Because granite is such as hard surface, we use diamond to cut it.
We often see people try to DIY and then realize they’re in over their heads, but by that point, the granite is wasted, and we have to start from scratch. You may think you’re saving money, but DIY will cost you much more in the long run.
SEE ALSO: DIY OR PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN CABINETRY INSTALLATION: WHICH IS BETTER?
Q: HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR GRANITE COUNTERTOPS?
A: Make sure you use a granite sealer. During a professional installation, they should seal it as the final step. We also recommend that you seal at least once a year. As far as cleaning goes, soapy water or an all-purpose cleaner will be fine. You can buy sealer/cleaner mixtures from your local home improvement store—these products are great for keeping the countertops clean and helping you to remember to seal them on a regular basis.
If you still have questions about the granite fabrication and installation process, we’d be happy to talk! Just give us a call at 916.434.0222 or schedule an in-person consultation.