Granite has been the most popular choice for countertops for more than a decade. It is attractive and extremely durable, among many other attributes. But choosing granite can be tricky – there are dozens and dozens of varieties.
This guide will tell you a little bit about the most popular granite styles, which range in color from almost white to black. We’ll go over the major characteristics, list the pros and cons, and give general pricing info.
Keep in mind that the prices are just guidelines. Prices fluctuate and the cost of installation varies widely from one region of the country to another. The prices assume standard edging – fancier designs will cost extra.
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Blue Pearl Granite
Blue Pearl has a distinct look. As the name suggests, is has a metallically-blueish hue, but like all granite, the exact color varies from one piece to the next. Some pieces are almost silver in color, while others are deep blue.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $70 per square foot for professionally-installed Blue Pearl countertops. If you’re tackling the project yourself, budget at least $300 to $400 for each prefabricated slab.
Blue Pearl granite makes a great statement piece – use it to add an unexpected pop of color to your kitchen or bathroom. It’s a great option if you’re bored with neutral granites. However, it’s not the best choice if you get sick of bold colors.
Black Galaxy Granite
Black Galaxy is black in color with gold- or copper-colored speckles that shine when the light hits them. Some pieces are look pure black, while others have a greenish tinge or white speckles. The speckles can be small, medium or large.
The average price of Black Galaxy countertops, including fabrication and installation, falls in the range of $70 to $90 per square foot. Prefabricated countertop slabs start at $300 to $400 each, but often cost more.
Black Galaxy is a very dense granite – it is water resistant and does not require sealing. Because of the color and density, it is almost impossible to stain. On the downside, Black Galaxy is an expensive granite. And the polished black color does not do a great job of hiding fingerprints, smudges and crumbs.
Venetian Gold Granite
Venetian Gold, one of the most popular varieties of granite, has a warm, neutral look. The stone is a golden/honey color with black and white veining and flecks of amber, rust or light brown. In many cases, it looks more light tan or brown than gold.
Venetian Gold is an affordable granite. Professionally-installed countertops cost about $50 or $60 per square foot, while slabs can be found for less than $300 in some cases.
Buyers give Venetian Gold high marks because it goes with almost anything and it hides dirt and crumbs well. On the downside, light granites like Venetian Gold are harder to maintain than darker granites. They require regular sealing – at least once a year – to prevent staining. And some consumers are turned off by Venetian Gold’s popularity, considering it generic or overdone.
Uba Tuba Granite
Uba Tuba is extremely popular – perhaps the most popular granite, due to its low price. Uba Tuba is usually a very dark green but it is often mistaken for black. Upon closer inspection, the granite has flecks of tan, gold, silver and green.
Uba Tuba is one of the least expensive granites on the market. If you’re hiring a professional to install granite countertops, budget about $40 to $60 per square foot for the project. Pre-fab slabs start at around $250 each.
Don’t be fooled by the price: Uba Tuba is extremely durable. Like all dark granites, it is very dense and does not require sealing. Uba Tuba hides dirt well, and it is heat resistant and scratch resistant. The primary downside is that it’s a little overdone. Also, some people are not fond of the greenish tinge.
Baltic Brown Granite
Baltic Brown is a classic and sophisticated granite. The pattern is distinct but neutral enough to match any decor: It features brown circular crystals of varying sizes on a black background with flecks of grey, tan and green.
Baltic Brown is fairly inexpensive. If you’re hiring a professional to install the countertops, budget about $30 to $60 per square foot for the project. Pre-fab countertop slabs run anywhere from $200 to $400.
Like all granites, Baltic Brown is extremely strong and durable. It is heat resistant, scratch resistant and stain resistant. It is easy to maintain and the brownish color hides dirt and crumbs well.
On the downside, Baltic Brown tends to have a rougher texture than many granites. If it is not resined, you’ll be able to feel the pits and fissures. Baltic Brown also has a tendency to show streaks, particularly from soap and grease, although these can be removed using a stone cleaner.
White Kashmir Granite
White Kashmir appears off-white from a distance, but closer inspection reveals small pieces of grey, crimson, gold and/or light green. It is the lightest granite you can buy and the closest to the look of marble.
If you’re hiring a professional to install White Kashmir countertops, budget about $50 to $60 per square foot for the project. If you’re tackling the project yourself, budget at least $200 to $300 per slab.
White Kashmir is often used as a substitute for marble because the look is similar but it is cheaper and easier to maintain. The biggest drawback is that White Kashmir requires regular sealing to prevent stains, particularly from oils and anything red in color. Even after sealing, spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent staining.
Kashmir Gold Granite
Kashmir Gold has a warm look and a soft, subtle grain pattern. It is an ivory-gold color with subtle and varying shades of red, gray, tan and brown. Some slabs look slightly yellow and others appear more ivory or tan.
Professional installation of Kashmir Gold will run you about $50 to $75 per square foot. Pre-fabricated slabs cost at least $300 to $450.
Kashmir Gold is ideal for people who prefer a less “busy” pattern. And, like all granite, it is durable and long lasting. The most common complaint is the high absorption: Kashmir Gold requires sealing about every six months because it is relatively porous.