Granite Countertops Overview
Granite is the most popular material on the market for high-end kitchen countertops. It is beautiful, durable, heat resistant and scratch resistant. Granite countertops also increase the resale value of your home.
There are two types of granite countertops: engineered and slab. Engineered granite is a mix of natural stone, pigments and resin. Slab granite is 100 percent natural stone.
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How Much Do Granite Countertops Cost?
Granite countertops are expensive. They usually cost about $50 to $100 per square foot, including installation. If you have 30 square feet of counter space – which is fairly standard – the total cost would be $1,500 to $3,000. Optional features like fancy edges or backsplashes cost extra.
Granite Countertops Pros
- Durability – Granite is more durable than marble. It is less likely to scratch, stain or break. It is also heat resistant.
- Color choices – Granite is available in thousands of different colors. There are significantly fewer color choices with marble.
Granite Countertops Cons
- Very common – Granite has become so popular that it’s no longer considered unique and luxurious. It remains fashionable and in high-demand, but there’s always potential for it to fall out of fashion.
- Potential to crack – It happens rarely, but granite can crack under heavy stress or if it is improperly installed.
Marble Countertops Overview
Marble is another beautiful, natural stone. It is far less common than granite, especially in kitchens, but it creates an elegant, high-end look.
Marble is notoriously more difficult to maintain than granite, which explains why many kitchen and remodeling experts recommend against it. But for those who are prepared to take meticulous care of the surface and appreciate the character that comes with a little wear and tear, it can be the perfect choice.
How Much Do Marble Countertops Cost?
Marble countertops are also priced from $50 to $100 per square foot, depending on quality. For example, Carrera marble falls on the low end of that price range, but it will have more of a grayish tone. Calcutta, a rarer form marble, tends to fall on the high end of that price range.
Marble Countertops Pros
- Warmer – Marble’s light hues brighten up your space, making the kitchen look large and airy.
- Unique look – Granite is fairly common these days, but marble is still a rare sight in American kitchens. If you’re going for a look that stands out as truly unique and luxurious, marble could be the right choice.
Marble Countertops Cons
- Durability – Because marble is porous, it can be damaged by acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits and vinegar. The surface may become stained and develop a rough texture. Marble is also more vulnerable to scratches than granite and it requires sealing and periodic resealing by a professional.
- Price – Premium Calcutta marble tends to be more expensive than high-end granite. Because of the high price tag, some homeowners choose to use marble only in certain parts of the kitchen, such as an inland or baking station.