Granite Countertops

One of the first questions people often ask at the start of a kitchen renovation is “can I get granite countertops on my budget?”

The answer to that question is yes a lot more often now than it once was because granite has become more affordable. Technical advances in the tools used to fabricate it have reduced the labor involved and therefore the overall cost.

It’s hard to beat the look of granite but it’s also one of the most user-friendly surfaces for things like rolling dough and pastries. And because it’s stone, there’s no fear of burning or scorching it with a hot pan. However, while Granite is scratch resistant, it can be scratched and the surface can also be stained by things like coffee. In fact it needs to sealed at least once a year to maintain the finish.

Granite comes in a large variety of colors, but the lower prices are limited to a few choices, some starting at $35-$40 a square foot. But the price can go as high as $300 a square foot depending on your selections.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, this is true, granite has come down in price in some cases. In my experience as a designer, I have seen some granites be quite porous, some much more than others. The sealing advice is a great suggestion. I’d probably go one step further and get a sample to bring home and let various food products sit on it for 24 hours to see what does or does not develop. The reason is, it is sometimes difficult to tell when the sealer is no longer effective, as it wears away with use, and perhaps with one not paying attention. Experiment with your sample!

  2. Great idea, I would’ve never thought to “test out” the samples! But what do you do about bugs and pests that are bound to be attracted by food sitting out? Would testing them in the garage work or would that defeat the purpose since the climate of the room where the tops would be installed probably needs to be considered?

  3. Maybe you could put it under one of those cake dishes, but that might also effect the conditions as well. I’d think that if you just left the food sitting on it for 24 hours, not too many bugs would be attracted to it. Then again, that probably depends on your experience with bugs (it’s worse in some places).

  4. I’ve done this quite a few times, as I must be careful about what materials I recommend, and I have never actually seen bugs scattered around the sample the next day. I usually leave it for 24 hours. Here are some of the things I’ll put on the sample (get as large a sample as you can!)

    coffee
    balsamic vinegar
    worcestershire sauce
    wine
    lemon juice (probably more important for marble)
    ketchup
    olive or other oil

    I think that is usually all I use to apply to a sample. Why those products? Truly, I have no idea, my thinking was just that some were colorful, some were acidic, plus the oil, I tried to imagine substances where I’d “see” a stain, in a worse case scenario. I suppose that’s it.

    But, no bugs! And, sure, if you have a large pot to put over it, go ahead, I don’t think it matters if it is exposed to the air or is more confined.

    Actually, you could put it in the oven or microwave too to let it sit there overnight. Good solution!

  5. The product names for a granite cleaner and a sealer were mentioned on CBS Morning Show. Please suppy the manufactures name.

    Thanks,
    J. Grote

  6. We are attempting to use granite tiles with epoxy as the “grout” to leave a minimal line. We are finding as we experiment that ground granite in the epoxy helps hide the line the best. And for 13 linear feet of countertop it cost under 100.00. so if it doesn’t work there not alot lost. Will send pics when we attempt to actually place it in the kitchen.

  7. Deb T,

    Mixing ground up granite in the epoxy is an excellent solution to hiding the line/junction of the granite tiles.

    I had heard of this years ago and had completely forgotten it until you brought it back to mind.

    I have a question though. Where do you get ground up granite? Is matching ground up granite available from the company that makes/supplies the tiles you’re using?

    We are considering the Tile Option. The only drawback that Beverly see’s with tile, IS the grout line will be contrasting, which she’s doesn’t want visible. Another object to tiles, is in cleaning the counter top in the grount line areas and mold. Butting the tiles up against each other is preferred in our instance.

    Hopefully, your project will give you the results you expect for many years of use.

    Thank you Deb T for your solution.

    Dan & Bev

  8. We had our granite countertop installed about 6 years ago and we don’t have any complaints. The recent news about possible radon does cause a little concern and the granite, fabrication and installation wasn’t cheap. If I was doing it over, I might consider other options. I ran across this site when looking for info on radon, pricing, and cleaning of granite. Good info for anyone who owns or is considering a granite countertop.

    Granite countertop info – pros & cons, maintenance and more

  9. That was a great synopsis of granite prices. There can be a lot of misleading information out there and Danny you made it pretty clear. As far as a hot pot though you should avoid seam areas because of thermal shock. The stone, which is normally cold becomes hot at a seam and when it cools down quickly the seam may come apart. Doesn’t happen all the time but it can. Better to be careful.

  10. can i sit my mircowave on my garnite countertop without damage it.my old countertop always had oil or grease on the countertop

  11. When you do a granite counter top in 12 x 12 how are you rounding off the edge pieces? I saw that you cut what looks like 2″ wide pieces and them butted them up under the edge counter top pieces, but it’s doesn’t show how you rounded them off so that their not just sharp square edges. Did you do this with the sander? Hope my question is clear enough. Thank you

  12. I have granite dust falling from underneath my counters into the drawers below. How do I get rid of it all and does the granite need to be sealed from underneath to keep it from reoccurring?

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