Buying granite countertops? Check out our granite FAQ here!
- What is granite?
- What is the difference between granite and quartz?
- Sketch your kitchen
- Pick your sink
- Pick your faucet
- Save extra cost
- Get your cabinets ready
- What if my house is older?
- How many colors of granite are there?
- What kind of sink can I get with granite?
- What kind of edge treatments can I get?
- How long will it take for my granite to be installed?
- All granite is different
- Do I have to maintain my granite?
What is granite?
Granite is an intrusive igneous rock (formed from the slow cooling of magma underground), the major component of the continental crust, coarse grained, and composed of quartz along with a variety of feldspar minerals and micas.
Granite is purchased from all over the world, mainly in South America. Granite's natural movement and waves make it the #1 choice for kitchens today.
Quartz, since it is man made, is all patterned when produced. There is no way to have quartz with the natural movement that granite does.
What is the difference between granite and quartz?
Granite is natural and excavated from the Earth. Quartz is man made.
Sketch your kitchen
Have a specific drawing of your kitchen. It will help your fabricator give you an exact price for your kitchen. Be sure to label where your walls are and appliances. It will also help to do the math on your kitchen to get your total square footage. All fabricators and big box stores base pricing by the square foot.
Pick your sink
Know what kind of sink you want. There are different "cut-out" charges for every sink. They will be able to give you an exact cost for cutting the hole in the granite for your top mount or under mount sink. Charges should range between $150 - $350, depending on difficulty.
Pick your faucet
Know what kind of faucet you want. Depending on how many holes the faucet requires, they will need to be drilled at the fabrication shop before the granite is installed. Faucet holes should range about $15 - $25.
Save extra cost
You can save some extra money by tearing out your old kitchen countertops and disposing of them. Most places will charge around $350 to tear out the old countertops. This process can be done fairly quickly and should only take about 2 or 3 hours.
Get your cabinets ready
Make sure your cabinets are level. Your fabricator will more than likely not even install the granite unless your cabinets are level. If the cabinets are not level and the granite is installed, your granite could crack and there will be no way to fix it. You will then have to get new countertops.
What if my house is older?
For older houses: You may need an extra support in the basement or crawlspace underneath the kitchen countertops. Granite is extremely heavy and could cause your floor joyces to stress and start to sag. Todays homes are specifically designed by location of floor joyces and steel beams to hold the extra weight of tile or granite.
How many colors of granite are there?
There are literally thousands of granite options. They are imported from all over the world. A few of the most common countries granite is imported from are Brazil, India and Italy.
What kind of sinks can I purchase with granite countertops?
You can get just about any style made of anything. But keep in mind that the more articulate the sink, the higher your 'cut out charge' will be from your fabricator. If you choose a granite sink, than you will need extra supports under your sink and inside your cabinet.
What kind of edge treatments can I get?
There are several different types of edge detail that you can choose. The more plain the cheaper. Some of the more crafty edge treatments will more than likely result in an extra charge. Some examples are below:
How long will it take to install my granite?
Typically it will be 2-4 weeks, depending on fabricator.
All granite is different
Each granite slab (full piece of granite that you will pick at your fabricators) will differ. Granite is naturally from the Earth and will even differ from the piece right next to it slightly. The same colors will differ from fabricator to fabricator unless then bought the granite from the same block. Fabricators will also call different colors different names to prevent you finding that specific stone somewhere else. They may tell you that they are the only one in town who has that color, if you look elsewhere you will find it under a different name.
Do I have to maintain my granite?
It would be best to seal your granite once every 3 years. There are several sealers you can buy at your local Lowe's or Home Depot. This process usually will only take 5 minutes. All you have to do is spray or wipe it on, and wipe it off.