Granite vs. Marble Countertops Costs, Pros & Cons 2017: Cost per Sq. Ft.

Stone countertops are very popular in the kitchen for their durability and natural beauty. Often, selection among the many choices is emotional, given the aesthetic allure that all such stones possess.

Prada Gold Granite Slab
via MSI

Apart from the subjective considerations, there are reasons for choosing one over another. Let’s compare and contrast Granite and Marble materials.

Appearance and Basic Makeup

The two materials are easy to distinguish. Granite tends to have darker tones, while marble is characteristically white with grey-black swirls or veins.

Marble does actually come in other colors than white, such as black or green, but those are so rare in the countertop market, we’ll just stick to what is most common.

Marble Countertop

Pure marble, as evidenced by many famous statues is entirely white, and is available as a countertop choice, though most prefer the granular lines and vein look.

Granite is chock full of imperfections, or granular ingredients that make for diversity in just about every slab ever produced by it’s manufacturer, aka Mother Earth. It consistently has specks of many materials visible on its surface, with highly unique patterns. Packing all the materials together makes for a more dense, stronger stone than marble.

Granite Top

Both stones are porous, which means at the microscopic level they will allow air, water and other fluids to permeate their structure. Marble more so than granite. The porosity factor of both is an item that comes up in many ways when comparing stone countertops and we’ll address that further as we go along.

In general, marble is considered a luxurious, high end stone countertop, while granite is viewed as the strongest and fairly economical choice.

Costs and Installation Considerations

Buying stone in slabs invariably saves on costs for the material itself. Though transforming that slab into a suitable countertop is quite expensive. A slab of granite for example is say 10 by 6 feet, or 60 sq.ft. and would cost $30 to $60 per square foot. Marble runs about $40 to $100 per sq. ft.

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Granite Countertops Cost Installed, Plus Pros and Cons of Granite Tops

Granite is one of the most popular materials for homeowners thanks to its durability, natural beauty and ruggedness. As a natural stone, each slab is unique in its pattern, hue and shading.

mediterranean-style-granite-countertop-mccullough-design-development via Remodeling Image

Back in the “old day”, granite kitchen counters were considered elite and you would commonly see them fitted into luxury mansions that belonged to the rich and famous. These days, everyone can enjoy the luxury regardless of budget as granite increases in popularity and, therefore, availability. They are usually sold through your own local fabricators, or at your local, bulky Home Depot or Lowe’s Home Improvement stores.

Colors and Patterns

Granite comes in a range of colors, from midnight black to deep reds and vibrant blues; with a range of unique grains and finishes that you can easily customize to suit your personal tastes. They can be affordable (which is more common with Indian granite), or they can cost a fortune (Brazilian granite), but their versatility is just another part of the beauty of them.

Sourcing the Materials

Homeowners may have to visit their local granite warehouse or provider in order to select the most appropriate slab for the countertop to fit their kitchen.

Most slabs of granite are 9 – 10 feet long and 5 – 6 feet wide. You can also find larger granite slabs with widths of up to 12 feet or more for open space kitchens.

What to Expect in Terms of Costs:

The average material cost ranges between $40 and $90 per square foot depending on the pattern, thickness and size of the granite slab. More expensive slabs of granite may cost as much as $150 to $250 per square foot. A typical new granite countertop will costs around $3,000 to $4,500 installed.

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