On average nationwide, granite countertops cost $40 to $200 per square foot for the stone and installation. The total cost depends on the size, quality, thickness, and grade of the granite, as well as the complexity of the installation.
Durable and beautiful, granite is a popular countertop material. However, granite's not cheap. It's one of the more expensive kitchen countertop and bathroom vanity materials since it has to be cut out of the earth, from a quarry, not rolled off an assembly line. But its durability means it will last much longer than a less expensive material like laminate, which costs around one-third as much as granite but will only last 20 years, tops.
If you're thinking of using granite for your kitchen countertops or in your bathroom, get an estimate of granite and installation costs before you hire a professional to help you.
What's in this cost guide?
- Benefits of using granite for countertops
- Granite prices and cost factors
- Installation and labor costs
- Professional installation process
- Tips to hire a granite countertop professional
Granite has been a popular countertop material since the 1990s because it's beautiful, luxurious, durable, and heat-resistant. A granite countertop resists scratches, stains, and burns. If properly cared for, this natural stone countertop will last for 50+ years.
Granite's tough because it's metamorphic rock. That means it's hardened lava, as heat-resistant a material as there is, and can stand up to just about anything you can dish out (including hot dishes).
Granite countertops are also non-porous, which means they won't soak up spills. The ketchup or merlot you spill in the kitchen won't stain a granite countertop.
There's a broad range of granite countertop prices. The square foot cost will depend on the grade of the granite, color, pattern, finish, format, and edges. Your total costs will also depend on the amount of counter space you want to cover.
Granite is graded on a scale of 1 to 7, based on its appearance and hardness. Level 1 granite costs $40 to $50 per square foot, while Level 5 stone costs $75 to $100 per square foot, just for the stone.
Lower grade granite comes in simple, common colors like black, green, and gray, and has simple patterns. The grade increases for more exotic types of granite with unusual colors like blue or red, and more complex marbled or speckled patterns in the stone.
Most companies only sell granite up to grade 5. Beyond that, you're in the super high-end, exotic specialty grades.
Nature makes granite, not humans. So the rarer the color of the granite, the more expensive it is because there's only so much of it in the ground.
Granite prices by color
|Granite color||Average cost per square foot|
|Black||$20 to $70|
|Green||$25 to $50|
|Steel Gray||$35 to $60|
|White||$40 to $60|
|Gold||$40 to $75|
|Red||$65 and up|
|Blue||$100 and up|
The most common and abundant colors are white, black, green, gold, and steel gray, so they're the most affordable. Black granite countertops cost around $25 per square foot for the stone, and gold granite countertops cost around $40 per square foot for the stone. These colors are available in quarries in the United States, so they tend to be lower cost because they aren't imported. They're also cut in large quantities, lowering the per slab price.
Rare colors like red and blue can only be found in a few select quarries, are harder to cut, and very expensive. Blue Bahia granite, mined in Brazil, starts at $100 per square foot just for the stone, but the rock's beyond gorgeous and will give you a counter that looks like a photo of Earth seen from space.
Generally, the more natural markings in the stone, the more expensive the granite. Nature, the ultimate designer, put those markings there in the process of geology so humans cannot duplicate them at the factory.
Fabricators sell granite in three different patterns, each at a different price point:
|Pattern||Cost per square foot||Description|
|Marbled||$60 and up||Has streaks (veins) and swirls of color. It's more expensive because it's rarer and looks like marble, a stone that's even pricier than granite.|
|Speckled||$45 and up||This mid-range granite pattern has spots of different colors and is more common than marbled granite.|
|Solid||$25 and up||Granite in a single color, with little to no rock patterning.|
Granite comes in three custom finishes.
- Leathered, $1-2 per square foot: is the most expensive finish. It's a more rustic looking flat finish that looks and feels a little like leather. The counter fabricator uses diamond-tipped brushes to lightly polish the counter, highlighting the patterns in the granite instead of polishing them out. It's the rarest finish for a granite countertop.
- Honed, $0.5 - $1 per square foot: is the mid-grade finish. It's a matte finish, smooth but not shiny. Honed finishes hide imperfections in the stone and cut down on the glare from the counters.
- Polished, $0.50 per square foot or less: is the standard finish. It's also the most affordable since it's widely available and produced in large quantities, lowering the price per slab to the customer. All imperfections are polished out of the stone and the counter has a shiny, reflective finish.
Granite fabricators sell the stone in three different formats that you can then use for your granite countertops.
- Slab granite, $45 - $65 per square foot: Slab is a custom-cut, single piece of granite made for your space. It's the most expensive option.
- Modular granite, $15 - $40 per square foot: Modular granite, also known as mini-slabs, is made from the leftovers from larger, custom-cut slabs of granite. You can buy a few of these big leftovers and piece them together. You'll have more seams where the small pieces are joined to cover the counters, but you'll save as much as 45% over the cost of slab granite.
- Granite tile, $6 - $10 per square foot: Granite tile is not as durable because it's thinner. They also don't look as elegant because the seams between the tiles detract from the stone patterning. But granite tiles are still tougher than laminate, and cost up to 85% less than granite slab.
After selecting your granite from a fabricator, you can also choose to give your countertop a different type of edge. There are five kinds of edging on granite countertops. Anything other than a straight edge will add to your costs:
Average additional cost per linear foot of granite countertop edges:
|Edge||Average additional cost per linear foot||Description|
|Straight||No additional cost||Straight, squared off at the corners|
|Bevel||$8||Angled cuts on the corners of the granite|
|Bullnose||$23||Are rounded on the countertop|
|Eased||$6||Have small curves of the corner of the slab|
|Rounded corners||$34||The granite counter's corners are ground into a gentle curve|
You're paying by the square foot, so countertops for an entire kitchen will cost more than a small bathroom vanity. If the granite must be fabricated to fit an L-shape, U-shape, or requires piecing together a couple of slabs and joining seams, the cost will be more than if you're just putting a single slab of stone on counter.
You'll also pay higher labor costs for the additional time and skill needed to install the granite in a large or complex job.
A sink cutout in your countertop averages around $100 while a faucet hole costs an average of $29.
Unless the counter is for a kitchen island, you'll probably have at least one cutout for a kitchen sink and another for the faucet.
If you have other cutouts for a trash can, soap dispenser, range, electrical outlets, or vents, the price goes up. The more holes that must be cut into the granite, the higher the cost.
The national average labor cost for a standard kitchen counter is $400 to $1,000.
Most professionals charge by the hour for the labor costs to install your granite countertop. For example, a Thumbtack pro in Denver, Colorado charges $32 an hour to install a granite countertop. That doesn't include the cost of the slab.
Others will charge by the square foot. For example, another pro in Aurora, Colorado charges $45-$200 per square foot for a granite slab and installation. This includes both the price of the granite and labor costs. The exact price greatly depends on the quality, thickness, color and source of the granite.
A professional installation is a two step process that will take a couple of days, depending on the size of the job. Here's what the installation process for a granite countertop looks like:
1. Take measurements
First, the professional you hire will come to your house and take measurements of your counters. They'll use those measurements to make a template to cut and fabricate the stone at their workshop, warehouse, or stone yard before they return in a few days or weeks to install it. They cut the edges at their workshop, too, so most of the mess stays out of your house.
2. Remove and disconnect appliances
When the contractor returns to install your countertops, they'll remove and disconnect appliances connected to the countertop surface.
3. Remove the old counter top using a crowbar
Some companies charge extra to remove and haul off the old countertop. A Thumbtack pro in Kennesaw, Georgia charges $150 to demo and haul away the old counter. Resist the temptation to remove the countertop as a do-it-yourself project. You could damage or destroy your cabinets in the process.
4. Make cutouts for a sink, electrical outlet, or range
Depending on the hardness of the granite you're installing, your contractor will either make cutouts for your sink, electrical outlets (especially if you're installing it as backsplash as well), or range on site with a saw, or in their workshop before they come to your house.
5. Bring in the granite pieces and place them on top of the cabinets
Most kitchens have several sections of stone countertops that will need to be placed. In this step, they'll level the slabs and position everything in place.
6. Seal the granite
Sealing the granite protects it from stains and scratches.
7. Fit the appliances and sink into the cabinet and attach them
Before sealing everything up, they'll position all of your appliances back in place to make sure nothing needs to be moved.
8. Put epoxy resin at the seams
They will put the epoxy where slabs meet to cement to the pieces to one another. The granite also will be anchored to the cabinet with attachment blocks during this step.
9. Clean up
After everything is done, the last step is to clean up any remaining mess and haul off the old counter.
Before you hire a professional to install a granite countertop, be sure to:
- Look at past projects: Make sure the contractor has experience installing granite counters. You can also read reviews to check the quality of their work, and explore photos of projects they've completed.
- Get multiple free estimates. Knowing a general range for granite countertop installation costs will give you the confidence to hire a pro who's not over- or undercharging. Make sure the estimate is specific and details specific project costs in the quote. To get started, download the Thumbtack Android or iPhone app and submit a cost estimate request.
- Ask about what's included in their total costs: For example, will the granite installation company charge you extra to remove the existing counter?
If you're ready to transform your bathroom or kitchen with a durable, high-grade, granite countertop, it's likely not a project you want to DIY. To make sure you get it right, hire a professional near you.