The price of a granite countertop varies greatly, depending on the size and specifications of the piece. Naturally, larger pieces are more expensive than smaller ones. Here is a breakdown of the cost of a granite countertop.
Not all granite samples are created equal. Some types have coarser graining and large particles embedded in the rock, while others have lines that are very fine and map-like. Usually, the granite designs with finer, cleaner lines are more expensive than ones with blotches or large particles. For example, a 96-inch countertop made from a blotchy granite will likely cost $700, while one with fine lines and delicate shading can cost $1,000 or more.
Prices will also differ depending on whether the stone is natural or engineered, though pricing becomes muddled where stone type is concerned. In the most general sense, engineered stone is cheaper than natural stone. The exception to this rule is if the homeowners require a custom-made stone. In this case, natural stone would be a far cheaper alternative.
It follows logically that larger granite countertops are more expensive than smaller ones. Typically, a 96-inch countertop for a bathroom will be between $700 and $1200, depending on other factors. A smaller granite counter for the bathroom sink will probably cost between $400 and $600.
What is interesting about this is that prices on counters increase at a decreasing rate. For example, the price difference between a 36-inch countertop and a 48-inch countertop may be $70, while the difference between a 48-inch countertop and a 60-inch model will probably be $60. As these countertops become larger, the price differences continue to shrink.
The reason for this is the level of craftsmanship in each piece. Details are more precise in smaller pieces than larger ones, and small granite countertops are usually made by hand.
Some people prefer to have their granite countertops etched with acid or similar chemical treatments. While these certainly add character to the piece, they also add to the price tag. Depending on the level of detail required, detailing for granite countertops can add between $60 and $200. This additional cost will also depend on the size of the piece that needs detailing.
Other homeowners prefer hand-carved granite countertops. These are certainly the most expensive countertops available, often costing well over $1500.
Two countertops that are exactly the same in every way may differ in price, simply on the basis of brand. One company may offer a kitchen countertop cast in gray granite and measuring 128 square inches, and charge $1200 for their product. A company considered a brand name in the building industry is likely to charge twice that for the same piece. Brand names make people feel comfortable, providing assurance that they are getting exactly what they pay for. Deciding between a brand name and an unknown is largely up to the homeowner.