Granite countertops are riding a wave of popularity that certainly isnít just a trend. Granite has a timeless beauty that has been admired for centuries and will continue to be a valued countertop material going forward.
The major drawback to granite is its cost. At roughly $80-$150 per square foot installed, granite slab countertops are one of the most expensive available. Now there is an affordable alternative: Granite tile countertops. Comparing granite slab and granite tile countertops will help you choose which one is right for you.
The Beauty of Granite Countertops
Granite slabs offer unsurpassed beauty. The rich hues and texture of the stone add luxurious appeal to any kitchen or bathroom. Granite tiles come in the same wonderful colors. In fact, since the tiles arenít as large, they can be mined from smaller deposits, so you may find a few color/hue options not found in slabs.
In terms of appearance, the one significant difference youíll notice with granite tiles is the grout used between tiles. Depending on the style you want, the grout can be deemphasized to make it less noticeable or accentuated to provide an appealing accent to the tile. This part of the comparison between granite tile and granite slab countertops is a matter of individual taste more than anything.
Ease of Installation
If youíve got good experience laying tile, you may be able to install granite tile. However, without experience, itís not hard to ruin the job. Potential problems include laying the tiles crooked and not getting the grout just right. If you have any concerns, it makes sense to have granite tile counters installed by a professional contractor. In most cases, granite slab countertops should also be installed by a pro.
Granite Countertop Costs
This is where granite slabs have a distinct advantage. As we noted, the installed price for slab granite countertops is $80-$150 per square foot. The granite tile installation costs can be as low as $50, though up to $75 is fairly common too. The material costs less because the tiles can be produced from smaller pieces of granite. The actual cost of installation is about the same with slab and granite tile.
Durability and Care
Both types are very durable when properly sealed against staining. Theyíre resistant to heat too. The grout on granite tile needs maintenance not required by slabs. In tileís favor, large slabs may be subject to cracking if they are installed on uneven surfaces such as base cabinets of even slightly unequal height.
For raw beauty, slab granite countertops are hard to beat. For affordability and style options, granite tile counters are worth a look. AS you consider the advantages of each, it will help to browse as many samples as possible to visualize how each type will look in your kitchen. Then, youíll know if itís worth the extra cost for granite slab countertops or if you prefer the costs and appearance of granite tiles.
Going to clean your granite conutertop?
Come read the proper way to clean them!