Price of granite...am I totally ignorant?

joyce_6333February 23, 2011

I've been reading on this forum that people have purchased their granite for as little as $11/sq ft. Many quote $20 - $35/sq ft. When we did the kitchen in our old house 10 years ago, I paid $85 for silestone. In the new house I was quoted the same for quartz, $85 for Bianco Romano, and initially $130 for Blue Pearl. We did find excessive inventory Blue Pearl and got it for $100 sq ft.

I checked 4 different suppliers in our area, and they were all about the same price. Our island is coming in at $3000 by itself, not counting edge upgrade, and the perimeter counters will be pushing $15,000.

What gives?? Am I dealing with too many middle men because I live in a small town? I'm feeling a little "taken advantage of" right now.

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weissman

Those lower prices are just for the granite itself, most likely. Fabrication costs a lot more per sq. ft. than the stone itself. You price includes the stone and the fabrication.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:40PM
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theballs

My kitchen was right at 60 sq feet of counter top space, and I chose a level I granite (St Cecilia Gold) that was $40 per sq foot, which included templating, cutting, edging, and installation. I also paid an additional $150 per sink cutout, and had two sinks. So $2700 total.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:55PM
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writersblock

I live in a small town, too, but you can get basic prefab granite (tropic brown, sapphire blue, but not top quality) for as little as $26.95 sf installed around here.

I can't imagine paying $100sf for blue pearl!

But it does depend to some extent on where you are. People are hurting badly here with lots of stone in inventory and not much demand anymore.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:04PM
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breezygirl

Is that $100/ft for just the slab or does it include install? Are you being told by the yard how much each stone is per foot? I've never seen granite at $11/sq. ft. Maybe for granite tiles.

The granite yards in my state do NOT list prices. That really creeps me out. Each fabricator here can charge you a different price for the granite because you don't REALLY know what it costs. Then their fabrication cost is additional. That can be all over the board.

An fancy edge jacks the price way up. You picked an expensive granite though and we pay more for beauty and rarity!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:08PM
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pharaoh

Here is how I calculate it (for los angeles area, lots of competition).

Stone (per full slab, not by sq ft of counters): $10-$20/sq ft for uba tuba, black galaxy and other common stones
$20-$30 for blue pearl, browns and white stones
$50 and above for exotics - van gogh, etc.

Then add $30 per sq ft for fabrication and installation (for finished sq ft).

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:16PM
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pharaoh

Just to give you an idea, my neighbor did a volga blue kitchen about 80 sq ft for $3300 all told.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:17PM
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kbmboston

I got quotes between $2600 - $3400 for the same granite from 4 different fabricators. The lowest was from a not as highly rated (from what I could discern) company but I got the very high rated company to match their price. These were for St. Cecelia and New Venitian Gold. I found some places quoting $25 a square foot but then for install, etc it would be another $25 per sq. foot.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:36PM
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joyce_6333

Writersblock: You're not making feel any better. Sigh!! I did see that Menards has prefab granite. An 8' piece runs around $285 if I remember correctly. But I didn't like the color, and I didn't like the edge. You'd have to design your kitchen around these pre-fabricated pieces.

I forgot to mention that the prices I paid did not include the edge upgrade and sink cutouts (2) and cooktop cutout. :-(

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:41PM
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gmp3

Last summer I had 90' of santa Cecelia installed for $3200. I got quotes as high as $8900 (and that had no edge upgrade).

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:42PM
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joyce_6333

Well, thanks for the info. I thought checking 4 different places would be good enough. I honestly didn't have another place within 2 hours to check. The places I did check were not granite yards; and when I went to the granite yards, they would not quote a price. They said I had to get that from the fabricator.

All I can say is that this stuff better be drop dead gorgeous when it's installed. And I'll try not to think about the cost everytime time I walk into the kithen.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:48PM
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breezygirl

Yeah, the bit about not knowing the prices at the warehouses is what gets me! I wonder how much the fabricators mark it up before they tack on the cutting costs.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:51PM
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Fori is not pleased

It's insane, isn't it? I (after almost 2 years?) finally went and put a hold on a slab--I liked this stone yard because they have PRICES! Prices ranged from $15/sf to $100 plus.

For the first time in this remodel the item I wanted was CHEAP. So far I have a quote of around $40/sf for fabrication, but I have no sink.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 5:01PM
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boxerpups

Joyce6333,

You are not ignorant. In fact you are practical and wise to
question.

Unfortunately granite slabs are like raw diamonds. There is
no price control. The granite rock comes out of the ground
by poor indigenous workers getting paid far too little for
the labor they do. The rock is shipped from places like
India, Brazil, China, Africa, Finland, South Africa,
Australia ...
These rocks or slabs are shipped to places like LA, Boston,
Miami,London, Chicago. Local installers buy the slabs but
they still have to make a profit on the rock. The rock may
originally cost only $5 per slab but the gas and energy it
takes to transport it is going to drive the price up a bit.

Certain granites are plentiful which means they are not
unique or RARE. The rarer the stone (like diamonds) the more
expensive. And there is no regulation on trade. None
whatsoever. Which means one intaller who has an abundant
load of Ubatuba can sell it for $30 per sq foot but he
(or she) has only a few slabs of Rainforest which he can
then turn around to sell for $200 or more. The profit
on the rare granites is how installers make their bread.
But many just break even. Often these cheap installers who
drop their prices to $30 per sq foot steal the show but
leave town in a hurry. Whenever I see someone on GW with
terrible seams or issues with how the granite is uneven
I feel terrible for them. It is unethical installers who
are simply trying to make a fast buck who ruin the industry
for the true talented.

And then there is the fake black dyed granite Maybe even
lead based) to mimic a Abosolute or Nordic black that is
really some poor quality stone that has been sold as the
real stuff. There is little control over these horrific
practices. I too was frustrated when I was searching.

A good talented, experienced installer is an artist and worth
their weight in gold. They can make the seams invisible,
the edges perfect and the stone into pure beauty.
(Like Joshua's Soapstone artistry check out Remodelfl's
countertops)

If you base your project on price per slab you may wind up
disappointed. Make sure your installer is someone you trust.
~boxer

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 6:59PM
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vate

Here in Atlanta we paid about $65 per square foot, installed, for fantastic looking stone (Cinderella Blue). This is a high end, high movement stone. We picked the stone (and hand picked the two slabs) at an indoor yard (that didn't offer installation) and had it installed by a fab/install company. We looked at Blue Pearl too, and could have picked our own slabs and paid about the same. Compared to here, you are paying a premium (or penalty) of $30+ per square foot. That really s**ks.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:14PM
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shadco1

FWIW

We are getting 100 sq feet of Brownie, and 28 sq feet of White Carrera 3cm with 2 cutouts and a very complex install done for 6K.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:15PM
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cheerpeople

It's hard to add anything to such a great response from boxer! I'm new to the granite thing.

I am going to splurge on a granite island. I call it a splurge because I've never had granite before. I just got my quotes from the cabinet maker and so I can share what I'm getting charged. I'm a sucker for blue pearl too! I saw it and I fell in LOVE!

I'm not going to splurge on a whole kitchen of granite so I've selected a very nice 3d wilsonart aeon called "metallic Silver" for the rest of the countertops. The sample stood up to my cutting and burning tests. This stuff looks really cool- steel like and all the other countertops in it cost $865 total for tax delivery and install. My kitchen isn't huge by others standanrds but it will be a for me... 14' x 18'

The custom built cherry wood island that is 2 ft x 7'7" topped in blue pearl granite costs $1310 including tax delivery and install on items quoted. The cabinet maker gets it straight from chicago and it is much cheaper than the price at the local home depot. $59 vs $99 HD (I think)

hope this helps, K

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:31PM
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mountaineergirl

We live in WV, granite yard was in Columbus OH. We paid $100/sq ft for emerald pearl. 80 square feet - $8000. Emerald Pearl was considered a category "L" We looked at uba tuba, and some other category "A" granites but they didn't grab me.
Oh, and regular rounded edge except for a small island that has ogee.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 8:12PM
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gsciencechick

It looks like our blue pearl was $70/sq ft including installation, sink and faucet cutouts, and edge. Really, not that bad.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 8:42PM
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johnnyl53

We have no idea what category our granite is. We went to a fabricator/yard in in Stamford, CT. We are not even sure if the name the fabricator had it labeled with is right. I started out thinking something black with blue "sparkles", the DW was thinking something green. The sales person showed us several things we liked and could have lived with ...no problem. But then she said she said she had something new that just came in. It was labeled "English Teak" but looks like nothing that comes up in a Google search by that name. Reminds me of the patterns in peacock feathers, marbleized paper, and a Van Gogh painting. Off the top of my head I would say we had about 35 to 40 sq ft installed @ $4870. Well north of $100 per but as this is Fairfield county and the fabricator was top notch the price was probably commensurate. We could have gotten cheaper and their are lots of kitchen places advertising cheap granite installations in flyers you get in the mail, however would we have gotten the peace of mind that comes with dealing with people that are going to do a good job. The install went perfectly and the granite is beautiful and goes well with everything in the kitchen. Saving a $1000 or so did not seem worth the risks.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 3:06AM
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stephct

johnny153 can you tell me where you went in Stamford? I'm in ffc also. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 9:04PM
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aliris19

Joyce - you may be paying a premium for having but 4 fabricator-options within a two hour drive to check ... but I'll bet you're coming out ahead when you stand at your pretty new counter and look out the window at a lovely non-urban landscape.

Cities have many amenities, but there is a cost to the price-savings that comes from so much competition. By definition, really, there are a lot of people here in the city so that self-same commodity, people, which gets you good prices, winds you up with a social headache: traffic, ugliness, busy-ness, pollution, noise -- etc, etc. There's a lot of diversity here, and that means in fabricators and stone yards. But the tradeoff is there's not a lot of wide-open, peaceful, beautiful *space*.

Maybe if you somehow can factor the "cost" of foregoing a lovely lifestyle and landscape, that counter won't seem so out-of-line in expense any longer?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 2:49AM
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noellabelle

mine was one of the lower priced granites at the yard, and it came to $65/sq ft installed. I think the cheapest advertised prices are like $57/sq ft around here, so I thought that I didn't have much of an upcharge, esp since my granite isn't one I've ever seen featured on the lowest price promotions.

stephct - I'm not Johnny, but I'm in New Haven County and really liked the granite yard I found my stone in. It was in Milford, and they have a great website with lots of pics and color coded price categories.

Here is a link that might be useful: marble & granite in milford

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 8:51AM
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florantha

Boxer, there are also American granite quarries. Money stays in the U.S. and workers are paid better wages but there's less distance shipping from source, albeit by truck or train, not ship. The prices might even out but the carbon footprint is a little different. Or is it?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 11:43AM
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enmnm

A major contributor to stone prices is the shipping costs. Where I am, on the East Coast, fine marble from Italy is half the price of soapstone from Vermont, because it is so much cheaper to ship things by boat (in bulk) than to freight it down I-95.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 11:53AM
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pricepal

Sigh. 48 square feet of Saturina granite at $7200.00 Installed..... Its a class "V" granite, or a exotic.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 1:08PM
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nanj

My knowledge is based on my sister's recent purchase of granite for her kitchen and 2 baths reno and she lives a bit south of Charlotte, NC.

She chose her fabricator based on past experience with him for a Silestone countertop. They talked about price ranges in her budget. He told her what granite slab yards he like to work with but which yards she went to were her choice. To stay within her budget he told her not to go higher than Level 3 granite.

Slab yards usually are not fabricators but sell directly to fabricators. The price of the job is based on the fabricator, not the slab yard. The slab yards usually price their granite in levels, or grades, and assign a letter or number.

When my sister went to the slab yard, she told the salesperson not to show her anything above Level 3 so she wouldn't be tempted to go over budget. Once her choice of stone was made, the fabricator took over from there. He templated her counter areas, then she went to his workroom to help him layout the templates in order to capture the patterns of the granite she most liked.

I recently called this fabricator because I am putting together a budget for a new home. He told me that his cheapest price is $50 per sq foot which gives a choice of about 20 granites. The next level is $60/sq foot, then on up to $65 and $70. He gave the example of Red Dragon granite being $70 sq/ft. This price includes measuring, templates, cutting, complete installation and sealing (as needed).

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 7:14PM
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joyce_6333

Thanks again everyone for all for the information. Aliris, you made me feel much better. Yes, I will have a lovely view, not urban, but close enough for convenience. And we will have wonderful new neighbors. Even though we are not living there yet, they include us in all the get togethers such as: Holiday progressive party, Halloween parties, summer picnics, etc. I've lived in the big city most of my adult life, and I do enjoy this small town rural lifestyle.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:42PM
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boxerpups

Joyce,
You have a positive attitude and this alone will get
you through these zany price differences. Looking forward
to your kitchen success.
~boxer

Hi Florantha,
You are correct. I have an american quarried granite from
West Virginia called Virginia Jet Mist. I love it. I wish
I could say it changed the price of the granite.
No such luck.
~boxer

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:55PM
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mountaineergirl

Boxerpups,
As soon as I read your post I was like Where here in WV?? So I quickly googled virginia jet mist west virginia and could only find info for a quarry in Virginia. I thought it would be so cool to have a chunk of something that was from my home state, but it appears its from Virginia. I guess it would have been named West Virginia Mist - which would be way cool!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 7:55PM
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