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Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Posted by kristine_2009 (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 29, 10 at 22:40

Well I spent all day pricing granite and the cheapest I could find is $4700/installed for 66 sq feet. DH does not want to spend that much. So I decided to stop at The Tile Shop and I really liked their Verde Butterfly 24x24 granite tile.They showed it in a kitchen display with a 1/16th grout line, but they also said they could be butted together and the bevel edge filled with a silicone epoxy (black). So I got an estimate on the total cost and it was $2100 for the granite tile, mortar, silicone, edge pieces, etc. I really don't mind the look, especially ungrouted. I stopped at a Granite Transformations as well to check out the overlay type of granite and the cost was still $4700. I was really surprised about that. Anyway....does anyone here have a granite tile countertop?? Is this something I should stay away from or should I go for it? If I don't get this I will go back to Formica which is $2000/installed.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

my best friend has granite tile and hates it BUT her grout lines are 1/8" wide not butted together. However, she also hates that the corners are so sharp -- she's got kids.

In my area, there have been a few granite places popping up that are selling granite from China, pre cut prefabbed kinda stuff. there's not a big selection and you're going to get more seams than from a top notch granite store but I think they are selling at about $30 sq ft


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

I wouldn't do it unless it's the specific look of granite tile you're after. Otherwise, you're not getting the continuous slab benefit, and you're not getting the properly set porcelain tile benefit. It's neither here nor there.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Thanks for the responses:)
Pence, the one I was looking at has a variety of edge pieces to choose from as well as rounded corners so there wouldn't be any sharp edges. I have 3 kids too, so that would be a concern. I looked for that granite from China but couldn't find it anywhere. I am in Iowa so maybe there just isn't as much selection.
Pllog, Verde Butterfly is one I was considering anyway, and I don't mind the look...even with the 1/16th grout instead of the silicone epoxy. I have a ceramic tile countertop now, so I guess I am used to it. I would prefer a slab granite, but it appears they are going to be out of our price range (with the cheapest coming in at $70/sq ft).
I am just kind of wondering if there are any issues with using the granite tiles as a countertop. Didn't know if they would have the same properties as a slab granite as far as staining, durability, etc.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

One of our friends from the neighborhood association is a contractor who's used granite tiles from The Tile Shop for others in the neighborhood. He even has them in his own kitchen.

I would continue to look for slab granite and get a few more estimates. I know Tile Shop does not carry slabs.

I would've considered tiles, but they did not have blue pearl, and DH wanted slab granite. He does not like the look of the tiles.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

but they also said they could be butted together and the bevel edge filled with a silicone epoxy (black).

Bad idea. You need to have a minimal joint and grout it.

As for pics, I can't remember if this is verde butterfly or verde fontaine, but it's one of the two:

Photobucket


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Thanks Bill. If I decide to do it, I will definitely use a grout line. I read on some other sites as well today that not using grout is a bad idea. I don't want to be set up for trouble.
There are various edge pieces to choose from as well. Is one better than another, or is it simply a matter of taste? I also wanted an undermount sink. Does anyone know if that would be a problem?
Gsciencechick~I wish my DH would prefer the slab granite...LOL. He prefers whatever is cheap ;)
I attached a link of the tiles I am considering. They look very green on my monitor, but almost black in person.

Here is a link that might be useful: granite tiles and edge pieces


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

If I were you I would use prefab granite counters instead of tile. Here in Los angeles counters can be bought for less than $300 each. Lets say your kitchen has four counter areas, that would be $1200 in prefab counters.

Keep the design simple so that you can cut and install the granite yourself (with the help of several strong helpers). The most difficult part would be the sink but even that can be done using an overmount or flush mount sink so that you dont have to have the skill of polishing a cut edge.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

When we were looking at doing granite tile I found this site:

http://www.bedrockcreations.net/index_rev.htm

They offer nicer edge pieces and pieces so you can do an undermount sink. I'm not sure if it would be a lot cheaper,it probably depends on how many edge pieces you need, plus shipping is probably a lot since they are so heavy.

There is also this one:

http://www.benissimosystems.com/default.aspx

I think they do undermount as well.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Pharaoh, I just can't find prefab granite counters anywhere in our area....otherwise I would consider it.
Mandolynn, thank you for the links! They will be very useful!
I did find a place in a nearby town that supposedly has 3cm ubatuba installed for 39.99 sq ft, so I am going to check that out before I proceed with the tile.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

I also think you should keep on looking. You'd be surprised at how far granite suppliers are willing to drive for a sales. i've seen some drive 2-3 hours. I've also seen the prfabs at either Lowes or Home Depot


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

$40 sq ft installed for 3 cm Uba Tuba sounds much more in line with the prices I've seen in my area. You should be able to find more places that offer slab granite in that price range, including Verde Butterfly or Verde Peacock.

If it were me, I'd choose the granite slabs (at $40sq ft). If for some reason that could not work in any way, shape or form (and I'd give up quite a bit in other areas before compromising on granite counters!), my second choice would be the granite tile.

Have you priced butcher block (possibly from Ikea)? I think butcher block would be my third choice.

I would avoid quartz, or formica (at any cost), personally. YMMV, of course. ;)


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

My sister has granite tile at her lake house. This place
is mostly used in the summer. Her grout lines are
tiny. She loves the counters but it took a little while,
it was her DH's idea.

Here are some images of granite tile couters. They are a
great inexpensive alternative that you might find to be
wonderful.

~boxerpups


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Thank you so much for the pics Boxerpups! I really don't mind the tile "look", but I do prefer the 24x24 tiles...much less grout lines. I still haven't decided what to do....I am so tired of making decisions...LOL


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Choose a darker grout to make it disappear against the tile. Picking up the darkest major color in the granite works well.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Both the systems mentioned above (Bennissimo and Bedrock Creations) are both good systems, as well as other similar systems. Their claims to fame are their edging systems, and all have good systems. I don't challenge that at all. Here's the problem. Unless you don't mind the edging being a bit off in shade from the tile, you also have to order the tile through them, which means paying their price for the tile (and neither one has what could be termed "discount" prices), as well as the shipping therefor. By the time you're done, the money you pay out, you might as well spring for no more than another couple hundred dollars, and get slab. Go to my countertops gallery, and you'll see several examples of bullnosed tiles pieces, all of which I bullnosed on site, including pieces for two sinks that got undermounted. No need for expensive "systems".

Here is a link that might be useful: My website's Countertops Gallery


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

I would also keep shopping. The original pricing you mentioned for standard slabs is well over $70 per square foot. Maybe you're in a small town with few fabricators who rip everyone off? That's ridiculous! Granite yards these days have a huge surplus of material because it has been over quarried before the economy tanked. Wholesale prices for lower priced slabs is like $8 per square foot here in Houston. Obviously that's wholesale and does not include fabrication/install. But $70+ ????? No way! I believe Lowe's offers granite options installed for the mid 30's psf. I'd keep looking. Don't be in a hurry and don't settle. I think you could find what you want. It might cost more than your tiles, but it shouldn't cost $4700.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our bungalow and kitchen remodel blog


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Part of the cost of granite fabrication is the cutouts, "special cuts", and, sometimes, travel and/or distance to take the slabs into the home (e.g., if they have to climb stairs it sometimes costs more)...so, if Kristine_2009 has any of these situations, her cost may be higher b/c of that...or it could be as simple as the fact that she perhaps live in a rural area where there are only one or two stoneyards and/or fabricators within a couple of hours drive (so, no real competition like LA or NY or other large metropolitan areas). Also remember there is additional shipping for those slabs b/c Kristine_2009 lives in the mid-west instead of on a coast (again, like LA, NY, even Houston) or even a major inland shipping route.

While all, some, or none of the above may be true, if Kristine_2009 has searched everywhere w/in a reasonable distance and that is the going price, all the naysaying we do here won't help her.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

But $70+ ????? No way! I believe Lowe's offers granite options installed for the mid 30's psf.

It all depends on where you live. Although I would never consider Lowes or HD for slab fabrication (because it's too hit or miss), I do know of a couple of places locally giving prices on premium stone (In particular blue, silver, and emerald pearl) of 55.00 a foot installed. That said, I've also heard of some places around the country charging extravagant prices. One person in here who posted a couple of years ago paid just under 300.00 a foot. I don't think you'll see a price like that right now, but in some areas, 85-100.00 a foot wouldn't surprise me. Your best bet, no amtter what area you're in, is go get a couple of other prices. Then you'll know for sure if you're in the ball park or not for your area.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Actually Lowes and HD are closer to $100/sq ft because the granite and the edge profile are priced separately. Quartz is $60 sq ft. The cheapest alternative I could find besides laminate is the plain solid surface colors start at $34.99 sq ft. I do live in a rural area in the middle of Iowa. I drove to Des Moines on Friday and went to several granite yards. I had high hopes for a place that said they get they had the lowest cost on granite because they get it direct from the quarry. They emailed me an estimate that was $4650. Even the granite overlay place was $70 sq ft. I really don't want laminate but so far all I can find is $30 countertops or $70...nothing in between. I found this place online http://www.lowcostgranitecounters.com/ which is in Iowa City. I am going to check them out next week. They are my last hope unless there is someone else on here from Iowa that knows of a place with decent pricing on granite. I am starting to consider concrete counters if this whole granite thing falls through for me.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

What edge are you going for? Even at HD or Lowes there should at least be a "standard" or "included in price" edge...usually straight. If you're going for Ogee, Bullnose, or other, yes, that will drive the price up quickly if you have a lot of countertop frontage (especially islands!). I know when we did our kitchen it was $25/foot for Ogee. We decided it wasn't worth the extra almost $1200 for the edge alone. We have approx 46 linear feet of countertop in the Kitchen (including both sides of the two peninsulas) plus the Powder Room. Other edges were even more expensive per foot.

If it's b/w a fancy edge and tile vs simple edge & slab, I would take the slab + simple edge. If that's not part of what's driving the price up, then it's a non-issue.

However, remember that anything you do outside of "standard" in tile will also cost you...both in materials AND labor (labor will probably be the higher of the two!)


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Granite tile is only a reasonable cost alternative if you DIY the install. By the time you pay labor for an install, especially if you're going with a specialty edging system, you're going to be the same price or higher than slab.

And the big problem with tiles IS the edge. Those specialty edge systems are expensive. Wood edges, or tile edges, well, they always look like an after thought to me. Maybe not to you. Maybe you're OK with that look.

One other alternative for edging is to have a tile shop bullnose the edge for you as Bill mentions. That's around $20 per tile, which isn't cheap, but if you're DIYing, it can still be less money than the specialty edges or slab. Or you can buy some equipment and do the bullnose edge yourself. That only works if you've got a pretty handy background and you think you'll end up using the tools again at some point. I'm a tool junkie, so I'm of the opinion that a quality tool purchase is never wasted! LOL! Besides, you can probably sell used on Ebay and recoup some of the cost.

As far as your slab prices coming in so costly, we need to find out what options you are getting upcharged for. Edge treatments can be $0, or $40 a linear foot, and it's the same granite. Around here, Emerald Pearl goes for around $60-$70 a square foot. Prefabbed slabs are available, but you have few choices for the color, and I have no confidence in the skills of the "fabricator" offering them. I'd frankly rather buy the prefab and do any of the cutting myself. At least I'd only have myself to blame for an ugly seam. I've seen some pretty horrid looking jobs that came from prefab granite, so I'm a bit leery of most. BTW, I'm in the South where things are a bit cheaper, but I'm not close to any major ports where the slabs are offloaded from the ships.

If you are doing a 4" backsplash, that gets charged as square footage too, so one strategy to save money is to eliminate that 4" in favor of a flat deck and do some type of decorative tile backsplash. Undermounting a sink wouldn't be an option to me, it'd be a must, but it's usually an upcharge of $200-$300. You'll have to buy a sink and faucet no matter what counter top you go with, so that's a static cost and shouldn't figure into your total.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

At HD today, they had a counter top dislpay using 18"x31" granite tiles specifically intended for counter tops. Using these, the only grout line are front to back. I think they had 6 colors. $10-$15 per sqft.

DW hated them....


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

I, have had tile granite, with edges made from the granite tile, and have had granite tile with bull nose edge. I, liked the flat edge, made out of the tile better. The edge you buy are costly. Could have almost had a slab. Which I, now do. And mine were close grout lines.Just did not like grout lines on my kitchen counter. It may not bother some. sharaz


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Kristine, I would suggest also going to look at others for pricing. We paid $2700 for 46 sf from a local warehouse, which comes to about $58 sqft. There are 3 or 4 different levels of granite, we went with the 3rd only because we wanted a specific color. Lowes had it cheaper, but the colors were not what we were looking for. You will be happy you went with granite, and I wouldn't suggest formica either, but in the end it depends on your budget.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Sreeb...those sound like tiles for backsplashes. Counters are approx 25-1/2" deep. Standard backsplash height is 18". However, those tiles could be cut for counters, but there would be quite a bit of waste and you need to have the right tools.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Bruehl, at the time I priced granite at HD and Lowes I was wanting an Ogee edge, at this point I would take whatever is standard. But..at the places I went to on Friday I asked for just the standard edge so there was no additional charge. Those were the ones that all came back around $70 sq ft.
I will call around tomorrow to some other cities and see if I could find a better deal.
Thanks everyone for your input. :)


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Even at HD or Lowes there should at least be a "standard" or "included in price" edge...usually straight.

It's a polished edge with eased corners.

One other alternative for edging is to have a tile shop bullnose the edge for you as Bill mentions. That's around $20 per tile, which isn't cheap, but if you're DIYing,

Actually, the price has come way down from that. Most places I know of will do it for about 1/2 that. I DO agree that it looks alot nicer, though.

Photobucket

Or you can buy some equipment and do the bullnose edge yourself.

Although there are guys over at John's forum that'll tell you how to do it, it can be an expensive learning curve. Just to buy the equipment will cost you about 550.00. Additionally, you really have to watch what you're doing. Work for too long on a section and the stone will heat up and crystalize, and then all you can do is start over with a new piece. You're better off to have the bullnosing done for you.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Beuhl, No they were intended for counters. They had a counter top example on an isle end showing them installed.

There is some wastage but you can overhang the front and meet the wall with no seams. The cut offs can be used on the front edge or back splash.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

I am considering granite tile for a bathroom and kitchen. Best Tile (national chain) has $9 AB tiles. The cost for our bathroom counter would be about $160 for tiles and supplies; benissimo system over $760; bedrock creations said the order is too small; local granite yard has a remnant they will fabricate but not install for $360; price for laminate over $300. I think we are going with the granite slab.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

local granite yard has a remnant they will fabricate but not install for $360

That'd be my choice.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Beuhl, No they were intended for counters. They had a counter top example on an isle end showing them installed.

There is some wastage but you can overhang the front and meet the wall with no seams. The cut offs can be used on the front edge or back splash.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

That brings up another question about the 24"x24" tiles. Since counters usually have 1-1/2" overhang, they wouldn't be enough to cover the depth of the counter. You'd have to have another grout line on the depth. Just something else to consider (as if you don't have enough!).


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

I've had granite tile for about 7 years. It's much better than the laminate I had.

However, I wouldn't to it again. Most tiles are completely level but there is one, naturally, right in the area I use for cutting that is ever so slightly not level. I'm not talking about much difference at all. When I try to cut anything, the plate or chopping board moves up and down.

The worst part is the grout lines. They are very small. I butted each tile against the other and didn't use spacers. On the part of the counter that I use the most, the grout is always oily looking and wipes out after a few months of cleaning. I have to re-grout that section a couple of times a year.


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

You'd have to have another grout line on the depth. Just something else to consider (as if you don't have enough!).

This is a problem with the 12x12's as well. If you look at the pic I posted up above, you'll see how I solved that problem. I "hid" the piece out front in plain sight. Instead of having the sliver in the back, I made 3" bullnose pieces as a "trim" accent to go all the way around the countertop. it works out well.

They are very small. I butted each tile against the other and didn't use spacers. On the part of the counter that I use the most, the grout is always oily looking and wipes out after a few months of cleaning. I have to re-grout that section a couple of times a year.

THANK YOU. Those of you who've been here a couple of years and seen me go through the arguments with people about why a small grout joint is needed, and that you can't butt the tiles together, this is the reason why. (or atleast the biggest of the several reasons)


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RE: Granite Tile Countertops anyone??

Can you tell me what the best backsplash options are for the kitchen Bill posted? The contractor said if I went with black tiles for the counters the backsplash should be the same but I can't see it in my mind.


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