Granite Countertops Color Selection, Installation, Cost Estimate
Granite Countertop Information
Granite for granite countertops usually comes from Italy, China, or South America in over a hundred different color patterns. Granite is a dimension stone with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern. These variations, referred to as “movement”, are the source of its natural beauty. Also, keep in mind that the veining in the granite can effect color perception. Sometimes different grains occurring in the same slab will make the slabs appear to be different colors. Mineral concentrations in granite varies somewhat within any given color and pattern, and may produce patches that appear darker or lighter. If you need more than one slab to complete your countertops, you should use slabs cut from the same large granite block. Even a single granite slab will have color variations from one end to the other. These variations gives your kitchen countertop or vanity its unique character making it slightly different from any other type of countertop.
Selecting the Granite Slabs for Your Countertops
Because of the many new colors and variations in the grain in each granite slab, we recommend that you take the time to select the slabs for your countertops. You may personally visit the warehouse here in Elberton, Georgia or in Greenville, South Carolina to select the exact slabs. We will escort you through the granite slab warehouse where you can choose the best granite slab for your countertops. That is the only way to make sure you get exactly what you want. While color options are numerous, it's usually best to choose a specimen that is stocked locally because of the cost difference. If a slab has to be special-ordered, the freight would be prohibitive and the lead-time could be several weeks. In addition, you would have to agree to accept the color and markings sight unseen. If you just do not have the time to come to the showroom, you can view the slabs over the internet and select your slab. The slabs you will see are not examples, but the actual slabs available in the showroom.
Granite Countertops Installation
Standard granite countertops usually cost $45-75 per square foot installed, depending on the type of granite selected and the difficulty of installation. Granite Countertop installation and fabrication costs can significantly affect the final price of your new granite countertops. Generally, the more complex the shape of the countertop and particularly the shape of the finished countertop edges, the higher the price will be. Fortunately, a standard polished edge makes an excellent appearance and most customers choose this standard. Occasionally, a customer will want a custom granite countertop edge pattern, possibly to match the edge to detailing on the cabinetry, and this can also be done. (Click here to see available edge designs) Granite countertops are usually polished to a high gloss finish. The price of the granite countertop includes the cost of transportation, making field measurements and templates, cutting, polishing, delivery, and final installation. The total material required is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. The fabricator will try to lay out each job so as to minimize waste yet maximize the natural beauty of the veining and pattern. Keep in mind that sink, cook top or waste from curved cutouts are counted in the square footage cost.
Granite Countertop Site Preparation
On new construction, the base cabinets must be permanently anchored in place before a template can be made. On a remodel project, existing tops may need to be removed prior to measurement. Any sinks, faucets, cook tops, or any other items that requires a cutout or a hole in the top must be on site and readily available at the time the template is made. The fabricator may need to take some items with him to complete the fabrication.
Please note that any delay in acquiring the accessories may also delay the installation. The countertop installer will not normally be responsible for connecting of dishwashers, cook tops, or plumbing, and no changes can be made once the installer takes his measurements and makes the template. The one exception is that we will mount sinks purchased from Bradford Granite Company, Inc. All cuts are final; it is impossible to reattach a piece of granite that has been cut from the slab. Additionally, once the granite is glued in place on the cabinets, moving it is very difficult and risks damaging the cabinets. When the installer returns to install the granite countertops, the old countertops and any built-in appliances must be removed and out of the way. The countertop installer is not responsible for moving appliances or removing the old countertops.
Calculating the Approximate Cost of Your Countertops
The cost estimate worksheet represents a kitchen countertop area to give you a visual idea of how to measure and calculate the square footage to get an estimated area of your countertops. Your application may be somewhat different but you will be able to relate it to your kitchen countertops or bath vanities. The main idea is to understand the standard depth of the countertops is 26”, plus the back splash, and to know that cutouts like a sink or a rounded bar top will be included in the cost. If you have these measurements, you can figure the approximate square feet of granite it will take for your project. Granite prices are quoted by the square foot and each color or pattern will vary in price. The more figure in the granite and the harder it is to find, the more it costs. Installed prices should run $45-75 per square foot.
After you calculate the square feet of countertop space, and select a color we can give you the cost per square foot of the selected granite and you will have an approximate cost for the installation with standard edges. Remember, this is just an estimate and an installer will come to your home to calculate the exact square footage before he begins work. Taller splashes, fancy edges or special cuts will make the cost greater.
Cleaning Granite Countertops
Granite is a very durable stone and for the most part is carefree, but as a natural product there are some helpful suggestions that will keep your granite looking like the day it was installed.
Everyday cleaning of the granite surface should be done with simple dishwashing soaps, rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry the countertop completely using a clean dry cloth.
Don’t use anything on the countertops that you would not use on your hands. Do not use vinegar or anything that may contain ammonia (e.g. Windex), bleach (e.g. Clorox), or specialty bathroom, tile or grout or cleaners that may contain acids. These chemicals could have a bleaching or etching effect on some of the minerals in the stone.
Do not use any type of cleanser since the abrasives in the cleanser over time will remove the final polish from the stone making appear dull. Other items that could be detrimental to any stone’s surface are citric acids, oils, wine and ink. The effect is not permanent in granite but could be in other types of stone such as marble or travertine since they are calcium carbonate based.
Clean up spills as quickly as possible using a blotting technique instead of wiping to avoid spreading the spilled substance. Use soap and water to clean the area, rinse the soap off then dry with a clean cloth.
Remember for everyday cleaning, dishwashing soap and water is all that is needed and making certain that the surface is dried with a clean cloth. There are specialty daily granite cleaning solutions available if you desire to have something specifically designed for granite.
Bradford Granite Company, Inc. is a full service granite company. We specialize in supplying granite monuments and memorials, and fabrication and installation of granite countertops for homes and businesses. We provide granite countertop installation in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Northern Florida including Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Savannah, Gainesville, Macon, Jacksonville, Greenville, Charlotte, Charleston, Columbia, Birmingham, Montgomery, and other cities in the Southeastern United States. Retail and Wholesale Granite monuments and memorials are shipped to anywhere in the country. Call 706-283-7824 or e-mail our Sales Department.