Choosing a countertop material for your home can feel impossible if you don't have all the correct information. Are you considering installing granite countertops in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry space but don't know how much it weighs? Does heavier granite mean it's better quality?
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Lucky for you, we've done plenty of digging and have these answers (and others) below. Let's discuss!
You can generally expect a standard 3/4 inch thick granite slab to weigh about 13 pounds per square foot. Furthermore, if granite is closer to 1 1/4 inches thick, it should be 18 to 20 pounds per square foot.
On top of that, granite as thick as two inches can weigh upwards of 30 pounds per square foot, requiring a sturdy foundation beneath it.
As we begin, we will cover all things granite countertops and discuss how much a slab should weigh. Whether you're renovating, building your dream home, or need inspiration, we're here to assist. With that said, let's jump right into this topic!
How Much Does A Typical Granite Countertop Weigh?
For those wanting to plan out their granite counters, you can usually expect it to weigh 13 pounds for every square foot. As we mentioned above, figuring your granite is around 3/4 inches thick, which is what tends to be standard in homebuilding.
If you opt for a higher-end, heavier option, you could deal with an 18-20 pounds per square foot countertop. Of course, if your structure beneath is sturdy, more weight shouldn't pose any issues, so make sure to have that built well.
Considering how popular granite is for the kitchen and bathroom, choosing this type of counter can be a great long-term investment.
Moreover, granite tends to stand up against everyday wear and tear, with thicker varieties being the hardiest. Again, you don't necessarily "need" to have two-inch thick granite counters to get good quality, but generally, the thicker your stone, the better it will age.
Even compromising in the middle with a 1 1/4 inch granite counter could be worth it, as this should weigh about 19 pounds per square foot on average.
Another interesting fact is that darker granite tends to be heavier than lighter options, so keep that in mind while shopping.
How Thick Should My Granite Countertop Be?
According to industry standards, a granite countertop should be around 1 1/4 inches thick.
However, most builders and designers tend to try and cut costs by installing granite closer to 3/4 inches thick, so that's what we see in most new builds/apartments.
Also, this can depend on the room you're in. For example, Marble And Granite explain how it's more common to see 3/4 inch thick kitchen countertops, while the bathrooms should be 1 1/4 inches thick.
You also want to consider the structural integrity of your cabinets or vanity. If yours isn't built to hold more than 13-15 pounds per square foot, we don't recommend choosing granite thicker than 3/4 inches.
As we mentioned, the thicker the counter, the hardier it is: but that doesn't mean putting your underlying structure at risk.
The best thing here is to speak with an experienced professional. Moreover, we may feel like experts in the granite world; having a conversation with a specialist can be beneficial.
On top of that, every space is unique, so you may not need to spend the extra money on thicker granite to achieve the same look and feel.
How Thin Can A Granite Countertop Be?
For anyone wanting to spend less money on their granite counters, you can purchase options as thin as one inch. Companies like Polycor offer one-inch thick, reinforced granite and marble slabs to prevent cracking and damage.
As we said, using a thinner countertop can be cost-effective but won't always give you the same quality as thicker, heavier stones.
However, that's not to say thinner counters will always be poor quality.
For example, Polycor promises their ultra-thin marble and granite designs can handle the excess weight with ease, even going as far as having a pro football player jump up and down on one.
Check out this promotional video showing their counter's strength on YouTube below:
So, you can see how even a thinner, more cost-effective countertop can be sufficient for your home. Again, we recommend staying around 3/4 inches, but if not, try Polycor!
What Is The Thickest Granite Countertop I Can Use?
One of the thickest granite countertop options will come around two inches thick. As we covered above, these counters are great for long-term usage and tend to weigh about 30 pounds per square foot.
In general, you don't want to purchase granite thicker than two inches (if you can find it), as this puts way too much pressure on your cabinets/structure below.
The last thing you want to do is introduce foundation cracking in your house, all for an obnoxiously thick granite countertop design.
Considering the industry standard is closer to 3/4 inches, your countertops don't need to be much thicker to last.
It's also worth noting that super thick counters can be bulky, which doesn't always look good on top of cabinetry or a vanity.
How Much Does Granite Cost?
Figuring that your contractor/builder offers you granite pricing per square foot, expect to pay between $40 and $100 per square foot.
Typically, you can find granite for closer to $40 if you follow the 3/4 inch thick industry standard, which is why so many people choose a moderately wide countertop.
It's also imperative to remember you're buying a slab of granite, not individual tiles. Therefore, spending a lump sum on your countertop is expected rather than piecing it together over time.
Furthermore, you also want to consider your granite's color and quality. Generally, deeper shades of this stone will be heavier and more expensive.
Luckily, most designers incorporate lighter, brighter granite into the home, as this is what's currently in style. Of course, this comes down to your aesthetic, so following trends can save you some money this time around.
According to USA Marble & Granite, the average granite counter costs between $2,250 and $4,500, so this is not a cheap addition.
You also want to estimate the labor and shipping, which can add hundreds if not thousands of dollars to your final quote/bill.
What Is The Most Expensive Granite You Can Buy?
Blue granite will be the most expensive option for those who prefer a lavish lifestyle.
Considering this type of granite costs five times the average color, you can expect to cough up thousands of dollars to incorporate it into your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry space.
According to Granite Tops Pro, 'Bahia Blue' and 'Sodalight Blue' are the most expensive blue tone variations of granite you can purchase, so keep an eye out for them if you're interested.
Any "exotic" granite countertop colors will cost you the most. Like anything, the rarer the design or material, the more pricey it will be, so this can quickly become a major financial undertaking.
You will also need to consider the thickness of your counters, so if you want blue granite and super thick countertops, you could spend upwards of $10,000.
What Is The Best Countertop Material?
One of the best countertop materials is granite. Besides being sturdy and affordable, granite comes in endless colors and designs, making it a top choice among homeowners and builders.
Other popular choices include marble, quartz, tile, and stone. Of course, these have unique benefits, but granite generally ranks highest.
On the other hand, quartz does give granite a run for its money in terms of durability.
Besides being a bit cheaper because it's synthetic, quartz can handle everyday wear and tear extremely well, as it's made with crushed quartz stone mixed with polymers and resin.
Marble is another big competitor for granite, as it falls into the luxury countertop category.
However, marble isn't always durable long-term and tends to become stained and chipped much easier than granite or quartz designs.
So, if you're stuck between these various materials, we would say granite or quartz is your best bet.
What Is The Easiest Countertop Material To Maintain?
Laminate countertops will be the easiest to clean/manage when it comes to easy maintenance. According to experts, you don't need more than soap and water to clean laminate surfaces, making this an incredibly easy material to maintain.
In addition, quartz countertops have a similar low-stress maintenance routine, so these are the best in terms of cleaning requirements.
That said, natural stone can be trickier to maintain and damage-free, so granite will require additional precautions.
So, if you need to clean granite, make sure to use a soft cloth, ammonia-free products, and try to wipe down your counters whenever you cook on them.
Sometimes, the prettier and more expensive the stone or surface material, the more challenging it will be to clean and upkeep, so remember this while shopping.
It's also a good habit to utilize cutting boards and other prep-style mats/boards whenever you cook on a granite/natural stone countertop to prevent staining and damage altogether.
The gentler your cleaning products and methods, the better your granite will age and look long-term.
To Tie It All Together
Whether you have granite countertops throughout your house or want to install them, knowing how much they'll cost and weigh is essential. We found that granite counters come in three main thicknesses: 3/4 inch, 1 1/4 inch, and two inches thick.
These counters will typically weigh between 13 and 30 pounds, so this can dramatically vary depending on how thick of a design you go with.
On top of that, moderately thick granite will cost much less than slabs that are two inches, which might set you back upwards of $5,000-$10,000.
Regardless, consult with your contractor before making any decisions, and don't be afraid to try alternative materials, like quartz or laminate, if you want something easy to clean!
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