Countertop Costs Depend on the Grade of Granite You Choose

by Team HomeServe
Stacks of different color granite slabs at a warehouse

Generally speaking, where countertops are concerned, there are three levels of granite to choose from. The grade is determined by rarity and is based on elements like colors, veins, pitting, markings, thickness, the amount of soft materials it contains and the granite’s country of origin.

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These grades range in price from dozens to hundreds of dollars per square foot, so it likely matters to your budget which one you pick.

Understanding the different grades of granite and their respective price ranges will help you better plan for your countertop project. Here’s a breakdown of the individual costs of the three major grades of granite. Some retailers will sell even higher grades — up to six or seven. Keep in mind that installation adds another $10 to $50 (CAD 14 to CAD 68) per square foot.

Level 1

$50 to $80 (CAD 68 to CAD 109) per square foot

  • Considered entry-level, “commercial” or “builder’s grade”
  • Often prefabricated and found mostly in apartments, prefab models or even furniture
  • Tends to be thinner — usually about 3/8 inch (1 centimeter) thick
  • May require plywood backing for additional strength
  • Has a simpler design and contains more common colors
  • Typically imported from China and found at granite liquidators or big-box stores

Level 2

$80 to $150 (CAD 109 to CAD 204) per square foot

  • Considered mid-grade
  • Thicker than Level 1, measuring 3/4 inch (2 centimeters) thick, on average
  • Colors and designs tend to be rarer than what you'd find in Level 1 granite
  • Tends to be imported from India or Brazil

Level 3

$150 to $250 (CAD 204 to CAD 340) per square foot

  • Considered high-grade or “exotic” granite
  • Tends to be rarer in appearance and source and can have more uncommon colors as well as veins and patterns
  • Average thickness of at least 3/4 inch (2 centimeters)
  • Tend to contain noticeable amounts of both hard and soft materials
  • Generally imported from India or Brazil

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