Types & Grades of Granite Countertops
September 11, 2022 | Countertop, Granite Countertops, Kitchen Countertops, Quartz Countertops
Ever wondered why granite has different grades and prices when used commonly in countertops in a residential or commercial building? Granite can be an affordable option when it comes to redesigning large home spaces like kitchens, offices, and bathrooms, but it can get expensive depending on the granite you choose. If you want to understand why granite countertops are so popular, you have to know what granite is, where it comes from, and what its properties are.
Granite is one of the oldest and hardest igneous rocks in the world, believed to have formed over 300 million years ago. Since the beginning of the stone age, we have been using granite to our advantage because of its immense strength and abundance. Besides being radioactive and platonic, granite is also found deep in the earth, so we'll talk about some of the factors that determine granite grade. It's possible to get granite from all over the world. It's hard to ship granite, especially overseas, because granite is a heavy material. So the closer granite comes to you, the cheaper it's going to be. But it doesn't always mean that a granite slab from India is that much cheaper than one from Brazil or Italy. When it comes to price, there are many different factors outside of just the distance traveled, which factors in. These include things like the stone's origin, its current market value, whether it's new or old stock, as well as how many slabs of that stone are being ordered at that time by fabricators and installers in your area.
The visual appearance of the stone also matters. Granite can be cheap if it's imported from countries where it's abundant, easy to extract, and has a simpler look with darker colors. These stones are lighter colored, harder to extract because of the mountainous terrain, and have beautiful stone patterns, making them more expensive than those from Italy or Brazil. Ultimately, the price of a granite slab depends largely on its aesthetic value. Because granite is heavy, many manufacturers prefer to cut it into thinner slabs because it's so heavy. Thickness also determines the grade of the stone. If a granite countertop isn't an inch thick, then it's highly questionable when it comes to durability. Industry standards always recommend a slab thickness of an inch and a quarter when buying a granite countertop. Anything less might lead you to believe that you are getting a lesser quality stone, but a thicker slab will give you peace of mind knowing that you're getting one of the highest quality available. Last but not the least, supply and demand changes due to seasons also affect granite slab prices. Believe it or not, some types of granite stone are also very seasonal. In the countertops industry, the monsoon season usually causes delays in extracting stones from quarries. This creates a heavy demand in the market, and slab prices can vary due to this high demand. So now that you know the different grades and prices of granite countertops, let’s find out how we can determine what level of granite is right for you
Usually called level one, standard grade or commercial grade granite, this type of granite is typically sourced from India or Brazil, and is usually found in remodeled apartments and condominium buildings. A level 1 granite is not a bad stone for a countertop. Level one granites usually portray simple designs and basic colors. Level one granites are the best option for you if you are looking for simple and affordable countertop options.
Level two granites are imported from Brazil and India. At this level, there are more colors and patterns to choose from, so a single-family home or a commercial building might prefer it. Granite countertops at level two are perfect for any home or business because of their strength, visual appearance, and durability.
We'll finish with level-three granite or luxury-grade granite. In addition to its unique appearance, luxury-grade granite is also very limited in availability and can only be found in a few special areas around the world. These granites are often on display in luxury hotel lobbies and luxury commercial buildings. The biggest exporters of level-three granite are Italy and India.
No matter what the grade of granite stone, it's a classic stone that looks great in any room. It's heat, stain, and crack-resistant when you seal it. The difference between granite grades is the rarity of colors, patterns, and origins, and the higher the grade, the more unique the stone looks. Now that you know the differences in grades and types of granite, you can pick the one that's right for you!