20 years ago, I was installing granite for about $100 per square foot (PSF)…and today the average price is less than $75! Trends have an impact on many things, and the more stone is used, the more changes in shipping, mining and fabrication lower the cost. That’s not the only change in counter prices – people used to say “we don’t have the budget for granite so we are going to use Corian”… funny, Corian is now typically more expensive than many natural stones. The newer product trying to take more market share in counters is quartz… so here is a current retail guide on pricing.
Granite and Marble: Priced from $40 to over $200 per square foot installed. What makes the difference is really not that complicated. First is supply and demand – the more abundant the stone mixed with good demand and the price drops. Quality is a factor, and if you look at a lot of stone you can start to see why one “lot” of a certain color will be amazing next to another “lot” that is mediocre, but that is quality on the gem side of the equation, and good gemology equals higher prices. Some of the more abundant stones are actually better in serviceable quality- meaning it is stronger, less porous and with less imperfections, so if you are not the type of person looking for that “just so piece” you can probably find something nice in the $65 per square foot range. The benefit of Granite is that is that every piece is somewhat unique- just the way God intended. There is an array of colors and movement so there is usually a winner for everyone. It is durable (mostly) , however lighter colored stones are prone to stains- so if that white marble kitchen is what you want- keep the sealer handy and the red wine in hand.
Quartz: We sell Cambria, Silestone and Caesar Stone… and I know there are a few more, but these are the main players. Cambria has taken the one price fits all approach, and they keep the cost in line by trying to have the volume move through fewer hands. All of Cambria’s collection sells for about $76 PSF with a simple edge treatment. Silestone and Caesar Stone have a range of ingredients that change the pricing and products that offer recycled materials and matt finishes. The low is going to be in the $75PSF category and some of the sliced geodes produced by Caesar Stone are in the” if you have to ask category” (over $500PSF). The pros are that quartz products are maintenance light… no sealing required! And are non-porous- making them a green choice for a healthier environment. Also, quartz products are more uniform and predictable for color… just make sure that you take the time to visit your slab if you are looking at some of the new colors that have movement, the slabs do differ.