Granite slabs, however, are quite pricey at $80 to $150 per square foot. Not everyone can afford a countertop at this price range but there is a very close alternative which is Granite Tiles that come at a fraction of the price.
What is Granite Tile?
Granite tiles are very sturdy and can last a very long time. It is also graced with luxurious patterns and designs to fit your kitchen motif. Granite tiles are cut from the same stone as granite slabs. The only difference is that they come in pre-cut shapes and sizes which can be between 12” X 12” and 24” X 24”.
What is Granite Slab?
Granite slabs are pieces of granite cut directly from the stone and custom fit to your kitchen or bathroom countertops. They are cut to size depending on your countertop dimensions which is why they are priced way higher than tiles.
Since granite slabs are cut in larger sizes, they can actually have more prominent and continuous patterns and designs. These patterns can make the slab unique to your kitchen and something you can call your own. Granite tiles, on the other hand, are cut in smaller pieces making them look more uniform in appearance.
Ease of Installation
Although granite slabs are significantly heavier and potentially delicate, they actually require one-time installation. With only a single piece to be fitted and secured it takes a much shorter time than tiles. It can be installed by multiple workers in one sitting. You’d also only need to look at one single piece to see if it was a job well done.
Granite tiles are on the other end of the spectrum. They are individually lighter than slabs. They can be installed by a single worker. Having to piece together several smaller pieces will take more time. You will also need to inspect each individual piece to make sure every tile is aligned to perfection. Tiles can also come with patterns that need to be artistically mixed and matched together to make your countertop have a more cohesive look. It’s going to need a sightly creative installer at least, to make this happen,
Granite slabs are cut to size and is considered the more premium material between the two. They can be priced at around $80 to $15o per square foot or higher.
Granite tiles come at a fraction of the price of even the cheapest granite slab. They are priced at $10 to $30 dollars per square foot. They are still cheaper even if you factor in labor. The cost will go down even further for homeowners who can install DIY. Granite tiles are also easier to transport which will bring down shipping costs.
Granite slabs are dense and very durable material. Coming from natural stone, they are not immune from any scratches, breaks, and chips. They still need to be handled properly. The durability of granite slabs come from the strength of the material itself.
Tile, however, is more dependent on the quality of the installation. Faulty installation due to poor workmanship or tight deadlines is the major cause of bubbles or air pockets underneath the tiles. This causes some areas of the tile to be unsupported and in return unable to support heavy weights.
Granite slabs have a more even and smoother surface compared to tiles. they can easily be wiped down as a single piece after use. They may need resealing but not too often. Once every 1 to 2 years is the recommended frequency.
Tiles have grout surrounding each individual piece. This makes the surface a little bit uneven. Grout can also accumulate debris, dirt, standing water, and other forms of kitchen residue. This might mean extra cleaning and extra maintenance in the long run.
Both materials are prone to stains, scratches, and even discoloration. These can be addressed through resealing, buffing, or a refinish job.
Permanent damage on a tile can mean extra work but not nearly as expensive as one on a granite slab. An individual can actually be replaced at a minuscule cost compared to slabs.
What’s the difference between a granite slab and granite tile?
Granite tiles and granite slabs are both taken from the same stone. Both can be elegantly designed and extremely durable. These are qualities that can match any kitchen or bathroom countertop needs. The aesthetic quality of both will always add value to your space.
For countertops, granite slabs are usually favored and highly recommended by builders and designers if you have the budget for it. It is considered the more premium material and is priced higher in the real estate market. Having a granite slab on your countertop will really boost property value.
Granite tiles can still be the value-added feature you are looking for if used properly. In the first place, it is still granite. With the right design and fit it can still make your kitchen pop. At a fifth of the cost.
What to choose for your countertop?
Any design is always limited by two things: your budget and your imagination. The budget is a harsh reality of everyday life and design that must be dealt with head-on to improve your chances of success. Not being honest with your financial capabilities on a project only leads to more problems. Your imagination though is up to you. You can hire professional help which leads you back full circle into your budget.
However, you are not necessarily getting the shorter end of the stick if your budget limits you to choosing granite tiles. Yes, slabs are more popular, premium, and pricier, but with a few strokes of genius and creativity, you can still build your dream kitchen. You are the captain of your kitchen.
Looking through dozens of slabs may be tedious. But when you look at this granite, your search may be over.
Your kitchen, your choice. For some people, a richer budget means more and better options. For other people, the tight budget may be just what they need to trigger that creative spark.
If you’re still not sure, reach out to Granite Selection. We are a leading supplier of natural stone in the Chicagoland area with over 14,000 natural stone slabs in stock. We service the surrounding 70-mile area of Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Give us a call at (888) 906 3317 and we’ll be happy to provide your natural stone needs.
Paul Batashev is the owner and CEO of Granite Selection. The company began in 2011 Pay Less for Granite and has been transforming homes since 2011 with its expertise as a kitchen countertop company and manufacturer of fine custom granite countertops.