At Superior Stone & Cabinet, we’re known for our granite countertops. We sell and install both slab and prefabricated granite, and we have one of the largest selections of high-quality granite in the Valley. If you’re looking for new granite countertops for your home or business, Superior is the place to go. Or, call us to schedule a free in-home estimate. We’d love to work with you on your kitchen or bathroom remodeling vision.

Everything you need to know about granite countertops

In the eyes of many homeowners, granite remains the definitive “stone” countertop. Durable, beautiful, and practical, granite countertops are enduringly popular. Many homeowners will be remodeling their kitchens and bathrooms this year, and many of them will go with granite.

This article will get into the details and break down everything there is to know about granite, from their cost to their post-installation maintenance and upkeep. By reading this article, you should be able to make an informed decision ahead of your own kitchen remodel.

See our infographic

Granite Countertop Colors

The colors found in granite have everything to do with how it’s formed and where it comes from. Granite is natural stone, cut from quarries around the world. It’s igneous, which means it’s a byproduct of volcanic activity. As the magma slowly cools, it hardens into stone. The exact nature of this process differs from location to location, which is what gives granite its variety.

No two slabs of granite are exactly the same, as that would require the magma that formed it to have cooled in precisely the same way. This is one of the appealing things about granite: your countertop truly is one-of-a-kind.

Depending on where it’s quarried, granite can come in a wide variety of colors. These include earthy tones like beiges and browns, but also whites, blacks, blues, and even pink or coral varieties.

It’s important to note that the options aren’t exactly endless: with granite, you’re limited to those colors produced through natural processes. This is different from quartz countertops, which—due to their manufacturing process—can be made to look like just about anything, in nearly any color.

Related Article: Everything You Need To Know About Quartz Countertops

Granite Countertop Prices

Once considered a luxury item, the increased number of stone quarries worldwide has brought the price of granite down significantly. According to data collected by HomeAdvisor, most homeowners pay about $2,000 to $3,000 for new granite countertops.

They’re generally less expensive than marble and about as expensive as most quartz varieties—although high-end quartz can end up costing much more than high-end granite!

Related Article: Your Countertops Buyer’s Guide: Granite, Quartz, Butcher Block & More

Slab Vs. Prefabricated Granite

If you’re comparing the cost of granite countertops, you might see two words coming up again-and-again: “slab” and “prefabricated.” Slab granite is exactly what it sounds like: you’re buying an uncut, unadulterated slab of stone that you’ll then need to have prefabricated and cut to the dimensions of your kitchen. When you buy prefabricated granite, you’re just skipping a few of those steps: the granite comes pre-cut and pre-fabricated for common kitchen dimensions.

Related Article: Granite Slab Versus Prefabricated Granite—Which Is Better?

You’ll typically see that prefabricated granite is less expensive than slab granite. Unless you need highly customized pieces—such as you would use for a kitchen island—prefabricated granite might be a good way to lower the cost of installation. Talk to your contractor about your options on this front.

Granite Countertop Pros & Cons

Just like quartz, granite has its pros and cons. Here’s what you need to know about granite countertops before you buy:

Why buy granite?

  • Granite is durable and long-lasting. Granite is an incredibly hard material, which means it stands up to cuts, drops, and just about any other type of damage you can do to it. As long as you don’t go out of your way to damage your countertops, they should last for many, many years.
  • Granite is beautiful. There’s a certain unmatched beauty to natural stone and its unique veining. If you’re all about the look of stone, then you’ll want to go with granite.
  • Granite is heat-resistant. Your kitchen countertops aren’t just there to look nice. They also need to be practical. Granite is heat-resistant, which means hot pots and pans can go directly on the surface without damaging the countertop.

Potential downside of granite

  • Absorbs moisture. Granite is a porous stone. If you don’t clean up spills quickly, they could potentially stain the countertop. To prevent this, you’ll need to regularly reseal your countertops. We’ve included more on this below.
  • Limited colors. As mentioned above, granite countertops only come in as many colors and styles as there are in nature. While this still represents a wide spectrum of colors and options, quartz may have the more precise look you had in mind.
  • Maintenance required. Unlike quartz countertops, granite regularly needs to be resealed to lock out moisture and protect the stone’s surface.

Granite Countertop Maintenance

Like all countertops, granite requires some care and attention. Here’s how to best maintain granite countertops so they retain their beauty for many years to come.

Cleaning granite countertops

This one’s relatively straightforward. Simply take a washcloth, paper towel, or sponge, and use it to wash the countertop with a small amount of soap and water. There’s no need for special cleaning chemicals—in fact, unless you’re using a product specifically marketed for granite, it’s better to be safe-than-sorry and avoid using spray cleaners.

Related Article: How You Can Keep Your Granite Looking Brand-New

Resealing granite countertops

Granite needs to be resealed every so often to restore the protective layer that keeps moisture—and stains—from getting into the stone. How often does granite need to be resealed? Ideally, you should reseal your countertops every 6-12 months: more often if you use your kitchen regularly to cook and prep food, and less often if you only use it every so often.

The good news here is that resealing your granite countertops is incredibly easy. You’ll need to start by removing everything from the countertop, and then thoroughly wiping them clean with a sponge, soap, and water. Then, apply the store bought granite resealer using the instructions on the bottle. Typically, you’ll just wipe this on and give it about 15-30 minutes to dry.

Granite countertop heat resistance

As mentioned above, granite is a heat-resistant material. Most homeowners put hot pots and pans right on its surface without any long-term problems. However, there are limitations here: long-term exposure to heat—such as that from an open flame or an appliance—can damage or weaken granite. However, such incidents are relatively rare.

If you’re regularly putting hot objects onto your granite’s surface, you’ll probably need to reseal your granite more often (every six months) than less. That’s because heat can wear down the protective layer faster.

Granite countertop sun resistance

In most cases, it’s okay to install granite outside, where it’ll be exposed to sunlight. This makes it an ideal choice for built-in grills or countertop seating. Unlike quartz—which can be damaged by sunlight—granite doesn’t typically fade or discolor when exposed to UV rays.

However, double-check that the sealing product you’re using will stand up to intense sunlight.

Where can I find granite countertops near me?

If you’re just starting out, your best bet is to begin your search at local wholesalers. Granite countertop wholesalers—like us!—directly import their granite from the quarries, which means they cut out the pricey middlemen most retailers and contractors deal with. This means you get high-quality granite for a whole lot less than you’d pay otherwise.

There’s another big benefit to working with a wholesaler: selection. Since they buy and sell in bulk, direct importers have an incentive to maintain a wide, diverse selection of countertops on-site. That means more color and style options for your kitchen (or bathroom).

Plus, many wholesalers also import cabinets, flooring, backsplashes, and other accessories, so you can shop for everything your kitchen needs in one place, potentially bundling products together.

Comparing granite quotes

Buying granite involves more than just accepting the lowest bid. Consider the following:

  • What does the price include? Does your quote for new countertops include the cost of fabrication or installation? Make sure you’re comparing oranges-to-oranges when you compare quotes.
  • Is the granite high-quality? There are three different grades of granite: 1, 2, and 3. The first is low-quality granite, suitable for apartments, condos, and some commercial applications. The second is mid-quality granite. The third grade includes high-end granite and high-quality stone. Generally speaking, stick to grades 2 and 3.
  • What is their selection? Low prices don’t matter if the contractor or retailer doesn’t have a wide selection of granite for you to choose from. Make sure their selection has what you’re looking for in your new kitchen.

Your guide to buying new granite countertops

There’s a reason why so many homeowners install granite in their kitchens. If you’re planning your remodel, you really need to give granite some strong consideration.

Check out our new infographic to learn more about granite and what makes it the right fit for your project:

This infographic details everything homeowners need to know about granite countertops, from their cost to available colors.

How can I remodel my kitchen for less?

Many homeowners will think and talk about remodeling their kitchen for years before taking action. It’s not hard to see why they hesitate: kitchen renovations can be a costly and complex project. Understandably, homeowners have a lot of questions. Where do I start? Do I need to save ten thousand dollars, or twenty? Is there a way to remodel my kitchen for less?

In this article, we’ll attempt to demystify the cost of kitchen remodels by exploring several ways to lower the cost of your project without sacrificing quality. We’ll also review some ways to potentially fund your kitchen remodeling plans.

What is the average cost of a new kitchen?

According to data collected by HomeAdvisor, the average homeowner spends between $75 and $150 per-square-foot on their kitchen remodel. For a 100 square-foot kitchen, that means your total costs will land somewhere between $7,500 and $15,000.

However, many American kitchens are larger than 10×10—some of them, significantly!—which is why the average homeowner ends up spending a little over $25,000 on their kitchen remodeling project.

If you’re grimacing at that number, you’re not alone. Keep in mind that figure represents the average, which means it takes into account both high-cost luxury renovations and kitchen remodels involving significant floor plan changes. As we’ll review in this article, by finding the right deals on high-quality materials, you can keep your total costs down and maximize your return on investment (ROI).

Is it worth doing a kitchen renovation?

Generally speaking, yes! Kitchen remodels are the king of home remodeling projects for a reason. They have a relatively high ROI and add significant, long-term value to your property. Many kitchen remodels can actually end up ultimately paying for themselves in the property value they add.

If you’re thinking about either selling your home or turning it into a rental, a kitchen remodel is a must-have project. Many of the homes yours will be listed next to will have upgraded kitchens; if yours does not, you could be a significant competitive disadvantage. Ask just about any homebuyer (or realtor): kitchens are a major selling point. After all, for many families, it’s the central nexus of life in the home.

Of course, a kitchen remodel isn’t just a matter of calculating ROI and cold numbers. You deserve a kitchen you can enjoy. If your outdated kitchen is starting to take the joy out of cooking or baking, it might be time for a change—even if your remodel doesn’t net a 100% ROI.

What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?

Most homeowners will spend approximately half of their total remodeling budget on new kitchen countertops and cabinets. It’s not hard to see why: high-quality countertops and cabinets are expensive, and their cost scales up with the overall size of your kitchen. A larger kitchen, for instance, doesn’t need two sinks, or two ovens. It does, however, need a lot more cabinets and countertops, which adds to your project’s total overhead.

Just how much you’ll end up paying for new countertops and cabinets is largely dependent on the square footage of your kitchen. However, the type of material matters, too. Marble, for instance, is very expensive—perhaps prohibitively so for most homeowners (it’s also a poor choice for kitchens for other reasons). Laminate or plastic countertops are very cheap, but won’t give your home quite the value boost you’re looking for.

The two most-popular countertop materials—granite and quartz—fall between these two extremes. Both are relatively expensive, but they also are durable, long-lasting, and add significant value to your remodel. In other words, they’re often well worth their higher upfront cost.


What should you look for in materials?

In this video, a construction expert talks about what she looked for when buying countertops and cabinets for her own home.


Where should I save money on my kitchen remodel?

To save money on your kitchen remodel, put the work into finding high-quality materials at wholesale, bulk-order, or direct importer prices. Most granite and quartz comes from the same mines around the world, so the final price you pay is often more a reflection of how many middlemen were involved in the process. Buy from companies that cut out those middlemen, and you’ll likely be able to shave a couple thousand dollars off the total price you’ll pay for materials.

Along those same lines, you may be able to score a great deal if you’re willing to compromise on color or style. Many remodeling contractors or stores will run specials on granite or quartz countertops they’ve overstocked, or cabinets left over from other projects. If you’re not picky—or you’re remodeling a property to either rent it out or flip it—you might be able to cut your costs further by going with what’s on sale.

Two areas where you don’t want to make compromises: the quality of the materials and installation. Trying to find shortcuts here is playing with fire: you’re liable to get burned.

How can I afford a kitchen remodel?

While it’s probably the best and easiest option, not every homeowner pays for a kitchen remodel out of their savings account. Here are some other ways homeowners can pay for remodeling projects:

  • Cash-Out Refinancing: With today’s lower mortgage rates, many homeowners are planning to refinance their home. When you do so, you can convert some of your home’s equity to cash to be used for home improvements—especially those that add long-term value.
  • Home Equity Loans: This type of loan is financed by the equity in your house, and can be used to complete value-boosting home improvement projects. Basically, the idea is that you’re borrowing from your equity to add further future equity to the property.
  • Home Improvement Loans: Many financial institutions, including your local banks and credit unions, offer loans specifically designed for home improvement projects. These loans have a higher interest rate than home equity loans, but are ideal for homeowners who don’t want to tap into their home’s equity or use it as loan collateral.

Always talk to your financial planner or advisor before you move forward with any of these options. After all, everyone’s financial situation is different.

Your countertops buyer’s guide: granite, quartz, butcher block, and more

Planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel? In addition to picking out new cabinets, lighting, appliances, and flooring, you have a crucial decision ahead of you: your new countertops. Finding the right countertop for your kitchen or bathroom is no easy task! There’s a lot to consider—cost, durability, and look—and you need to find a countertop that matches your larger plans for your kitchen. In this countertops buyer’s guide, we’ll walk you through your countertop options and what you need to think about ahead of selecting a particular material and style.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to go it alone! By working with a design professional, you can get advice and guidance tailored to your individual project. Let’s dive further into our countertops buyer’s guide.

Call Superior to learn more about your kitchen backsplash options here in the Valley.

Set your budget

Before you kick off your kitchen or bathroom remodel, it’s a good idea to know much you’re willing to spend, and what your cut-off point is. While your total project budget is going to be mostly dependent on the size of your kitchen or bathroom, your material choices will also have an impact.

When looking at materials, take detailed notes on prices. Even subtle differences could really add up. A countertop that costs just a few more dollars per-square-foot could end up costing hundreds of dollars extra to install. If you can work backwards and know your budget in advance, it’ll help you narrow down your options and hone in on affordable—yet high-quality—materials.

Sizing your kitchen

If you don’t know what size of kitchen you have, now’s the time to find out. This will help you price out everything and get quotes for your project.

Our recommendation? Talk to a design professional and get a free in-home estimate for your remodeling project. As part of this process, they’ll take detailed measurements of your kitchen or bathroom for you. Plus, this quote can serve as your baseline for comparing the relative price of different countertops against one another.

Find the right material

Before you start thinking about colors and styles, try to settle on a type of countertop. Not only will this impact your choices, but it will also help frame your design decisions.

Here’s an overview of the most popular countertop materials, along with their pros and cons.

Granite Countertops

Beautiful and durable, granite has long been the material of choice for kitchen remodels. It’s not hard to see why: granite is naturally heat-resistant and stands up to accidental cuts and scrapes. In a busy kitchen, it endures, surviving years of wear-and-tear that might otherwise age a different type of countertop.

While not as stain-resistant as quartz, or available in quite as many colors, there are good reasons why granite remains the top choice for most homeowners.

Related Article: Everything You Need To Know About Granite Countertops

Quartz Countertops

These days, quartz is just about as popular as granite. Just like granite, it’s natural stone. The key difference is that quartz is manufactured and sealed in a protective resin. This both protects quartz from stains and damage and means that it’s available in far more colors, styles, and looks than granite slabs.

All-in-all, quartz is a strong contender and equal to granite in many respects—including the long-term value it will add to your home.

Related Article: Your Guide To Quartz Countertops

Butcher Block Countertops

It’s not hard to see why homeowners like butcher block so much. Wood, after all, is warm and inviting. It reminds people of the kitchens of yesteryear. Butcher block can be a stunning addition to any kitchen.

Compared to stone, however, it does have its downsides. As you can imagine, it doesn’t stand up to heat, stains, or cuts as well as quartz and granite countertops do. We typically recommend homeowners use butcher block as an accent piece in a kitchen that otherwise features more durable stone countertops.

Other Countertops

Here are a few other types of countertops worth discussing:

  • Stainless Steel: Like butcher block, stainless steel is better used as a stylish accent piece than an entire countertop. Steel is cold and uninviting—it often reminds people of a commercial kitchen. For all its heat- and stain-resistant properties, it also scratches relatively easily.
  • Marble: Another type of stone countertop, marble is pricier than granite or quartz, which often removes it as a contender for most large kitchen projects. It’s also less durable. If you really want the natural beauty of marble, consider using it as a bathroom vanity top, instead.
  • Laminate: While far cheaper than other types of countertops, many people are turned off by the idea of plastic countertops, which were a staple of 80s and 90s kitchens. If you opt for laminate or plastic, you may not end up adding as much value to your kitchen as you’d have liked to.

See your different countertop options

In this video, the How To Home team walks you through the pros and cons of several different countertop materials, including many of the ones reviewed above.


Select a style

Now that you’re this far into our countertops buyer’s guide, and more familiar with the many types of countertops out there, it’s time to start thinking about colors and styles. For many homeowners, this is easy enough: you probably already have a vision of your new kitchen in your head. However, if you’re open to ideas, here are some of the most popular kitchen styles found in U.S. homes:

Classic

This is probably the most common style of kitchen, simply because it marks a sort of “middle ground” between the two styles described below. Classic kitchens feature wood cabinets paired with granite or quartz countertops. While not as intentionally rustic as the farmhouse style, they also aren’t quite as cold and modern as, well, kitchens designed in the modern style.

Modern

True to its name, modern is contemporary and sleek. This type of kitchen features simplified design and colors—most commonly, black, white, or charcoal grey. Modern kitchens make abundant use of stainless steel: even if it’s not featured as a countertop or accent, it’s certainly used for sinks and appliances.

There’s a simplicity and modernity that makes modern kitchens really appealing to many homeowners.

Farmhouse

For some people, modern kitchens are just too sleek for them. They’re looking for something more warm, cozy, and inviting. They want their kitchen to remind them of the house they grew up in, or their grandparent’s home. This is why the farmhouse style is so popular right now. This down-to-earth style is evocative of country kitchens and lazy Saturday mornings.

Most farmhouse kitchens feature natural wood colors—conveyed through cabinets and a butcher block countertop accent—paired with a white ceramic sink and backsplash tile. One popular trend is to pair a white quartz or granite countertop with a butcher block kitchen island.

Work with an expert

Is this countertops buyer’s guide helping you figure out what you want your new kitchen or bathroom to look like? You’re in the perfect place to bring in a design or remodeling expert who can review your plans, provide you with constructive feedback, and—perhaps most importantly—start to help you price out your project by finding high-quality materials in your area.

If you’re looking to maximize the value boost you get out of your kitchen—or just spend less on your remodel—you’ll want to find high-quality countertops at wholesale or bulk-order prices. Talk to your contractor or designer about your options. A wholesale, direct importer in your area should have the right combination of selection and price needed to make your kitchen or bathroom dreams a reality.

Here’s how to find the right color for your kitchen remodel

Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? As anyone who has completed a kitchen remodel can tell you, there are a lot of decisions ahead of you. From picking out countertops to finding the right knobs and pulls for your cabinets, you’ll need to get all the details right if you want to build the kitchen of your dreams. This includes a critical one: color.

In this article, we’ll review how, in a kitchen, color is more than meets the eye. We’ll also go over how to best incorporate color into your remodel, and how you can start planning out your project.

Here’s how color impacts your kitchen

As it turns out, color isn’t just a personal preference, or something people choose because it “looks good.” There’s a whole psychology behind color and how color influences our mood and our feelings about any particular space. For years, interior designers have used color theory in their design of restaurants, office buildings, shopping malls, and more. But, it can also help you design a better kitchen. Here’s how different colors work in a kitchen.

Blue

As you’ve probably already guessed, blue is a calming color. Just like the ocean on a still day, it’s peaceful and serene. If your kitchen is your refuge from the storm of everyday life, blue is a good color choice. It’ll put you at ease and make you feel more comfortable and relaxed. After a stressful day, that’s what everyone wants.

Green

The color of life, we naturally associate green with plants and growth. Shades of green make a kitchen feel alive and vibrant. Paired with houseplants, green makes a kitchen feel connected to the outside world. Interestingly, multiple studies have shown that green also encourages us to eat healthier.

Red

Red is a color associated with passion and feeling. Deep reds can be reflective, while brighter reds can be energizing. Studies have shown that red also helps to stimulate appetite, which is why it’s such a good fit for kitchens. Just be careful not to overdo it: our brains are also programmed to interpret bright red as a sign of danger. Too much red can tip a kitchen from energizing to nerve-wracking.

Yellow

A bright color that brings energy into any kitchen. If your style of cooking, baking, and entertainment is a high-energy affair, you should consider incorporating yellows and golds into your kitchen remodel.

Other options

There are some colors that are less suited for use in the kitchen. Purple, for instance, is a more intense version of blue. It can make us feel relaxed, but also encourages us to sleep and rest—probably not the color you want greeting you when you go to make coffee in the morning. Black is commonly used in modern kitchens as part of a neutral color scheme. Just be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll find that it will absorb natural light and make your kitchen seem a lot darker than it should be otherwise.

How does color factor into design?

Want to bring color into your new kitchen? Here are all the points where color can potentially factor into your kitchen remodel.

Cabinets

Whether you’re refurbishing your existing kitchen cabinets, refacing them, or replacing them with new cabinets, you have the option of painting your cabinets and using them to bring a whole lot of color into your reimagined kitchen.

This does involve some risk. If you’re going to bring color into your kitchen through your new or refurbished cabinets, make sure you really like the look and think through what it will look like with your new countertops, floors, backsplash, and more. If you change your mind later, you’ll have to repaint or refinish the cabinets, which could require a fair amount of work.

This is why so many homeowners decide to go with neutral cabinet (and countertop) colors. You don’t want to wake up one morning and decide that your choice of yellow isn’t working for your kitchen.

Countertops

It’s much harder to incorporate color into your new countertops. Countertops, of course, can be colorful, but they’re not painted like cabinets or a tile backsplash. In most cases, you’ll want to pair a neutral countertop with your newly painted cabinets. For example, if you’ve opted to use a navy blue for your cabinets, go with a white or off-white quartz for your countertops.

Paint

If you want to bring color into your kitchen, you can always paint its walls. As you probably know already, there’s a nearly unlimited number of color options to choose from when it comes to wall paint.

One of the main benefits of adding color to your kitchen through wall paint is how easy it is to reverse course. If, six months down the road, you decide your color choice isn’t working out, you just need to repaint your walls. That’s much easier than replacing your backsplash, getting new appliances, or repainting cabinets. If not totally committed to the use of a particular color in your kitchen, incorporating that color through paint and pairing it with neutral cabinets, countertops, and appliances might be the best bet.

Backsplash

Many stylish kitchens use the tile backsplash to bring a “splash” of color into the kitchen, pairing a vibrant backsplash with neutral cabinets and countertops. Just like with wall paint, this gives you a degree of future flexibility: while not something you’ll want to do every year, replacing your backsplash is an easier and less-pricey way of “refreshing” your kitchen’s design.

When considering backsplash options, make sure you look at them alongside your countertops and cabinets. You’ll want to make sure the three elements all go together. This is one of the reasons why many homeowners leave the backsplash to the very end of the project: it’s easiest to nail down the countertops and cabinets and then find a backsplash that works with them.

Appliances

Most kitchen appliances today come in either white, black, or stainless steel. But, there are other options out there. Many retailers carry refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and more in other colors. A cherry red refrigerator might be the perfect addition to your home’s throwback kitchen.

Don’t just think in terms of major appliances. You can also introduce some color through countertop appliances, such as stand mixers, toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, and blenders. All of these countertop appliances come in a wide assortment of colors, which means there’s bound to be a great fit for your remodel out there.

Accessories

Finally, don’t forget about the finishing touches. They can also bring color into your kitchen. Planning on hanging pendant lights over your kitchen island? Look into your color options. If you have white cabinets, you can bring some color and fun in through the knobs and pulls. Again, as with paint and the backsplash, the great thing about introducing color through accessories is that you can always switch them out later if you change your mind.

Work with a design professional

We’ve only scratched the surface of how you can incorporate color into your new kitchen. There are so many options out there. If you’re ready to move forward, we recommend you speak with an experienced kitchen remodeler or interior designer in your area.

A design professional can help you plan out your kitchen remodel from start-to-finish, while also helping guide you through design decisions and procuring materials. If you’re ready to get serious about your long-planned kitchen remodel, they’re the person who can help you.

Your guide to granite, marble, quartz, and other countertop materials

Kicking off a kitchen remodel? You have a lot of work—and decisions—ahead of you. You’ll need to pick out new cabinets, floors, appliances, and more. Yet, the most impactful decision, by far, will be your choice of new countertops. There are so many options, styles, and colors to choose from. For many homeowners, finding the right countertops for their kitchen remodel is one of the most challenging parts of the project.

In this article, we’ll guide you through your many countertop options and help you decide which material—granite, quartz, marble, stainless steel, or butcher block—is right for your kitchen. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of each, and make the case for how each might figure into your kitchen remodel.

Granite Countertops

When most people hear “stone countertops,” they instinctively think of granite. It’s the definitive material for most kitchen remodels (although, as we’ll discuss, quartz is a close second and preferred by many people!). Cut from natural stone and then sealed, granite countertops are incredibly durable and beautiful. They’re difficult to damage and, unsurprisingly, retain their value for many years because of this quality.

Granite countertops come in two types: slab and prefabricated. Both are natural stone. “Prefabricated” just means the stone has already been cut to a default size prior to arriving at the distributor. Because of this one-size-fits-all approach, it’s generally cheaper than granite slab, which has not yet been cut or fabricated to size. If you’re working on a highly custom kitchen remodel, you may need to buy granite slab so that your contractor can customize not only the size, but also the edging and other details.

If you love the look of natural stone, it’s hard to go wrong with granite. For reasons we’ll discuss below, it’s a better natural stone alternative to marble for kitchen remodeling projects.

Kitchen Designs

Advantages

  • Durable: Granite is a tough material that can stand up to accidental slashes, cuts, and impact.
  • Heat-Resistant: Granite is highly heat-resistant, which means you can put hot pans or trays on its surface without causing permanent damage.
  • Unique: No two pieces of granite are exactly the same, which means your kitchen’s granite slab will truly be one-of-a-kind.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Not Invulnerable: Just because it’s solid doesn’t mean granite countertops can’t be chipped or cracked. Also, granite absorbs liquid, which means it can stain easily if not protected by sealing.
  • Requires Maintenance: Your granite countertops will regularly need to be resealed to protect them from stains and other forms of damage.
  • Weight: Like other stone countertops, granite slabs are incredibly heavy. If your cabinets were not built to support their weight, they may need to either be replaced or reinforced prior to installation.

Read More: Our Complete Guide To Granite Countertops

Quartz Countertops

When stone countertops first came into vogue, granite was the obvious choice for many homeowners. However, in recent years, an alternative—quartz countertops—have really taken off. Unlike granite, which is cut from natural stone and then sealed, quartz is real stone that has been processed and sealed into a protective resin. As a result, quartz countertops can look like just about anything: they can take on patterns, colors, and looks just not found in natural stone.

Generally speaking, quartz and granite countertops are about even in terms of cost. If you’re comparing the cost of quartz and granite countertops, you’ll really need to look at the specific countertops in question: both occupy the same average price range.

Another place the two materials are just about even is their overall durability. Quartz trades the heat-resistance of granite for better moisture and leak resistance. They’re both very solid and stand up well to everyday use.

The final verdict? The choice between quartz and granite is less about specifics and more about your personal taste and what your kitchen remodel needs. If you’re looking for the strength and beauty of natural stone, granite is probably right for your kitchen. If you want a more modern design, quartz probably has something you’re looking for.

granite and cabinet showroom in phoenix

 

Advantages

  • Variety: Quartz countertops are available in far more colors and design variations than granite or marble, which means they work with more kitchen styles.
  • Maintenance-Free: Unlike granite, quartz countertops come sealed in a permanent resin and do not need to be regularly resealed.
  • Durable: While not invulnerable, quartz stands up to everyday wear-and-tear and is stain-resistant.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Not Heat-Resistant: Unlike granite countertops, quartz countertops can be damaged or discolored by high heat. You’ll need to continue using hot pads and trivets when cooking or baking.
  • Manufactured: While granite and marble slabs convey the beauty of natural stone, quartz countertops have a manufactured, “finished” look. This appeals to some people, but make sure you’re comfortable with it before you buy.

Read More: Our Complete Guide To Quartz Countertops

Marble Countertops

If you want to add class, elegance, and luxury to your home, marble countertops are the right material. After all, there’s a reason marble was the medium of choice for Renaissance sculptors. It has a timeless beauty and radiance to it. By adding marble to your kitchen, you’re not just choosing a countertop. You’re making a statement.

However, there are some drawbacks that should make you reconsider your decision to put marble in your kitchen. Besides its high cost (discussed below), marble is also the least durable of the three stone countertop options discussed in this article. It just doesn’t stand up to everyday cooking and cleaning in a kitchen. For homeowners with their hearts set on adding marble to their home, we recommend using it for bathroom vanities and remodels, where there’s not as much pressure on homeowners to protect the stone.

If you’re comparing the cost of marble versus granite or the cost of marble versus quartz, you’ll find that, generally speaking, lower-end marble costs more per square foot than high-end granite or quartz. According to data from HGTV, the average cost of granite, per square foot, is $75. Meanwhile, the average cost of marble countertops starts at $100 / square foot and can actually be as much as $200 / square foot! In general, it’s more expensive to install and—the larger your kitchen—the more your costs will ballon if you opt for marble.

Advantages

  • Luxury: Marble is considered the material of choice for luxury condos and home builds. It’s beautiful, and the right marble countertop is a true showstopper in any kitchen.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Price: Per square-foot, marble is one of the most expensive countertop materials you can buy. It’s far more expensive than butcher block, and even pricier than quartz or granite. Get a quote before you fall in love with marble—it might not be right for your remodel’s budget.
  • Protection: Unlike granite and quartz, marble countertops are not scratch-resistant. You’ll need to use cutting boards and take special care to guard your countertops against accidental damage.
  • Stains: Marble absorbs liquid more readily than other stone countertops. This is potentially bad news in your kitchen, since it means you’ll need to be vigilant around spills and cutting boards.

Your other countertop options

So far, we’ve compared granite, quartz, and marble countertops. Here are two other options you should probably know about as well:

Stainless Steel

Most often seen in commercial kitchens, stainless steel is stain and heat-resistant and offers an incredibly modern look. However, what works in a professional kitchen might not feel right in your home: stainless steel can make a space feel cold and unwelcoming. Also, while steel countertops stand up well to both stains and heat, they can and will scratch. If you’re considering stainless steel—either as your main countertop or as an accent piece—make sure you like the worn “scratched-up” look before you finalize your purchase.

Butcher Block

In sharp contrast to stainless steel, butcher block feels warm and inviting. It’s a perfect fit in farmhouse-style kitchens that harken back to the kitchens of the 1920s and 1930s. However, butcher block also has significant limitations. Like all wood, it absorbs liquid and stains easily, can be damaged by knife cuts, and is not heat-resistant. If you want the look of butcher block, consider adding it as an accent piece where it won’t see heavy, everyday use.

Here’s how you can keep your granite looking brand-new

Your kitchen remodel is finally finished, and it’s everything you ever dreamed it could be. Your new granite countertops, cabinets, backsplash, and appliances all look perfect. There are some homeowners who will tell you that your kitchen will never look better than it does today. However, that’s not quite accurate. With the right care and attention, you can keep your granite looking new and your kitchen looking great for many years to come, helping it to retain both its beauty and value.

Granite countertops are durable, but not invulnerable. They’ll only stand up to regular wear-and-tear with the right precautions and forward-thinking upkeep. In this article, we’ll review some of the best practices for keeping your granite in great shape, as well as what you need to do to maintain it.


“Prefabricated” or “Slab” granite?

What’s the difference?

Ever wondered what these labels mean, or which type of granite is better? Be sure to check out this new blog post for a full breakdown.


Protect your granite

Here are a few general precautions you can take to protect the look and functionality of your granite. Make sure your family members and guests know about these rules, too. There’s nothing more horrifying than watching your uncle start chopping up lemons on your granite countertops.

To keep your granite looking great for years to come, you should take some precautions.

To keep your granite looking great for years to come, you should take some precautions.

Watch the heat!

Granite is known for being extremely durable. This includes its famous heat-resistance. However, just because it handles heat better than other types of countertops—like quartz, which is infamously not heat-resistant, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to routinely test its durability. While placing a hot pan directly on the surface of the granite won’t leave instant burn marks, it may cause scratching on the surface.

After all, the trivets and hot pads are right there. You might as well use them.

No pressure

Tell your guests and your kid’s friends that this isn’t an 80s sitcom: there’s no need for them to be sitting on the countertop edge. While granite is incredibly strong and durable, it’s edges are most vulnerable to damage from weight and pressure. Keep heavy objects off of the countertop surface. That includes you, trying to reach something in one of your taller cabinets or change out a lightbulb up above. Just get a stepladder and leave your countertops out of it.

Keep your cutting boards

In addition to its heat resistance, most homeowners know that granite countertops stand up to knife cuts pretty well. It’s certainly an option if you’re in a hurry to chop up those green onions for the party dip. However, as a general practice, don’t use your granite as a full-time substitute for a cutting board. Here’s why:

  • Raw meat: If you stop and think about it, cutting and preparing meat on the countertop is pretty gross. Even worse, bacteria from the meat can get into the natural pores of the stone, making it harder to disinfect them after you’re done.
  • Acidity: Anything with acidity can potentially damage or stain granite countertops. This means cutting limes, lemons, and grapefruits right on the countertop is a no-go.
  • Knife damage: Using your knives on stone countertops can actually dull them rather quickly. If you’ve invested a good amount into high-quality knives, you’re better off using a board.

Use the right cleaning tools

To avoid unnecessary scratching from abrasive and harsh materials, make sure to use soft and clean cloths and sponges when cleaning up spills or doing your daily cleaning. For reasons that are probably obvious, never use steel wool to clean your granite.

It takes all of a few seconds to pull out a cutting board, and they’re generally easier to wash than the entire countertop surface before-and-after food prep. Our recommendation? Don’t cut right on your counters.

Clean your granite

It is extremely important that you give your granite countertops some attention each and every day. Daily cleaning is the best way to keep bacteria, stains, and spills from penetrating the seal and seeping into the natural pores of the stone.

The safest and most effective way to clean your granite is with water and a few drops of dish soap. You can mix these into a spray bottle, then spray directly onto your countertops. Wipe with a clean cloth, rinse with clean water, then dry with a separate cloth.

By taking the time to clean your countertops daily, you will prevent them from getting foggy and grimy with stains. Instead, you will be helping them keep that gorgeous glow for many, many days ahead.

Check out this quick video for more on how to properly clean your granite:

Maintain your granite

If you want to keep your granite looking new, you should set aside the time every so often to deep clean your countertops. There are several store bought cleaning products specifically designed for granite countertops. You won’t want to use these everyday, but they’re great for “freshening up” your countertops in advance of guests coming over. These cleaning products are also great for stain removal, in the event that you’ve spilled wine or something else that has discolored the granite. If you’re looking for more tips on stain removal, check out this DIY-friendly guide.

Your granite countertops will need to occasionally be resealed to keep their protective layer intact. The reapplication process depends on what the original seal was made of, so be sure to check with your countertop installer before proceeding. Water or solvent-based sealants that contain fluorocarbon aliphatic resin are going to be pricey, but may only need to be applied once or twice in the lifespan of your kitchen (think: every 10-15 years!). Lower-cost sealants may need to be reapplied every six months or so. It’s not a major chore, but it’s something worth remembering and thinking about ahead of time.

Resealing is essential. The weaker the seal, the more likely it is for stain-causing liquids to absorb into the stone instead of being repelled by the waterproofing seal layer.

We can help you keep your granite looking new

At Superior Stone & Cabinet, we know just about everything there is to know about granite, including how to best care for it and maintain it after installation. If you have any questions about your new granite countertops—or you’re thinking about upgrading to granite for your kitchen, just give us a call. We install granite countertops here in the Phoenix area.

Granite slab versus prefabricated granite: which is better?

Granite is a popular and preferred material for countertops because of its durability and stone-like visual appeal. However, many homeowners are unsure whether to go with granite slab versus prefabricated granite. In this blog, we’ll review what makes these countertop types different, and what you need to know going into your project.

If you’re in the market for granite (or quartz!) countertops, be sure to check out our first-time buyer’s guide.

Prefabricated Granite

Prefabricated granite is still granite. It’s just been cut to standard sizes before being shipped to the distributor. They are suitable in situations where multiple pieces are required and all the pieces must be of the same size. Installing a prefabricated stone is much easier and faster as compared to a custom cut slab.

While they look and feel similar to custom granite slabs, they are available in a narrow range of sizes. They offer no customization options since they are prefabricated. Selecting a prefabricated stone is suitable when they can fit in the existing space, especially a home with standard dimensions.

By default, most prefabricated granite pieces have bullnose edging. This typically isn’t an issue for many homeowners: bullnose edging features gentle curves that work in just about any kitchen style. They’re less rigid than the right angles of eased edges, but safer for children, since corners are softer.

Cost

Prefabricated granite is often less expensive than granite slabs. Since prefabricated granite is manufactured and fabricated in bulk, there’s no need for you or the distributor to have it fabricated and cut. What you lose in options and customization you win back, ultimately, in your project’s bottom-line. Prefabricated granite can be as much as 45% less expensive than granite slab.

Prefabricated granite is an especially great fit in settings where return-on-investment is the driving concern, such as commercial kitchens, office buildings, or investment properties. These places need quality countertops, but don’t need the customization a homeowner might. This makes prefabricated pieces an outstanding fit.

Quality

As mentioned above, our prefabricated granite is still granite. The quality is the same as that found in granite slab: it just comes down to whether or not the stone has already been cut and fabricated. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped a stigma from forming around prefabricated granite. It’s why we recently took the time to dispel 6 of the most common prefabricated granite myths.


See our installation process!

Jennifer explains how the Superior Stone & Cabinet team handled her entire countertop and cabinet installation process, from start-to-finish.


Custom Granite Slab

Custom granite slabs are custom-cut pieces made according to the requirements of the clients. They are more expensive to install than prefabricated pieces since they need to be cut down to the size needed. In most cases, custom granite slabs are perfect for non-standard kitchens that have unusual countertop needs and sizes.

Some homeowners choose customer granite slab versus prefabricated granite because they like having more customization options when it comes to edges, seals, and more.

Cost

Granite slabs do cost more than prefabricated granite. In essence, you’re paying for an entire slab of stone. This comes with several benefits—including customization, as we’ve already noted—but it will increase the cost.

Quality

One advantage of buying a granite slab is that it comes to you as one continuous piece. This means the natural veining and colors are consistent all the way through. This doesn’t mean it won’t be cut and it won’t have seams: there’s no getting around that. But, it does mean that seams will be slightly less noticeable. For homeowners designing their dream kitchen, where every detail matters, this may be an important consideration.

Granite slab versus prefabricated granite: what’s the difference?

The main difference between the two is price. Since prefabricated granite is mass-produced with no customization, it’s generally less expensive than a custom granite slab. If you’re willing to have less customization options, you’ll be able to get a better deal with prefabricated granite.

Let’s get this out of the way: most homeowners, homebuyers, or anyone short of being a countertop expert cannot tell the difference between prefabricated granite and granite slab once each is installed. If the countertop has bullnose edging, they may be able to guess that it is prefabricated, but—otherwise—all bets are off. If anything, granite quality is determined by the cost and origin of the granite—not the manufacturing style. This is why it’s important to work with a reputable, local installer.

Trying to decide between granite slab versus prefabricated granite? Superior Stone & Cabinet has the Valley's largest selection of granite countertops.

Trying to decide between granite slab versus prefabricated granite? Superior Stone & Cabinet has the Valley’s largest selection of granite countertops.

If the price of granite offered by a contractor is too good to be true, it probably is: some less-than-reputable contractors sell faux granite countertops, made from granite and resin. They try to undercut the price of both prefabricated and slab granite with this less durable, less beautiful product. Before you buy, always ask about the origin of the stone, and get multiple quotes so that you have a good idea what you should be expecting to pay for granite.

So, which is better?

Truth be told, that depends on the buyer, the context, the budget, the home, and a number of other factors. Superior Stone & Cabinet carries and installs both prefabricated granite and granite slabs.We’ve seen customers happy with both types.

If you’re interested in granite counters, but you’re still deciding between granite slab versus prefabricated granite, start by giving our team a call to schedule a free in-home estimate here in the Phoenix metro. Or, come visit our showroom.

Our friendly team will help you find the countertops that are right for your home and budget.

Debunking common myths about prefabricated granite

In general, places that offer the more expensive custom slabs of granite will tell you that prefabricated granite is worthless and you’d be better off putting cardboard in as a countertop. This just isn’t the case, and they’re downplaying some of the benefits of prefabricated granite to (understandably) help them make the sale of more expensive custom granite slabs. In fact, there’s a great deal of misinformation out there about prefabricated granite. In this article, we’ll review the common myths about prefabricated granite, and which ones do not stand up to further scrutiny.

At Superior Stone & Cabinet, we install both prefabriated granite and granite slabs here in the Valley. To get an estimate and see our selection for yourself, visit our showroom or give us a call today.

The 6 most pervasive granite countertop myths

prefabricated granite countertopMyth #1: You won’t actually save money by going with prefabricated countertops

Custom cuts of granite slab can be extremely pricey, limiting their use to only the most extensive and expensive kitchen remodels. If you’ve been pushing your budget and you’re looking to cut costs, prefabricated granite is a great alternative to custom granite countertops. You’re slashing the per-square-foot cost without significant loss of quality or look. In fact, prefab slabs can be up to 45 percent less expensive!

If you’re just starting your kitchen remodel and you’re looking for ways to keep your costs down, check out this infographic we created. It contains a full breakdown of what the average homeowner spends on each aspect of their remodel.

Myth #2: You’ll notice the difference right away

Most experts agree that—once installed in your home—only a seasoned countertop professional can spot the difference between a prefabricated countertop and a custom slab. In fact, some custom granite dealers contradict themselves by saying that the differences are highly noticeable, but then noting that scams exist where customers are unknowingly tricked into buying a prefabricated countertop instead of a custom one. To the average eye, including yours, prefabricated granite looks similar to custom granite.

Myth #3: Prefabricated countertops don’t increase your home’s value

Many realtors agree that adding new prefabricated granite countertops to the kitchen is one of the few things you can do for less than $5000 to increase the value of your home and help you attract buyers. Remember: there isn’t a noticeable difference between pre-fabricated countertops and those cut from a custom slab of granite, so from a curb appeal standpoint, prefabricated counters might be perfect for your home.

Myth #4: Prefabricated countertops limit your color selection to just a few options

This is partially true: after all, a custom slab of granite can, quite literally, come in any color, depending on where it’s from. However, that doesn’t mean that prefabricated countertops don’t provide customers with options. Here at Superior Stone and Cabinet, we have nearly 30 different colors and styles of prefabricated countertops available. That’s not quite the limitation that many custom granite retailers make it out to be.

Myth #5: Prefabricated granite is easier to damage and needs care

All granite, whether prefabricated or custom, needs regular care and upkeep. All granite can be damaged, stained, or scratched. And both kinds of granite can be sealed for added protection. From a functionality standpoint, prefabricated granite operates in a similar fashion to custom slabs.

Myth #6: Prefabricated granite is always shoddy and poorly installed

Not always! Here at Superior Stone and Cabinet, we offer quality granite and installation from professionals. We’re not a fly-by-night company that will rush the job.

Have granite questions? We have answers.

If you’re interested in learning more about prefabricated countertops, give us a call at (602) 437-0088 or stop by our conveniently located Phoenix, Arizona showroom.