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Granite Slab Countertops Basics

As the slab granite promoters like to say, "Nothing can compare to the natural beauty of real stone." In fact, you would not be looking at slab granite otherwise.  
 
Real granite can be a touchy material,
to breaking at the wrong places during fabrication, staining, and even scorching under high heat.  
 
Size of Granite Slabs
 
The average size of natural slab granite used for countertops is 9 feet, 6 inches long by 5 feet, 6 inches wide, according to bulk granite wholesaler Slab Market. Granite slabs are typically either 3/4 inch(1.9cm) or 1 1/4 inches(3cm) thick. The thicker slabs usually weigh approximately 19 pounds per square foot(92kg/m2), while the thinner slabs weigh less than 13 pounds per square foot(63kg/m2).
 
Most slabs used for counters are roughly 1.25" thick. can vary across the expanse of the slab. Thus, installers often have to shore up parts of the slab so that all areas are supported.
 
Since granite is a natural material quarried from the Earth, size varies. Larger slab sizes are more costly to container-ship, handle, and fabricate.  
Product / @ 1.25" Thickness
Length (In)
Width (In)
Acapulco
117
70
Alaska White 
113
66
White Carrara
112
65
Delicatus White
114
69
Crema Marfil
117
62
Juparana Ming
114
65
Breccia Australiana
113
62
Average
114
66
Note, that the 5.5 ft. width allows the slab to be cut down its length, in the middle, in order to produce two slabs of about 33 inches. Countertop depths tend to be about 24 inches, so this gives the fabricator ample working room.
 
How Does Slab Compare To Other "Stone-Like" Countertops?
 
If you like natural slab granite, you are not searching for the sleekness of stainless steel, the gleam of ceramic tile, or the glint of glass—you want a stone look.
 
With that in mind, there are three other countertop materials that mimic the look of stone. Two of them actually do contain minerals.  
 
The dramatic veins, streaks, and mineral deposits offered by slab granite cannot be duplicated by other countertop materials. Natural slab granite still provides the greatest visual (3D) depth, and the variety of its patterning cannot be matched by quartz.
 
But quartz is a more consistent material, which means that it is more durable and less prone to cracking.
Material
Description
Comparison to Slab
Quartz or Engineered Stone Countertops
10% binders; 90% stone-like materials, such as crushed or waste granite,
The next closest competitor to natural slab in terms of materials and solidity. However, quartz actually surpasses granite in some respects: it never needs sealing and it is a predictable product.
Solid Surface
33% manmade (polymers); 66% minerals
Not as dense as natural slab, solid surface provides a less expensive alternative to both slab and quartz.
Laminate
Thin laminate pressed onto particleboard.  No stone content.
From a distance, the laminate can visually duplicate the look of slab granite than quartz or solid surface, since it is nothing more than a photograph of granite.  
 
How Much Does Slab Cost?
 
Slab stone ranges from $10 to $40 uninstalled. Installed, you can expect price ranges of $35 to $66 per square foot.
Averages found in a survey of a leading granite counter supplier:
Cost For Slab Only
$24.33
Cost For Installation Only
$23.07
Cost For Slab + Installation
$47.40
Example:  you want slab granite on your kitchen island, 7' by 4', for a total square footage of 28 sq.ft.
If the company offers slab at $50 per square foot, slabbing your kitchen island will set you back $1,400.
Other counters will cost more because they will require extras, like backsplashes, cut-outs for sinks, etc.
 
Self-Installation vs. Professional Installation
 
Slab granite is too heavy and the installation learning curve too steep for most homeowners to DIY-install slab granite.
Also, the price of failure (breakage) is too high. It is best to leave granite slab installation in the hand of qualified installers.
 
Tricks For Saving Money
 
Slab granite is one of those products where it is tough to shave costs. Like owning an exotic car, you pay for installing a premium product.
Edge Treatments: One simple way to hold down the cost of your slab counters is to minimize the edge treatment. More complicated edge treatments can drive up the cost. Essentially, the more fabrication that is needed, the more the finished product will cost.
Cheaper Types: Different types of granite have different prices. Inform yourself of the prices attached to various stones through bulk middle supplier Slab Market. While you cannot purchase through this site, you will learn which types are more expensive than others.
Tiles and Modular: If the cost of slab puts you off, you can scratch your "granite itch" by purchasing lower-cost granite tiles or modular granite and self-installing them. Because of their seams, tile and modular are not considered as high quality as a slab.

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