When choosing a granite company to buy from, this is why the best price might not always be the best value.
Written By: Bob Faust
Fireplace & Granite Distributors
There are many factors that go into creating a quote for granite countertop prices. Factors such as 1) Material cost 2) overhead 3) Labor cost 4) Specialty tools and equipment 5) advertising and service.
These should all be evaluated when you are considering the "Risk vs. Reward" scenario when choosing the right company for your granite needs.
Lets consider one of factors: Material Cost
All granite slabs are sold at different levels of quality or "grades". Just as diamonds are graded from "commercial grade" all the way up to to "FL" (flawless), granite slabs prices vary the same way. Granite is available in commercial grade, fabricator grade, second choice, and first choice. The cost range of these materials are considerable.
A granite slab of Santa Cecilia commercial grade has a cost as little as $4.00 per sq ft whereas a similar slab of first quality material could easily cost $8-$10/ft. (NOTE: these are direct prices from the stone Quarries)
How is granite graded? What is the difference in granite slab grades?
Just some of the factors that go into this grading process are color, clarity, fissures or cracks, and pocked (pitted) slabs. Fully 80-90% of the granite fabricators locally to our area (Charlotte and surrounding) buy there materials from slab distributors. They then in turn add on their overhead and profit. After that, they then add wholesale these slabs to fabricators for $7-8 for commercial and as high has $12-14 for first quality slabs. Many Charlotte companies advertise first choice materials but sell lesser grades.
(The photo above shows the same granite: 3CM Baltic Brown Granite -- The same granite but in different grades can appear different in color, have more granite fissures or cracks, and an overall difference in quality)
We, at Fireplace and Granite Distributors, buy directly from quarries overseas, thus insuring the best price and best quality materials.
This allows us to provide a premium quality material at wholesale prices or "Builder price levels". (Passing all the savings and discounts onto you, the customer)
I am sure you can see why the best price may not always be the best value. If you pay a lesser price, you may very well get a lesser material. After all when the job is said and done and you are showing off your new tops to your friends and relatives, would you rather say "Look at my beautiful granite tops!" or "Look how little I paid for my granite tops!"
A low per sq ft granite price, a cheap granite countertop price still gets you a cheap granite countertop. Sometimes the lowest price will not offer you the best granite countertop and best overall value.