How Heavy Is Granite?

How Heavy Is Granite

When building a home, many builder-owners choose granite for their countertops because of the aesthetic and elegance. Besides that, granite is $35-$60 per sq. ft., whereas the similar material, marble, costs $75-$250 per sq. ft. That makes granite the choice for builders with elegant taste who don’t want to overspend.

Countless builder-owners know that granite looks great but knowing how much it weighs is important in the installation.

Typically, granite is sold in slabs that weigh between 13 and 20 pounds per sq. ft. Less dense granite slabs that are only ¾” thick are within the 13 pound per sq. ft. and under range, while 1 ¼” or thicker slabs weigh 17-20 pounds per sq. ft.

The thicker the granite slab is, the more it will weigh. Hands-on builder-owners often enlist the help of several extra hands because of how heavy granite slabs are. On average, countertops are 30 sq. ft., meaning that the total weight of the granite would be roughly 390-570 pounds minimum.

Let’s dive deeper into the weight of granite and why it matters.

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Granite Density

A slab of granite’s density determines its weight. Density, or how compact a material is, is easily determined by looking at the thickness of a slab of granite. Thick granite slabs that are 1” to 1 ¼” usually weigh between 15 and 20 pounds per sq. ft., respectively.

The reason that thicker slabs of granite weigh more is because there is more material packed together, thus making it more compact, and dense. A slab that is only ¾” thick, however, could weigh 11-13 pounds per sq. ft.

A thinner slab is less compact and contains fewer materials, making it the lighter, and cheaper option.

How Does The Weight Of Granite Affect Cost?

The common, thick granite measuring 1 ¼” thick costs 20%-30% more than thinner granite slabs. The increase in cost for thicker granite is due to the amount of material that is compacted being much more than if it were a thin slab.

The example below demonstrates the difference in cost for mid-range granite based on weight.

Slab Size Weight Sq. Ft. Cost
¾” thick 13 pounds 30 sq. ft. $1,140
1 ¼” thick 17-20 pounds 30 sq. ft. $1,425

Higher-end granite costs more, closer to $48 per sq. ft. for 13-pound granite and $60 per sq. ft. for 17-20 pound granite. Builders looking to save money can opt for lighter, less dense granite to save a $285 or more on materials.

How Does The Weight Of Granite Affect Labor?

If you are hiring a contractor to install your granite, how much it weighs does not directly the cost of labor. Generally, the cost of labor for installing granite is $15 to $25 per sq. ft., in addition to the $35 to $60 per sq. ft. for the granite itself.

That means that you would spend an extra $450-$750 minimum in labor for installation of 30 sq. ft. worth of ¾” granite slab. Dense, 1 ¼” granite installation can add $540-$900 minimum in total labor costs. On average, having granite countertops professionally installed costs between $2,000 and $5,000 with materials and labor included.

Granite Vs. Alternatives

Granite is a great material chosen by many builder-owners, particularly for countertops. However, it is just one of many similar materials that builders have found to add value to a home.

Just like granite, many of the alternative materials are quite heavy themselves.

Material Weight Cost
Granite 13-20 pounds per sq. ft. $35-$60 per sq. ft.
Marble 6.5 pounds per sq. ft. $40-$100 per sq. ft.
Quartz 20-25 pounds per sq. ft. $55-$75 per sq. ft.
Slate 6-11 pounds per sq. ft. $80-$100 per sq. ft.
Soapstone 20 pounds per sq. ft. $70-$120 per sq. ft.
Butcher Block 16 pounds per sq. ft. $30-$40 per sq. ft.

There are few materials that weigh as much as granite does, such as quartz and soapstone. One of the main reasons behind granite’s popularity is that it is priced right in the mid-range. Compared to marble, slate, or quartz, granite is more affordable and well worth it in durability.

Why Choose Granite?

Besides the affordable cost, granite is a great choice because of how resilient it is. Countertops, whether they’re in your kitchen or bathroom, take on a lot of wear and tear, scratches, and scrapes. Granite, however, has a reputation for being durable and resistant to surface damage, making it the ideal choice for these environments. In fact, it is ranked second, after diamond, it terms of hardness for natural materials.

Most notably, granite simply looks gorgeous. It is a material that looks both classical and contemporary, so granite is a fit in most homes, no matter what the aesthetic is. Granite also makes doing work around the kitchen easier, due to its heat resistance and durability.

If you need to place something hot on the granite, you won’t have to worry about damaging your gorgeous countertops, but you should still use a trivet. Granite may not be quite as durable as say, quartz, but choosing 1 ¼” thick granite is a great way to ensure that your countertops stand the test of time.

Granite Adds Value

There are many obvious aesthetic benefits of granite, but what matters most is how it bolsters the value of your home. Because granite is highly sought after by prospect house-hunters, houses with granite countertops see an increase in value. In fact, homes with granite countertops see up to a 25% increase in value when on the market.

That means that if and when you decide to upgrade to granite countertops, you are doing yourself a favor in the future. Potential buyers are willing to pay more for homes with granite countertops because of how sought after the material is, and because it will save them time and money on upgrading to granite themselves.

There are several other reasons that granite bolsters a home’s value, such as:

  • Granite is eco-friendly
  • Easy to clean
  • Rarely requires repairs
  • Lasts up to 100 years

Durability, aesthetic, and low maintenance are major selling points to potential buyers. If you are hesitating to install granite countertops, consider the fact that it could leave you with more money in your pocket if and when you sell the house.

How to Maintain Granite

When granite is sealed according to manufacturer’s recommendations, it resists bacteria and staining, making maintenance a cinch. However, since granite is a natural stone, caring for it is slightly different than caring for other countertop materials. In order to prevent your granite from becoming damaged or stained, the following maintenance tasks should be done:

  • Perform frequent sealings. To keep your granite looking and performing at its best, it must be sealed. It is recommended to seal granite with a stone sealer every six months to a year. However, lighter stone that is less dense and more porous than the darker alternative may need to be sealed more frequently.
  • Clean using a granite cleaner. While you can clean the granite using soap and water, dish soap can cause a buildup on the material over time which will dull its shine. Instead, use a cleaner that is specially formulated for use on natural stone or granite along with a soft cloth or sponge. Never use abrasive cleaners on granite.
  • Tackle spills quickly and appropriately. When you have granite installed in the kitchen, spills on the surface may be a daily occurrence. The quicker you clean up spills, the less of a risk they will have to the granite. After the spill occurs, blot it with a paper towel or soft cloth, then clean it off with a clean cloth. Always blot and never wipe to avoid spreading.
  • Protect against heat. Although granite is notoriously durable, placing a hot pan or pot on the surface could potentially damage it. Instead, use a trivet underneath hot cookware. As tough as granite is, extreme temperature changes can crack or cause harm to the surface.

Some other practical ways that you can maintain the beauty of your granite is to never stand on the surface, polish it frequently, and always use a cutting board. While it may be tempting to chop food right on the surface since it’s scratch-resistant, it isn’t completely impervious to damage.

Granite DIY Vs. Hiring a Contractor

To save money, many builder owners opt to install granite DIY. Compared to the $2,000-$5,000 that granite countertop installations can cost when hiring a professional, doing it yourself can save big. However, considering how heavy granite is, you must be extremely careful and enlist the help of 2-3 other people.

Installing granite countertops on your own can cost $1,050-$1,800, with the cost made up solely of the granite itself. That price range varies depending on the cut and quality of the granite but saves roughly $950-$3,450 compared to hiring a contractor.

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What Did We Learn?

Granite weighs 13-20 pounds if it is ¾” thick, and 17-20 pounds if it is 1 ¼” thick. On the low end, granite countertops weigh 390-570 pounds. Only costing $35-$60 per sq. ft., granite is an elegant yet affordable material that adds value to a house.

Choosing granite can add up to a 25% increase in value to your house. Not only that, but granite is heat resistant, scratch resistant, and eco-friendly. So long as you perform necessary maintenance tasks, you can enjoy the beauty of your granite for up to 100 years.  If you are installing granite countertops on your own, be sure to ask a few friends for help.

Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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