Q: What defines granite slab countertops?
Besides the material--granite--it's the slab
sizing of the material. And no, not all granite countertops are slab. Two other types of granite countertops found often are tile granite and modular granite counters. Another difference is that slab granite counters require no backing material (though an exception is noted below).
Q: How big are granite countertop slabs?
Since granite is a natural material quarried from the Earth, sizing varies. However, most granite slabs used for countertops range from 4 to 5.5 feet deep, and from 7 to 9 feet wide.
Q: What is the best thing about slab granite counters?
In terms of performance, slab granite countertops are little different from tile or modular granite. But the main difference is the dearth of seams. While no granite slab countertop can be expected to have zero seams, the number of seams are greatly limited. And obviously, if your countertop is no more than 7 feet wide, you might even have a seamless granite counter.
Q: Can I install slab granite counters myself?
No. 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.
Q: How thick are slab granite counters?
Most slabs used for counters are roughly 1.25" thick. But it is interesting to note that the thickness can vary across the entire expanse of the slab. Thus, installers often have to shore up parts of the slab so that all areas are supported.
Q: How much will a slab granite countertop cost me?
A lot. Let's say you want slab granite on your kitchen island, 7' by 4', for a total square footage of 28 sq. ft. Some companies offer low-end slab granite for as cheaply as $50 to $60 per square foot, installed. At that rate, "slabbing" your kitchen island
will set you back $1,400 to $1,600. And that's the easy counter. Other counters will cost more because they will require extras, like backsplashes, cut-outs for sinks, etc.
Q: How can I save money on slab granite counters?
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.
Q: Are there any variations on the typical slab granite countertops?
Yes. Some companies offer a thinner type of slab granite which is structurally supported by MDF
board. The field area of the granite is a scant half-inch thick, but the MDF supports it. For the sake of appearance, the edge is thicker--the more conventional 1.25 inches thick. This also allows for edge treatments, if desired.