What Are the Grades of Granite Countertops?
When it comes to choosing the right granite slab for your home, there’s a bit more to consider than just the color and tones. In fact, there are different grades of granite countertops that can impact quality and price.
So, you’ve landed on granite countertops for your remodel – what’s next? Granite countertops are a beautiful compliment to every home design with durable composition and all the stunning qualities, patterns, and veining of a natural stone. It’s no wonder granite is such a popular material.
When it comes to choosing the right granite slab for your home, there’s a bit more to consider than just the color and tones. In fact, there are different grades of granite countertops that can impact quality and price. These grades of granite are essentially broken down into tiers of quality, creating a categorization based on the durability and worth of the stone.
If you’re new to granite and the grading system or want a little more guidance in choosing what grade is best for your project, our team at Pro Stone Countertops is here to explain different grades of granite and how to select the right one for your needs. Keep reading to learn more.
How Is Granite Graded?
There are a lot of considerations when grading granite, and without a set industry standard, the official grade of a granite slab can depend on the retailer. However, some key factors come into play when debating “how is granite graded.”
The elements that influence granite grading are:
Where granite is sourced from doesn’t necessarily impact the quality, but it does affect the cost. Granite is found across the world, with granite from Brazil or India typically costing more than granite from China. Additionally, shipping this heavy stone can greatly impact price, meaning a stone shipped within the U.S. will be a lot more affordable!
A simple impact on granite countertop grade levels is the thickness. The thicker the granite, the more durable, so a lower grade cut may be more affordable due to its thinness but might not last as long as a thicker slab.
Granite Visual Appearance
Any scratches, dings, or dents on a granite countertop can have an impact on its long-term durability – simultaneously making it a lower grade granite. When looking for a high-quality stone, look out for these imperfections. The fewer imperfections, the higher the grade.
Porosity refers to the amount of liquids your stone will absorb, creating a greater chance of stains. This depends on the minerals and stones the slab is made with, as well as the sealant, but it’s important to keep in mind that a highly porous stone will require more maintenance (and will likely have a lower grade).
Granite Countertop Grade Levels
Now that you know the factors that contribute to the different grade levels, you may be wondering, “what are the different grades of granite countertops?”
The grade levels of granite countertops are broken down into entry-level granite, mid-grade, and high-grade granite. We are breaking down each below to help you understand the granite grades list.
Level 1: Entry Level Granite
What is grade 1 granite? Entry-level granite, also referred to as low-grade, commercial-grade, or grade 1 granite, is the lowest grade of granite and typically features a simple design and color variations . This granite level is often sourced from China and pre-fabricated to keep it at a lower cost and is frequently found in remodeled apartments and homes due to its affordable price.
Offered at a lower cost, entry-level or grade A granite countertops offer thinner slabs, usually around 3/8 of an inch. This thinner slab will typically require a plywood backing to ensure durability.
While it is offered at a lower price, entry-level granite is still a versatile and durable stone, just at a more budget-friendly price.
Level 2: Mid-Grade Granite
Mid-grade or grade 2 granite classifies a slab of granite that features more colors and patterns that make a natural stone so unique. Typically imported from India or Brazil, mid-grade granite has an average thickness of around ¾ of an inch – ensuring a more durable slab that will not require a plywood reinforcement.
With more markings and colors, mid-grade granite is priced higher as it embodies the unique elements of this natural stone, backed by an increased thickness for durability.
Level 3+: High-Grade Granite
The final, most high-quality granite categorization is high-grade granite. This stone is also referred to as grade 3 granite, but granite can be ranked higher than three levels, so anything above three is considered high-grade.
This higher granite level offers the finest quality stones, ranked at this level due to their rare appearance that truly serves as the artistic centerpiece of any home. Typically imported from India or Brazil, this stone is at least ¾ inch in thickness for incredible durability.
Additionally, this stone will feature uncommon veining, colors, and patterns that can greatly increase the final price. The more unique the stone, the more pricey it gets!
What Is the Difference Between Granite Levels?
At the end of the day, all of the stones in the granite levels are granite, so what’s the real difference?
Granite quality grades essentially come down to the accessibility of the stone. If it has unique colors, patterns, markings and is offered in a thicker slab, it will be ranked higher. Think of it as paying for a commonly found art print versus a rare, one-of-a-kind painting – you’re paying for the exclusivity and stunning rarity of the stone when opting for a higher-level granite.
Additionally, with a higher grade granite, you also get a thicker slab. While this does increase the durability of the stone, granite is a naturally durable, heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and maintainable stone, so you truly cannot go wrong with this selection.
Granite Grade Price Classification
When choosing between grade A granite versus grade D granite, or even F, the price will go higher and higher with each grade increase.
With A being the lowest quality stone, this will be the most affordable option. The pricing of granite can vary from retailer to retailer, but grade A or entry-level granite will range from $40-50 in price, while the highest grade will be closer to $95 per square foot.
This pricing is based primarily on the color and pattern of granite that makes it such a rare, unique, and attractive option. However, a lower grade granite does not mean your stone is not durable, but simply that it has a more uniform appearance that can be found more easily.
Choosing the Right Grade of Granite
There’s already so much to consider when remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, and taking the different grades of granite countertops into account can be a headache. To help alleviate some of the stress, here are some simple tips to help you choose the right grade of granite for your home.
- Consider the goals of your remodel. Are you looking for a great, uniform space that serves as a backdrop to your decor, or do you want your stone to be the centerpiece? Since each increase in grades of granite signifies a rarer color or pattern, you’ll want to think about whether your project requires this unique centerpiece or if it’s not an essential part of your design.
- Budget, budget, budget! At the end of the day, we have to work within a budget to complete a project, and knowing that in advance can help you narrow down what grade level we’re working with.
- Don’t obsess over the grade. At the end of the day, granite is inherently an incredibly durable stone, and it’s more important to match your design while working within your budget rather than opting for the highest grade 3 granite.
- Go with your gut! Sometimes it’s that simple. The first stone you see may be the perfect one for you.
If you’re having trouble narrowing down what grade of granite is right for you, our team at Pro Stone Countertops is happy to help. Feel free to reach out, and our team of experts will help you through the process.
So what are the different grades of granite countertops, and how do they stack up against one another? As explained above, the characteristics of each and how to narrow down your selection is part of the fun! Exploring the various granite stones available to you is a highly enjoyable experience as you prepare to renovate your dream kitchen, bath, outdoor kitchen, or any other remodel wherein granite will be used.
From help selecting your grade of granite to picking out a color and pattern to match your space and have it installed in your home, our team at Pro Stone Countertops is here to walk you through every step. To see an up-to-date selection of the most stunning granite stones on the market, contact us at 662-895-4795 today.