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A Look at the Costs Involved in Installing Granite Countertops

Countertops are one of the most important products when it comes to the kitchen area. Not only will you be preparing food and making drinks on such surfaces, but you'll likely have numerous electricals that sit on them. Therefore, it's crucial your countertops are secure and look attractive.

With that being said, countertops come at a cost, a cost that is sometimes mind-boggling but one that's the difference between making your kitchen look unique and something that looks like all the other kitchens out there.

Kitchen countertops that work

You could go for a wooden countertop that does the job for a much cheaper price, but granite countertops are the way forward if you want something that looks modern and fresh. If you're considering a granite countertop, you may want to first look at the costs involved when it comes to the installation process.

Removal of Existing Countertops
Most homeowners choose to undertake the removal of countertops themselves but regret it later when they accidentally damage underneath cabinets or appliances. If you're looking for a clean removal of existing countertops, your best bet is to hire a professional. It's far from cheap, but if any of your appliances or cabinets were damaged during the process of doing it yourself, the cost will be much higher in replacing them.

Your state and the zip code in which you reside will determine the cost of the contractor your use. However, by using a calculator like the one on - you'll get an average cost for the services you need. It usually takes around 9 hours for a professional to undertake the work (depending on the size of the job), so you can expect a quote of around $147-$693 for someone to complete the work. They will carefully protect all areas they are working in to ensure no surfaces are damaged – this includes the floor and appliances. Once multiple surfaces are protected, they'll look to lift the existing countertops from their cabinetry surfaces, and will then cut the countertops into segments so they're much easier to work with and dispose of.

Disposal of Existing Countertops Waste
Of course, the removal of existing countertops is just one cost, so you'll need to pay extra if you want the professional to dispose of the waste properly. Granite countertops are heavy products, so this is the perfect service if you want to rid of the waste without worrying about anything other than handing over the cash. You can expect to pay around $177-$201 for a professional to dispose of 300 sq. ft. of countertop waste. Installers will also get rid of the waste in an environmentally friendly way so you don't have to.

Installation and Purchase of Granite Countertops
If you wanted to pay for the full service, you're looking at a hefty price of $15,531-$21,540. That price may or may not include the removal and disposal of existing worktops, so be sure to look at the quote in detail. Such a service will include the purchase of mid-grade solid granite countertops. The countertops are 30mm thick and can come in lengths of up to 110" – so you'll definitely want a professional company to carry those through the front door. This service includes the delivery and installation of the granite worktops. The professionals will customize the installation to perfect your kitchen (or other) area. It's the price you pay for a high-quality finish.

Labor Costs
If you've purchased the materials and you're looking for a professional to install the product for you, you could be looking at a cost of anything between $1,720-$4187. The complexity of the job will determine how long it takes, but you'll usually have a lot of banging and cutting noise to deal with for more than 50 hours, so be sure to get your earplugs ready or prepare to live with your partner's parents for a few days (if you can cope with that). Labor costs can also vary greatly depending on the number of professionals working on the project. You may also be required to pay a laborer to keep the area clean while professionals are working on installing your countertops.

Project Supplies
Unfortunately, the costs don't just end with the above. Contractors will also need supplies to work with to ensure the countertops are perfectly stable and look attractive when the job is complete. You'll need to invest in fasteners (usually in corners where there will be countertop joins), caulking and sealant (to prevent any liquids from running down the walls once it's installed) products to finish off the job. Professionals will also need to fabricate certain areas, so you'll also need supplies to ensure they can do that with ease. You should include around $700 in your budget for such accessories for the professionals to get the job done right. Of course, this cost can stretch considerably if you're buying more expensive supplies that offer a much better professional finish. You could save multiple costs here if you get a quote for the supplies you need and then research for cheaper products online if you have the time.

It's not hard to clean a finished granite countertop, but if you want it done professionally, it's another cost to consider. After a professional has installed the countertops for you, it could always be worth hiring a cleaner to come in and make it sparkle. After all, you've paid thousands of dollars for the granite, so why not look after it from the get-go? Again, cleaning costs will vary depending on the state you live in, but you can expect to pay anything between $10-$20 an hour for an experienced cleaner. Your kitchen will smell fresh again and it'll give you a much easier starting point to keep your countertops in excellent condition for years to come. A simple wipe over with a cloth is all it takes when a professional has installed the granite, but dust doesn't seem to go away unless you hire a professional cleaner.

Other Costs
If all the above isn't expensive as it is, there are other costs involved and ones that you should be prepared to pay. While professionals will do all they can to prevent damage during the installation process, sometimes they can't guarantee it. Countertops are sealed around the back so liquids don't spill down the walls once it's complete. Therefore, if they're removing existing countertops, your walls could need a bit of care when it comes to repainting. Cabinets can also succumb to damage when professionals are lifting existing countertops off the below units, so be prepared to replace them. Appliances and the floor will always be protected during the removal/installation processes, but you should always expect the unexpected.

Granite countertops certainly aren't for the homeowners on a tight kitchen renovation budget, but they do provide long-term benefits which could make them cost-effective. In conclusion, you could save yourself thousands on granite countertop installation if you're willing to get involved and get your hands dirty. However, if you're looking for a professional to get the job completed from start to finish, and in the cleanest and safest way possible, it's very much a cost worth its weight in gold.

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