If you need a new kitchen worktop, granite and other natural stone are a beautiful and durable way to go. Granite countertops are popular for beauty, durability and low maintenance. However, having them fitted always means hiring a professional to cut, sand and finish the worktop for you.
In addition, you’ll always pay more for a natural stone like granite than for laminate or wood worktops. However, the results can retain beauty and usability for a lifetime – meaning they’re well worth the investment.
The average cost of fitting a granite worktop in the UK is £1,200 – or about £400 per square metre. That works out to £200-£350 per m2 for supply and £150-£350 per m2 for the cost of labour.
Here, the cost of labour can be quite high, as fitting, polishing and cutting granite worktops to size can be labour-intensive. In addition, granite rates depend on the colour and finish on the worktop.
What Are Granite Worktops?
Granite worktops are natural stone worktops made of slabs of rock formed from volcanoes. This igneous rock is porous and features large crystals of different types of rock including quartz, feldspar and plagioclase.
These crystals give granite worktops their distinctive marble or speckling finishes – with a range of colours, patterns and designs found in nature depending on the makeup of the crystals.
In addition, granite is igneous, meaning it forms in magma flows, creating large natural sheets – ideal for use as worktops. To create a worktop, the stone must be excavated and cut – usually into standard sizes of 650mm x 30mm x 3,000mm – although custom lengths, up to about 6,000mm are often available in a single sheet.
This porous material offers a hard and durable cutting surface. However, it is porous so many people prefer to seal the material. This ensures the worktop is watertight, while preventing germs and moisture from building up on the surface.
Therefore, fitting a granite countertop typically involves cutting the worktop to size, cutting spaces for the sink, stove or other integrated kitchen appliances, sanding and smoothing the worktop and then finishing it with sealant.
How Much Do Granite Worktops Cost?*
Granite is a durable material that will typically last the rest of your life. You can expect most to last 100 years or more, provided you don’t drop something heavy on them. Therefore, you can expect to invest a larger amount in the material and the worktop.
Therefore, granite worktops typically cost from about £800.
|2m Worktop/Kitchen Island||£450-£600||£150-£300|
|3m Worktop with Sink||£600-£900||£250-£450|
|6m Worktop with Corner||£1,600-£2,800||£350-£580|
*Please note cost estimates are based on quotes at the time of writing in May 2023. Actual costs are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
Factors Which Impact Granite Worktop Prices
The largest cost differentiator for a granite worktop is the material.
Here, pricing typically depends on what kind of pattern you want, what quality of granite you choose and thickness of granite.
Granite is available in a wide range of quality.
In most cases, “quality” refers to imperfections such as the amount of air in the rock, any fissures or hairline cracks and any weaknesses in the rock. For example, veins in the rock can result in weaknesses in the slab, meaning the countertop is more prone to cracking.
On the other hand, some suppliers will specialise in using highly porous granite – which they sell for cheap. Provided you use a sealant on the granite, it’s safe to use for cooking. However, it’s not as durable as a less porous granite. This means it’s more prone to chipping and cracking if you drop things on it.
However, in some cases, pricing isn’t about quality and you’ll pay more because the granite is finished by a certain brand, it’s been finished with resin to add to the aesthetic appeal or otherwise is something out of the ordinary. Therefore, it’s important to decide what you want to pay for and look for that.
Thickness and Size of Countertop
The average countertop is 65 cm deep and 3 cm thick. However, you can double the thickness. You can also increase the width (or decrease it) depending on your kitchen layout. In most cases, you’ll pay £200-£450 per square metre of granite. This means that if you double the thickness of the worktop, you’ll pay twice as much per metre of countertop length.
Do you need thicker than 3 cm? Not really. Especially if you back your countertops with wood supports so that the granite has as few stress points as possible. However, some people really like the look of a chunky worktop – so you may opt for it anyway.
Some granite colours are more common than others. This means that the material itself is cheaper. Here, you can expect black speckled, grey and pink colourations to be cheaper than pure black, blue, green or white. For example, we were quoted the following rates for a 3,000 x 650 x 30 countertop in different colours:
|Colour||Price per 3m|
|(Near) Solid Black||£700-£780|
These rates are for supply only. In addition, it doesn’t include upstands, actual cabinets or manufacture and delivery.
However, you can reduce costs by opting for a 20mm worktop thickness, which can typically save you about 20% on costs.
Cost of Labour
The cost of labour can be significant for fitting a granite worktop. That’s because the process of fitting a worktop can involve a lot. For example:
- Cutting sinks
- Tap holes
- Hob cutouts
- Grooves for draining
- Cutting splashbacks
- Cutting corners
- Adding profile edging
- Curving corners
- Socket cutouts
- Trimming and polishing the worktop
- Sealing the worktop
That’s without considering the cost of delivery. However, you’ll have to make decisions about aesthetics like cornering, cutouts and edges. This means your supplier will normally deliver an unworked granite slab – which can be cut and polished into exactly what you want.
In most cases, you can expect to pay about £150 per day per person on the job. Normally that works out to 1-2 days of full-time work for 2-3 people. In addition, you may need more people for particularly large worktops.
However, some suppliers will offer a flat-rate fit cost, such as £850 for standard fit. You’ll pay more if you want custom cutouts or extra bevelling and edging – but you’ll have a roughly flat rate to work with as a baseline.
There are plenty of elements in a countertop that might not matter for you. For example, you may not care about having matching granite splashbacks. But, you may want them. You might also not want drain grooves. Upstands normally cost from about £20- £60 each.
What you get depends on how you want your kitchen to look and feel. For example, some people will prefer to have matching splashbacks, upstands, shelves and a kitchen island. That will mean investing the maximum amount in your granite worktop. Others will want something basic and just want a durable and low-maintenance worktop.
It’s important to check your quote to see if delivery is included in the cost of the worktop. Here, you might pay anywhere from £40- £200 extra for delivery if the worktop is from further away.
It’s also highly unlikely that you can pick the worktop up yourself, because you’ll typically have to rent a truck to manage the worktop.
5 Advantages Of Using Granite For Worktops
Granite worktops offer a lot of advantages.
However, they are very comparable to other forms of natural stone, although they may be more durable than slate.
1. Heat Resistant
Wood and laminate countertops are popular for being affordable, but you often have to exercise care with hot pans and dishes. Granite is durable enough to resist direct heat from a pan, meaning you’ll have to be less careful.
However, it’s important to note that the sealant you use on your granite may not be as durable as the rock itself. Therefore, you might have to continue using potholders to protect the sealant and prevent it from scorching or developing rings.
If avoiding potholders is important for you, discuss your options for a high-heat resistant sealant with your supplier to ensure you get the countertop you want.
Granite worktops typically cost £200+ per m2. That is expensive. However, when you compare it to the average of £50 per m2 for laminate, which only lasts about 10-12 years, it’s actually affordable over the long-term.
In addition, with less maintenance, less that can go wrong and fewer risks of losing the worktop to an accident like flooding the countertop – and you have a much better investment. Sealed stone lasts 100 years or more – although accidental damage like chips and cracks (which are very unlikely) can change that.
In addition, granite is more affordable than many alternative natural stone countertops such as marble and quartz. Therefore, you can get the beautiful look of natural stone without paying the high cost of it.
Granite countertops are tough, difficult to scratch, difficult to stain and easy to maintain. A good coat of sealant may last the lifetime of the stone. However, you may have to re-seal the granite a few times over the duration of it its lifespan.
Still, granite is extremely tough and you’ll have fewer issues with scratches. You’ll also have less to worry about with pan marks and scorching. And, if you accidentally cut or scratch the surface, it’s relatively easy to sand out and re-finish the sealant there – even though it’s extremely unlikely that the granite would scratch at all.
Granite is composed of rock crystals from multiple kinds of rock. The density and size of each crystal changes dramatically from area to area, meaning that every granite countertop is completely unique. You can choose a countertop by looking through options and choosing a specific piece of stone you really love – and there will never be another one exactly like it.
That unique beauty is a great selling point, especially if you want something unique and beautiful in your home. And, if you have more countertops, they will subtly change from piece to piece, highlighting the uniqueness of the natural stone.
5. Easy to Clean
Properly sealed granite will simply wipe clean. However, you can also use a simple mixture of baking soda and water to clean out the porous material if you haven’t had it sealed.
However, granite is rough, does not scratch and allows for very fast and simple cleaning. Of course, you’ll still want to avoid harsh chemicals that may stain or bleach the stone.
Granite vs Other Worktop Types
Granite is just one of a number of worktop options you can choose from.
|Granite||Durable, Good Longevity, Easy to Clean, Unique||Relatively Expensive, Must be Sealed, Can Chip and Crack|
|Marble||Durable, Good Longevity, Easy to Clean, Unique||Expensive, Must be Sealed, Can Chip and Crack|
|Quartz||Durable, Good Longevity, Easy to Clean, Unique||Expensive, Must be Sealed, Can Chip and Crack|
|Wood||Durable, Affordable, Easy to Install, Wide Range of Options||Can Damage Easily, Not Heat Resistant, Must be Sealed|
|Ceramic||Stain-proof, Water-resistant, A Variety of Options||Chips Easily, Expensive|
|Stainless Steel||Affordable, Very Durable, Very Good Longevity, Almost No Maintenance||Ugly|
|Laminate||Affordable, A Variety of Options||Poor Longevity, Prone to Water and Heat Damage|
Granite is one of the most popular worktop materials because it mixes durability and cost-effectiveness. In addition, while it must be sealed, that’s true of any other natural stone.
Therefore, granite offers a durable, easy to clean natural stone worktop – with lower costs than comparable options like quartz and marble.
Marble is a very popular worktop option with similar properties to granite. However, it’s normally white or black with distinctive veining, which a lot of people like a great deal.
However, with prices starting at £300+ per metre, it’s much more expensive than granite.
Quartz is a beautiful worktop with properties very similar to granite. In fact, granite often contains a considerable amount of quartz.
However, pure quartz typically starts at close to £400 per metre (with supply and fit) making it more expensive than granite. In most cases, you choose granite for the look – because it can be very uniquely beautiful.
Wooden countertops range a lot in quality and style – with options ranging from compressed composite wood to hardwood. This means you’ll pay anywhere from about £50-£250 per metre for your countertop.
It’s also durable and, if sealed, relatively easy to maintain. However, you will have to periodically re-seal and varnish your worktop. It’s also not heat or water resistant.
Ceramic and porcelain worktops are good for achieving a look you want in a low-usage kitchen. However, ceramic is prone to chipping and cracking, meaning you cannot usually get away with dropping anything on the counter.
In addition, ceramic can be quite a bit expensive.
Stainless steel countertops are very durable and require almost no maintenance. They can also cost anywhere between £50 and £300 per metre depending on the thickness and the type of steel.
This makes steel countertops a great choice if you want a durable and hard-wearing surface – but don’t necessarily care about aesthetics.
Laminate worktops use a veneer layer to mimic the look of natural stone and wood. They also typically cost from about £20-£50 per metre. This makes them the cheapest worktop material.
However, the trade-off is that they usually only last about 10-12 years. In addition, they’re easily damaged by heat and by water – so spills and leaks should be taken care of ASAP.
Why Is Granite So Expensive?
Granite is far from the most expensive worktop material out there. However, it can still cost quite a bit. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to supply and fit granite worktops to your kitchen for less than £1600 unless you have a very small kitchen.
That high cost is because of a combination of high cost of materials and cost of labour. Here, you have to find granite that is large and thick enough to function as a worktop. Then, you have to cut it to size, ship it without breaking it and fit it. From there, it still must be cut, polished and fit to the kitchen – all of which can take a large amount of labour.
Digging up, cutting and transporting granite all also involve a higher amount of risk, because these materials do crack and break. Therefore, you’re also paying someone else to take on the risks of transportation and installation – so that if something goes wrong, you don’t have to pay for materials twice.
Sourcing Your Worktop
Granite worktops are available from a range of suppliers including generic kitchen fitters. Most firms that fit kitchens will offer granite as an option.
However, there are also plenty of custom suppliers who solely specialise in worktops and not in the rest of the kitchen. In this case, you’ll get more options with the worktop itself – although you’ll have to pay a different firm to handle the cabinets.
Here, a specialist fitter will step in once the rest of the kitchen is ready to go. They’ll measure the kitchen, place the sockets, ask what kind of corners you want, ask about edges and rounding and figure out where the sockets should be.
From there, they’ll custom cut your countertop to fit, deliver and install it. This is the ideal option if you want a waterfall, custom edging like bullnose or other specific details – as the generic fitter may not be able to provide this customisation.
Granite Worktop Fitting Steps
Fitting your granite worktop is a labour-intensive process, but it should follow the same steps every time:
- The fitter comes in to measure everything. You decide what extras you want such as splashbacks, waterfalls, edging, etc.
- Your specialist handles most of the cutting and manufacturing off-site.
- The worktop is delivered mostly cut-to-size.
- Your team handles any reinforcement, fitting pieces together and drilling extra holes as required.
- Splashbacks and upstands are fitted.
- The worktop is sanded, polished and sealed.
From there, you can go ahead and use your worktop.
Granite Worktop Maintenance Tips
Maintaining a granite worktop is relatively easy.
- Wipe the surface with plain water or mild soap to clean it.
- If you need extra cleaning, use a mild-ph cleaner or baking soda.
- Avoid leaving water on the surface.
- Clean up spills to prevent staining.
- Do not use abrasives or scouring pads as they will abrade the granite over time.
Other than that, you shouldn’t need any maintenance at all.
How To Save Money On Granite Worktops
Saving money on a granite worktop usually means choosing simple designs, opting for a common colour and comparing your options to get a good quote and rate.
- Ask around for quotes from different fitters and suppliers. Granite costs can vary a lot for the same quality of material, so you should shop for a good price. Compare at least 3 quotes to ensure you know what’s being charged locally.
- Choose a common colour, such as a high-speckle black or grey to reduce costs
- Don’t request arcs or curved edges, as rounding edges typically costs an extra £15- £30 per metre.
- Make sure the supplier offers liability insurance to reduce unexpected surprises
- Ensure the supplier owns waste so you’re not responsible for disposing of old countertops or granite cut-offs.
Finding A Worktop Fitter
Finding the right fitter can make a big difference in how much you pay and what your granite options are. These questions will help you make the right choice.
- What is your pricing list for granite countertops?
- What customisation services do you charge? (e.g., rounded corners, tap holes, waterfalls, etc.)
- Do you have liability and workmanship insurance?
- What about worker’s compensation?
- Where do you get your granite?
- Do you dispose of waste?
- Can you provide a detailed quote with all work and material supply including polishing and sealing included?
Usually, the best place to start is to request quotes from different suppliers and compare those quotes. To get started, use the form at the top of the page to get in touch with local granite worktop fitters in your area.