What Are The Different Grades Of Granite Countertops?
Granite countertops can spruce up any kitchen and bathroom, no matter the cabinets or décor. They are made from molten lava that flows and mixes with other types of rocks. Plus, they’re resistant to chips and scratches!
Granite is a natural material that creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind countertops. It’s also quite durable and heat resistant. With proper sealing, it will last for decades. At Marble Renovation, we know that sealing your granite is important to protect its longevity and beauty.
However, not all granite countertops are created equal. They come in three granite grades: granite grade A, granite grade B, and granite grade C (or 1, 2, and 3).
How Do You Determine The Grade Of The Granite?
There are three primary grades of granite countertops: Level 1 (low-grade granite countertops), Level 2 (mid-grade granite countertops), and Level 3+ (high-grade granite countertops). The grade of a granite slab is mainly determined by its colours, veins, pitting, marking, thickness, the amount of soft material it contains, and the country where it was quarried.
The structural quality of a granite slab is what we call its “grade.” When dealers grade slabs of granites, they look at several identifiers. Richness and scarcity of colour usually offer good clues to the granite’s quality.
Slabs with more unique colours, veining, and patterns will be given a higher grade than others.
However, the granite’s grade is also impacted by factors such as pitting and marking on the surface, the thickness of the slab, and the amount of soft materials present.
Despite what many people think, there is no set industry standard for grading granite countertops. Most companies that sell granite have their own system for classifying it, which although similar to other systems in place, will often differ slightly between vendors.
Consequently, the level at which one wholesaler operates may be completely different from another. Always source kitchen countertops from a reputable and knowledgeable company to avoid any issues and to agree on a final cost.
How thick should the granite countertop be?
Granite is a natural material that comes from the Earth. That’s why you often see it in huge slabs at a manufacturer. They cut it into smaller pieces that are easier to use.
However, sometimes manufacturers cut slabs into thin pieces which makes them less durable. This is often done when the slabs are very thin, such as when they are cut down to less than one inch thick.
A thicker slab of granite is both more durable and automatically deemed as high quality ( for a price). When trying to select a long-lasting granite, look for one that lies between 1 to 1 ¼ inches in thickness.
Granite Grades | Granite Grading
What each granite grade means
LEVEL 1: Entry-Level Granite | Low-Grade Granite
Level 1 Granite – otherwise known as low-grade granite, entry-level granite, commercial-grade granite, and builder’s-grade granite – is a lower-quality granite option. This type of granite typically comes from China, is pre-fabricated, and is often seen in apartments or homes that are being remodelled.
A level 1 granite slab is only ⅜ inch thick and will require a plywood backing to make it more long-lasting.
Even though it’s given a low grade, that doesn’t mean the slab won’t look nice! It often features a basic design without much colour variation, making it perfect for people who want something more subtle.
More budget-friendly than other similar options on the market, this granite stone is perfect for anyone looking to stay within their means.
LEVEL 2: Mid-Grade Granite
Level 2 mid grade granite typically originates from India or Brazil and provides more color, designs, and variation than Level 1. If you’re looking for a unique granite look that includes various patterns, then consider selecting level 2.
This stone is about ¾ inch thick, which makes it more durable and a better investment than lower grades of stone. It’s also perfect for those who want something more unique, but don’t want to spend the price on high-grade granite.
LEVEL 3: High Grade Granite Stone
High quality granite is mported from India or Brazil, high-grade granite of level 3 and up is among the finest quality stones available. It boasts an incredibly unique appearance. Level 3 granite slab is usually 1 to 1 ¼ inches thick, making it extremely durable. And while location doesn’t necessarily dictate quality, it can fluctuate granite countertops cost.
Plus, it often has an intricate design with highly varied colour patterns and depth, making it the perfect choice for those looking for a stunning appearance in their remodel.
High-grade quality granite does have a higher price tag. But due to its thickness, high-grade granite countertop is a worthy investment for anyone looking for something unique and durable.
Ultimately, the grade of your granite countertop will come down to personal preference and budget. You’ll also find rare colours, patterns, and veins running through it for a truly unique finish. It’s important to remember that the grades don’t stop at 3! Some places offer grades as high as 7 for an even higher quality stone.
Final Thoughts on Granite Grades
Granite countertops come in different grades, each with their benefits and drawbacks. The three main grades of granite are entry-level, mid-grade, and high-grade. Entry-level is the cheapest and most common type of granite, while high-grade is the most expensive but also the most durable.
When choosing a granite countertop, it’s important to consider both your budget and what you want the finished product to look like. There are many different types of granite available, so take your time to find the perfect one for you. And remember, the higher the grade, the better the investment in both longevity and appearance.