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The grade of granite is simply a measurement of the structural quality of this natural stone.
There are three different grades of granite: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3+. The scale for determining the grade of granite starts with Level 1, which is classified as “low-grade” granite, Level 2 as “mid-grade,” while Level 3+ is considered “high-grade.”
Let’s look at several identifiers dealers use when assigning a grade to a slab of granite and how each grade holds up to these quality identifiers.
Granite is a material that is sourced and cut from the Earth. When mined, it is often cut into slabs that are then taken to the manufacturer, where they are cut into slimmer and easier managed pieces.
In some cases, manufacturers will cut them into very thin pieces, which makes them easier to handle, but ultimately will have a negative impact on the durability of the granite slab. This is especially true if it is cut down to less than one inch of thickness.
Granite can be found all across the world, and where it is sourced from can affect the price. For example, granite sourced from China tends to be more affordable than granite that comes from Italy or Brazil.
It’s crucial to remember that granite is a heavy material and becomes costly to ship. This can have a major impact on the final cost of your granite countertops. It is most affordable to utilize granite that is shipped within the U.S.
This is a key feature of durable granite. Depending on the stones and minerals that comprise your granite slab, the porosity will vary and will impact the look of your stone over time. Having porous stone will make it more likely to absorb liquids, causing staining, and can also make maintenance more difficult.
When analyzing the grades of granite, the appearance of the granite plays a major role. When evaluating a granite slab, it’s important to look for dings, dents, scratches, and any uneven areas on the surface.
These imperfections can make your granite more vulnerable to breaking or cracking. High-quality granite should resist scratches, dents, and dings. When it already appears to have suffered damage, it is a sign of lower quality granite.
This is also referred to as commercial or builders-grade granite. This type of “entry level” granite typically comes from China and is pre-fabricated. You will commonly see this type of granite in apartments or in remodeled homes.
A downside of this granite is that it is typically very thin, around 3/8 inch thick. Because of this, it will require plywood backing for more durability. This type of slab will commonly have a simple design without much variation in color. It will provide a great look and serve as a viable option for small budgets.
This type of granite comes from Brazil or India and will feature more patterns for you to choose from. When compared to low-grade granite, you will find more variety in color and design with mid-grade granite.
Typically, these slabs will be around 3/4 of an inch thick, offering more durability than low-grade granite. This is a good option for smaller budgets, offering more durability and style at a lower cost than high-grade granite.
High-grade granite offers you the highest quality stone with a distinct appearance. This type of granite will typically come from Brazil or India. The slabs will be 3/4 of an inch or thicker and will feature more rare colors, veins, and patterns for a truly unique appearance.
Regardless of the level of granite you choose, keep in mind that the stone will be scratch resistant, heat resistant, and will require low maintenance. The levels of granite mainly vary on thickness, durability, cost, and colors/patterns.
When choosing the best grade of granite for your home remodeling project, it mainly comes down to your personal preferences for your natural stone countertop. When choosing between grades, consider the following:
As mentioned above, different grades of granite are available in different varieties of color and patterns. The higher the grade, the more colors, and patterns you will find. Suppose you want a simple design, then level 1 granite will suffice, whereas a more elegant look will require a higher grade of granite.
Think about how large your kitchen cabinets are. How many slabs will you need? How big do the granite slabs need to be? When looking at higher grade granite, you may find that limited quantities may be available.
Take a look at your budget. This can help you narrow down your granite options. Whether you choose level 1 or level 3 granite, both are viable options that will only vary in appearance and thickness. Find out more about the thickness of granite countertops on our blog!
At Express Cabinet and Granite, we offer a variety of different grades of granite to suit your needs and your budget. Additionally, we can handle your granite countertop installation from start to finish. Contact us today to learn more about our services!