If you are looking for a beautiful, top-quality countertop material for your new home or remodel that is affordable, you may have thought granite was out of reach. Fortunately, granite is now much more obtainable for consumers. Once only used in expensive, elite homes due to its high price tag, new advanced processes and changes in the industry have significantly reduced the price of granite.
This is excellent news for homeowners like you that now can have one of the most desirable materials for countertops at a great value.
Changes in the Granite Industry
Twenty, even ten years ago, granite was a highly coveted material that was too expensive for many homeowners to consider for use in their homes. Despite the high price tag, granite countertops were still vastly popular due to its incredible beauty and durability. However, anyone that has researched prices for granite slabs, fabrication and professional installation in the past will find that its pricing has changed, even though it is still considered one of the highest-quality countertop materials.
The reason for this substantial drop in price is not due a lessening demand for granite countertops; it is attributed to major changes in the granite industry. Like most industries, granite procurers and fabricators have found ways to streamline how they obtain and produce their product, making it more affordable. Some of the main changes that have affected the price of granite include:
- Better raw material sources. Procurers of granite have found better sources and quarries for obtaining granite slabs, offering a higher supply and selection than ever before. Newer quarries with newer variety of stone materials are found in many parts of the world.
- Technology. One of the biggest impacts on the price of granite has been improved technology in the industry. Better tooling and automated fabrication processes have decreased the labor costs which are passed down to consumers.
- Improved maintenance. Improvements in the seal coating make granite finishes last longer and makes them easier to maintain. In addition, new products that help maintain the beauty and allure of granite have increased the life of granite countertops, while making them easier to clean and care for by homeowners.
Modern Quarrying and Fabrication Methods
Granite material prices have come down because of adoption of modern technology in quarrying and fabrication methods.
Since ancient times, granite has been used in homes. Large blocks of granite were removed from quarries then cut into thinner slabs. These slabs were chiseled or cut into specific sizes to be used in homes.
With the introduction of modern machinery like drilling equipment, highly efficient back hoe machines to move the blocks, has made the extraction granite blocks less expensive.
The first big change in technology was the use of machinery to cut and polish the granite slabs. Saws, routers and polishers have been used for decades to fabricate slabs intended for homes. However, with these individual hand-held machines, production of natural stone slabs used to take weeks to fabricate, making it extremely labor intensive and expensive.
The recent changes came when the fabrication process was automated, combining the machinery of saws, routers and polishers into one streamlined and automated process. This new technology is called computer numeric control, or CNC.
This process uses digital technology to control the saws, routers and polishers with precise details, all through one device. This phenomenal change has made it possible to create beautiful granite slabs in half the time it took before.
CNC Machines usage in Granite Countertops Fabrication
This new technology offers incredible precision to create beautiful countertops for consumers in only hours, versus several days or weeks. CNC technology not only offers faster cutting of countertops but it also enables to produce with consistent higher quality.
Some of the best granite fabricators and installers use this technology to cut costs that they could pass on to their customers, including Arch City Granite.
This computerized process starts with inputting the design of the desired countertop. Accurate measurements of kitchen or bath countertops are taken with a digital (computerized) measuring device. The exact dimensions are recorded in the software program, with adjustments made for the addition of holes for appliances and other custom specifications.
Once all the dimensions for the new countertop are uploaded, the fun begins. Then the slab is placed on the CNC machine to begin its transformation into the ideal countertop.
The result is a perfectly-sized and formed granite countertop, in much less time and at a much lower cost than fabrication using hand-held tools. After some final polishing and detail work, the countertop is ready for installation in the customer’s home.
Higher Quality, Better Price
The improved precision of computer technology means that today granite countertops can be custom fit to your kitchen even better than the hand-fabricated ones of the past.
Although automated fabrication has streamlined the process and made granite more affordable, it has taken nothing away from granite’s beauty or functionality. When paired with the other changes in the industry, it gives consumers a wider selection when choosing your granite countertops, with quicker design and installation, all at a more affordable price.
If you have always wanted granite countertops, yet have been hesitant to purchase due to their price, you may be surprised on how affordable these beautiful surfaces have become.
At Arch City Granite, we are excited to offer a large selection of granite at reasonable prices, due to our automated fabrication process using CNC technology, to fit into most homeowner’s design budgets.
Let us talk today on your granite countertops project!