Granite countertops are loved by homeowners everywhere for their durability, great looks, and low maintenance characteristics. Nevertheless, the costs of turning a wonderful granite slab into an amazing kitchen surface are not so gentle when remodeling on a tight budget. 

With that said, slabs are not the only way to use the natural stone in your kitchen. There is a 50 to 75% less expensive and more DIY friendly way to achieve that goal, but is it worth it? Is using granite tiles for countertops a good idea?

We are tackling that question thoroughly in this article as we explore the pros and cons of a tile countertop when compared to its slab equivalent from different perspectives. Keep reading to find out if the smaller price alternative is the right solution for you or not.

The appearance of granite tile countertops

Granite has been the king of countertops materials for decades (a position now challenged by quartz) and not for no reason. Not only it outperforms other stones in almost all areas, it still manages to offer awesome looks. Rich hues and textures that range from classic to exotic.

All of that is no different for granite tiles, they are actually supplied in even more varieties than slabs are. The only drawback they require you to accept is the grout lines.

We’re not talking about the almost unnoticeable seams found on big stone countertops. We’re talking about lines at every 12 inches spread in all directions like any other tiled surface.

If that is something that won’t bother you, granite tiles for countertops are indeed a great way of acquiring an amazing stone look for a much smaller price.

granite tiles for countertops with very slight grout lines
Grout lines: Small but there.

Installation of granite tiles for countertops

This is a factor leading many people towards the tiled surface option, especially now that DIY options are more popular than ever. Granite tiles are smaller, thinner and not harder to install than any other tiles.

People who are experienced with laying tiles will see no problem in installing their own countertops, although it’s not a fast or easy job it can even be handled by a single person. 

However, if you don’t have the required skill sets, or feel challenged by the thought of having to level so many tiles in such an important area of your house, by no means get assistance from professional contractors. Common problems to keep an eye open for are crooked tile placement and incorrect grouting.

Granite slabs due to their weight and size should always be installed by pros.

Durability and Maintenance

As we all know granite, when properly sealed is extremely resistant to anything you can throw at it. Stains, scratches, heat, sunlight, rain, liquid spills and so on. Granite tiles share all of the same characteristics, with only a few weak links. Again, the grout lines.

Grout is prone to accumulate dirt, and due to it being porous, it can absorb moisture and become a bit less than hygienic. It needs to be regularly (more often than normal sealing) cleaned and well-maintained. The good news is that you can use the same sealant used on the stone to seal the grouting.

Granite slabs, on the other hand, might not even require sealing at all, and when they do, it’s every 3 to 5 years or longer. Read our article on “How to seal granite countertops” to fully grasp the concept.

grout material being prepared for granite tiles
Grout is the real mood killer.

The cost of granite tile countertops

This is where granite tiles for countertops really shine. Even with installation costs included they still end up being a lot cheaper than their counterparts. 

The installed price of granite tile countertops is estimated in 50 to 75 dollars per square foot, whilst that of slabs is of 100 to 150 dollars. There’s reason for such a drastic price difference.

Slabs of stone must be handled, fabricated, and then installed. And all of that requires a lot of infrastructure and manpower cause they are huge. However, what really factors into this equation is the volume of stone. Tiles are much thinner than slabs, so less stone is consumed when opting for them.

a traditional granite countertop in a kitchen
A traditional granite countertop made of slabs.

Summing up

Even with the higher price tag, there are unmatched benefits to opting for a granite slab countertop, such as less maintenance and no grout lines.

However, if you don’t mind these issues choosing granite tiles for countertops might be a great choice for you. Especially when compared with other tile options, granite is unparalleled in all aspects. 

So when on a smaller budget that won‘t ever allow a stretch, you can consider granite tiles for countertops a very viable choice.

Would you like to see some samples of granite tiles and slabs? You’re more than welcome to our showroom in Sarasota, FL.