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What are Granite Tiles? Why Use Them?

This is a close look at a bathroom's shower area with granite tiles.

It is pretty easy to understand why granite has become so popular over the last 50 years. If you watch any home renovation show, there is a reason designers always gravitate towards using granite. Other than the value it can add to a home, it is durable, long-lasting and there are so many styles and textures you can choose from. From earth tone granite to subtle whites and grays, there is something for every design taste. 

Other countertops used in kitchens are generally made to imitate granite, as it can be quite expensive. Options such as laminate, quartz, porcelain, and concrete are all man-made and are used, in most cases, as less expensive alternatives to granite.

Many of these options use chemicals, polyester resin and pigments to imitate the look of granite. If you want to go the granite route, but are trying to stay within a tight budget, granite tiles are a great option. Granite tile is an ideal option for kitchen or bathroom counters, and using tiles instead of slabs can save you a lot of money. 

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What Are Granite Tiles?

Unlike granite slabs, which are sourced as one seamless piece of stone, granite tiles are sourced in smaller quantities as individual entities. Granite tiles are installed by putting many pieces together to form a smooth surface. The individual squares are put together with grouting that can create a cool textured look. Unlike slab granite, granite tiles create a more multi-dimensional feel. 

Granite tiles are generally used for a smaller space, as they do have grout lines that will be visible. If a space has difficult to reach areas or odd-shaped appliances such as sinks and dishwashers, tiles can be more beneficial and less expensive. When using slab granite, it will cost more to cut out spaces for sinks and other appliances. When you use tiles, appliances are easier to work around. 


A piece of granite tile being installed.

Out of all three options for granite: slabs, modular, and tile, tile is the least expensive. While slabs of granite can run anywhere from $40 – $60 per square foot, tile is generally $5 – $15. Not only does the tile itself cost less, but the installation for tile granite is also cheaper than slabs.

This is most likely due to the fact that installing slabs of granite takes a lot more work and time. The installation of slab granite costs anywhere from $80 – $150 per square foot. Tile granite, on the other hand, costs as little as $50 per square foot and $75 at most. 

Advantages of Tile Granite

There are many advantages to installing tile granite. First and foremost, having granite in your home will up the value no matter what kind you choose to get. Because granite is so long-lasting and durable, it is widely sought after by homeowners. As most realtors will tell you, kitchens are usually what sell the homes. Adding granite can help do just that.

Tile granite is much less expensive than other options. The low cost of the materials, plus the easier installation. makes it a great choice for people on a budget. Granite tiles are around 4-8 times cheaper than granite slabs. They are also 4-5 times cheaper than modular granite. Depending on the cost of installation, you would most likely be saving a ton of money. 

Not only can you save money in materials alone, but if you choose to install your own granite tiles, you can save a lot more. If you have ever laid tile in a bathroom, or somewhere similar, you shouldn’t have a problem with this job. If you do not have the experience, however, it is easy to ruin the job. Inexperienced individuals run the risk of laying their tiles crooked and messing up the grout. With that being said, it is recommended you have a professional install the countertops. 

Pieces of granite tiles on a white surface.

Disadvantages of Granite Tiles?

Although having granite in a home can add major value, granite tiles are probably the least desired of the options you have when installing granite. For most individuals, the appeal of granite is a sleek and finished look it provides in your space. For the pure and raw beauty aspect, slab granites are hard to beat.

If you want the most bang for your buck and are looking to sell your home at some point in the future, slab granite is the best way to go. If you are planning to live in your home and do not want to sell, tile granite can save you money, but it will not bring in the same value in the long run.

If installed correctly, the grout used with granite tile can be made to look less noticeable. However, the one major drawback of granite tiles is that there will be a lot of seems on your counters. If an individual likes the look of the grout it can be emphasized, but if you are someone who wants a smooth finish, tiles may not be the way to go. In order to achieve a more seamless look, using stained grout can help accomplish this. 

Another aspect to think of when installing granite tiles is the ease of cleaning in the long run. Like tiles in a shower or bathroom, grout gets dirty and can collect bacteria easily. When it comes to a kitchen where you are eating and cooking food, cleanliness should be at the top of your list. If you want an option that is easy to clean long term, you might want to rethink granite tile. 

Stacks of different granite tiles on display at a store.

Where to Buy Granite Tiles

Granite tiles can be bought at most major home retailers such as Home Depot. You can also buy granite tiles from other retailers such as Stone and Stile and Marble Warehouse