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What is Modular Granite?

what-is-modular-granite?

Here is everything you need to know about modular granite, its cost, advantages and disadvantages and how to install it so you can have an informed decision.


If remodeling your kitchen is on your to-do list this fall, don’t accept that there is only one way to do so. Updating your countertops is a great way to spruce up any cookery. Granite is an option that grew in popularity in the 1970s and has been a top choice for homeowners ever since.

Granite has been seen in homes as early as the 1920s but was kept for the luxurious houses. In the 1970’s it became more mainstream and has grown in popularity leading to multiple ways a granite countertop can be achieved. 

A granite countertop can be achieved in multiple ways including granite tiles, slab granite, and a hybrid of the two, known as modular granite. Modular granite is a perfect option for people who are hoping to cut costs by installing granite themselves.

Most granite comes in a few very large and heavy slabs, which makes it nearly impossible to do it yourself unless you have prior experience. Modular granite is easier to install than granite slabs and will have less grout seems than tile granite, making it the perfect option for some people.

The smaller slabs that make up modular granite countertops are generally about two feet wide and one foot long, which is the standard base size of a cabinet. Modular granite slabs are still fairly large but are small enough for someone who wants to install their own counters. 

Most modular granite is made pre-cut to size and can be bought in DIY friendly kits. In these kits, you can customize your order to fit over sinks, faucets, etc. Most kits also come with pieces that are pre-sealed and pre-backed with waterproofed plywood to ensure no leaks occur when you do it yourself. Another great aspect of modular granite is that the pieces generally come with a bullnose design to provide a sleek and finished look. 

Cost? 

Modular granite is much cheaper than other types of slab granite, especially when you do it yourself. Given the fact that larger slabs can’t usually be installed by someone without prior experience with granite, it is usually more expensive because you have to hire help. With modular granite, the slabs are smaller and the installation is easy. 

Modular granite can cost anywhere from $25 to $80 per square foot.  If you need to hire someone to help you install the countertops, expect to pay around $5 or $10 per square foot.  

Benefits 

If you like to do things yourself modular granite will be a great fit for you. First and foremost, it is more cost-effective than other granite options. Larger granite slabs can cost anywhere from $40 to $60 per square foot. The cost of help is also higher and can total around $2,000 to $4,500 given the size of the project. Modular will help you save, especially if you can do the project yourself.

Another benefit is that you can do it yourself. If you have any experience laying tiles of any kind, this will be an easy project. Because modular is made of a thinner type of granite, you can use wet saws and drills to fit your specific needs. 

Disadvantages 

Modular granite does not come in as many shapes and colors as normal granite slabs. Due to the fact that it is premade by a manufacturer, you will have fairly limited options. Unlike full slabs that can be found at a stone yard, you will have to choose from whatever the manufacturer has pre-selected. 

You will see the seams more easily than if you had full slabs. Although modular granite countertops are easier to install, the seams are much more visible because you will have more of them given the size of the slabs. Although you will not have as many seams as you would if you had granite tiles, it is still easy to tell they are there. 

Modular granite is not as durable as full slabs. Modular granite is made of a thinner material and if not properly installed can be more prone to cracking, especially during installation. When installing and handling your modular granite be very careful to avoid any type of scratching. 

Installation

The number one benefit of modular granite, aside from the price, is obviously the DIY aspect. If you have any experience laying ceramic tile you will easily be able to install modular granite. Given the size and overall thinness of the product, in most cases, you will be able to lift them and install them with one person. 

Tools you will most likely need for DIY installation:

  • Wet saw
  • Granite-cutting blade
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with granite bits
  • Level
  • Tri-square
  • Straightedge
  • Trowel
  • Caulk and caulk gun
  • Plywood
  • Level
  • Safety glasses
  • Earplugs if you are sensitive to noise

Things To Note

Modular granite is a practical option if you want to save money on real granite countertops. However, if you expect to have the same results as granite slabs, you might want to reconsider. You will have visible seams if you choose to go with modular granite and there is a chance you will have to replace it at some point, given that it is not as durable as some other options.

If you are a DIY master this can be a great option for you. Something important to note is that you will not get the same value out of your home if you use tile or modular, as you would using slabs.  If you are thinking of selling your home in the future, this may not be the smartest area to cut costs. If you don’t plan on selling your home, modular granite is an inexpensive and easy way to make your home look nicer. 

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