With its natural beauty and durability, it’s easy to see why genuine granite is widely considered a premium flooring choice. But granite tile comes at a high price point that’s out of reach for many homeowners.
If you love the iconic granite look but need a more affordable solution, consider granite-look porcelain or ceramic tile instead. This budget-friendly product offers a remarkably realistic granite aesthetic perfect for virtually any room.
Let’s explore everything you need to know about installing ceramic or porcelain granite look tile, including typical material and labor estimates for granite look tile and smart ways to save.
How Much Does Granite Look Tile Cost?
The national average cost for installing granite look porcelain or ceramic tile flooring is somewhere between $7 and $30 per square foot installedfor ceramic tile floor, and between $10 and $30 per sq. ft. installed for porcelain tile floor.
So for example, tiling a 10’x12’ kitchen floor with mid-range porcelain tile and a simple layout would roughly cost $1,500-$2,500. High-end custom ceramic tile with accent borders in the same space could reach $3,000+ installed.
HomeAdvisor estimates that granite flooring look tiles cost between $300 to $5,000. According to them, the typical homeowner will spend around $600 to $2,500, though the size of the flooring area, grade, type of granite, and the difficulty of the project largely dictate the price.
Level 2 (Mid-Grade Granite) tiles cost $5 to $15 per square foot, while Level 3 and Above (High-Grade Granite) can cost $15 to $40 per square foot.
How Granite Look Tile is Made
Granite look tile uses advanced digital printing technology to achieve its ultra-realistic appearance. Using high-resolution photographic scans of natural stones, manufacturers are able to digitally print incredibly detailed concrete-style textures onto porcelain or ceramic tiles.
The finishing process involves applying special coatings to enhance color depth and convincingly mimic the subtle swirls and veining of quarried granite. The final product has a very close visual match.
However, unlike natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tiles are manmade products molded from clay, minerals, and water before being fired in a kiln. This makes them inherently more affordable, lighter, and easier to work with than quarried granite.
Plus, modern porcelain tile is extremely durable and appropriate for virtually any residential or commercial use.
There are several variables that determine the total installed cost for granite look ceramic or porcelain tile in your home. These factors include:
- Tile Type: Porcelain, ceramic, mosaics
- Tile Grade/Quality: Budget, mid-range, high-end
- Tile Size: Standard 12”x12”, large format 18”x18” tiles or larger
- Pattern: Simple straight brick pattern or complex designs
- Tile Finish: Matte, polished granite, textured
- Color Variation: Uniform single color or dramatic multi-colored looks
- Customization: Standard sizes or fully bespoke custom tile
- Area Size: Total square footage for floors or walls being tiled
- Labor Difficulty: Simple square rooms or complex layouts
In general, more premium porcelain tiles in larger sizes with extra finishing processes like polish, texturization, or custom shapes will increase costs. Complex tile layouts also boost the labor time and difficulty factor for installers.
Additional Costs to Budget For
On top of the tile and installation quote itself, there are extra incidental expenses that arise with most tile jobs:
- Tile Backer Board: Cement board for walls costs $10-$20 per 4’x8’ sheet
- Tile Mortar and Grout: $50-$150+ total
- Tile Sealer: $30-$100 depending on type and coverage area
- Additional Decor Costs: Tile trims, borders, niche shelves, accent tile
Genuine granite requires yearly sealing. Luckily, porcelain and ceramic tile is lower maintenance and usually only needs resealing every 5-10 years.
Porcelain vs Ceramic Floor Tile: What’s the Difference?
While historically ceramic tile was considered an inferior product, new manufacturing techniques even the score – both offer a budget-friendly gateway to granite living. Porcelain still maintains an edge in durability and water resistance, but either material surpasses laminates. Check out this comparison before deciding:
|Features and Cost Considerations
In the end, porcelain tile still is the best for water-prone rooms like kitchens and baths. But don’t sleep on advanced ceramic tile – it can pass for luxurious granite in living rooms, bedrooms, and accent walls at just $3-$5 per foot installed.
Granite Stone Tile Styles: Colors, Finishes and Sizes
Another perk to faux granite tiles is immense design flexibility. Choose any finish, texture, and dimensions to mimic granite, travertine, and other luxe stones that align with your vision and budget.
Tile Finish Options
Tile Size Options
- Large format plank tiles
- Mosaic sheets
Some finishing processes like heavy texturization, polishing, unique shape molding, or digital pattern printing add cost. But with smart shopping, you can likely find a factory-finished tile line with your perfect granite look aesthetic for less.
Don’t overpay extra installing tiny tedious mosaic pieces either – mosaic mesh-mounted modular sheets make application easier.
Ways to Save on Your Granite Tile Project
While there’s no getting around certain fixed costs for quality materials and skilled installation, you can shop smart to score savings:
- Check for warehouse store bulk packs of porcelain tile priced considerably lower than specialty designer tiles.
- Instead of custom floor layouts, opt for simple straight or basketweave brick tile patterns which translate to faster installation times.
- Use mosaic sheets on walls rather than individual mosaic tiles to minimize labor fees.
- Purchase your own tile backer board and grout/mortar and supply it to tilers.
- For DIY: use peel-and-stick vinyl tile or tile stickers for temporary granite look floors.
By researching prices and being flexible on aspects like tile patterns, colors or finishes, you can potentially trim hundreds or more from your total granite-inspired tile flooring budget.
Installing convincing granite look tile floors no longer requires paying the price tag that comes with real granite. Thanks to game-changing porcelain and ceramic printing technology, homeowners can enjoy stylish granite-inspired floors for under $10/foot installed.
Be sure to obtain quotes from 2-3 contractors while keeping the influencing cost factors in mind when planning your project. And don’t be afraid to ask tilers how pricing or product choices could be tailored to meet your budget.