Many people searching for natural stone for tiles or countertops often encounter a wide range of different prices. Stones like granite, for example, can vary in cost by hundreds of dollars per square foot, leaving some people to wonder if one stone is more desirable than another. For example, blue stones like Blue Bahia tend to cost a lot more money than gray stones do. This can lead to people second guessing their decisions, and even annoyance at a perceived “jacking” of the prices of some stones. There are several factors that go into the pricing of stone, however, and understanding them can give you a better sense of value for the material you choose for your home.
The first factor is availability. Some stones are extremely accessible, and there is a lot of them. This makes it easy to retrieve them and keeps costs relatively low. Other stones, however, are more rare. It costs more money to retrieve them, and there isn’t as much of them which also drives the price up.
The second factor may be transport. Most stones are imported from other countries, and with the cost of oil constantly fluctuating, there are times when the cost of importing a stone can dramatically impact its cost when it comes to market.
Fragility or strength of the stone can also play a role. Some stones which break easily and need to be reinforced with fiberglass, or which are difficult to get larger pieces of can also be more expensive than those stones that are hardy, dense and don’t fracture or break easily when being moved or installed.
The finish and potential edge treatments you may want on your stone, as well as the thickness of it can also impact the final cost, because some treatments can be more difficult to carry out, costing more in labor and broken stones, which leads to higher prices.
So while one stone may cost dramatically more than another, it says nothing at all about the quality of the stone you are considering, and more about stone manufacturing instead.