Labradorite may not be a popular countertop choice, but it is very unique in design and characteristics. If you want to decorate your home and kitchen with attractive and eye-catching materials, labradorite can be a good choice for the counter.
But, when you find out the price, you might have second thoughts, which is quite high, to be honest, especially if compared to other premium quality countertops.
In this guide, we will go into detail about the comprehensive cost analysis of Labradorite countertops, encompassing both material and installation expenses. We will uncover the reasons behind its expense and explore the various factors that contribute to its higher price.
What is a Labradorite Countertop?
Labradorite is a type of mineral which somewhat similar to granite materials and is also used to create countertops and backsplashes. Labradorite gets its name from the place where it was first discovered, a province in Canada called Labrador.
Currently, it is also found in other parts of the world with unique characteristics such as its color and labradorescence. Talking about color, the base color of labradorite is primarily gray or dark gray.
Also, Labradorite is unique due to its iridescent properties, which is basically the display of luminous colors upon hitting light from different angles. This property of the labradorite is called labradorescence.
The iridescent displays of colors in labradorite can vary depending on the specific type of minerals within the stone and its geological origin. The most widely available iridescent colors are yellow, blue, and green. Some labradorites can also show purple or violet hues by their labradorescence, but these minerals are relatively rare.
Cost of Labradorite Countertop
The cost of a Labradorite countertop is higher than any standard countertop due to the rarity of the feldspar minerals and their luminosity. However, the price of the labradorite materials can show substantial variations based on their geographical origin.
Secondly, the thickness of the material and region-specific labor costs are additional factors that play a role in the complete installation expenses.
Overall, the total price for a Labradorite countertop can vary significantly, considering the disparity in quality and these various factors.
The labradorite with minimum thickness and no labradorescence can cost around $150 to $250 per square foot installed. If the thickness of labradorite is in the mid-range, and labradorescence colors are the most common ones, such as blues, greens, and yellow, then the cost of counters, including installation, can be somewhere around $230 to $300.
The thickest available labradorite sabs of rare shimmering colors, such as pinks or purples, can take an installation cost of more than $300. For a standard-sized kitchen countertop, the total expenses for a full labradorite countertop will be within the price range of $4,500 to $8,000.
What are the Factors Affecting Labradorite Countertop Cost?
The cost of Labradorite countertops can vary significantly depending on several key factors. Let’s explore the factors which affect the price.
Labradorite materials are available for sale in the United States within a price range from $70 to $160, and this pricing can differ depending on the supplier you choose. A tip for achieving cost savings is to obtain Labradorite slabs directly from stone suppliers rather than buying them from countertop fabricators.
First of all, you may not find many experienced labradorite installers and fabricators in closer proximity because labradorite is a rare material to work with. Even if you manage to hire a specialized labradorite fabricator, they may charge a higher price than any general installer.
Moreover, the fabricator will consider the complexity of the design and overall cutouts, corner finishes, and edges of different parts before asking a price. On average, the total installation cost of labor could be anywhere from $40 to $80.
Thickness and Weight
The thickness and weight of the labradorite slab can also affect the price of both material and installation. The thicker labradorite slabs are more expensive than the thinner pieces. The standard thickness of labradorite is 3cm or 1 and ¼ inches.
Thicker labradorites, such as 1 ⅝ inches or 2 inches, are more expensive but more durable as well. If you are on a tight budget, you can consider the thinner ones, which are 2cm or ¾ inches in thickness and the least expensive as well.
Type of Finish and Edge Profile
The type of finish and the edge profile during installation also matter when calculating potential expenses. The way the labradorite is finished enhances the shimmering display of colors.
Therefore, the popular type of finish, such as a polished finish, may incur a higher expense than a honed or leathered finish because the polished finish can create a more dazzling effect. Likewise, the choice of edge type also matters. A bullnose edge profile is typically more expensive than a straight edge profile.
Color and Iridescence
Most importantly, the type or source of labradorite can influence the overall cost of countertops more than anything else. First off, the labradorite with a more intricate pattern and unique colors is more difficult to find and, therefore, costlier as well.
Labradorite comes in both opaque and translucent forms, with the translucent variety being renowned for its mesmerizing labradorescence and shimmering colors. As a result, translucent Labradorite slabs often have increased demand, resulting in higher prices.
Furthermore, the specific colors of the flash and the overall quality of the Labradorite can also significantly influence its price. It’s worth noting that the gemstone’s rarest and most vibrant shining colors are generally associated with a premium cost.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Labradorite Countertop
- Its unique iridescent appearance enhances the overall beauty of the unit.
- Labradorite countertops are relatively as durable as granite, with a 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
- Labradorite countertop is water and moisture-resistant.
- With proper timely sealing, labradorite countertops require very little maintenance as they are easily cleanable with a mild cleansing solution (not abrasive) to remain in excellent order.
- Even if you use it for a long time, you can still expect to have a good resale value.
- Labradorite countertop is more expensive than premium countertops like quartz.
- Labradorite is not a widely available material like some other natural stone options; it can only be found in select regions. This crucial factor significantly contributes to the high cost of Labradorite countertops.
- Labradorite is quite heavy, which requires a strong foundation to support the weight of the slabs.
- Despite being a non-porous material, labradorite countertops require regular sealing after every one or two years.
- Labradorite countertops can not be cleaned with a harsh or abrasive cleaner.
If you want to infuse your home with a touch of luxury and sophistication, labradorite countertops have the potential to offer that visual appeal. But mostly, people seem off-putting by price as it is quite out of range if we take other high-end materials like quartz into account. Well, there is a reason why labradorite costs that much, which we’ve explained in the article.
For those who are passionate about Labradorite but are concerned about the cost, there are ways to explore more budget-friendly options within labradorite materials, which too are explained. In the end, our guide may help you take decisive action regarding the choice.