Granite’s high cost is derived from the equipment needed to extract it and to form it into countertops. Due to its density and strength diamond-tipped tools must be used to work with it and this is where the high price comes from. The time it takes to form granite also figures into its high asking price.
Adding to what haydenseder mentioned, there are also many different types of granite with wide ranges in asking price. For example, some pieces of granite may have a certain pattern or color to it that makes it more rare than others. This would drive up the asking price in the granite. However, overall most granite is about the same in terms of long lasting durability.
Slabs of granite are very expensive due to the reasons listed above by other members. If you are considering putting granite in your kitchen or bathroom granite tiles are a good way to go. The tiles are 1/4 the cost of a slab, and although it doesn’t give the seamless look that a slab does, granite is granite and will always look elegant. Plus by using tiles instead of a slab you can bring them home yourself (rather than having to rent a trunk to haul the heavy slab) and even do the installation!
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