Granite Tile question

I am thinking of laying granite tile on our kitchen counter top. I looked at a local home improvement store and the tile is about $14 per tile. We also have a discount home improvement place called HOBO and they have a good selection of tiles priced at $7 per tile. HOBO's tile I beleive are from india and they look the same as the other store (thickness and shine and beveled edge). Would I be better off spending double or is granite granite and spending double insane?
Also, I will put tile on the backsplash up to the cabinets. Can I install the tile diretly to the drywall or do I have to put backer board on the backsplash also?
Thanks
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Don wrote:

Not sure about different qualities of granite except those made in China, don't use them. Yes you can install directly to drywall, but make sure you use the right tile adhesive made just for granite or marble and don't buy the cheap stuff.
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Granite is granite and if it has the same name it is the same thing. Both stores may have got it from the same distributors. You can do even better on price at a stone tile store and have more to choose from and thay might actually stock what you are buying (avoid that special order and wait thing).
Nothing wrong with granite from China unless you are into protectionism. Stone from India, pakistan, china, and the middle east are all just as likely to be "treated" in some way (usually for color). But that is not necessarily a bad thing. Not much is mined in the US anyway
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There are differences allowed within material labled granite and some other stones are commercially classed as granite. TB
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PipeDown wrote:

That's interesting had a customer buy what was told to her to be Granite. It fell apart before she got it home. It was from China. Also had the same problem with some so called marble from China. I'm not a geologist but that's not like anything I dealt with before or since.
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I am not sure how I would test it. I did give a tile a nice little drop and it did not crack. I guess thats a good sign!
Thanks for all the help

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Don wrote:

I'm sure then it would be ok
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You could also put some water and other stuff (mustard and grape juice work well) on it to test for stain uptake and put it near but not on the stove for heat resistance or place a hot pot on a sample to verify it won't crack. (it would do better mortared in but it is a test). Get the store to put a sample of the stone sealer on your sample to see if it will change color or appearance.
You indicated granite but if you change, beware green and red marble require special adhesive.
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I hope by "customer" you were not selling her the defective granite. At what price? Anything under $4 sf is definately not select and I would expect some defects. Stones are often misclassified at the store. I've seen Marble, limestone, Onyx and Granite used almost interchangably at some places and marble or granite applied to the same stone at different stores.
Like I said in another post, always inspect a lot sample before paying, the store sample may not represent. This is a good reason to stay out of the big box store. Stone tile is rarely returnable. Take your time deciding.
I have used multicolored slate from china and I am pleased with the result even 2 years after installation in outdoor conditions. A couple of anicdotes and you condemn the entire country's stone production. Sure some mines put out inferior product but that is usually reflected in the price. Often you never know where a stone came from for sure.

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A post several years ago warned about using acetone if memory serves on dark granite as it MAY be merely a dye on poorer grade stuff. Try inconspicuous spot first.
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I have heard that the Black Galaxy granite in particular is being now mined from inferior nearby mines and dyed to bring it up to standard. That particular granite has been popular for some time. I don't know if acetone would remove the dye but acetone is a harsh cleaner for many things.
Always get a lot sample of what you are buying. The store sample may vary quite a bit.

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