According to an article on HGTV website you need to be careful what you read as it can be very misleading
Although design experts for years have cautioned that granite’s popularity is on the decline, the material accounted for 56 percent of kitchen-countertop sales in 2010.
According to market-research company NPD Group, recent years have revealed only a slight change in granite’s domination. What’s more, granite has become the material of choice (next to the more expensive marble surface) for homeowners looking to increase the resale value of their homes. Granite is a material sought by savvy consumers wanting to collect a return on their hefty investment.
This is very accurate and only when you are talking to a designer or an architect are you hearing more about alternative countertop materials primarily because in todays market(2015) quartz materials are 20% higher “more mark-up = more profit for the designer”
One way to cut down on granite countertops’ price is to opt for a thinner slab—use a 3/4-inch-thick stone instead of the typical 1-1/4 inches.
-Some markets do not provide this and some fabricators won’t touch it while other markets use it for more elaborate edging.. This is where your cost climb. and because of the labor to build the plywood back to the material you will find that the costs have simply moved from the material cost to the labor side. Not a good suggestion.
Another way to get the beautiful look of granite, but for a fraction of the cost, is to use granite tiles instead of slabs.
NO NO NO NO – Maybe you’ll save a couple bucks and this could be a DIY project for some but as far as adding value… No Way. Most buyer will see this as more work they would have to do. Look at some photos of granite tile countertops..Think about if you saw that in the house you wanted to buy. Would that get you all excited? The idea of grantie countertops is to have the least amount of seams possible. The texture of the stone flows across the entire surface. Stay away from tile on your countertops (period)