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For the look of granite countertops that doesn't cost a fortune, there are options that won't bust the budget. 12" x 12" tile is the most affordable option at around $10 per square foot. Or if you're working with small countertop and are flexible with the color choice, try looking for remnants which can cost as little as a third the cost of a full granite slab.
To cut larger tiles, use a handheld wet saw. When setting tile, the larger the tile, the larger the notch in the trowel needs to be. The size of the notch determines the thickness of the thinset.
When installing, be sure to level the tiles and take care to make sure they're flush with one another. Use extra thinset to make any needed adjustments.