Cost to replace kitchen countertops
When remodeling a kitchen, the average cost to install new counters is $3,500-4,500. Popular countertop materials such as granite and quartz cost $55-90 per square foot. However, depending on material quality and style countertop prices can be as low as $20 per square foot and as high as $225 per square foot.
Calculate how much Granite, Quartz and other countertops cost near you. Enter your size, select countertop material & color, edge type, and get instant price quotes in your area!
Having the right countertops can make a difference between loving and hating your kitchen!
Estimate accurate countertop prices, with different edge options for: granite, corian / silestone, quartz, wood, metal, laminate, and recycled materials.
How to use the calculator
NOTE: Estimated countertop costs include design, template delivery and installation.
There is also a basic “fee” of $750 included with all price quotes – this is what most contractors would charge for Template Preparation.
1) Size – You can measure or “guesstimate” the size of the job – just enter the size in square feet in the first box.
In most cases a countertop is considered 2 feet deep – so just measure the length of your counters, and multiply it by 2, to get the size. If you have an Inside Corner, add 4 sq.ft.
2) Materials – Select the material type that you want to have installed.
3) Color – Select the color you want. Note that in most cases you should use “Standard” option, until you actually see the colors that your contractor is offering, and know which are Basic, Plus and Premium.
4) Edge Profile – Select Edge Profile – refer to our EDGE PROFILE GUIDE.
In most cases you can select Basic (A option) or Better (B option). If you are estimating laminate countertops, the price calculated will be a little higher than the actual price, as custom edges for laminate cost significantly less that those for Granite or Corian.
5) Removal of old counters – Select YES if this is a kitchen remodel, and NO if it’s a new construction / addition.
6) Project complexity – This is a very subjective variable, but if you have inside corners, odd cut outs, diagonally spaced sinks (in the corner), or if you want as few seams between countertop sections as possible (this typically applies in the installation of Granite, Quartz and Corian), you should select “more complex” or “very complex” to get an accurate quote.
7) Cooktop cut-in – the name says it all. If you plan to have a counter-mounted cooktop range, select yes.
You can also request no obligation free estimates from local contractors, who specialize in kitchen countertop installations.
On average, countertop installation cost is $3,500-4,500. This includes removal of the old counters, sealing, grouting, doing the edges and cut outs.
Most homeowners spend $55-90 per square foot on new kitchen counters. However, depending on quality and style, prices can range from $20 per square foot to $225 per square foot.
If you are looking to save money and want cheap countertops, consider such options as tile, laminate/formica, solid color engineered quartz, wood, corian, and acrylic materials. Its even possible to find cheap granite counters or other natural stone, with prices starting as low as $35-45 per square foot.
Its important to keep in mind that each type of counter material has its own features, benefits and disadvantages when it comes to spills, cooking, cleaning and maintenance.
Also, you will discover that a particular counter material may greatly vary in price. This is because there are different quality grades, thicknesses, finishes, etc that can make a countertop more or less expensive.
For example, premium quality granite counters cost as much as quartz, which is on average 20-30% more expensive than basic quality granite stone.
Here is a chart that compares features and prices per square foot for the most popular types of kitchen counters.
|Material||Price Per Sq.Ft. Installed||Pros||Cons|
|Granite||$45 – 170||high resale value, very durable, classic look,||Poorly sealed granite may absorb wine,|
|highly heat and scratch resistant, easy to clean||dirt and harbor bacteria|
|Marble||$125 – 250||upscale elegance, ideal if you don’t cool a lot||susceptible to scratching, staining, needs to be resealed|
|crisp, bright color, adds value to your home||every few years, may develop patina with time|
|Wood and Butcher block||$35 – 200||warm look, durable, pairs well with many kitchen styles||needs to be regularly sealed, susceptible to water damage|
|easy to clean||porous material that may harbor bacteria, can be scratched|
|Stainless Steel||$75 – 150||sleek aesthetic, ideal for industrial style or modern kitchen||may be loud, lower gauge steel can scratch and dent|
|easy to clean, resistant to staining, bacteria, moisture|
|ideal for professional cooks, tolerates heat well|
|Engineered Quartz||$90 – 185||highly durable, beautiful earth tones, low maintenance||not very heat resistant, seams can be noticeable|
|none-porous, resists staining, will not harbor bacteria|
|Concrete||$70 – 140||can be dyed, stained, acid-etched to create any color, texture||scratches and stains are noticeable and happen easily|
|heat resistant, easy to customize, trendy||may crack, patina develops over time, take 28 days to cure|
|Tile||$25 – 90||versatile colors, sizes and styles, heat and scratch resistant||grout susceptible to stains and difficult to clean|
|Laminate||$20 – 60||most affordable option, diverse range of colors and styles||will not last long, less durable than stone or wood.|
|very easy to clean||doesn’t tolerate heat, susceptible to scratching|
Countertop installation cost
The average cost of professional countertop installation ranges from $10-35 per hour depending on the type of material installed, and complexity of labor involved. Most counter installers roll the cost of labor into the total cost of the counter itself.
Before the actual installation, the pro will come in to measure the size of your counters and create an exact template of the countertop shape, which will then be produced either off site, or right in your kitchen.
Most materials are cut to size and shape off site (this is the case with all types of slab countertops: stone, corian, quartz, laminate, solid surface, butcher block and acrylic materials). However, tile and concrete countertops are installed right in your kitchen.
Also, don’t forget to include the cost to remove old countertops into the total, which can be up to $300-400, depending on the size and weight of the counter.
Out of all countertop materials, tile is most friendly for a DIY installation. Tile is one of the cheapest countertop materials, and doing a DIY install really makes the total cost of your new counters really low. Ceramic tile is most budget friendly, with prices as low as $1-2 per square foot. Porcelain and glass tile are slightly expensive, but still very reasonable compared to the cost of other countertop materials.
On the other hand, installing slab counters requires special cutting equipment as well as experience, especially when you are dealing with stone. Moreover, large countertop slabs are very heavy, difficult to lift and position, so its really not a one-man DIY job.
What is the most affordable countertop for your kitchen?
If you are on a very tight remodeling budget, splurging on new countertops can seem like an unreasonable expense. However, it is possible to replace old counters without breaking the bank.
The secret is to think outside the box and use counter materials that most homeowners don’t think of as their first choice.
Low cost countertops to consider:
Laminate/formica counters: $16-40 per square foot
Tile counters: $5-15 per square foot
Butcherblock counters: $20-35 per square foot
Corian counters: $30-60 per square foot
Recycled paperstone countertops: $50-65 per square foot
Cheap granite countertops: $25-50 per square foot
Cheap quartz countertops: $30-60 per square foot
Cost of DIY Countertop installation
One way to get cheap counters is to install them yourself. The labor to install counters can be as much as 50% of the total project cost.
Keep in mind that there are only a few countertop materials that you can safely and relatively easily install by yourself. Its best to install these in a new construction home so that you don’t have to deal with the trouble of removing and dumping the old counters.
Here are the counters that many homeowners choose to install DIY:
– Hand made countertops with epoxy (the cheapest)
Of these, councrete counters are the most labor intensive and require the most expertise. While there is a big learning curve if you want to install concrete countertops, there are many tutorial videos available.
Concrete counters show the most drastic difference when it comes to DIY vs professional installation costs.
You can install concrete counters for as little as $8-18 per square foot, including all materials. However, professional installation of concrete counters runs as much as $60-130 per square foot depending on the texture, design, color you want to have.
If you are not comfortable installing countertops yourself, hire a professional counter installer near you.
Best kitchen counters in 2020
The majority of homeowners looking to install new kitchen counters debate between quartz and granite. Quartz countertops are quickly growing in popularity because of their versatile looks and a more modern aesthetic. Today, there are hundreds of colors and styles to choose from, manufactured by brands such as Silestone, Cambria, Zodiac, Caesarstone, etc.
Still, granite remains extremely popular with a vast majority of homeowners, because it offers durability and a classic appeal that works well in most kitchens. Each slab of granite is completely unique, and the stone lasts for decades when properly sealed and cared for. One of the greatest advantages of granite is that lower quality grades can be installed for a rather low price, around $40-50 per square foot.
A growing trend is to use recycled and eco-friendly composite materials made out of glass, concrete or paper. They are less expensive, better for the environment and offer a wide rage of designs and colors. Many modern style kitchens now make use of these countertops.
A popular designer trick is to combine different countertop surfaces (polished vs unpolished) in one kitchen.
Mixing and matching materials is another great option. A favorite among homeowners is to install butcherblock on a kitchen island, and use natural stone on the rest of the counters. This adds a lot of visual interest and warmth to a kitchen’s ambiance.
High-end, contemporary kitchens can benefit from “smart” composite materials. These nano surfaces are heat and scratch resistant, come in a variety of bold colors and look very sleek. One such popular product is “Glassos“, a crystalized glass surface countertop, or “Fenix NTM” composite nanotech material.
If you want to replace your old kitchen counters, be sure to get at least 3 price estimates from local counter installers.
How to choose the best countertop color (Granite, Quartz, Marble)
If you are shopping in a big-box store or at a countertop fabricator store/shop, you will likely get to see 12×12″ samples. If you have a salesperson come out to your home, you will likely get to see 6×6″ color samples.
But can you REALLY judge the color you are getting from a 6×6″ or even 12×12″ sample? Not really. Also keep in mind that Granite and Marble samples will vary greatly from an actual slab that your counters will be cut from. And you may get UNPLEASANTLY surprised by what you actually get.
We recommend that once you’ve selected a contractor, tell them to send you to THEIR supplier to choose a stone/slab for your countertop! Most will have no problem with this, and if they do, they are either insecure, or you just don’t want to work with them in the first place!
Here is how we chose our Granite Countertop Slab, and how you should do it!
How to save on the cost of kitchen countertops
Installing new countertops is one of the most expensive items on the bucket list of kitchen remodeling. However, if you are on a tight budget, there are ways to save money, while still getting a beautiful counter that you will love using.
Basic countertop colors cost less
Whether you want a natural stone (granite, marble, soapstone) or quartz, the rule of thumb is that patterns and fancy color variations cost 30-40% more than more uniform looking slabs.
Moreover, when you pick a very prominent looking stone, your entire kitchen design will need to match it in order to look good. This means your cabinets, flooring, backsplash, etc will all need to conform to the color and style of the countertop.
This limits your design and product options in the present, but also in the future. A stone counter will last for decades, and you may easily got through 2 cabinet and tile replacements in that span of time.
A smarter option is to install counters that are less overbearing and will easily complement a variety of cabinet colors and styles.
Consider a cheaper substitute
if you are in love with the majestic look of marble, but can’t afford the price tag, consider quartz. There are many products that are designed to replicate the look of marble, and their cost varies. For example, Cambria quartz has a special collection of products that look like marble, called “Torquay”.
Some quartz replicas are very expensive, in the ball park of $90-120 per square foot, but others are a lot cheaper: $60-80 per square foot. In any case, you can save at least 20-30% by installing a man-made imitation of a natural stone countertop.
Go for a simple edge
There are usually 1-2 edge styles that are included in the base price of the countertop, and this is what you should select if you are trying to keep expenses down. Fancier edges such as bullnose, waterfall or ogee, can easily add 15% to the total price.
Splurge on the island and save on the rest of the kitchen
Lets face it, most kitchen counters are always filled with stuff, often to a point where you barely see the surface. If that is the case in your house, why waste money on a fancy beautiful countertop that you will not even see that often? Instead, go with a cheaper material on the main cooking surfaces, and spend more money on a fancy kitchen island top.
Shop the remnants section
If you have a small kitchen, you may be able to get away with purchasing remnants of a few large slabs of stone and piece them together. Many stone wholesalers will offer as much as 50-60% off on these left over pieces. Its best to go to a local wholesaler vs. a small fabricator because you will have a much larger selection of stones to consider.
Cheap countertops don’t spell out “ugly”
Many homeowners worry that if they go for a low cost countertop material, their kitchen will look unattractive and dated. Nothing can be further from the truth! There are beautiful butcher block, tile, laminate and composite counters that have plenty of designer flare, but cost at least half the price of upscale countertops. For example, Ikea sells affordable laminate counters that look very stylish.
Minimize the number of cut outs
If you are completely redesigning the layout of your kitchen, you can save money by creating a layout that will not require the stone or other material to be cut many times. The more cuts, the higher the cost. Also, things like sink and faucet cut outs each cost a few hundred dollars extra.
One way to avoid these additional costs is to install a farmhouse rather than an undermount sink (which is what most homeowners install without thinking about the associated spending).
Resale value of new/updated countertops
If your current kitchen counterts look very old and stained, its best to replace them before putting your house up for sale. The kitchen is one of the biggest points of interest for prospective buyers, and if they see dingy counters, it may be an immediate turn off.
Also, many people don’t like to buy homes where they will be required to spend extra money on expensive renovations, such as replacing counters in the kitchen.
You best bet is to go for granite or quartz counters, as both materials are highly popular with homeowners. There is no need to splurge on top of the line, higher grade products, because you will not see a high ROI at resale. Instead, go for neutral, modern looking slabs in the range of $45-60 per square foot. This is a safe figure to spend in order to get a good return and shape up your kitchen.
Most realtors and interior designers advise against installing very colorful and bold looking countertops if you plan to sell your house in the future. What is in style today may not be in 5 years from now, Moreover, your aesthetic taste may not match the one of next home owners.
If you are remodeling a rental property, unless its an upscale apartment, you can easily get away with installing laminate or corian countertops, at under $30 per square foot. They are inexpensive, functional and look good enough to satisfy the tastes of most renters.
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