Kitchen Countertops Installation Cost

The average cost of installing kitchen countertops is $3,000.

In this guide

Cost factors
In-home consultation
Types
Materials
Appearance
Labor
Cleaning and maintenance
Comparing materials
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install kitchen countertops?

Kitchen countertops cover base cabinets and give you a work surface for cutting and preparing food as well as storage. Countertops can be strictly functional, or they may be decorative, made to enhance your kitchen decor.

Counters can be made of a wide range of materials. Some may be chosen purely for aesthetics, while others for their functional benefits. Because each material may perform differently in the kitchen environment, your lifestyle and your personal tastes will need to be considered to make the right choice.

The average kitchen countertop in the US is around 30 square feet and many materials cost around $3,000 installed. Some materials and installation types may vary in cost, however, creating a greater range for homeowners to consider.

Cost factors

There are many factors that can influence the final cost of your kitchen countertop project.

The first is the material. Materials can range from as little as $5 per square foot to as much as $500, depending on availability, rarity, and color.

The shape and size of your counters can also impact the cost. For example, a very large peninsula 1 or kitchen island 2 will require a large, single piece of countertop used in ways that is different than smaller runs of counter.

How much edging your countertop requires, and the type of edge you choose will also influence costs. Decorative edging or edging built up to make the countertop look thicker will cost more.

The thickness of your counter can also play a role. Countertops tend to be sold in 2cm and 3cm (roughly ¾-inch and 1-¼-inch) thicknesses, but can be found even thicker. Thinner counters are significantly cheaper than thicker counters of the same size and material.

Other cost factors include cut-outs in the counter for things like sinks and drainboards, as well as whether you have an integral backsplash 3 installed as a part of the countertop. Color of the counter can also play a role, as some rarer colors may cost more.

In-home consultation

Before you order a countertop, there is generally what’s known as a templating appointment. This is a type of in-home consultation where the countertop installer will make a thin, balsa wood template of your countertop. This template is used to create the exact size and shape of the counter you will need, and will indicate things like edging, cut-outs, sink and stove placement, seams 4, and other important information.

Even ready-made counters, such as laminate, should have a template made so that you can get the right sized pieces to complete the job. Templating is included in the cost of the countertop.

Types

Many people view countertops by their material type, but the way that the counter is formed or presented can also have an impact on its cost and its installation. There are several different types of counters, with some categories having more than one choice for material.

TypeProsCons
Slab

Single piece of material

Colors go straight through

Many materials to choose from

Can come in many thicknesses

Heavy

Requires custom fabrication

More costly than some other types

Difficult to transport

Cast-in-Place

Customized to your needs

Colors and accessories available

Faster install than slab

Can come in different thicknesses

Can be costly

Restricts use of kitchen until cured

Requires custom fabrication

Precast

Fast install

Customized to your needs

Can come in different thicknesses

Can be costly

Difficult to transport

May have fewer options depending on material

Modular

Readily available

Less expensive

Easy to install

Fewer choices available

Not as long-lasting

Not customized to your needs

Tile

Many options available

Easily customizable

Can be made in varying thicknesses

Some may be less expensive

Grout can be hard to maintain

Some types of tile may crack

Some types of tile are easily stained

Wrapped Counter

Can be new or go over existing counter

Inexpensive

Not very durable

Can delaminate on edges

Fewer options available

Two-Tone

More options for design

Can be made in varying thicknesses

Can be custom or readymade

Can be expensive

Some materials used may be hard to maintain

Curved

More options for smaller or cramped kitchens

Aesthetically pleasing design

Custom made to your kitchen

Expensive

Can take weeks to make

Difficult to transport

Heavy

Organically Shaped

Aesthetically pleasing

Custom to your kitchen

Can be made in varying thicknesses

May be hard to install

Difficult to transport

Expensive


Materials

The material of your kitchen countertop will impact both the price and your lifestyle. Therefore, it’s important to weigh maintenance and durability as well as appearance and cost when making your decision.

MaterialProsCons

Laminate

($5-$30/sq.ft.)

Readily available

Inexpensive

Easy to install

Not very durable

May delaminate

Fewer sink options

Tile

($10-$70/sq.ft.)

Many choices for appearance

Made to order

Easily customizable

Grout 5 may stain

Some tiles may stain

Some tiles may crack

Wood

($20-$300/sq.ft.)

Many options available

Many thicknesses

Made to order

Some may be easily scratched

Some may stain

Granite

($35-$500/sq.ft.)

Many colors

Many thicknesses

Cut to order

Highly durable

Some colors may stain

Some colors may etch

May require sealing

May require pH-neutral sealers

Heavy

Difficult to transport

Solid surface

($50-$150/sq.ft.)


Many options available

Many thicknesses

Made to order

May melt

May scratch

Seams may pop open

Quartz

($55-$200/sq.ft.)

Very durable

Low maintenance

Many colors available

Cut to order

Very uniform pattern

Heavy

Difficult to transport

Recycled glass

($55-$200/sq.ft.)

Very durable

Low maintenance

Cut to order

Fewer choices available

Heavy

Difficult to transport

Marble

($57-$200/sq.ft.)


Softer appearance

Several colors

Cut to order

Will stain

Will etch

Will require sealing

Will require pH-neutral cleaners

Heavy

Difficult to transport

Glass Slab

($60-$150/sq.ft.)

Many colors and options

Unique appearance

Many thicknesses

Made to order

Fragile

Shows fingerprints easily

May scratch easily

Slate 6

($75-$150/sq.ft.)

Unique texture

Cut to order

Many thicknesses

Easily scratched

May spall (flake)

Fewer choices

Heavy

Difficult to transport

Soapstone

($75-$150/sq.ft.)

Highly durable

Low maintenance

Many thicknesses

Cut to order

Requires oiling to hide scratches

Heavy

Difficult to transport

Concrete

($75-$200/sq.ft.)

Many options for customization

Can be poured in place

Many thicknesses

High maintenance

May stain

Requires sealing

Quartzite

($75-$500/sq.ft.)



Many colors and choices

Cut to order

Many thicknesses

Expensive

Heavy

Difficult to transport

Stainless steel

($80-$150/sq.ft.)


Very durable

Made to order

Many thicknesses

Shows fingerprints easily

May scratch depending on finish

Zinc

($80-$150/sq.ft.)

Durable

Made to order

Many thicknesses

Shows fingerprints easily

Soft, easily dented

Copper

($100-$175/sq.ft.)

Very durable

Made to order

Many thicknesses

Must to be lacquered to prevent verdigris 7

Expensive


Appearance

The appearance of your countertop is one of the driving forces behind its selection. Each type of counter that you choose will have a different look. For this reason, always choose and tag the exact piece of countertop you plan to use. Due to dye lots, man-made counters may have variations in tone or color from piece to piece. Natural stone counters, such as granite or marble may have extreme variation in color or pattern from piece to piece.

Pattern

The pattern or coloration of your counter can be described in a few ways: solid, meaning that there is one color with no variation from end to end, granulated or flecked, which means one or more colors in tight patterns from one end to the next, and veining, which is a swirled pattern of color that may change in thickness and position over the counter.

Typically, the more varied the color and pattern, the more expensive the counter will be.

Edge

Part of the appearance of your countertop is impacted by its edge. Most counters have a choice of edges to consider. An eased edge is the most common, and is usually included in the cost of your counter. This is a square edge with a softening at the top to take away the sharp corner.

More decorative edges such as ogee, bullnose, half bullnose, and dupont edges will have higher costs. Any decorative edge will be priced by the linear foot, with costs starting around $10 per linear foot, and going up to about $30 a foot.

Finish

Depending on the material, you may have a choice of surface finish as well. The most common finishes are glossy, honed, or matte. Glossy finishes are highly polished. They may show fingerprints, but a high gloss surface will also disguise flaws in materials like granite.

Honed or matte surfaces are better for softer stones like marble, which may etch or dull - etching shows less on an already matte finish. Honed granites, however, may show oil from fingertips.

Surfaces like zinc or steel, which may scratch, may do better with a brushed finish, which disguises scratches and fingerprints.

Some materials may have an additional charge for different finishes, but in most cases finish is a preference that has no bearing on cost.

Labor

The exact labor and process of having your countertop installed will vary depending on the type of counter you are purchasing. Some will be made just for you, while others are off the shelf. Some are made right in your kitchen, while others are fabricated off site and brought in.

For any material which will be custom made to your specifications, a template is made by gluing thin strips of balsa wood together in the shape of the counter. This is ideal for custom shapes and odd-sized kitchens. This template is transferred onto the material being cut, so there is no error.

For installation, the old counter is removed and the cabinets are reinforced if necessary before the new counter is installed.

If you are having a natural stone countertop that requires sealing installed, this is usually done at this time for no additional charge.

In many cases, the cost of installation is included in the price of the material. However, this is not always the case, and it is important to ask when pricing materials. Installation costs range from $10 to $30 per foot, and will vary based on material and size of the job.

You can expect installation to take from 2-5 hours to complete, once measurements and templating are over.

Cleaning and maintenance

Price and appearance are just two components that you need to consider when choosing a new counter. Cleaning and maintenance of the counter also need to be thought out.

Many materials, including natural stone, copper, steel, and zinc, will require some degree of maintenance and care to look their best. This will include yearly sealing, cleaning the counter with pH-neutral cleansers, and wiping up spills as soon as they occur.

Always use a cutting board and never cut directly on your counter. Materials like laminate and solid surface may scratch, while hard materials like granite and quartz may damage your knives.

Even amongst one material, maintenance may vary. For example, black granite requires no sealing and little maintenance, while light-colored stones require regular sealing and treatment to look their best. Always ask the supplier what they recommend for cleaning materials to ensure that your new counter continues to perform well year after year.

Comparing materials

While the total list of materials you can use in your kitchen is long and varied, and there are even comparisons to be made amongst materials including on things like color, brand, and maintenance, most people choose one of a few popular materials for their kitchens.

Granite and quartz are two materials that are frequently compared. Granite is a natural stone that comes in many colors and styles, while quartz is a man-made material consisting of natural quartz, pigments, and resins. Quartz is easier to maintain than granite, but is more uniform in color, lacking a lot of the variation and color that real stone can bring. Granite is slightly less expensive on average, ranging from $3,000 to $3,500 for 30 sq.ft. installed, while quartz costs $3,500 to $3,760 for the same amount.

Marble and quartz are also frequently compared. Marble is a much softer stone than granite, composed mostly of calcite. It requires significantly more maintenance than either granite or quartz, and costs about the same as most quartz counters.

Laminate and granite are another frequent comparison. Laminate is inexpensive and readily available for a quick install, while granite can take 2 to 3 weeks. Laminate is also more consistent in color than granite, but granite is more durable, outlasting laminate by many years. Laminate costs around $500 to $1,200, compared to granite at $3,000 to $3,500.

Granite and butcher block counters are also a frequent comparison. Butcher block counters come in many types of wood, and therefore colors and patterns. They require frequent treatment, while granite requires frequent sealing. You can cut on a butcher block counter, while cutting on a granite counter will dull your knives. Butcher block counters cost around $1,320 to $1,820, making them less expensive than granite.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Backsplash

Many countertops will have the option of a 4-inch backsplash included in the installation. This will raise the cost of the project by the amount of square footage that the backsplash takes up. For example, 5 feet of backsplash made of $40 material, will increase the costs of the project by $200. A backsplash is not necessary and many people choose to leave it off and install tile instead.

Cabinets

Sometimes getting a new counter may be a good time to add new cabinets or to replace old ones. Cabinets cost around $3,560 for a new set of 6 upper and lower cabinets.

Glass top

If desired, you may wish to add an elevated glass top to seating areas on your island. This will add about $100 per square foot for the area being covered with glass.

Sink

For most countertops, there is an additional charge of $100 per sink cutout. This is in addition to the cost of the sink itself ($100-$1,000) and to the cost of the plumber needed to install the sink ($45-$65 per hour).

Additional considerations and costs

  • Some countertops may be able to be refinished to give them a new look, rather than replacing them. Refinishing costs around $775 per counter.
  • Some installers will charge an additional fee to remove the old counter. This depends on the type of counter and can range from $50-$200.
  • Some tile, modular granite, and laminate counters can be installed DIY to save money.
  • Heavy materials like concrete and some stones may require bracing, either with metal or plywood 8 to support them.
  • Eco-friendly countertop alternatives exist including recycled glass ($55-$200 per sq.ft.), paper composite ($30-$80 per sq.ft.), and bamboo ($30-$70 per sq.ft.)
  • Ask for a showroom sample to test in your home for color and for how it reacts to stains and cleansers. Ask for help from the salesperson in determining if a material is right for your needs.
  • Always ask what’s included in the price per square foot, as edging, installation, and sealing costs may or may not be included depending on the installer.
  • Higher-maintenance counters such as wood, concrete, granite, marble, soapstone, and other stones may require regular sealing. Ask your salesperson for more information on how to care for your new counter.
  • Countertops for use in other rooms such as bathrooms or wet bars 9 may have different designs, prices, and needs.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to put in new countertops?

The cost of new countertops varies depending on material and size of the counters. The average cost for 30 square feet of counter is around $3,000 installed.

  • How much does it cost to refinish countertops?

The cost to refinish most countertops is around $775.

  • What is the least expensive type of countertop?

The least expensive type of countertop available is laminate, which has costs starting at around $5 per square foot.

  • How much does it cost for granite countertops?

The cost of granite countertops varies depending on rarity and color of the stone, with most costing from $35-$150 per square foot.

  • How much does it cost for laminate countertops?

Laminate counters cost between $5 and $20 per square foot, with 30 square feet costing around $500 to $1,200 installed.

  • How much are Corian countertops?

Corian, or solid surface, countertops cost between $50 and $150 per square foot installed.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Peninsula: A metaphorical term for an extended kitchen counter space connected to the wall on only one side
2 Island: A kitchen counter that is not attached to walls or other surfaces, and that can be accessed from all sides
3 Backsplash: The upright surface, often made of tile, behind a kitchen counter, sink, or stove, that protects the wall from damage from splatter due to kitchen activities
4 Seams: A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together
5 Grout: A fluid form of cement used to seal the joints between tiles. It also makes the surface stronger because it bonds the tiles together
6 Slate: A fine-grained rock, typically bluish-gray in color, that can easily be split into thin layers and is commonly used as a roofing material
7 Verdigris: A thin film, usually green or blue in color, that forms over time on certain metals (such as copper, brass, bronze, and aluminum) or wood and stone surfaces due to natural oxidation
8 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
9 Wet bars: A small bar, usually in a home or hotel room, that has a sink with running water

Cost to install kitchen countertops varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alpharetta, GA
+9%
Amarillo, TX
-15%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Ann Arbor, MI
+13%
Antioch, TN
+18%
Athens, GA
-9%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Bensalem, PA
+29%
Bethesda, MD
+50%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Bowie, MD
+16%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Broomfield, CO
-6%
Canton, GA
-5%
Clementon, NJ
+16%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Eau Claire, WI
-5%
Ewa Beach, HI
+31%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Homestead, FL
-2%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Jamaica, NY
+35%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Katy, TX
+63%
Kent, WA
+9%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Leawood, KS
+26%
Lewisville, TX
+17%
Little Rock, AR
0%
Littleton, CO
+2%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Macon, GA
+20%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Mccomb, MS
-35%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New Bedford, MA
+7%
Newtown, PA
+29%
North Hollywood, CA
+11%
North Richland Hills, TX
+5%
Orangevale, CA
+6%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Palmdale, CA
+9%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Portage, MI
-1%

Labor cost in your zip code

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Methodology and sources