Kitchen Countertops Cost

How much does it cost to install kitchen countertops?

According to Hanley Wood, the average kitchen is sized at roughly 200 square feet, and contains around thirty linear feet of cabinetry and countertops. This makes it somewhat simple to understand what the "average" cost of a countertop replacement might be, right?

Actually, the answer is that it isn't all that simple to select a single price range for such a project. Why not? The list of possible materials from which countertops are made can give a clear illustration of the point. For instance, there are countertops made from:

  • Concrete;
  • Stainless Steel;
  • Natural Stone (including granite, slate, and marble);
  • Wood (including butcher block, bamboo, and unsealed materials);
  • Laminate;
  • Solid Surfacing (including the famous Corian and Formica materials);
  • Glass;
  • Ceramic Tile; and
  • Engineered Stone

Each of the materials will come in a range of qualities and prices. Some are more suitable for specific homes and situations and some less so. For instance, a solid surface countertop is usually not for the individual who frequently places hot items on the counters as this can damage and discolor the surface.

Additionally, prices will vary according to the type of edging selected, the number of holes required for such items as sinks, the kind of finish or treatment needed, and even by the type of sink that will be mounted into or beneath the countertop as well. Some countertop materials are so heavy that the homeowner will also have to pay someone to enhance the cabinetry beneath the surface, and yet some are easily installed in the matter of an hour's effort.

Countertop projects fall easily into the DIY category, but it is always recommended to seek out some help with measuring and material selection from a certified kitchen designer (this might be someone at a local home improvement store or a more specialized professional working in a kitchen design shop). It is this person who can help you create an accurate template that contains the openings for sinks and unusual cutouts for structural issues. They will also review the most suitable materials for your needs, and then help you understand if your project is a DIY one or one which requires a contractor to complete.

If you work with a contractor you should know that the cost per square foot will increase dramatically, but this also means that you get guaranteed results and quality. This is something to consider if you are going to opt for a heavier or labor intensive project. For example, those opting for ceramic tile or concrete countertops might prefer hiring an experienced professional for the job.

What are the average per square foot costs for the materials mentioned? According to the following prices apply, and include installation:

  • Concrete - For a 1.5" thickness the average cost will range from $65 to $135 per square foot depending upon the finish treatment and edging;
  • Stainless Steel - This material costs from $50 to $150 per square foot;
  • Natural Stone (including granite, slate 1, and marble) - For a 1" thickness the price per square foot will run between $40 to $120 depending upon the materials chosen;
  • Wood (including butcher block, bamboo, and unsealed materials) - For a 1" thickness the average cost will range from $50 to $100 per square foot;
  • Laminate - For prefabricated counters the cost is roughly $10 to $40 per linear foot​.
  • Solid Surfacing (including the famous Corian and Formica 2 materials) - For a 1.5" thickness the average cost will be from $40 to $80 per square foot;
  • Glass - For a 1.5" thickness the average cost will range from $200 to $300 per square foot;
  • Ceramic Tile - will cost around $20 to $100 per square foot depending upon the materials and finish treatment selected; and
  • Engineered Stone - depending upon the material selected the costs for this type of countertop range start at $60 per square foot.
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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 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
2 Formica: A brand name laminate very commonly used for countertops, made of several layers of paper or fabric with melamine resin. Formica solid surfacing is a different type of material. It is a single layer, made of acrylic resin mixed with mineral fillers. It is non-porous and durable.

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

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