How Much do Different Countertops Cost?

marble-countertops

marble-countertops

Once you’ve established the budget foryour bathroom or kitchen remodeling project, the next step is to identify the types of countertops that fit into the budget.  Knowing how much different countertops cost may also help you decide just how much countertop space makes sense for you, allowing you to rework the plans early in the project, if needed. In this countertop guides article we will discuss the differences in cost to help you in choosing the right one for you.

For up to date pricing, check out our Annual Countertop Buyer's Guide!

Countertop cost is determined by the price of the material and how much of it you’ll need to cover your cabinets, island, vanities and similar surfaces. There are attractive bathroom and kitchen countertop options for every budget starting at about $15 per square foot installed and ranging to more than $200. This guide is mainly about kitchen and bathroom countertop costs. If you’re still researching countertop materials, our Countertop Guides contain a wealth of information including countertop pros and cons for all material options.

Now, here’s an overview of countertop cost comparisons, the factors affecting price and how to save money on each material without sacrificing quality professional installation. We also rate ongoing maintenance costs for each material based on whether they must be regularly sealed and the cost of cleaning products and potential repairs. Ratings are low, moderate and high.

Note: We aim for price consistency throughout the site, but prices change quickly in the countertop industry. New products in each material type hit the market and might lower or raise the cost range limits.

Cost of Marble Countertops

Marble is ultra-luxurious, though it’s a bit of a diva. If you’re willing to pamper marble countertops, they will maintain their elegant good looks for the life of your home. The key is to follow manufacturer guidelines for sealing, use, daily care and cleaning. They’re not

Calacatta Marble Kitchen Countertop

recommended for heavy use or in areas where young kids might not take the required precautions to prevent staining and chipping.

  • Marble countertop cost: $75-$250 per square foot
  • Maintenance costs: High
  • How to save money on marble countertops: Install marble tile instead of slab. Choose more affordable grades, shades and colors of marble. This doesn’t mean the material is less beautiful. Some of the most common colors are considered the prettiest, though personal preference varies widely. Taking good care of the countertops will also reduce maintenance and repair costs.

Granite Kitchen Countertop

Granite Countertop Prices

While marble scares off many homeowners, granite is embraced enthusiastically. As popularity has risen, prices have become more reasonable, especially for granite tile. Like marble, follow care guidelines (which are more flexible than for marble), and you’ve got forever countertops.

  • Granite countertop cost: $45-$200 per square foot Click Here for a complete breakdown of granite countertop pricing.
  • Maintenance costs: Moderate to high
  • How to save money on granite countertops: Install tiles instead of slabs; If you do choose slabs, select a granite color and style that is more common, which doesn’t mean less attractive. Consider having a wood edge installed on your granite countertops that can protect against costly chips.
cambria quartz countertops

Cambria Quartz Countertops

Engineered Quartz Prices

Sometimes just referred to as quartz, other times called engineered stone, this is gorgeous stuff. It offers a wider variety of colors than granite and can also hold up better under certain conditions, even if it can’t quite match granite’s raw beauty.  One of the advantages of an engineered product is that pigment can be added to produce a wider range of colors than found in natural stone. However, the color is consistent rather than varied like natural stone. The polymer and resin binders mix with the 90% ground quartz to cure into a gleaming, non-porous and very tough countertop.

  • Quartz countertop cost: $55-$155 per square foot  Click Here for a complete breakdown of
  • Maintenance cost: Low
  • How to save money on quartz countertops: As with other materials, tiles cost significantly less than slabs. However, your cost savings are somewhat offset because tile can take more time and supplies to install thus increasing the labor cost.

 

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Slate Countertop Prices

Slate isn’t as popular as granite, but it certainly doesn’t take a back seat when it comes to beauty. Quality slate requires less maintenance than other natural stones. Slabs are available, but costly. Slate tiles are more affordable and very attractive. Similar slate tiles have graced European buildings for centuries, still doing their job, so you can rely on slate countertops to be very durable.

  • Slate countertop cost: $50-$65 per square foot for tile; $100+ per square foot for slab
  • Maintenance costs: Low to moderate
  • How to save money on slate countertops: Choose tiles over slabs. Look for discount/clearance products that are just as good looking but might be in limited supply.

Soapstone Countertop Prices

Soapstone is an attractive alternative for those that want natural stone when “all their friends” have granite. Its appearance is somewhat more rustic and casual too, a great fit in casual kitchen design, country, French country and Old World styles too. Mottled white, off-white and gray tones predominate in slabs and tiles. Excellent durability and low maintenance are two reasons to consider it. This is an expensive option, though.

  • Soapstone countertop cost: $60-$185
  • Maintenance costs: Low
  • How to save money on soapstone countertops: Tiles are just as attractive and much more affordable than slabs. Replacing a single broken tile, should that be necessary, costs far less than replacing/repairing an entire slab.

Lava  Stone Countertop Prices

Installing lava stone countertops will keep your friends guessing what material it is. This unique and expensive countertop is available in a range of colors and, no surprise, it is very resistant to heat. Costly to refinish, should it need it, these countertops should last 50+ years.

  • Lava countertop cost: $250-$300 per square foot
  • Maintenance costs: Low to moderate

How to save money on lava countertops: Frankly, there aren’t any “deals” on lava stone. All lava countertop tiles and slabs are expensive

Limestone Countertop Prices

Limestone is a good choice for kitchens that do not get a heavy workout. They’re beautiful but as challenging to maintain as marble, but at a lower cost. There are several attractive limestone grades and styles.

  • Limestone countertop cost: $55-$125 per square foot
  • Maintenance cost: Moderate to high
  • How to save money on limestone countertops: Choose non-premium grades of limestone, and get several competitive bids on installation.

Travertine Countertop Prices

Travertine is a limestone material formed under tremendous heat and pressure. The result is a material sometimes mistaken for marble. This gorgeous material, like standard limestone, needs regular sealing, and care must be taken not to scratch or chip it.

  • Travertine countertop cost: $50-$100 per square foot
  • Maintenance cost: High
  • How to save money on travertine countertops: Get estimates from several local countertop contractors for affordable travertine. Once installed, keep it well-sealed to reduce the need to replace it prematurely.

Stained Concrete Countertop

Cost of Concrete Counters

This isn’t the stuff they make sidewalks from, though it shares some characteristics.  A Concrete countertop is trendy, stylish and can be very handsome in any kitchen.  They are certainly above average in cost, too.  Concrete countertops: $70-$140 per square foot.

Choosing concrete is not like having a slab of sidewalk for a countertop. Not at all.  A Concrete countertop is trendy, stylish and can be very handsome in any kitchen. Once installed, the surface can be stamped, acid-stained and/or polished to produce an amazing array of design options. Concrete countertops are durable, attractive and completely customizable, a distinct advantage over natural stone.

  • Concrete countertop cost: $75-$125 per square foot for most installations, though costs can be slightly higher for complex concrete designs
  • Maintenance costs: Moderate to high
  • How to save money on concrete countertops: Keep the design simple using rectangular sections and straight lines with a square or slightly rounded edge.

Stainless Steel Countertop

Stainless Steel Countertop Prices

The popularity of stainless steel ebbs and flows among homeowners as a whole, but it remains one of the go-to choices for true cooking enthusiasts who want a durable, tough finish that is easy to clean. It’s a fantastic choice in retro designs too.

  • The cost of stainless steel countertops: $80-$225
  • Maintenance cost: Low
  • How to save money on stainless steel countertops: Stainless is available in several thicknesses, finishes and coatings to create a basic-better-best spectrum. Unless you’re a very serious cook, counters of moderate quality and cost will serve you well.

Solid Surface Counter Prices

Tough acrylic is the basis for these innovative and durable countertops.  Corian and Swanstone are leading brands and offer the most colors and patterns, many of which are modeled on the patterns found in granite or marble.  A solid surface countertop is a beautiful alternative to pricier materials and require less maintenance.

  • Solid surface countertop cost: $35-$85 per square foot
  • Maintenance cost: Low
  • How to save money on solid surface countertops: Stick with standard grades of material rather than premium countertops, and get competitive estimates from several countertop contractors in your area to find the best price from an experienced installer.

Cost of Recycled Glass Countertops

For those who want their countertops and backsplashes to be colorful and creative, as well as giving a boost to the environment, love the look of a recycled glass countertop. The material isn’t costly but the process and artistry can be.

  • Recycled glass countertop cost: $50-$125 per square foot
  • Maintenance cost: Low
  • How to save money on recycled glass countertops: Browse the range of products, and you’ll find attractive yet affordable recycled glass counters too.

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Wood or Butcher Block Prices

Warm, traditional and very attractive wood and butcherblock countertops are also a top choice for those who love to work in the kitchen.  New woods are being added to the lineup of butcher block and wood countertops every year, creating a wide variety of pricing.

  • Butcher block countertop cost: $55-$200 per square foot
  • Maintenance cost: Moderate to high
  • How to save money on butcher block countertops: While you get what you pay for in terms of quality, choosing one of the cheaper butcher block products available might be a good choice if you don’t plan to live in your current home for more than 10 years. Pre-fab butcher block counters can be installed DIY by experienced homeowners and handyman services.

Bamboo Countertop Prices

While technically a grass, bamboo wears like wood, only it is harder and more durable than hardwood.

  • Bamboo countertop cost: $40-$95
  • Maintenance cost: Low to moderate
  • How to save money on bamboo countertops: Choose a standard-grade product rather than premium bamboo, and seal it yourself once installed.

Reclaimed Wood Countertop Prices

While in short supply, reclaimed wood is an appealing choice for enthusiasts of sustainable living. The wood can be gorgeous when the countertops are manufactured with artisan skill.

  • Reclaimed wood countertop cost: $115-$300 per square foot
  • Maintenance cost: Moderate to high
  • How to save money on reclaimed wood countertops: That’s difficult to do due to the level of craftsmanship that must go into them. Some homeowners have supplied their own wood from solid doors or an old barn, but most don’t have that luxury – so they pay luxury prices.

Porcelain Countertop Prices

Porcelain is a hot countertop material in Europe and is trending in North America for its many wonderful qualities. This material takes ceramic to the next level of strength (it’s tougher than granite but lighter), heat resistance and durability.

  • Porcelain countertop cost: $60-$100
  • Maintenance cost: Low
  • How to save money on porcelain countertops: Tiles cost less than slabs; plainer styles are more affordable too. Also, if you go with tiles, choose an installation design that isn’t complex.

Tile Counter Prices

Ceramic tiles come in wide range of prices and there are enough colors and styles to match any taste.  Depending on the size, shape and quality of the material, tile countertops can be affordable or quite pricey.  No material offers greater opportunity to customize your countertop and/or backsplash. There’s tile for every kitchen style too, and it is durable, heat resistant and fairly easy to care for when you keep the grout sealed.

  • Tile countertop cost: $18-$35 per square foot, more for elaborate mosaic designs
  • Maintenance cost: Moderate
  • How to save money on tile countertops: Larger individual tiles take less time to install, so labor costs are lower. Stay away from complex mosaic designs that can cost $50+ per square foot due to high labor costs.

Laminate Counters Prices

Laminate is the most affordable material for use in countertops.  It comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, many of which are created to look like granite, marble or other high-end materials.  Most laminate countertops are attractive and surprisingly durable.

  • Laminate countertop cost: $15-$40
  • Maintenance cost: Low
  • How to save money on laminate countertops: You’ll find stock and special-order laminate countertops at home improvement stores that can be installed DIY if you have experience or by an experienced handyman.

As you can see, the prices vary wildly, and depending on the part of the country (or world!) you're in, they can vary even more.  Natural stone materials are extremely heavy, and if you're far from where the stone is sourced, you can expect to pay up for it!  If you're looking to replace your countertops, it's a great idea to hire a reputable contractor.  If you're more of a DIY-er, you can make some improvements to your existing countertops to bring them up to spec, such as bullnozing the edges and so forth.  It's amazing what re-polishing your natural stone countertops can do for their beauty.

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