New countertops are a great way to remodel the kitchen or bathroom in your home, as well as other areas such as the laundry where work space is required. There are many different materials you can use, in a range of styles and colors. This Remodeling Cost Guide will outline your options and give general cost estimates you can use to plan your kitchen remodeling costs or costs for the room where you’re going to install the countertops.
- Project Cost Range: $20-$45 for Laminates, Wood, Butcherblock, and Veneers. $35-$90 for Solid Surface, Glass, Quartz and Granite. (prices are per square foot)
- Commonly Quoted By: Replacement Countertop Prices are Usually Based on the Square Foot Size of the Counter. May be Included as Part of a Larger Kitchen Remodeling Project.
- Typically Includes: New Countertop and Site Prep Materials. Removal and Disposal of Old Counters, New Counter Installation Labor.
- Project Skill Level: 8/10, Countertop Replacement is Not Typically an Easy DIY Project
Countertop Materials and Prices
There’s never been a wider array of countertop materials available. Here’s a look at your options.
Laminate continues to be the most affordable countertop material on the market. Brand names include Formica, Wilsonart and Devmar. Choices for colors and patterns is nearly unlimited. Glass and ceramic tile remains popular in kitchen remodels due to the cost and the variety of colors, sizes and styles you can use. Most tile is affordable, though some can be mid-priced. Butcher block is another countertop option that can be low-cost or mid-priced depending on the type and quality.
Prices for low-cost countertops are $10-$40 per square foot.
Bamboo end-grain countertops are relatively new and quite affordable. They look something like butcher-block and enthusiasts of green building materials like them because bamboo is renewable. Recycled paper countertops are also quite green. The paper is pressed and covered with a natural resin. Pigment is added, and you’ve got a colorful, durable countertop. Recycled glass countertops are made from glass chips encased in clear resin or sometimes in concrete. They are colorful, even artistic, and very functional. Resin countertops are durable and come is an attractive array of colors.
Solid surface countertops such as those made by Corian or Soapstone are highly-rated by homeowners for appearance and how easy they are to clean. Glass countertops have obvious drawbacks, but they can be very attractive and many are now made with tinted glass and LED lighting formed into them.
The cost for mid-priced countertops is $40-$100 per square foot.
Reclaimed wood countertops are environmentally friendly. The wood is gained from old wood buildings and made into gorgeous bath or kitchen countertops. Lava countertops are currently only mined at the site of an ancient volcano in France. Glazed with enamel and fired at 1,300 degrees F, lava makes an elegant and uniquely beautiful surface. Stainless steel remains a hot choice for anywhere in the house because it is attractive, functional and so easy to clean. It’s ideal for kitchen food prep areas and for bathrooms that children use.
Quartz is a manufactured material that simulates granite without granite’s drawbacks. It’s a low-maintenance countertop material and is available in brands names such as Cesarstone, Sileston and Hanstone. Concrete for countertops is popular, with new techniques such as tinting and acid staining creating lots of attractive options. It is tough and durable. Granite and marble are both natural stone countertops that offer elegance and style. Marble is considered hard enough for bathrooms but not for kitchens. Copper is a high-end material that you can either keep shined up or allow to develop a natural patina that adds interest.
The cost for these expensive countertops is $100-$200 per square foot.
DIY Countertop Installation or Hire a Pro?
If you’ve got good carpentry skills, installing countertops with few turns can be quite easy. You’ll need a level, wood shims, fasteners such as wood screws, a circular saw for cutting and a power drill or driver, and possible a planer or sander for taking fractions of an inch of an end to ensure a proper fit.
Some countertop, such as tile or concrete, require expertise and are better left to a pro.
If you’d like a pro to handle your countertop installation, get at least 3 written estimates from local contractors. Discuss the job with each one, and ask them how long it will take from start to finish, as well as when they could start. This will help you know how to plan for having your kitchen or bathroom torn up. The prices will allow you to put together your total kitchen remodeling costs, etc.
New countertops go a long way toward increasing the beauty and functionality of your home. As you can see, you’ve got lots and lots of options. Take some time at the local home show or to look online at the options in order to settle on the right ones for your home.