These days the cost of countertops is $2,200 and ranges from $800 to $4,200. Kitchen countertop prices are based on square footage ($10 to $70 per square foot in 2022) with larger countertops costing more than smaller ones made of the same material.
If you are not already looking for Silestone quartz countertops, you know that counters and surfaces can come in several combinations of materials, finishes, and edge treatments. Here are all the factors: materials, size of surface area, edge style, corner style, labor, your location.
LOCATION of Countertops
Do you live in a metro area with a higher cost of living? Then expect every variable below to skew toward the high end of the spectrum of costs for countertops. If you don’t live in one of those cities with a high cost of living, but in a remote rural environment, then again, expect your countertop costs to skew toward the high end. It seems like the sweet spot are suburban areas near major cities, no?
The lower-priced materials are laminate and butcher block, while the more expensive materials are recycled glass, copper, and zinc. Silestone’s engineered quartz countertops usually fit in the middle somewhere. And considering the quality and consistency, the value is hard to beat. Please note, that pricing of some materials can overlap depending on the style and color.
SURFACE AREA of countertops
The average kitchens need 30 square feet of material for countertops. Outdoor kitchens have some 12 – 20 square feet of surface area. Range of cost per square foot including installation:
Granite $45 – $170
Marble $125 – $250
Wood / Butcherblock $35 – $200
Stainless Steel $75 – $150
Engineered Quartz $90 – $185
Concrete $70 – $140
Laminate $20 – $60
Edge costs are charged by the linear foot and are an additional fee. Edges that are thicker than the countertop material are “built-up” and will increase the price.
Eased Edge Countertop: An eased edge is the most common type of countertop edge and is usually already included with the price of the countertops. Slightly sanded down to create a rounded shape at the top 90-degree edge, it’s usually included with the price of the countertop. This type of edge is easy to care for and popular among homeowners who don’t want hard, sharp edges to their countertops.
Beveled Edge Countertop: A beveled countertop edge costs from $10 to $15 per linear foot. It features a 45-degree angle on the top edge, which can add a contemporary and modern look to the countertop design. This is also an easy-to-clean countertop edge, since there are no nooks or crannies where food and debris can collect.
Rounded/Half Bullnose Edge Countertop: Half bullnose edge countertops run from $10 to $15 per linear foot. This edge has a squared-off bottom edge and a rounded top edge. This smooth countertop edge is also easy to maintain.
Full Bullnose Edge Countertop: Also called a “pencil edge”, a full bullnose countertop edge costs from $10 to $15 per linear foot. In this style, both the top and bottom edges are fully rounded, creating an area that’s easy to clean.
Ogee Edge Countertop: An ogee edge ranges in cost from $20 to $25 per linear foot and features an S-cut. The slab needs to be 3 centimeters or thicker. If not, thinner countertops will have to be “built up” to achieve this look.
Mitered Edge Countertop: Mitered edge countertops vary in price from $20 to $25 per linear foot. This type of edge has a square top edge and then cuts back dramatically after a short drop. It is used in offices for a modern look or style.
Dupont Edge Countertop: Dupont edges feature a 90-degree angle at the top edge and quarter-round cut on the bottom edge. Ranging in price from $20 to $40 per linear foot, it is the most expensive countertop edge option. The slab needs to be 3 centimeters or thicker. If not, thinner countertops will have to be “built up” to achieve this look.
Countertop corner treatments cost from $55 to $135 each, with the average cost at $60. If a homeowner doesn’t want a 90-degree square corner, the corners can be sanded to achieve a softer look. A ¼-inch radius has only a small curve, while a 1-inch radius highlights a more significant curve to the countertop corner.
LABOR to install Countertops
Labor costs typically run from $10 to $30 per square foot. Some countertop materials like Silestone can weigh hundreds of pounds and require a team of professionals to install them without damage to the surface or your interiors.
Silestone quartz countertop slabs can weigh between 20 and 25 pounds per square foot, a large slab of marble can tip the scales at approximately 550 pounds, and granite slabs also surpass several hundred pounds.
This moves labor costs toward to the higher end of the spectrum of labor costs. Labor prices and natural stone countertop sealing are typically included with the cost of the countertop material, but some countertop contractors will add them to the bill as a separate charge. Double-check with the installation company regarding labor and sealing costs and whether these are included with the installation estimate. Kitchen countertop installation typically takes between 2 and 5 hours to complete.
Additional Costs and Considerations
These can include sink installation, cutouts, old countertop removal, and additional plumbing or electrical work. The cost to install a kitchen sink ranges from $300 to $500. In addition to the cost for a sink, cooktop, faucet, hardware, and outlets, there is an extra charge for cutouts in the countertop material. For a sink cutout, a countertop installation professional may charge an additional fee, which is typically around $100. An undermount cooktop cutout costs an average of $200. Cutouts for plumbing and hardware will also drive up the cost of countertop installation.
A DEEPER DIVE INTO COST OF COUNTERTOP MATERIALS
Acrylic countertops are a budget-friendly alternative to Silestone quartz or granite. These resin countertops are nonporous but shiny and can sort-of mimic the look of natural stone. Acrylic countertops cost from $1,300 to $3,300, or $13 to $30 per square foot, including installation.
Wooden butcher block countertops cost from $10 to $35 per square foot, while solid wood countertops are a little pricier at $18 to $38 per square foot. Wooden countertops create a natural organic look, but they need to be sealed on a monthly schedule to maintain the look and appeal of the material. The price of wood countertops varies according to the type of wood, with bamboo being the cheapest option. Different types of wood, including maple, oak, cherry, and walnut, along with various finishes, can be combined to create a unique look.
Ceramic countertops work best in kitchens that don’t see heavy use. Since they scratch easily, ceramic is recommended for backsplashes and areas that don’t need to stand up to daily wear and tear. Compared to other tile materials, such as porcelain, ceramic is less expensive at a cost of $1 to $15 per square foot, depending on quality and size.
At an average cost of $3,300 to $7,200, or $50 to $100 per square foot, concrete countertops can be customized to any color, shape, texture, finish, and edge treatment. They can be poured into a mold right in the kitchen or made off-site and transported for installation. Concrete is susceptible to cracking and chipping, but sealing the material can help prevent any issues.
Copper countertops cost from $100 to $300 per square foot. This pricey material is easy to clean and comes in different gauges, or thicknesses. The thicker the copper, the more expensive the installation. Copper countertops are made by molding thin sheets around a wooden base, in a similar fashion to how stainless steel countertops are constructed. Homeowners can expect to pay between $5,500 to $9,625 for a 55-square-foot copper kitchen countertop.
Durable granite countertops can cost from $15 to $140 per square foot for a whole slab and $10 to $35 per square foot for prefabricated pieces. A popular countertop material, granite contains quartz, mica, feldspar, and silica. These countertops are unique because each piece of granite has its own texture, pattern, and color. The wide range of pricing is due to the quality of the stone and its rarity. The rarer the granite, the more significant the increase in price. Homeowners can search for “granite countertops near me” to find the most accurate pricing in their area.
Laminate (sometimes called the brand name Formica) is a budget-friendly countertop material that ranges from $800 to $1,650, or $8 to $27 per square foot. Laminate countertops can successfully mimic other materials and come in a number of patterns and edge treatments. These countertops can also have integral backsplashes and undermounted sinks as part of their installation. One drawback is that laminate is prone to scratching, fading, chipping, and heat damage.
Limestone countertops cost from $1,100 to $5,500, or $10 to $70 per square foot. This porous and fairly soft natural stone comes in colors that range from golden brown to pale gray and can fit in nicely with neutral design styles. Regular sealing is required to protect limestone from scratches.
Beautiful marble countertops cost between $15 and $190 per square foot, which is a very wide range—but quality marble can be found in the $25 to $60 per square foot range. This natural stone is made primarily of calcite, which makes it significantly softer than granite. Also prone to etching and scratching, marble needs regular sealing to prevent staining. From black to white to gold and red, marble is available in numerous color choices to match any kitchen design.
Porcelain countertop tile can cost from $3 to $28 per square foot on average, but the price can skyrocket to $55 to $120 per square foot depending on quality. Made of compressed clay dust that’s fired to intense temperatures, porcelain has superior resistance to scratches, stains, and heat damage. Porcelain tiles can mimic other materials and come in an array of styles and colors.
Silestone Countertops (Quartz)
Quartz countertops cost from $15 to $100 per square foot. Engineered quartz countertops are made from 93 percent natural quartz combined with pigments and resins, and they don’t require sealing. Durable quartz is resistant to stains, scratches, and heat, and comes in a variety of styles, finishes, and colors.
While quartz is an engineered material, quartzite is natural stone. Quartzite countertops can cost from $55 to $210 per square foot. Compared to other natural stone countertops, this durable material is less likely to etch or stain. Quartzite can mimic marble and comes in various styles and colors. As with granite, however, the rarer the stone, the more expensive the price tag.
Recycled Glass Countertops
Recycled glass countertops cost about $3,700 on average, or $45 to $135 per square foot for slabs, depending on color and size. Choosing recycled glass tiles is a more budget-friendly option, ranging from $10 to $40 per square foot. These countertops are made in one of two ways: with crushed glass or solid glass. In the former method, the crushed glass is adhered together by using resin. Solid glass countertops are poured into a mold and are available in an array of styles, designs, and colors. Recycled glass countertops are also resistant to scratches, stains, and heat damage.
The cost of slate countertops ranges from $1,100 to $5,000, or $30 to $90 per square foot. Known for its dark gray and green hues, slate is easy to clean, and it’s resistant to stains and moisture. Made from sandstone, certain types of slate can be brittle, so large slabs can be difficult to find. Slate countertops can come in three finishes: Cleft, cascade, and honed. Cleft, also called “natural” or “textured,” retains the naturally rough texture of slate and is the cheapest type, but it can trap dirt and be harder to clean. Cascade is slightly smoother, though some natural texture remains. Finally, honed slate is smooth and can be left with a naturally matte finish or polished to make it glossy.
Ranging in cost from $20 to $120 per square foot, natural soapstone is commonly used in smaller kitchens. Since slabs are usually available in smaller sizes, countertops longer than 7 feet will have visible seams. Many slabs are black with hints of blue and green, or they’re dark gray. Over time, the material develops a patina, and many homeowners will oil the surface to encourage even development and avoid blotches. Soft and made mostly from talc, soapstone is prone to scratches but is heat- and stain-resistant.
Solid Surface Countertops
Solid surface countertops (also known by the brand name Corian) cost from $20 to $130 per square foot. They are nonporous but are prone to scratching, staining, burning, and melting. This molded countertop material can be designed in a variety of colors, styles, and finishes. It’s not moisture-resistant, though, so it’s not recommended for use in bathrooms or other areas that experience humid conditions. Corian is one of the best-known solid surface brands, though there are many others on the market.
Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless steel countertops run from $50 to $250 per square foot, depending on gauge, or thickness. As with copper countertops, stainless steel sheets are wrapped around a wood base and are available in an assortment of styles and finishes. Stainless steel is durable and low maintenance, but it scratches easily.
Zinc countertops cost from $120 and $200 per square foot. Zinc is a soft metal countertop material that develops an attractive patina over time. Also formed from thin sheets around a wood base, these countertops come in various gauges, or thicknesses. The thicker the sheet of zinc, the more expensive the countertop installation.
How to Save Money on the Cost of Countertops
First, prepare to do some of the work on your own. Removing and hauling away the old countertop material can save on additional labor costs.
Stick with the standard edge. Deciding on elaborate countertop edges can drive up the cost of installation. Choosing simple edges that are included with the price of the countertop material can save money.
Go local. Buying natural stone countertop material from a local, domestically sourced manufacturere can save money on transportation.
Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable countertop contractors in your area.
Sinks, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures… buy them on your own, not from countertop companies, and be sure to notify your GC or contractor.
DIY Countertop Installation vs. Professional
Solid surface materials like Silestone, soapstone, marble, granite, or other engineered quartz are challenging to install. Unless you have experience and tools to install kitchen countertops, leave this job to trained laborers who will install these materials efficiently and correctly.
The best countertop installers have the correct equipment and expertise to move and position heavy materials. The price of an installation can more than double if countertops are dropped, bumped, or cut incorrectly and require replacement materials. Just be sure to not damage cabinets or other elements in your kitchen or home.