Kitchen Countertops Cost: Price per Square Foot of Countertop Materials

The cost of new kitchen countertops is a major factor when remodeling. Kitchen countertops cost range widely from $20 to $250 per square foot installed depending on the material. Choosing an affordable, durable countertop for your kitchen remodel means considering costs, longevity, and ease of installation and maintenance.

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So, before you go to a countertop store near you, we will break down the cost per square foot of the most popular countertop options including laminate, granite, quartz, concrete, stainless steel, tile, solid surfaces, butcher block, and more. Understand price ranges and what impacts costs to select new kitchen countertops that give you the look you want at a price you can afford.

Average Cost of Kitchen Countertops per Square Foot

Kitchen countertop prices per square foot installed typically span:


  • Laminate countertops range from $20-$40 per square foot installed. This makes laminate the most budget-friendly countertop option for kitchens. Precise pricing depends on the material grade and edge treatments.
  • Ceramic or porcelain tile countertops cost $30-$70 per square foot installed. The tile itself is affordable but professional installation is recommended.


  • Wood countertops like butcher blocks are priced at $40-$100 per square foot installed. Butcher block is a good middle ground between durability and price.
  • Engineered quartz countertops range from $80-$150 installed per square foot. Quartz provides high-end looks for less than natural stone.


  • Marble countertops are $70-$250 per square foot installed. Marble is on the high end due to material cost and professional fabrication.
  • Granite countertops cost $80-$180 per square foot installed. Granite requires sealing but provides luxury and resale value.

More factors than just material affect the overall price. Keep reading for a detailed cost breakdown of each countertop type.

Factors Impacting Kitchen Countertop Costs

According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of materials alone ranges from $10 per square foot for laminate counters up to $100+ per square foot for premium materials like quartz and marble. Professional fabrication and installation labor typically adds $40-$100 per hour.

Several variables influence the total price of new countertops:

  • Countertop material – The type of material chosen for kitchen countertops has a very significant impact on the project’s total cost. Material prices for countertops have an extremely wide range. On the lower end, laminate countertops cost just $20-$40 per square foot installed. Tile countertops range from $30-$70 per square foot including professional installation fees. More mid-range options like engineered quartz average $80-$150 per square foot installed. Finally, high-end luxury materials like granite and marble range from $70 on the low end up to $250+ per installed square foot on the upper end for rare designer marbles. The material choice alone can shift total costs dramatically.
  • Labor costs – In addition to the cost of the physical countertop materials, professional fabrication, and installation is required for most countertop projects. This labor accounts for around 40% of the total project cost on average. The more intricate the material is to work with and install, the higher the labor costs will be. For example, installing prefabricated laminate countertops has lower labor fees versus meticulously cutting and polishing seams for natural stone slabs. Complex edge profiles or layouts also drive up labor time and costs.
  • Edge treatments – The edge profile and treatments selected also factor into the total installation fees. A simple squared-off edge can be finished fairly quickly. However, decorative treatments like beveled edges, ogee edges, bullnose edges, or intricate edge profiles require extra fabrication time, special tools, and skilled handling to cut precisely. This naturally results in higher labor costs. Upgraded edges can add $10-$20 per linear foot depending on complexity.
  • Number of cutouts – The more cutouts that are needed for sinks, stove cooktops, and other appliances, the higher the installation costs will be. Each cutout requires precise template measurements, professional cutting tools to create the openings, finishing and polishing the cut edges smoothly, and sealing the seam. So for example, pricing for a perimeter countertop layout is lower than a large island layout requiring multiple cutouts.
  • Special shapes – Countertop costs are lowest for straightforward rectangular layouts like a galley kitchen design. When the countertop has complex angles, curves, or unusual shapes, the degree of skilled fabrication and time required goes up. This custom work translates into higher project costs.
  • Local rates – Both material supply costs and labor rates for experienced countertop installation professionals vary considerably by region. In higher-cost metropolitan areas, overall countertop project costs will be higher compared to rural areas with lower costs of living and wages. Always obtain local estimates.

Get free estimates from countertop installers to estimate costs for your specific kitchen.

Countertop Types Cost Comparison

Here is an overview of price ranges for popular kitchen countertop materials, from low to high cost:

Laminate Countertops

Cost: Laminate countertops range from $20-$40 per square foot installed, making them the most budget-friendly countertop option for kitchens. Exact pricing depends on the thickness and grade of the specified laminate material and edge treatments.


  • As the most affordable countertop choice, laminate offers dramatic cost savings versus materials like natural stone or quartz.
  • The laminate sheets can be cut to size easily for DIY installation or by countertop fabricators. No special tools or skills are needed.
  • With hundreds of colors, textures, finishes, and patterns, laminate provides endless design options from traditional to modern. Matte, gloss, textured, and even metallic looks are available.
  • Laminate stands up well to normal wear and tear. The resin surface resists scratches, scuffs, stains, and impacts, and heats up to approximately 350°F before warping.


  • While durable, laminate counters are prone to chipping on the edges from impacts. The core underneath is susceptible to moisture damage.
  • Laminate lacks the prestige and resale value of natural stone. It does not increase a home’s value like granite or quartz would.
  • The plastic resin finish can melt or bubble when exposed to very hot pans. Care must be taken.

Overall, laminate provides a solid, serviceable, and affordable countertop option that works well for budget kitchen remodels. The huge range of colors and patterns lets you get creative with your design.

Tile Countertops

Cost: Ceramic or porcelain tile countertops range from $30-$70 per square foot installed. While tile itself is relatively affordable, professional installation drives up costs significantly.


  • Tile is an excellent choice for kitchens because it is highly resistant to water, heat up to 800°F, scratches, and stains. Denser porcelain tile is the most durable option.
  • From mosaics to large format styles, tile comes in a limitless array of colors, prints, finishes, and materials like metal or glass. This allows full customization.
  • The surface is easy to clean using just soap and water or basic cleaners. You can quickly wipe up spills and messes.
  • Tile counters complement tiled backsplashes beautifully for a seamless, integrated look.


  • Grout between tiles needs periodic sealing to prevent staining and mildew growth in kitchens.
  • Tile has slightly more visible seams versus materials like quartz or granite that appear more continuous.
  • The surface feels cool to the touch and does not warm up like some other materials.

With proper grout sealing, tile makes a versatile, durable, custom-designed countertop perfect for kitchens. Just account for professional installation costs.

Concrete Countertops

Cost: Concrete countertops range from $50-$100 per square foot installed. The exact price depends on any special treatments like coloring, stamping, staining, or finishing processes.


  • Concrete offers good heat and scratch resistance when properly sealed. It can withstand hot pots and pans.
  • The moldable nature of concrete allows the creation of custom curved and shaped countertops. It can be cast to your exact specifications.
  • The raw, industrial look of concrete fits well with modern, urban kitchen designs and stainless steel appliances.
  • Concrete is more affordable than natural stone options while still offering the visual texture.


  • Without proper sealing, concrete is prone to staining from oils, foods, and acidic liquids. It needs resealing every 1-2 years.
  • Over time, uncontrolled temperature changes and shifts can cause hairline cracks in concrete counters. Cracks require repairs.
  • DIY installation is challenging. The pour and finishing process involves specific steps. Hiring professionals is recommended.

With the right sealing and care, concrete can provide a beautiful, customizable, heat-safe countertop while displaying an urban loft aesthetic.

Stainless Steel Countertops

Cost: Stainless steel countertops range from $70-$200 per square foot installed. Commercial-grade stainless with a thicker gauge is more expensive.


  • Stainless steel provides extreme durability. It resists heat, scratches, stains, and bacteria growth. Commercial kitchens often use it.
  • The non-porous surface is very easy to clean and keep sanitary. It just requires a quick wiping with soapy water.
  • Stainless steel is highly heat resistant and can withstand hot cookware. It does not burn or stain.
  • The reflective surface and modern look complement professional-style kitchens beautifully.


  • Stainless steel is prone to showing fingerprints, water spots, and grease residue without constant wiping.
  • It scratches and dents more easily than materials like quartz. Dents require professional repair.
  • Stainless has a noisy, metallic sound when setting down pots or chopping. It can be distracting.
  • The look lacks warmth and fewer color/finish options exist.

With proper care and expectations, stainless steel creates a hygienic, contemporary, heat-safe countertop ideal for modern kitchen styles.

Butcher Block Countertops

Cost: Butcher block countertops range from $60-$200 per square foot installed. Material cost depends on wood species. Prefab is more affordable than custom milling.


  • Butcher block exudes a warm, classic style perfect for traditional kitchens. The natural patterns and colors of the wood add beauty.
  • It is fairly durable given proper care and sealing. Many brands offer warranties against cracking and splitting.
  • Minor scratches and stains can be sanded out. Butcher block is repairable, unlike stone which requires full replacement.
  • The surface is gentle on glassware and knives. It provides a good surface for trivets and cutting boards.


  • Without sealing, the butcher block is prone to scratches, cuts, water staining, and warping. It needs regular reapplication of sealant.
  • Not the best choice for messy cooks or hygiene-focused households given its absorbent nature. Stains can penetrate over time.
  • The seams between wood strips are more visible than on a polished stone surface. Precise installation is vital.

With regular sealing and expectations set on the classic styling, butcher block creates timeless warmth and utility in kitchens.

Quartz Countertops

Cost: Engineered quartz countertops range from $80-$150 installed per square foot. More affordable than natural stone but pricier than laminate or tile. The total cost depends on slab quality.


  • Quartz is extremely hard and scratch-resistant, making it one of the most durable options for kitchens. Quartz rates 7-9 on the Mohs hardness scale.
  • The material resists stains from spills like wine, oil, or juice that would permanently stain natural stone.
  • Simple cleaning with mild soap and water keeps quartz pristine. No sealing or frequent polishing is needed.
  • From marble looks to solid colors, quartz offers natural stone beauty without maintenance. Styles like Caesarstone contain up to 93% crushed quartz.


  • Higher cost than laminate or tile countertops. However, still less than natural stone.
  • Seams between quartz slabs tend to be more visible than the seamless look of granite or marble.

With incredible durability, stain resistance, and endless design options, quartz makes a top countertop cost a fantastic low-maintenance countertop choice. The styling emulates stone without the hassle.

Granite Countertops

Cost: Granite countertops cost ranges from $80-$180 per square foot installed. Rare designer granite with intricate patterning or colorful movement can cost up to $280 per square foot.


  • Granite is considered a high-end, prestigious countertop material that instantly increases a home’s resale value. The elegance is timeless.
  • When properly sealed, granite is highly resistant to heat, scratches, and cuts. It rates 7-8 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale.
  • The natural patterns and veining of granite make each slab unique. Stones are quarried globally, offering variety.
  • Granite comes in colors beyond just black and gray, like exotic blues, greens, golds, and reds. However, shade choices are still more limited than engineered quartz or laminate.


  • Granite is somewhat porous and requires resealing every 1-2 years to prevent stains from acidic liquids like wine, tomato sauce, or citrus.
  • While durable, unsealed granite can chip or etch if subjected to heavy impacts or cuts. Sealing is vital.
  • Few exotic color choices exist. Traditional black, gray, brown, and white granite are most common.

Elegant granite countertops offer timeless luxury and prestige. With proper sealing, granite has worn beautifully for decades while increasing home value.

Marble Countertops

Cost: Marble countertops range from $70 on the low end for basic marble up to $250 per square foot installed for rare, imported designer varieties with intricate patterns and coloring.


  • Marble offers timeless elegance and luxury. Each stone has distinctive natural veining, swirls, and toning that polish into beautiful stone surfaces.
  • Marble withstands heat well and won’t burn. It provides an excellent surface for baking tasks.
  • The white, creamy colors create a bright, neoclassical look. Integrated sinks can be sculpted from the same marble slab.


  • Marble is prone to etching and staining since it is a softer, more porous stone. Frequent sealing is required along with blotting up spills quickly.
  • Acidic substances like wine, coffee, and citrus will etch unsealed marble. This requires professional polishing to remove damage.
  • Cracking is possible over time, especially with poor installation that doesn’t account for stone movement. Cracks demand full replacement.

With extra care taken to seal and protect its vulnerable surfaces, marble rewards homeowners with stunning elegance and luxury with its artistic natural veining and bright white colors.

Countertop Installation Costs

In addition to material costs, professional countertop installation averages $40-$90 per hour depending on complexity. Many materials like natural stone require professional skills for fabrication and installation.

Basic countertop installation steps include:

  • Template and measurements
  • Fabricating materials offsite
  • Tearing out old countertops
  • Installing new countertops
  • Sealing, polishing, bonding
  • Cutting sink holes
  • Installing edges and backsplash
  • Cleanup

While DIY installation is possible for materials like prefab granite or butcher block, complex materials require hiring professionals for around 40% of the total project cost.

Here is an expanded section on DIY countertop installation considerations:

DIY Countertop Installation

According to Lowe’s, DIY-friendly countertop materials include laminate, butcher block, and some prefabricated quartz options. However, materials like natural stone require professional tools and skills for precise cutting, finishing, and installation.

Installing new kitchen countertops yourself allows you to save money on professional fabrication and installation costs. However, DIY countertop projects require carpentry skills, proper materials, and great attention to detail for success.

The most realistic DIY countertop options include:


Laminate sheets can be cut to size using a circular saw with a fine finish blade or a rented wet saw. Edges can be finished with iron-on veneer tape and corners mitered. Adhere to cabinetry using contact cement.

Wood Butcher Block

Pre-finished butcher block slabs are available pre-cut or by foot at home improvement stores. These can be cut to fit with a circular saw, adhered to cabinets with construction adhesive, and sealed.

Prefabricated Quartz

Some big box stores sell low-priced Asian quartz slabs fabricated in standard sizes needing only cutouts. These avoid complex fabrication.


Tiling a countertop is within reach of an intermediate DIYer but achieving a perfectly flat, seamless surface is difficult. Mortar bed and grout spacing knowledge is key.

For success, have quality power saws to make clean cuts, follow all manufacturer instructions, watch online tutorials, and work slowly with helpers. Be prepared to make mistakes on your first try before getting the technique down. Areas like tight seam alignment, level installation, eliminating surface lips/bumps, and anchoring into cabinets properly require perfection.

The risks of DIY countertop projects going awry include uneven seams, inconsistent overhang, weak anchoring leading to detachment from cabinets, and imperfect miters on corners. Poor installation can lead to damage or the need for a costly do-over. In most cases, hiring professional fabricators and installers leads to superior results and protection of your investment. If attempting DIY, start with an inexpensive laminate or butcher block island to practice skills before moving onto whole kitchens.

Tips for Reducing Countertop Costs

To get great new countertops at the lowest price, consider these money-saving tips:

  • Choose affordable materials like laminate, wood, or tile
  • Install square-edged profiles instead of decorative edges
  • Opt for basic rectangular layouts without angled pieces
  • Limit the number of cutouts needed for sinks and appliances
  • Skip hard-to-install materials like marble, concrete, or granite tile
  • Install DIY-friendly prefabricated countertops
  • Shop warehouse stores for deals on materials
  • Time projects for seasonal sales and coupons

With some savvy choices, you can install elegant new countertops that fit your budget and style needs.

Pros and Cons of Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

Here is an overview of the benefits, drawbacks, and typical costs of common countertop options:

Concrete Countertops

Cost: $50-$100 per square foot installed

Pros: Durable, heat/scratch resistant when sealed, molds into custom shapes, industrial chic look

Cons: Requires sealing to prevent stains, can crack over time, challenging DIY install

Stainless Steel Countertops

Cost: $70-$200 per square foot installed

Pros: Extremely durable, easy to clean, heat/stain resistant, modern style

Cons: Prone to scratches and dents, noisy when prepping, less design options

Wood Butcher Block Countertops

Cost: $60-$200 per square foot installed

Pros: Warm, natural beauty of wood brings classic style, durable, easily repaired

Cons: Needs regular sealing, prone to scratches/stains, not seamless install

Engineered Quartz Countertops

Cost: $80-$150 per square foot installed

Pros: Very durable, resists scratches/stains, low maintenance, huge selection of styles

Cons: Higher cost, seams more visible than natural stone, limited exotic patterns

Granite Countertops

Cost: $80-$180 per square foot installed

Pros: Prestigious natural beauty, durable when sealed, heat/scratch resistance, resale value

Cons: Periodic sealing required, limited color options, etching/staining risks

Marble Countertops

Cost: $70-$250 per square foot installed

Pros: Elegant, luxurious style; heat resistance; unique natural veining

Cons: Softer stone prone to etching/stains; sealing vital; needs occasional repolishing

With this breakdown of the pros, cons, and approximate costs per square foot of various kitchen countertop materials, you can determine which option best fits your budget and needs. Focus on affordable options like laminate or DIY-friendly materials to save on your kitchen remodel.

Here is a section on countertop replacement costs compared to new installation costs:

Countertop Replacement vs. New Installation Costs

In addition to new countertop installation in a kitchen remodel, many homeowners need to replace existing countertops due to damage, wear, or desiring an updated look. What are the cost differences between a countertop replacement vs a new countertop installation cost alone?

Replacing existing kitchen countertops generally costs 20-30% more than installing new countertops from scratch. This premium is due to additional demolition, repairs, and modifications needed to remove and replace the existing countertop properly.

Countertop replacement steps involve:

  • Removing existing countertop material – may require breaking apart stone/tile, and unfastening from base cabinets.
  • Demolishing or reconfiguring base cabinets if layout changes are planned.
  • Repairing drywall, subfloor, or framing damage that is uncovered after old countertops are removed.
  • Possible plumbing shifts if sink/cooktop layout changes. May require shutting the water off.
  • Thorough cleaning of base cabinets before attaching new countertop.
  • Normal new countertop fabrication and professional installation.
  • I am sealing any edges and backsplash seams with caulk for water protection.
  • Cleanup of demolition debris and dust created in the process.

While countertop replacement reuses the existing base cabinets, the extra demolition and modifications result in higher labor costs compared to a brand-new installation. However, you end up with gorgeous updated countertops economically by avoiding full cabinetry replacement.


What is the most affordable countertop material?

Laminate is the most budget-friendly countertop option at around $20-$40 installed per square foot. Other values for concrete countertop options are tile and wood butcher block.

Which countertop adds the most resale value?

Natural stone materials like granite and marble add the most value by instantly elevating a kitchen’s luxury. However, they come at a higher upfront cost.

What thickness countertop should I choose?

For granite or quartz, 3 cm is standard while 2 cm works for tighter spaces. Laminate is typically 1.2 mm thick. Tile ranges from 1/4 to 3/4 inch thickness.

Can I install a countertop myself?

DIY installation is realistic for laminate, butcher block, and some prefabricated quartz or recycled glass. Other materials require professional tools and skills for custom cuts and seams.

How much do special edges increase cost?

Simple square-edge profiles are the most affordable. Beveled, stacked, bullnose or other decorative edges cost $10-$20+ more per square foot depending on the finished linear foot.

What impacts natural stone pricing?

For granite and marble, rarity, stone quality, color/pattern, and country of origin impact pricing. Local quarry stones are the most affordable.

How often do I need to seal my counters?

Sealing frequency depends on the material. Granite needs sealing every 1-2 years. Marble and butcher blocks require sealing every 6 months. Quartz needs no sealing.


The cost of new kitchen countertops ranges widely from just $20 per square foot for value options like laminate up to $250 per square foot for premium materials like marble. Compare the pros and cons of countertop types to balance price, ease of installation, durability, and style.

Focus on precise measurements and an efficient layout to determine cost. Opt for DIY-friendly materials or hire professional installers as needed. Look for ways to simplify your project to save on labor and material costs. With some smart planning upfront, you can install gorgeous new countertops that maximize your kitchen’s function and style affordably.