Cost of Countertops & Installation

By Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow · June 29, 2023 · 8 minute read

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Cost of Countertops & Installation

One of the biggest choices you’ll make when renovating your kitchen is what material to use for your countertops. Whether you go for a contemporary look with solid surface areas or opt for a French country feel with marble, the material you choose will depend largely on your kitchen style, needs, and budget.

Before you settle on a certain product for your kitchen, though, let’s examine the cost of countertops and installation by material.

Countertop Materials and What They Cost

Depending on your kitchen style, the countertop materials you choose will set the tone for the overall look of the space. There are variables in pricing based on where you live, market prices, and the materials you choose. Here’s a look at some pros and cons of commonly used materials and estimates of what kitchen countertops cost.


Granite countertops have long been a go-to material in kitchens due to style, quality, and durability. But it’s also pricey, so if it’s your material of choice, you’ll need to budget accordingly. That said, there are a number of benefits to using granite that may warrant paying the price.

Granite is a hard stone and extremely durable. It’s both difficult to scratch and heat-resistant, so you can move hot pans directly from the stove to the counter.

And while it can stain, granite is less porous than other materials. This means errant marks and spills are less likely to permanently mar your countertops. In fact, the polish that the installer puts onto the granite burnishes the stone against all but the most extreme abuse.

Estimated cost of granite countertops: $40 to $60 per square foot

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Contrary to how it may sound, quartz countertops are not a natural stone. Rather, they’re man-made from quartz particles that are held together with resin. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals on earth, so the resulting material is also extremely durable.

Because quartz countertops are engineered, they can come in many different designs, from bright solid colors to patterns that mimic natural stone. They also come in an array of textures, from glassy smooth to matte to stone finishes.

Quartz countertops are not porous due to the resin that binds them together, so they are also stain-resistant and never need to be sealed.

Estimated cost of quartz countertops: $50 to $200 per square foot


Laminate is one of the cheaper countertop materials, making it a common kitchen choice, especially for homeowners on a budget. Laminate is made from layers of plastic that are glued to a base such as a particleboard. These countertops come in a variety of colors, patterns, and surface textures.

Laminate is much lighter than stone countertops, and it tends to be easier to cut, shape and install. This makes it a popular material for DIYers who plan on installing countertops on their own.

However, it’s worth noting that laminate countertops do not stand up to heat as well as stone, and they tend to scratch more easily. And since they’re not as durable as other materials like granite or marble, they’ll likely need to be replaced more frequently.

Estimated cost of laminate countertops: $35 to $80 per square foot

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops are made in a similar manner to quartz counters. However, these countertops use acrylic particles bound with resin instead of stone. As another engineered product, they come in a variety of colors and patterns, including those that mimic stone.

Solid surface is non-porous, so it tends to be stain-resistant, and scratches can usually be sanded and polished off the surface. As an acrylic, it doesn’t hold up well to heat. It can withstand boiling water, but it might begin to warp at temperatures as low as 250°F.

Estimated cost of solid surface counters: $50 to $100 per square foot


The price of wood countertops can vary widely by the type and thickness of wood. Exotic woods can cost a pretty penny, but counters made from cheaper types such as birch tend to cost only a bit more than budget options like laminate. Wood countertops are often made of butcher block, which comprises pieces of wood with their edge grain-up, glued together to form a hard, continuous surface.

As a material, wood is relatively soft, so it may get banged up a bit. However, scratches can be sanded out and the surface restored. Wood or varnish may also burn when hot pans are placed atop it. Skilled DIY home renovators can install wood counters themselves, which can help control costs.

Estimated cost of wood countertops: $50 to $150 per square foot


Tile countertop is another material whose cost can vary dramatically. On the cheaper end, ceramic tiles can cost as little as a couple dollars per square foot, while a marble tile might cost more up to $25 per square foot. Depending on the tile you choose, where it’s from, and how it’s made, the price per square foot can rise considerably.

Tile materials, which can range from ceramic to glass to stone, tend to be durable and both heat- and scratch-resistant. That said, tile countertops could chip if something heavy is dropped on them.

Tiles can be easy to install yourself; however, if you don’t have a lot of experience setting tiles, mixing grout and finishing the seams, you could end up with an uneven surface.

Estimated cost of tile countertops: $1 to $50 per square foot


Marble has a long history as an important art material and is commonly used as a design statement in upscale or trendy restaurants and bars. With a price similar to granite, marble is an elegant choice for home countertops.

The material is heat-resistant, meaning you can put hot pots and pans right on it. And if you’re a baker, you may be drawn to marble for its use as a surface to make pastries on, as it is prone to staying cool in the summer months.

Marble is relatively durable, though it’s softer and more porous than granite. This makes marble countertops more susceptible to scratches and stains, particularly from acidic foods like lemons, which can interact with the stone’s chemical makeup. You can seal the stone to help prevent some of these issues, but you’ll need to repeat the process regularly. Also, marble is heavy, so it may be difficult for a homeowner to install on their own.

Estimated cost of marble countertops: $40 to $100 per square foot

Stainless Steel

Long used as a countertop of choice in commercial kitchens, stainless steel is popular for counters in residential homes, too.

Metal countertops made have a lot of advantages. They are easy to clean, and they don’t burn, rust, or stain. They are usually recyclable should you ever change your mind and remodel your kitchen again.

There are some disadvantages to the materials, though. Metal countertops can be loud (think pots and pans clattering against metal). And though durable, the material does have a tendency to scratch or dent. The thicker the stainless steel, the less likely it is to be damaged. The gauge (or thickness) will also affect the material price.

Estimated cost of stainless steel countertops: $80 to $215 per square foot

Cost of Countertop Installation

The cost of new countertop materials isn’t the only expense associated with upgrading your kitchen counters. There’s also the cost to install the countertops, which will typically vary by material and square footage.

For example, having stainless steel professionally installed can add about $10 per square foot to the price of the countertops, whereas professional installation of quartz countertops can add $60 per square foot.

Installing countertops yourself is a great way to reduce costs, but it can be challenging depending on the material. You’ll also need to consider what types of modifications to the materials are needed. Cutting a hole in a granite countertop for a sink, for example, can add to the overall cost and in many cases requires the use of specialized tools with diamond-tipped bits.

One way to control the costs of kitchen countertops is to mix materials. If you have your heart set on a granite countertop, for instance, consider using granite for a small portion of the kitchen — such as a prominent feature like the island — and a cheaper material like tile for the larger counter spaces.

Recommended: How Much Does It Cost to Remodel or Renovate a House?

Financing Your Kitchen Countertops

As soon as you decide what kind of countertop material to use — and you consider the average cost of a kitchen remodel — then you’ll likely want to think about how to pay for the work.

If you need to finance the project, it can make sense to explore an unsecured home improvement loan to help you get the work done. Because this is a kind of personal loan, you don’t need to have home equity nor do you need to use your home as collateral.

That said, there are pros and cons to personal loans. Be sure you understand all your options so you can find what best suits your financial and personal needs.

The Takeaway

To estimate the overall cost of countertops, you’ll want to consider a few different factors: the materials you plan to use, whether they’ll require professional installation or you can install them yourselves, and the area in which you live.

Choosing materials like laminate countertops or wood can be a smart way to save money for those remodeling a kitchen on a tight budget, while granite, marble, or quartz countertops may be preferable for those wanting a more high-end look. For homeowners looking for something unique, tile countertops might be a route to take in order to further customize your kitchen remodel.

If you’re ready to install new kitchen countertops, see what a SoFi personal loan can offer. With a SoFi Home Improvement Loan, you can borrow between $5,000 to $100,000 as an unsecured personal loan, meaning you don’t use your home as collateral and no appraisal is required. Our rates are competitive, and the whole process is easy and speedy.

Turn your home into your dream house with a SoFi Home Improvement Loan.

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