How Much Should You Spend On Kitchen Countertops?

kitchen countertops

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Whether you’re a home chef or a professional chef, you deserve a kitchen that’s praise-worthy. All this time, you might’ve been spending too much on knives, pots, pans, and other things you need for cooking. What you could’ve forgotten to invest on though is a kitchen countertop. It’s one of the last things on your mind when improving your kitchen but it’s more important than you think.

Simply put, a kitchen countertop is basically the part of the kitchen where you put your stuff on. It’s a multi-purpose surface which you can use for prep work. Some countertops allow you to directly chop ingredients on them. As they are used in the kitchen, the best kitchen countertops should be heat, scratch, and stain resistant.

If you want to buy a kitchen countertop, then it is a must that you know about the costs behind this. Keep in mind that these aren’t as cheap as stoves or even the top kitchen knives set. In fact, this is probably the most expensive thing you’ll buy from the kitchen aside from the room itself. Here’s how much you can and should spend on a kitchen countertop.

Picking A Material

This is the part of the kitchen countertop installation process that basically  dictates whether your countertop is cheap or not. There are some materials that are cheap but there are some high-end materials that can really take a toll on your budget. The short answer is that affordable kitchen countertops usually cost around $20-$100 per square foot. On the other hand, premium materials can cost as much as $150-$200.

This time, we’re going to talk about some of the most popular kitchen countertop options, how much they cost, and what their benefits are.

Marble Countertops

We’re starting with the big ones first. The most expensive countertop on the market currently is the marble countertop. This can cost you around $75-$250 per square foot and the maintenance costs for these are high. One reason why it’s so expensive is that all marble countertops are cut from natural stone. This means no two slabs are the same. Adding one to your home greatly increases its value.

It’s basically a luxury option in the countertop business. Don’t be mistaken that these countertops are all for looks though. These are also low maintenance countertops that are stain, scratch, and heat resistant making them one of the most durable countertops. You’d often find these in a mansion or luxury home.

Granite Countertop

As marble is too expensive for the budget for some, others opt to get granite instead. These costs $40-$200 per square foot. What’s great is that granite prices are starting to get lower too but more on this later. Despite being a natural stone like marble, granite is still comparatively cheaper because the source is more abundant.

Granite has the same durability as marble. However, it is far less flexible. What this basically means is that it can chip easier than marble. As such, you’d want to avoid hitting granite with a strong impact as it could ruin the entire slab.


Coming in fast as a contender for the most popular countertop choice is quartz. Remember when we said that granite is becoming more cheaper? It is because of the rising popularity of quartz. These countertops sell for $40-$150 per square foot. It’s not made from pure natural stone but it looks and feels just like it.

Quartz countertops aren’t made from pure quartz. Instead, they are made from crushed quartz crystals which are mixed with binding resin and other additives that add color. What results is a highly durable countertop that’s far from the price range of either granite or marble. It’s the closest you’d get to a natural stone countertop without burning a hole through your budget.

Soapstone Countertops

Another popular natural stone option that doesn’t cost as much as others is soapstone. This is a perfect materials for outdoor kitchen countertops because of their smooth texture. When it comes to price, soapstone costs around $60-$185 per square foot. It’s not as cheap as quartz countertops but these come closer to the quality, look, and feel of granite and marble.

If you touch soapstone, you’ll feel that it does have like a soap-like texture, hence the name. Soapstone has off-white and gray tones. Despite it’s soft texture, soapstone is very durable and low maintenance. As such, it is becoming a very popular option for homeowners as well.

Concrete Countertops

We’re now moving on to the cheaper options, most of which are man-made countertops. Before you complain, concrete countertops aren’t similar to the concrete you walk on the streets. These cost around $70 – $140 per square foot. They are also a popular option because of their simple design and low maintenance quality.

Concrete countertops have been treated and polished so they are just as smooth as natural stones. They come in various design options which make them a perfect fit for any kitchen. Their biggest advantage over other natural stones is that 

Stainless Steel Countertops

Last but not the least of the most popular modern kitchen countertops we have stainless steel. This material can set you back around $80-$225 per square foot. The main issue that comes with stainless steel countertops is that it can be load especially when you bang on it directly. However, some installed layer concrete underneath the steel to somewhat mitigate the sound.

Another problem with this countertop is that it isn’t as scratch resistant as other countertops. When it comes to overall durability and heat resistance however, it’s still a perfect cost-efficient option. It’s commonly used outdoors because open areas make the sound less impactful. Consider it if you have an outdoor kitchen.

As you can see, some countertops can really be heavy on your budget. There are some ways in which you can make it less expensive. For instance, instead of buying slab of natural stone, opt to buy tiles of it. These are not only cheaper, they are also easier to install. You can also pick simpler design and veining so that your natural stone is cheaper.

Next comes the edges. You can also design what type of edge you’d want your countertop to have. Simple cuts come at no cost at all. However, if you are planning to have complex edges, then you are looking at an extra $5-20 per square foot depending on the design you pick.

Installation Costs

Now let’s talk about the most important part of the kitchen countertop installation process which is basically the installation itself. There are some countertops that you can install yourself but those are mostly the tiled ones. Other kitchen countertops need to be installed by professionals themselves as this is a complicated matter after all.

The installation itself can cost around $1,800-$4,100 depending on the complexity of the project and the contractor you are dealing with. You are looking at around $25-$120 per square foot which is not that bad. Some contractors give you certain deals that can cut the costs significantly too so be sure to talk with your installer about these.

You might be wondering why it is so expensive to install a countertop. For starters, the installation fee that you pay will include a lot of things. This includes the shipping of the slabs, the installation process itself, the materials that the installers will use, and most importantly, you are paying for the service of the installers themselves.

The price of the installation varies depending on what else needs to be done to your kitchen. In some cases, the installers will need to level the cabinets and drawers that you have to properly install the countertops. This is of course dependent on the types of kitchen countertops that you avail.

Kitchen countertop installation prices are also affected by the contractors you deal with. Of course, more experienced installers will charge more for the service. On the other hand, lesser know installers are going to charge less. It’s up to you who you want to have handling the project but we suggest tried and tested installers.


In total, you are looking at around $6,000 – $10,000 on having a kitchen countertop installed. As you can see, it is a big investment on your end. However, you have to consider that a good kitchen countertop can last for decades without getting so much as a scratch. If you are planning to resell, countertops also up the resale value of your house making the investment more worth it.

It might take you a while to save up for a kitchen countertop. However, all that saving and waiting wil This multi-purpose surface not only looks great on your home it also makes it easier for you to work in your kitchen as well. As early as now, you shuld begin learning about the different types of countertops so that you know what kind you’ll get when the day comes.

We give free estimate service and consultation. Call us now, or check us on Facebook anytime!

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Tuncer Dagdelen<span id="position"><h6><b>Owner<h6/></span>
Tuncer Dagdelen

Tuncer Dagdelen is the owner of Gold Kitchen Cabinets & Granite Quartz Countertops. He has been offering quality cabinets for both kitchen and bathroom. Has huge selection of granite, quartz and marble countertops colors. You can find Tuncer on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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