If your kitchen feels tired and dated, installing new countertops can make a world of difference in modernizing and transforming the space. But with so many countertop materials and options to choose from these days, how much do new kitchen countertops cost?

The pricing depends on a variety of factors – the type of countertop material, your total square footage needed, edge treatments, complexity of the installation, and more. This comprehensive guide breaks down the typical cost per square foot for popular kitchen and bath countertop options along with the pros and cons of each material. Read on for tips to help estimate your total investment when planning a kitchen countertop installation or replacement.

Countertop Replacement Costs: An Overview

Countertop installation costs vary widely based on the material, with natural stones like granite and marble at the high end, engineered materials like quartz in the mid-range, and budget options like laminate and tile on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. According to HomeAdvisor, here are rough averages for new countertop installation costs for some of the most popular materials:

  • Granite Countertops: $80 – $200 per square foot installed
  • Marble Countertops: $70 – $200 per square foot installed
  • Quartz Countertops: $80 – $120 per square foot installed
  • Solid Surface: $70 – $100 per square foot installed
  • Laminate Countertops: $20 – $50 per square foot installed
  • Title Countertops: $35 – $70 per square foot installed
  • Wood Countertops: $50 – $100 per square foot installed
  • Concrete Countertops: $100 – $150 per square foot installed
  • Stainless Steel Countertops: $150 – $300 per square foot installed

But these ballpark figures just provide a starting point for pricing estimation. Determining the total cost for your kitchen requires calculating your precise square footage and factoring in other elements of your specific installation.

Calculating Your Countertop Square Footage

The first step in budgeting new countertops is to carefully measure the linear footage around your existing counters. Carefully measure and tally the lengths around all your copper countertops and sections, including islands, banquettes, and any custom angles or specialty shapes.

Then multiply the linear footage by the average depth of your countertops to get the total square footage needed. Most standard counters are 25-26 inches deep, but take multiple depth measurements around your own kitchen counters to get an accurate number.

This will provide a good ballpark for estimating the overall costs. Just keep in mind that the complexity of the space and installation can also drive up pricing. Any special cutouts for sinks, stovetops, or other appliances will require custom fabrication and extra labor fees. Edge treatments like bullnose edges, special backsplashes, corner angling, or crescent curves can also add cost for extra materials and skilled design work.

Factor #1 Impacting Price: Countertop Materials

The costs per square foot for new kitchen countertops will vary first and foremost based on the material you choose. Stone, quartz, laminate, wood, and tile all come in a wide range of price points. Consider the pros and cons of each option relative to your budget, kitchen functionality, and aesthetic style preferences.

Luxury Stone: Granite, Marble, and Quartzite

Natural stone countertops like granite, marble, and quartzite sit at the high end of the pricing spectrum, starting around $70 per square foot installed but going up to $200+ per square foot for rare and imported varieties. What drives the cost? These stones are incredibly durable, heat and stain-resistant, and add an unmatchable elegance that increases home resale value. Each slab has unique natural veining that results in countertops that are true pieces of art.

However, natural stone materials being quarried from limited natural sources, these premium stones cost more and require greater efforts to extract and transport. Professional installation is also recommended to precisely cut and finish these hard natural materials. If your budget allows, granite, marble, or quartzite countertops will stand the test of time with unrivaled beauty.

Engineered Quartz Countertops

Sitting in the middle price range around $80-$120 per square foot installed, engineered quartz counters offer the look and feel of natural stone. Quartz counters are fabricated from crushed quartz minerals blended with plastic resins that are molded into slabs. The manufacturing process allows for bold, consistent patterns that replicate marble, granite, and other luxe stones at a more accessible price point.

With durability and stain resistance close to natural stone but easier installation and low maintenance too, quartz often hits the sweet spot for budget but still delivers quality. The range of colors and patterns from solid tones to stone looks means quartz complements any kitchen style.

Ceramic & Porcelain Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile countertops offer an attractive, eco-friendly choice starting as low as $35 per square foot installed. With endless style, shape, color, and pattern options, tile allows you to customize your countertop look at a budget-friendly price.

The grout between tiles needs yearly sealing, and tile edges take skill to install correctly. But tiles are simple to replace if damaged down the road. For cost-conscious kitchen makeovers, tile delivers beauty, functionality, and value. You can check some kitchen remodeling before and after photos to see all these beautiful transformations.


On the affordable end of countertop pricing, laminate options replace kitchen countertops like Formica start at an average cost of $20-$50 per square foot installed. Made by laminating plastic resin layers to a plywood or particle board backing, laminate comes in every color and pattern imaginable – from solid colors to woodgrains to retro Formica.

While laminate lacks the durability and heat resistance of stone and quartz, its low cost and DIY-friendly installation make it a budget update solution. Just take care to avoid hot pans and repeatedly cutting directly on the surface. New matte finishes better resist scratches and fingerprints.

Wood & Butcher Block

Hand-crafted wood countertops infuse kitchens with natural warmth and beauty. While solid wood slabs can cost up to $100 per square foot installed, more commonly used wood options like butcher blocks start around $50 per square foot. This puts wood in the middle price tier for counter space.

Wood requires diligent oiling and sealing to maintain its finish and prevent water damage and stains. It can also be prone to scratches and dents over time, depending on the type of wood. But for those seeking natural materials and artisanal character, wood offers an eco-friendly alternative to mainstream options.

Other Specialty Options

More unique countertop materials like stainless steel, concrete, and soapstone sit at the high end of costs starting above $100 per square foot installed. Durable and heat-resistant stainless steel provides an industrial look, while synthetic materials of concrete and soapstone offer tactile finishes. However, these specialty options often require expert installation and special care for maintenance and cleaning.

Factor #2: Complexity of the Installation

Beyond just the cost per square foot of materials, several factors related to the complexity of the installation will also impact the pricing. Basic countertop replacement using existing bases with a straightforward layout can start under $2000. However, for more intricate installation projects involving plumbing changes, structural modifications, or high-end finishes, costs per square foot can exceed $10,000.

Some specifics that can raise the installation labor costs and fees include:

  • Specialty edges like bullnose, ogee, chamfered, etc.
  • Integrated sinks and backsplashes
  • Natural stone like marble requires greater care when cutting
  • Built-in warmers, prep stations, or other appliances
  • Crescent-shaped curves, angled corners, or specialty cutouts
  • The countertop runs over 10 feet and requires seaming
  • Complex patterns like tile mosaic or inlaid stone
  • Integrated lighting, outlets, or other electrical

Labor alone can account for 50% or more of your total countertop installation cost. So while the per-square-foot price of materials gives a baseline for budgeting, get a detailed quote accounting for your kitchen’s unique specifications. Many fabricators have solid surface countertops that include templating, sink cutouts, basic edges, and standard seaming within around $40-$70 per linear foot pricing. But communicate all your desired customizations upfront so additional labor fees don’t take you by surprise.

Factor #3: Choice of Fabricator or Installer

Who you choose to purchase from and install your new countertops also affects pricing. Local stone yards and big box stores offer more basic and affordable options starting at around $40 per square foot for materials. High-end countertops cost by custom fabricators using rare imported stones cost over $200 per square foot.

Similarly, independent installers typically charge less than large general contractor teams. Some discount fabricators have minimal showrooms and operate out of small warehouses instead of slick design centers – so you sacrifice atmosphere but save on overhead.

Do your research to find the right combination of price, professionalism, and quality of materials for your budget. Read reviews and inspect previous job sites to ensure excellent finished results. Many reputable, mid-range fabricators offer the best value on pricing for high-quality installation work.

Factor #4: Choice of Edges & Backsplashes

You’ll also want to decide whether upgrading to specialty edges and backsplashes fits within your budget. Edge profiles beyond simple squared-off edges add complexity to the fabrication process. Elegant edge styles like bullnose, chamfered, ogee, and Dupont carry an upcharge of around $6-$12 per linear foot.

Integrated backsplashes carved from your countertop materials can cost $25 per linear foot or more beyond the purchase of the field limestone countertops or slabs. Alternatively, you could opt for a separate backsplash using a different material like tile for a more affordable price. Think through the priority of these special details as you refine your quote.

Factor #5: Demolition and Removal

If you’re replacing existing countertops, the cost to demolish and remove your old kitchen countertops cost adds to your total project investment. Simple countertop removal might start around $200-$300. However, safely taking out the solid surface, granite, or tile set in mortar costs $400-$600 or more.

You also need to factor in disposal fees which could be $50-$150 for residential kitchens depending on local rates. Alternatively, you may be able to sell unwanted granite, marble, or quartz slabs to recyclers. Get quotes for accurate demolition pricing, as improperly dismantling countertops can damage your cabinets and replace countertops or flooring.

Estimating Total Costs: Materials + Labor + Overheads

Putting all these cost factors together provides an estimate of what to budget for new kitchen countertop installation. Calculate:

  • Materials cost per square foot x total square footage
  • Base labor fee x linear footage
  • Any upgrades like premium edges or backsplashes
  • Demolition and disposal fees for existing counters
  • Tax on materials and labor
  • Contingency cushion of 10-15%

This gives you an approximate total cost to update your countertops. Get 2-3 detailed quotes from fabricators once you decide on materials to compare pricing for your specific project. Many also offer financing options to break up payments over 6, 12, or 18 months at 0% interest.

Investing in new countertops can pay off when selling your home. The National Association of Realtors says updated countertops provide the highest return on investment for kitchen remodeling projects. Even lower-cost material options like new laminate or tile can recoup over 60% at resale. So don’t let your dated kitchen countertops deter buyers.

Choosing the Best Countertop Options for Your Budget & Style

When adding up the costs of countertop replacement, there are solutions at every budget level. If going all-out with exotic marble or granite slabs costs beyond your limit, engineered quartz or stylish new tile still provides beauty and function. Or laminate and wood refresh the look for much less investment.

Prioritize quality fabrication and professional installation for your selected material, rather than overspending beyond your means. This ensures your new countertops not only stay looking pristine for years but also improve functionality and flow in your kitchen. With smart planning considering pricing, materials, and layout, you can install durable, stylish new counters that make your kitchen shine without breaking the bank.