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The Real Cost of Kitchen Countertops: Where Does Your Money Go?

The countertop is the jewel of a kitchen. You can go high-end with marble and natural stones, or you can go down the regular wood and concrete route. 

Either way, with careful planning, you can have your desired kitchen countertop without spending much. Let’s break down the cost of kitchen countertops for your next remodel. 

Are you looking to revamp your kitchen or update it? A new countertop will spruce up your kitchen design and add the much-needed magic to an old, worn-out kitchen. 

Countertops take up an enormous space and are usually the focal point in any kitchen. They also are a considerable investment and don’t come cheap. It is best to take into account the functionality first and then the visual appeal of it. 

There are a lot of variables when it comes to rounding off the cost of kitchen countertops. It includes not just the materials, but the labor costs, installation charges, and finishing touches as well. 

It is important to tally the installation cost and not just the slab’s cost while choosing the right material. Also, make sure you select a countertop that is practical and not only appealing to the eye. The countertop will play a massive role in the functional aspect of your kitchen. 

Here’s our cost guide stating the best kitchen countertops for you to enjoy your morning coffee, date-night, or a guilt-free bake session. 

Labor Costs

One of the most challenging choices is to choose a contractor and get work done within your set budget. Research is key here. Look for registered contractors with good reviews for a seamless installation process. 

Labor charges vary from city to city. Also, it can change depending on the number of professionals required for the process. 

Usually, a minimum of 1-2 people is required to install a kitchen countertop. Set the number of days and make sure you highlight it in your contract. This way, your kitchen will not be in a disorganized state for a prolonged period. 

The key factors to remember while seeking professional help are: 

  • Will they be demolishing your old countertop? 
  • Have they worked with your desired material in the past? 
  • Are they experienced and able to work under a given timeline? 

Rates for installing a new countertop can range from $80 – $250 / hour. 

Alternatively, if you buy ready-made countertops, you can install them yourself with minimal effort. This DIY will save you a significant amount, which you can use later for some luxury kitchen add-ons. 

It may seem easy, but have a thorough plan of action in place before you start. Some countertops like marble and quartz cannot be DIY-ed as they require professionals to install it. 

Cost of Kitchen Countertops Materials

  • Natural Stone 

You can either get charged per square foot or per slab. Then there’s edge finishing, cut-outs, installing, and more. 

Like most countertop materials, prices of natural stones vary too. Typically, it can cost around $70 – $100 per square foot. 

One of the great benefits of stones like granite is the variety of colors and patterns available. 

  • Granite

Granite is one of the most popular countertop choices for decades. How much does a granite countertop cost is a common question? 

Here, a range of factors goes into calculating your granite countertops. Such as granite installation (depending on the choice of material), the edge you select, sink options, and your specific layout. 

The cost of kitchen countertops can vary widely. Each quote is specific to your needs, but it’s generally between $100 – $250 per square foot. 

  • Concrete 

Concrete countertops add a rustic, industrial look to your kitchen. They can be easily custom-made to order in various shapes and sizes. 

Also, you can choose many stain colors and textures to add a dramatic flair to your kitchen. To create a one-of-a-kind style, you can mix several materials like glass, ceramic, marble, and more. 

Especially for humid areas, concrete is energy-efficient and can absorb any excess heat. It will release it when the outside temperature cools down and add warmth to your kitchen. Concrete countertops will set you back by not more than $60 – $70 per square foot. 

Finishing Touches

The ideal countertop is not all about the material. You need to pay attention to the finishing touches too. 

With every countertop material, there are several edging options to choose from. The right edging and finishing will give your kitchen countertop an eye-catching visual appeal. 

You can either go for a beveled, chiseled, or flat edge for your countertops, depending on your kitchen design. Make sure you include the edging costs in your final countertop quote. 


The final cost of kitchen countertops also depends on the maintenance, be it low or high. The care strictly depends on the material you choose for your countertop.

For example, if you have your eyes set on a marble countertop, you must know it will require regular sealing and maintenance. Marble is prone to scratching and etching. But with its deep natural veining, most small scratches go unnoticeable. 

On the contrary, granite countertops are best for people who love to cook and bake. They are heat-resistant, sanitary, and easy to clean but do need to be sealed every year to retain these qualities.

Quartz, on the other hand, is more durable than granite and marble. It requires less sealing and is heat-resistant too. You might need periodic sealing for long-lasting results for your granite countertop. 

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