Installing new countertops can effectively transform your space and add value to your home. From adding visual appeal to increasing the functionality, new countertops have a significant impact. This is why you should research all your options thoroughly before making a decision on which material to choose.
One of the key aspects of this process is staying within your budget. While some may think their budget will restrict their options and put their dream countertops out of reach, there are several ways to get your countertops for less. Buying affordable countertops does not necessarily mean settling for solid surface or laminate countertops. Here are some tips on how you can find your new countertops at a lower price.
How Much Do Different Countertops Cost?
The cost of countertops depends on a variety of factors including:
- Where you live
- What type of material you want
- How much of the material you need
- The grade of the material
- Any upgrade cutouts or angles
The material you choose will greatly impact the amount your new countertops will cost. The choices range anywhere from natural or engineered stone to plastic surfaces, wood, or concrete. The table below indicates the average price points for the most popular types of countertops.
COUNTERTOP AVERAGE COSTS
|Ceramic Tile Countertops||$5 – $7 per square foot|
|Laminate Countertops||$20 – $50 per square foot|
|Granite Countertops||$35 – $75 per square foot|
|Butcher Block Countertops||$35 – $200 per square foot|
|Marble Countertops||$40 – $100 per square foot|
|Quartz Countertops||$50 – $120 per square|
|Wood Countertops||$40 per square foot|
|Bamboo Countertops||$40 per square foot|
|Slate Countertops||$50 – $200 per square foot|
|Soapstone Countertops||$55 – $100 per square foot|
|Quartzite Countertops||$60 – $120 per square foot|
|Concrete Countertops||$70 – $150 per square foot|
|Limestone Countertops||$70 – $200 per square foot|
|Stainless Steel Countertops||$75 – $150 per square foot|
While all of the materials above are popular among homeowners, they are not all of equal quality. Each has their own pros and cons. For example, stone countertops such as granite, marble, quartz, and quartzite will not only look nice but will be stronger than wood or laminate countertops. Finding a countertop that is both beautiful and durable is the key to adding value to your home.
How To Keep Countertop Costs Affordable
What Not To Do
Before we go into how to save on your countertops we need to examine what not to do from a buyer’s standpoint. The biggest issue is the way many homeowners shop for their countertops, and it’s costing them considerably. The majority of us:
- find a local fabricator
- pick a slab
- get an estimate
That is it. Perhaps a more savvy person might visit a second fabricator to get another estimate. However, there is still a problem with that approach. People often pick a different stone at each place so they’re not truly comparison shopping or determining the price of labor vs material.
How To Save
So how can you save on kitchen countertops even if you want a material that is more expensive?
You can save a great deal of money by shopping around for countertops. They are available anywhere from specialty companies such as Coast to Coast Granite to big-box retailers like Lowe’s or Home Depot. However, we recommend you avoid big box stores because they often sell countertops at a higher cost than a local stone yard or specialty company. You should get at least 3 estimates from different fabricators to ensure that you won’t be overcharged.
When countertops are cut, there are leftover pieces that are not used for that project commonly referred to as remnants. Remnants are a great affordable option if you have smaller projects like a bathroom vanity, laundry room countertop, or fireplace mantel. They also work well in smaller kitchens that have countertops sectioned into small pieces or as a kitchen island. While they are not suitable for large countertops, remnants offer a more cost-effective option for many homeowners.
Keep an Open Mind
When shopping for countertops be open to different colors. Rare colors such as blue or red are associated with higher costs. When you see the price differences you may decide a more common, less expensive color such as white, black or gray might work just as well.
Some stone countertops from other countries are extremely heavy and expensive to ship. However, buying a countertop thats locally sourced in the USA will eliminate import taxes and reduce shipping costs.
If you want to keep costs down, choose a standard edge and finish. The more detail and texture your countertop has, the higher the cost will be. For example, with quartz countertops, you can have a polished, honed, suede, concrete, rough, or volcano finish. Out of all of these, a polished finish and a standard edge will come at the lowest cost. Fabricators will typically offer plenty of standard edges to choose from so you don’t have to sacrifice visual appeal.
Cutouts for sinks and fixtures will typically affect the cost of your countertop. The less cutouts you need, the lower the cost. If you choose a matching backsplash, that will also influence the final cost.
Quality of the Slab
The quality of the stone slab you choose will directly influence the cost. Slabs that are lesser quality or of lower grade will cost less. However, you must consider the potential cost of replacement versus investing a little more money on a higher grade of material.
Remove Your Old Countertops
Depending on what type of material your current countertops are, it may be more cost-effective to remove them yourself instead of paying the additional fee to have them removed. However, some materials may be too heavy and will require a professional to remove them.
Countertops can be one of the most striking pieces and the visual focal point of a design. They come in so many styles, colors, designs and materials, one of them is sure to be ideal for both your aesthetic and wallet. Regardless of whichever stone you choose for your countertops, we have everything you need with hundreds of slabs to choose from. When you’re ready to design the kitchen of your dreams, contact us for a free in-home estimate!