15 Striking Kitchen Countertop Options And What They Cost

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Granite like this is gorgeous but it's far from your only option.

Cost Chart

Click the name of each option for more details.

Granite $50 – $200
Corian $42 – $65
Quartz $100 – $150
Marble $125 – $250
Plastic Laminate $20 – $50
Concrete $70 – $150
Solid Surface $75 – $120
Formica $20 – $30
Stainless Steel $75 – $150
Silestone $50 – $100
Cultured Marble $40 – $140
Recycled Glass $50 – $125
Carrara Marble $50 – $150
Travertine $50 – $100
Soapstone $70 – $120
Butcher Block $35 – $200

You’ve decided that you want new kitchen counters, now you just need to know how much they’re going to cost you. Budgeting for them is important, and since the cost of various materials can vary greatly, it’s important that you know what you’re getting into cost-wise with every option you consider.

Price Summary

Kitchen countertop prices start as low as $20 per square foot for plastic laminate to $250 or more for rare stone. Use the cost chart to navigate through your different options.

Below you’ll find a brief description of the 15 most common types of countertops and their average cost per square foot. Just remember that your final cost will vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the complexity of your layout, and any additional charges for labor that your contractor sees fit to charge.

Granite

Most ‘dream kitchens’ include granite. Its popularity stems from the fact that it’s heat resistant, scratch-resistant, and every piece is truly, uniquely beautiful. Granite is sturdy, gorgeous, and adds value to your home, but how much does it cost?

stoneAs a natural stone, it is one of the more expensive options. It’s also one of the more durable options, especially if you properly seal and maintain your granite countertops. You can pay as little as $50 per s.f. for installation, but you can also pay upwards of $200 per square foot, depending on the type of granite you choose.

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Corian

You may have heard Corian referred to as solid surface countertops because they are the original solid surface material. DuPont’s iconic material was pretty superior in its day, but it still remains a great choice if you’re looking for something pretty and practical in your kitchens.

The resin and mineral blend of the material may be prone to scratches and not resistant to high temperatures, but don’t let that turn you off. Minor scuffs and scratches can be buffed right out of Corian’s surface, and the flexible material is far less likely to crack than natural stone. Plus, it doesn’t have to be sealed. The cost of materials for Corian counters runs about $42 to $65 per s.f. (this does not include cost of labor).

Here’s more about why Corian is such a fantastic choice.

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Quartz

white-quartzQuartz is an engineered stone. It is made of a resin and quartz blend which allows for more color choices than you can find with natural stone. Quartz is a little more flexible, too, so it is less likely to crack during installation. It looks like natural stone, but without the imperfections, and it is a hard-working material that is a popular choice in many kitchens.

Despite being man-made, quartz is similar in price to natural stone. Expect to pay around $100-$150 (or more) per square foot of quartz countertops installed.

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Marble

Marble is the epitome of luxury. It’s softer than other stones, so it’s easier to work with when fabricating. It’s also heat resistant and cool to the touch, plus it’s naturally stunning with a wide array of patterns and colors to choose from. Its benefits are also its detriments, since softer stone can chip and scratch easier. It’s also porous, so it will stain unless it’s sealed properly. However, if you’ve got your heart set on it, it’s not likely any of these negatives will sway your decision.

Unfortunately, the price might. At $125 to $250 per s.f., marble countertops are not cheap. That’s probably why many people search for alternative stone surfaces that look like it, but that have a slightly less ostentatious price tag.

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Laminate

Plastic laminate has an unfairly earned reputation as being ‘cheap.’ Yes, it is less expensive than most other materials available, but there is a place for everything, and for laminate, that place is in the kitchen, especially if you have a tight budget. Laminate is made from layers of paper or plastic and resin. Good quality laminate is durable, waterproof, and attractive, but it’s still cheaper than stone or other materials.

At an average cost of $20 to $50 per square foot, laminate is perfect for those on a tight budget, but just don’t expect the same durability or hardiness that you get with natural stone or solid surface. Laminate has its limitations, but as long as you go in knowing that, you’ll probably be fine with the results.

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Concrete

Concrete has seen a rise in popularity as an option, particularly in large indoor and outdoor kitchens. With added pigment, concrete can be made to match any kitchen. It’s sturdy and durable, but it’s also porous, so you’ll need to have it properly sealed to prevent stains. It’s not the same stuff you see on sidewalks and blocks, though it is structurally similar. Concrete countertops can actually be very pretty and artistic.

Compared to natural stone, concrete is a bargain. Expect to pay around $70 to $150 per s.f. installed and know that the price could vary depending on the types of dyes or pigments used to stain the concrete as well as whether you have it poured on site or use pre-formed slabs.

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Solid Surface

A few decades ago, the only solid surface countertops you could find were branded under the Corian logo. After the patent on the name ‘solid surface’ ran out, more companies lined up to offer their own versions of the space-age stuff. Because of the special binders used in the sealant, solid surface counters have no seams and appear to be all one long, continuous piece. They’re neat, functional, and attractive, plus they don’t cost as much as stone slabs do.

Solid surface counters typically cost between $75 and $120 per s.f. They also require less maintenance than some other materials, which can make them even more cost effective in the long term.

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Formica

Formica is another material that gets a bad rap for being ‘cheap.’ Formica is one specific brand of laminate countertops that has become such a household name that most people use the terms ‘laminate’ and ‘Formica’ interchangeably. As far as laminates go, Formica is one of the best, using sturdy layers of plastic bonded to particleboard to create worktops that are durable and attractive.

The price of Formica countertops is between $20 and $30 per square foot, making it an attractive option for small budgets.

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Stainless steel

stainless-steelNot just for use in commercial kitchens, stainless steel countertops are finding their way into more and more homes these days. The benefits of stainless steel are obvious–it’s durable, easy to clean, and has a modern look that suits many new kitchens. It’s perfect for passionate cooks who need the space to create culinary masterpieces, but how much does it cost?

Expect to pay between $75 and $150 per s.f. for stainless steel. They are super easy to install, which keeps the overall price down, and of course the lack of maintenance makes them pretty attractive, too.

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Silestone

Silestone is a brand name of a quartz countertop product. It’s one of the most popular quartz brands and like other engineered stone it is sturdy, stain-resistant, and can be customized to perfectly match your kitchen decor. It comes in a variety of colors and finishes, which do affect the final price, but overall, expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 per square foot depending on the thickness of the final product.

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Cultured Marble

Cultured stone takes the best of natural stone–the beauty, color, and texture–and combines it with resins and pigments in a mold to create fixtures such as countertops, tubs, and shower walls. It’s the beauty of marble with the durability and stain resistance of engineered stone.

Cultured options cost less than regular marble, but it costs more than some other materials, including laminate. It can cost anywhere from $40-$140 per square feet depending on the thickness of the finished product. It’s much less expensive than the real thing, but it’s a pretty alternative.

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Recycled Glass

Recycled glass countertops are fashionable and eco-friendly. Plus, they’re quirky and cool, perfect for a retro-styled kitchen or just as a fun statement. They’re made from bits of recycled glass, pigment and resin or cement mixed to form a kitchen work surface. Of course, not all recycled glass is brightly colored or bold–they can be colored any way you want–but they’re definitely a popular choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

To get a cute, terrazzo look, expect to pay between $50 and $125 per square foot. Of course, the cost of the final result will vary depending on the type of glass used. Some manufacturers use trendy colored glass, which can cost a little more.

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Carrara Marble

carraraWhen it comes to marble, all types are not created equal. Believe it or not, there are some types that are less expensive. Carrara is one type that isn’t the pure white that most people associate with marble. Instead, its grey veins give it a shadowy look that’s beautiful, but often less expensive, than its bright white counterparts.

Carrara is usually the cheapest option, starting at around $50 per s.f. installed and going up depending on the complexity of fabrication.

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Travertine

Travertine is often called the ‘black marble,’ but it’s actually a type of limestone formed under extreme heat and pressure. It’s stunning, no denying it, but it’s also high maintenance since it’s softer than other stones and scratches easily. It’s also very porous and must be sealed properly and regularly. If you aren’t afraid to take it on, it can completely transform your kitchen in a really nice way.

Look at paying between $50 and $100 per s.f. for the privilege of having beautiful travertine countertops in your home.

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Soapstone

Soapstone is a hardworking material that’s perfect for kitchens. It resists bacterial growth, is heat resistant, and doesn’t require sealing. You can sit a hot pan right on it, knead dough on its surface, or just admire its warm, talc-like appearance. It’s beautiful and practical, and it’s been used in science labs and medical facilities for decades, so you know it’s reliable.

It’s also fairly affordable. Look at paying between $70 and $120 per square foot of fabricated soapstone. Just remember to add in installation costs, which can run between $30-$50 per s.f. depending on where you live.

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Butcher Block

butcher-blockWood is warm and inviting, plus they can take a lot of abuse. You can cut food on it, eat on it, and do whatever you want on it, but it may not look so great after a few years. Some butcher block countertops need to be oiled several times per year, but otherwise, maintenance is fairly low.

Prices for wooden counters can vary. Butcher’s block, one of the more popular styles, costs from $35 to $200 per square foot, depending on the thickness of the wood.

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Once you know what you want in your home, be sure to get a minimum of three quotes from contractors who will install them. For stone, it’s absolutely best to use a place that sells, fabricates, and installs the counters rather than using independent installers.

Take the time to research your costs, consider what you need and want in your kitchen, and realistically budget for your new countertops and you’ll be more likely to have a great experience.

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