If you’ve decided to go ahead and get a new stainless steel countertop for your kitchen, one of the first questions that you’ll have on your mind is how much it will cost.
Unless you’re prepared to take on a do-it-yourself project, you might be quite surprised to find out just how expensive these countertops can be. Here are some guidelines that will help you arrive at a general estimate of the total cost for your new counter.
Materials and installation
A new counter can cost anywhere from $100 up to $200 per sq. foot. For an average kitchen that has a counter that covers 30 ft.² in total the amount will be $3000 up to $6000. This estimate includes the cost of installation. In most cases, especially if you live in a big city, you can find a reputable company that will do a fantastic job for $125 - $150 per sq. foot.
What’s included in the base price
It should include installation, material, holes cut for sinks, shaped edges and the solder joints should be ground down professionally. The estimate should also includes the cost of the hardwood that holds the steel. If you run into a company that is offering their service for much less than what was quoted above, it usually means that it is not including the installation in the estimate.
What’s not included in a basic quote
In most cases you’re going to have to pay extra for the following features:
- Integrated sinks
- Upgraded finishes such as embossed or brushed
- Some types of edging
The price can vary substantially
The amount that you’ll have to pay to get stainless steel for countertops will vary from one part of the country to the next. For example, you’ll usually have to pay more in New York City for this type of counter then you would have to pay in Dallas. It all comes down to the difference between the cost of living in one area versus another.
If you don’t happen to live in a big city you’ll probably have to pay more as well. Low pricing depends on competition to keep it alive and if there is only one company in your town that offers stainless kitchen countertops and installation, you may be stuck paying more. In general, however, the scale of $100 - $200 is a good guideline to follow and whether you have to pay a price that is closer to the low end or near the high-end will all depend on where you live.
Estimating a do-it-yourself project
If you’re willing to take some time and get your work surface fabricated at a local shop on your own and then fit it onto your existing work surface (perhaps with the help of a handyman), you can shave off thousands of dollars from your estimate. The price can be lowered down to $400 - $1,000 if you’re willing to take the time and energy to push the cycle through yourself.
If you’re serious about installing a new kitchen countertop you should take the time to do some homework first. With metal, unlike granite or quartz, you can lower the expense substantially by doing all or just some of the work on your own. When it means that you can save $1000-$2000 on a high-end counter, it may just be something worth considering.
It’s a labor intensive process
To get an idea of just how much work goes into making your new countertop watch this video. You’ll have a greater appreciation of just how much work, planning, and skill it take to make them. It should also help you to understand why they are not a cheap option.
Getting A Great Price
Getting a great price is simple as long as you follow one simple rule. Do NOT just get one quote! At a minimum you should get three. You’ll be surprised by how different they are going to be.
Recommendations from friends are your best best but they aren’t always that easy to come by. The yellow pages are a terrible place to look for fabricators as well. It’s a roll of the dice as to whether you’ll even get a call back from a general contractor. It’s worth a shot but they can be very picky about what jobs they’ll take on.
If they feel they can’t make enough money on your project for it to be worth their time they’ll often make an appointment with you and then never show up. It’s a sleazy way of doing business. It would be much nicer if they would just be up front and honest about not being interested.
To try to take some of that hassle out of the equation we have partnered with a national company that maintains a database of local contractors that are looking for work. To access that database just fill in the form below and they’ll automatically match you up with local pros.
If a friend can give you a recommendation absolutely call them. But when you find the phone book becomes exasperating, fill in the two step form below. Odds are you’ll end up with more than enough price quotes to choose from.
Updated: March 2, 2016