Considering a Countertop Upgrade? Here's a Countertop Cost Comparison

by Lauren Leazenby
Overhead view of a modern kitchen with white cabinets, black granite countertops, gray hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances with an open floorpan leading to a living room with a wine rack and a gray couch.

HomeServe photo by Matt Schmitz

Choosing the right countertop material is a crucial step in any kitchen renovation, no matter the aesthetic you’re going for. Custom concrete counters offer an industrial look, while warm-toned quartz might fit better in a traditional or rustic-style kitchen. And you can’t go wrong with good ol’ granite.

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Likely, the look is not the only thing on your mind when shopping for countertops. Waterfall marble counters might be your dream — but do they fit in the reality of your budget?

On the hunt for the perfect countertop to complete your kitchen refresh — without completely draining your bank account? Start here.


Contractor installing a new laminate kitchen counter top

If you’re looking for the budget option, laminate counters should be at the top of your list. With an average installation cost between $20 and $60 per square foot, laminate counters are far less expensive than other popular options. But just because they’re inexpensive doesn’t mean they aren't elegant; these days, you can find patterns that look almost identical to real granite or marble. Learn more about installation costs.


close up shot of white man-made quartz counter tops in a residential kitchen

HomeServe photo by Eric Rossi

Quartz is one step up in terms of price. Quartz countertops are made of manufactured composite, which is a mixture of ground quartz, synthetic resins and colorants. The result is a durable, highly customizable option that costs about $60 per square foot. Read more about quartz.


shiny black granite countertop

HomeServe photo by Matt Schmitz

Granite counters are a traditional choice — and for good reason. They’re scratch- and heat-resistant, plus they’re perfect for fitting those trendy undermount sinks. However, you’ll pay for what you get. Expect prices between $40 and $100 per square foot for installation. Check out our granite countertop cost breakdown for more info.

Granite costs aren’t set in stone. Prices will vary depending on the grade you go for. Level 1 Granite is thinner, commercial-grade stuff, but you can get basic colorways from $40 to $70 per square foot. Mid-range, Level 2 granite is good for most buyers; it’s thicker, and you get a lot more color and design options for $80 to $110 per square foot. Levels 3 and up are high-end materials with the most sought-after colors and patterns. You’ll pay for that rarity, too — from $140 to $200 per square foot or more.

Read More: Countertop Costs Depend on the Grade of Granite You Choose


Empty Marble Dining Table With Wooden Chairs And Defocused Kitchen Background

Marble may be the height of timeless elegance when it comes to countertops, but it’s not practical for all kitchens. The biggest complaint is that marble is porous and soft, so it’s susceptible to scratches and stains. If you do decide to spring for marble counters, expect to pay between $40 and $180 for materials and installation. Learn more here.

Concrete and Composite

a modern kitchen showcasing a concrete counter top

If you’ve got your eye on a less traditional — and trendier — option, terrazzo might be for you. This composite material contains cement and chips of other materials like marble, granite or glass as a binder. Depending on the color scheme you choose and the size of the chips, the result can be anything from subtle to striking — all for about $15 to $30 per square foot. Here’s everything you need to know about terrazzo.

Or, you could opt for concrete counters, which are usually poured-in and, therefore, customizable. Considering prices start in the range of $65 to $100 per square foot, you really can’t go wrong with them. Except perhaps in one respect: Concrete counters tend to be heavy, so you’ll need to make sure your cabinets can hold up to the weight. Read more about concrete counter costs.

Countertops on the Cheap

Looking to save some cash on countertops? Maybe you could get by with repairing, resurfacing or refinishing what you’ve already got. You can fix chips and scratches starting at $200.

You can avoid the labor part of the installation costs by going the DIY route. Here’s our laminate do-it-yourself installation guide. See also: How to Install Granite Countertops.