If you're planning a kitchen remodel, you will also most probably replace your counters. Here's our guide for helping you with the cost of new countertops.
The Cost Guide to New Countertops
Which Are the Best Counter Tops for Your Money?
When it comes to the remodeling of your kitchen, nothing is more visually important than your kitchen countertops. They draw the eye, gather people around them, coordinate with your backsplash and floor choices and generally set the tone for your kitchen.
In our opinion, when replacing your existing countertops, the two most asked-for options are granite and quartz. Similar to having hardwood floors, realtors will tell you having either granite or quartz counter top will help increase the value of your home.
What is the Difference Between Quartz and Granite?
Both quartz and granite are highly sought-after materials. In reality, you can't go wrong with either one. It's really a matter of preference.
- Granite is 100% natural and is mined from quarries throughout the world.
- Quartz, on the other hand, is 93% quartz and 7% resin.
Granite vs. Quartz Appearance
Appearance-wise, some granite will have little or no pattern while other granite will have bold patterns. Since Mother Nature doesn't specialize in consistent, repeatable patterns, we recommend that you view granite slabs in person as each one can have very different visuals.
Quartz will usually replicate the look of marble with its veining and whites and gray colorations. Initially, when quartz first came on the market, it replicated the look of granite. Once manufacturers changed the look to marble, quartz exploded as a countertop choice.
Countertop Durability & Maintenance
Both materials are very durable. The benefit of quartz is low maintenance since it never needs to be sealed because it is non-porous. Granite will need to be sealed usually every 12 to 18 months to prevent staining.
Granite because it is 100% natural stone can have hot pots placed on it without causing any damage. Quartz, on the other hand, because it consists of 7% resin filler, may be damaged by heat. For that reason, you will want to be careful not to place hot pots on the surface. It's not recommended.
Is Natural Marble Good for Counter Tops?
Another question that comes up with countertops is whether natural marble is a good choice.
Marble is a beautiful stone; however we do not recommend it for a heavy use kitchen counter top. The reason is that marble is softer than both quartz and granite and is more susceptible to staining. In other words, it's a high-maintenance option for your kitchen.
It's fine for a bathroom vanity.
Cost Guide for Template, Fabrication and Installation.
First, let's talk about the bait-and-switch price often advertised of $59 s/f installed for counters. Sure you can pay $59 s/f if your counter is a perfect rectangle with no cut outs or finished edges.
Chances are, if you're shopping for granite and quartz counter tops, your kitchen is probably a little more complex than that. That significantly affects cost.
Creating a Template for Your Counters
Once you've selected your countertop material, your dealer will carefully measure and template your existing counters. A template is usually made of ⅛-inch-thick strips of plywood that are hot-glued together. It's similar to a dress pattern in that it allows the fabricator to cut out a shape that will fit perfectly over your existing sink, with room for faucets, soap dispensers, etc.
Some of the larger fabrication shops will template using a laser which transfers the dimensions digitally to a an iPad or tablet.
Countertop Fabrication & Installation
Pricing can vary from fabricator to fabricator based on their quality of work. Everybody buys the slab for a similar price, larger fabricators do get a price reduction.
The countertop finish happens during the fabrication process. You have three options:
1 - Polished
A polished finish happens by honing and buffing the granite or quartz surface with fine abrasives until it develops a natural high-gloss shine of its own.
2 - Honed
A Honed Finish means that the stone's surface has been ground down slightly to achieve a consistent, smooth texture and flat, matte finish.
3 - Leathered
A leathered surface usually has a soft sheen to it but is much less shiny than the glossy look of a polished slab.
Reputation Matters for New Countertops
When shopping for your new counter top, you'll want to deal with a reputable dealer who has references, insurances and, in Connecticut, a Home Improvement License.
Countertop Cost Summary
Cost will depend on scope of work, the degree of difficulty, and amount of counter top needed.
Generally the average cost for template, fabrication and installation for the a counter top in the 30 - 45 s/f range would be as follows:
- Polished Granite 3cm $2300 - $4900
- Polished Quartz 3cm $2500 - $5500
- Honed or Leathered Finish Granite 3cm $2900 - $5500
- Honed or Leathered Finish Quartz 3cm $3000 -$6000
Other Cost Factors to Consider
Don't forget to consider these other cost factors.
Standard edges are included, there will be up-charges for some of the more custom edges such as Ogee edges (see the second image above for an example of Ogee edges).
If you are replacing your existing counter top, you will need to figure an additional cost for removing and disposing of it.
You will also need a plumber to disconnect your sink and reconnect after the new countertop has been installed.
Most likely you'll want to replace your sink at the same time so that will need to be figured into your cost.
READY TO EXPLORE New Countertops FOR YOUR HOME?
If you're ready to transform your kitchen with new counters, let us know.
Let us know of any questions in the comments or contact us.
Thanks for reading,