How much does kitchen countertop replacement cost?

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Price guide (per square foot)

$50 - $200







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Are you ready to tackle a countertop project? Before you do it, consider your budget. How much do you expect to set aside for it? The average cost to replace kitchen countertops is $120 per square foot. You might need over 55 square feet of countertop material if you have a regular-sized space. It’s usually equivalent to at least $800. It is a lot, especially if you have a tight budget. 

The good news is that kitchen countertop replacement costs are not set in stone. You can further reduce them if you know the factors that impact your budget. This article will discuss all of these, from materials to installation costs. It will also share why you should consider hiring kitchen renovation experts than doing the project on your own.

Reasons to replace your kitchen countertops

The cost of replacing kitchen countertops is not low, as you will learn later. However, it is a worthwhile (and even necessary) endeavor for the following reasons:

  • Your countertop is damaged. With proper care, existing countertops can last between 25 and 40 years. However, accidents and premature wear and tear can happen. They might show cracks and chips that make the surface uneven and dangerous. For example, they become more difficult to clean, and the kitchen becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

  • You want to improve your property’s resale value. New countertops can increase property value. Some studies suggest that natural stone countertops, such as granite, quartz, and marble, can bump your property price by 25% more.

  • You like better functionality. Sometimes your countertop installation is still fine, but you might want to change it to improve its function. For instance, laminate countertops are more affordable per square foot than other countertop materials and easier to clean because they are less porous. However, the likes of granite countertops can be just as convenient to manage when properly sealed. As a bonus, they make your kitchen look elegant.

Regardless of the reason, replacing countertops is a major homeowner decision. Decide smartly by knowing the factors that can affect your budget.

Kitchen countertop replacement prices

How much does it cost to install kitchen countertops? The tables show the average prices of countertop replacement per square foot, according to location and type. The estimates also include installation costs and materials.

Area or location

Average countertop installation cost

New York City


Los Angeles






San Francisco








a woman considering countertop material options

Kitchen countertop

Replacement cost per square foot

Granite countertops


Laminate countertops


Stainless steel countertops


Recycled glass countertops


Concrete countertops


Marble countertops


Copper countertops


Wood countertops


Slate countertops


Soapstone countertops


Acrylic countertops


Quartz countertops


Ceramic tile countertops


Porcelain countertops


What factors affect the cost of replacing old countertops? 

The kitchen countertop replacement cost can vary widely by location. It will likely be higher in big cities like New York and San Francisco. The cost of living, for one, means that installation experts would have to charge higher fees.

But it is not the be-all, end-all factor. Here are others that can significantly influence your choice between laminate countertops and stainless steel countertops, the budget you set aside, and the types of professionals to work with.

1. Kitchen countertop materials

One of the biggest price differentiators is the kitchen countertop material—and you have many choices.

Natural stone countertops

As the name suggests, these are naturally occurring stones mined or harvested from the earth and then processed minimally into slabs. They are well-known for their beauty, elegance, timelessness, and durability. When properly taken care of, they can have a service life of at least 40 years.

Because of these attributes, plus the challenges in the manufacturing process, natural stone slabs and tiles are also some of the priciest. Fortunately, you have several options. This gives you more flexibility in style, color scheme, and budget. These include granite, marble, and soapstone countertops.

  • Granite is an igneous rock made up of quartz, mica, and feldspar. Its coarse-grained texture, interlocking crystals, and exposure to intense temperatures make it heat-resistant, durable, and low maintenance. However, it can also be ridiculously expensive. Typical granite kitchen countertops cost up to $135 per square foot.

  • Marble is sought after for its luxurious and elegant appearance, partly explaining why it can be worth between $100 and $250 per square foot. It is also available in several beautiful patterns and colors, such as white and pink. Like granite, this metamorphic rock composed of calcite or dolomite is strong. But marble countertops are also more prone to scratching and stain, so they are more high maintenance between the two.

  • Soapstone comes from steatite, a type of quarried stone. It also contains talc traces, giving it a powdery look and texture. Because it is heat resistant, it is best for the countertop space close to heating appliances, such as ovens, stoves, and microwaves.

Engineered stone benchtops

Although natural stone countertops are gorgeous and durable, their patterns and shades are sometimes inconsistent. They are also porous and can be prone to scratches and chipping. You can opt for engineered stone if you want a good balance of aesthetics, function, and durability.

These countertops are a type of composite material. They feature stones such as crushed granite and an adhesive such as resin or cement to bind them, creating a solid surface.

  • Quartz countertops have over 60% quartz, adhesive, and pigment. They are also a popular material because they are scratch resistant. Moreover, they are available in different variants. Picking the right tile or slab countertops to go with your home theme is easy. Quartz kitchen countertops cost around $50 to $150 per square foot.

  • Engineered marble contains crushed marble and resin. It is an excellent alternative to pure marble because this is less vulnerable to stains and scratches.

  • Porcelain countertops have china clay or kaolinite, feldspar, and silica. Besides giving your counter a glossy look, they are chip and stain resistant. These engineered stone countertops can even withstand UV light, so they’re ideal for outdoor kitchens. With these features, the installation cost can reach $100 per square foot.

Concrete countertops

Your best bet is concrete countertops if you want a more customized appearance and texture for your remodel. The one-part-cement and three-part-sand material works like a canvas. You can add different colors and produce unique patterns to make your kitchen stand out.

They are also hard-wearing, like natural and engineered stone. Plus, they are cheaper to buy per square foot. However, concrete countertops are highly prone to breaking and chipping. And because they are so porous, they require regular sealing.

Wood countertops

Those looking for a more sustainable or eco-friendly option can consider wooden countertops. A staple in traditional themed kitchens (think cottage core, shabby chic, or country cabin), the natural material is famous for its warmth and beauty. Wood countertops also vary, from oak to birch and bamboo.

Wooden countertops can be as long-lasting as engineered stone and are slightly cheaper per square foot than natural stone. However, their porosity means they also need regular sealing. When exposed to water over time, they can warp or dent.

Laminate kitchen benchtops

Compared to most kitchen countertop materials, laminate is the cheapest, making it a great choice for homeowners on a tight budget. Composed of several layers of plastic, kraft paper, and adhesive, it is easier to mass-produce and customize. Thus, you will find a variety of laminate countertops, some of which can mimic the appearance of other materials, such as engineered stone.

A laminate countertop is also easy to clean and maintain because it is non-porous. The problem is that you cannot expect laminate to last as long as natural stone materials.

2. Installation

kitchen countertop installationThe kitchen countertop installation cost is also a defining factor, especially the level of complexity and specialized skills needed. Is the material thick? Does it require more work, such as buffing, cutting, and sealing?

  • The laminate countertop cost can be as low as $15 per square foot because it is also the easiest for any benchtop installer to work with. The material is lightweight, requiring fewer tools to cut and shape. Professionals also do not have to apply a sealant.

  • If you want to install new granite countertops, much of your spending goes toward labor. Like other stone materials, they are heavier and more challenging to maneuver. Sometimes an installer must reinforce the counter to ensure it can carry the weight of the stone.

  • The typical stone countertop cost also goes beyond a hundred dollars per square foot because the material is expensive to begin with. It leaves little room for mistakes unless you want to spend way more. Moreover, if you want solid-surface countertops for the island benches, an expert should be capable of joining the edges seamlessly. 

As a homeowner, the cost can also balloon if you want to customize the kitchen countertops further or if the installer has to perform specific cut-outs.

Scale of the project

The overall cost also depends on the scale of the project. It impacts the timeline, quantity of the materials needed, and specifications you and the contractor must meet. For instance, if you want to build a commercial kitchen in the home, the best option is stainless-steel countertops because of their hygienic finish.

Post a task for kitchen renovation

With all the associated costs in kitchen countertops, you might be tempted to do this DIY to save money. In reality, hiring a kitchen designer or countertop installer is more cost-effective. You can avoid voiding your home insurance, setting yourself up for injuries, and spending more on equipment. Most of all, you can enjoy amazing craftsmanship for years.

Even better, Airtasker makes finding the right installation expert easy and fast:

  1. Create a free account.

  2. Post a task. Indicate the specific skills you are looking for and other project details. These include the timeline, countertop size, materials you want to install, and customization requests.

  3. Receive proposals from local installation experts or reach out to registered ones.

Installing countertops to replace old ones demands proper planning, including setting aside enough money. This article has essential info, but to get your money’s worth, consider avoiding the DIY route. Instead, choose professional installation services through Airtasker.

Find kitchen renovators, fast

Post a task

FAQs on kitchen countertop replacement

The average kitchen worktop replacement cost in the United States is around $120 per square foot. You can DIY the project to save money, but that is not ideal. It raises the risks of injuries and voiding your home insurance. The most cost-effective in the long term is hiring a kitchen designer or installer who can change the top properly.

Wood and natural stone countertops are two of the hardest materials to maintain. They are porous, which means water can seep through the cracks and cause damage in the long term. They often require regular sealing. Some stones are less resistant to stains, while wood can warp or dent.

Monochromatic colors like white, black, or gray usually do not go out of style. Although they seem boring, they can go well easily with other colors present in the kitchen. They also make the space feel cleaner.

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