How Much Does It Cost to Install or Replace Countertops?
$1,852 - $4,315
$1,852 - $4,315
Updated August 27, 2021Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.
Countertop installation costs $3,079 on average, with a typical range of $1,852 and $4,315. Homeowners usually pay $15 to $70 per square foot for the material and $10 to $30 per square foot for labor, for a total of $25 to $120 per square foot.
These two expenses make up the largest portion of the total cost. There may be additional factors, such as:
Removal of existing countertop
Removal and installation of plumbing fixtures, if applicable
Sanding or shaping
Polishing and sealing
Countertops are a functional centerpiece in any kitchen, bathroom or bar area. When you choose materials for your home, it’s important to consider what they’ll be up against every day. In a kitchen, they need to withstand scratches, nicks and burns. In a bathroom, they will combat high moisture levels and frequent heat.
Selecting one that bests suits your lifestyle and your budget will ensure that you end up with a look that makes you happy. Countertops are heavy and difficult to install correctly, so it’s best to hire a professional contractor.
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|Typical Range||$1,852 - $4,315|
|Low End - High End||$400 - $8,000|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 9,831 HomeAdvisor members.
The expense to install a countertop averages around $3,000, including $10 to $30 per square foot for labor. Basic pricing depends on:
The materials you choose
Whether an existing surface needs removal
Whether you’ll need to resize to fit an awkward space
Edging, grouting, staining and sealing
Talk to a contractor about all of the steps and costs involved in your project. A professional will be able to give you the most accurate quote.
At $10 to $30 per square foot, installation can represent as much as half the total expense. Countertop materials range from $1 to $190 per square foot, with an average of $15 to $70 per square foot. Types that cost more, such as stainless steel or marble, do not necessarily run higher for labor.
Square vs. Linear Feet: Pros generally measure countertops by the square foot, but they may also use linear feet. The typical linear foot is 25” deep for counters. This translates into 50 to 60 square feet for the average kitchen.
Check out our Countertop Square Footage Calculator.
Although there can be significant variation in labor expenses by material, slabs tend to cost less than tile. Installation for slab runs around $10 to $15 per square foot, compared to $20 to $30 per square foot for smaller tiles. Although bigger pieces are heavy and require extra care, pros can lay them faster.
Countertop fabrication can dramatically affect per square foot prices for materials and labor. Prefabricated pieces generally cost up to 50% less because the manufacturer makes standard sizes that are ready to install. By comparison, a pro must cut, edge and polish raw stone slabs prior to placement. Contractors may not include this in their standard labor expenses, so it's important to ask when you get a quote.
A waterfall countertop can cost an extra $1,000 to $3,000 on top of the average price by material. This style involves a surface that extends to the floor on at least one side. Total expense depends on the length and width of the waterfall.
The $10 to $30 per square foot range for installation includes a variety of tasks the pro needs to complete. Contractors typically charge by the square foot, and they may increase the rate for small spaces or areas that are difficult to reach. There are other common costs homeowners should consider, like:
Polishing: $4 to $6 per square foot
Edging: $5 to $45 per linear foot
Cutting a double sink: $115
On top of the $3,000 average to install countertops, the cost of replacement can run an additional $50 to $6,000, depending on the project. If you are replacing an existing one, you will need to:
Remove and haul away the old material
Move any plumbing pipes
Rewire any necessary appliances
Ensure the existing cabinets will support the new material
Cut the new one to fit the space
Bathroom counters tend to be much smaller than kitchen units, but the cost to remove them is about the same. Pros tend to charge more per square foot for bathroom installation because of the small size. You might get a better price if you replace countertops in several rooms at once. Contractors can also place them in the laundry room, garage or home office as well as kitchens and bathrooms.
Removing countertops costs $50 to $300, depending on the size and material. This includes taking off the top and disposing of it. Pros may charge extra for small tiles or tight spaces.
Replacing kitchen countertops costs $25 to $120 per square foot. If you exchange the old one for the same material in an identical height and shape, you'll pay on the lower end of the range. Each type needs different preparation for installation. Heavier ones may require additional work on the cabinets to provide necessary support.
The cost of countertop replacement depends on the age and layout of the current kitchen. If you plan to change the placement or convert from a lighter material to a heavier one, you may need to pay for these services:
|Type||Material Per Square Foot||Installed Per Square Foot|
|Granite||$15 - $140||$25 - $170|
|Soapstone||$20 - $70||$30 - $100|
|Marble||$15 - $190||$25 - $220|
|Slate||$20 - $60||$30 - $90|
|Limestone||$10 - $70||$20 - $100|
|Travertine||$11 - $35||$21 - $65|
Natural stone countertops are long-lasting and durable, and they’ll also increase the value of your home. If your counters get a lot of use, you might consider one of the materials below. Expense depends on the size of the surface area and any special touches you’d like to include.
Installing granite countertops costs between $2,000 and $4,500, depending on the size and quality. The material price runs $15 to $140 per square foot for whole slabs and $10 to $35 per square foot for prefabricated pieces. Homeowners prefer this stone for its durability and variety of colors and textures. These benefits make it a versatile choice that works in almost any kitchen.
The cost to install a soapstone countertop ranges from $2,700 to $4,200, or $20 to $70 per square foot for the stone. The material comes in smaller slabs, so seams are visible in spaces longer than seven feet. Colors typically run dark green to green-black. You can sometimes find it in lighter gray tones as well. It is soft, making it susceptible to scratches and deep indentations.
Marble countertop installation costs $3,000 on average. The quality affects the price of the material, which runs from $15 to as much as $190 per square foot. For most types, you can expect a typical range of $25 to $60 per square foot. Common colors go from pure white to solid black, but you can also find it in gold, red or brown. It is not as hard as granite, but it has a similar durability.
The price to install slate countertops runs about $1,100 to $5,000 for 55 square feet. This includes $20 to $60 per square foot for the material, plus $10 to $30 per square foot in labor. This non-porous material is stain-resistant and easy to clean. It comes in variations of black, brown and gray, with blue, green or red highlights throughout. The corners can be sharp and brittle, but a professional can round them off with a sander.
Limestone countertop installation ranges from $1,100 to $5,500, averaging about $2,200. For the material, you’ll pay $10 to $70 per square foot or a typical cost of $15 to $35 per square foot. Colors run from pale gray to golden brown. Like soapstone, it is soft and requires regular sealing to prevent damage.
Installing a travertine countertop costs $1,150 to $3,600. The stone slab or tile ranges from $11 to $35 per square foot. It is similar to limestone, but it runs darker with deep veins of color throughout. It needs occasional polishing to keep its shine.
|Engineered Stone Quartz||$15 - $70||$25 - $100|
|Corian||$20 - $75||$30 - $105|
|Acrylic||$13 - $30||$23 - $60|
Installing quartz countertops costs $4,500. This includes $15 to $70 per square foot for the material, with a typical range of $20 to $40 per square foot. Small crystals bound with resin make it highly durable without sealing. Homeowners should not confuse engineered stone with quartzite, which is a solid rock like granite and averages $55 to $75 per square foot.
The price to install Corian countertops averages $4,000. The material ranges from $20 to $75 per square foot, but averages $25 to $40 per square foot. With more than 100 styles and colors available, it remains one of the most popular solid surfaces. It is non-porous, which makes it mold-and-mildew-resistant with proper maintenance. Because of its low moisture resistance, Corian is a poor choice in humid climates and near undermount sinks.
Acrylic countertop installation runs $1,300 to $3,300 for 55 square feet. The surface, which contains 100% resin, costs $13 to $30 per square foot. Modern styles mimic almost any stone for a fraction of the price. Like quartz, it does not absorb liquid and can sustain heavy use.
The cost to install laminate countertops typically ranges from $800 to $1,650. The material runs $8 to $27 per square foot. It is one of the most affordable options, and a professional can place it in just a few hours. Over time, it can chip, fade or show scratches. If your kitchen gets a lot of use, this may not be the best choice. Sealing can help protect against heat damage and stains.
|Ceramic/Porcelain||$1 - $28||$11 - $58|
|Concrete||$50 - $100||$60 - $130|
|Wood||$18 - $38||$28 - $68|
|Butcher Block||$10-$35||$20 - $65|
|Stainless Steel||$60 - $100||$70 - $130|
|Copper||$70 - $100||$100 - $175|
Installing ceramic or porcelain tile costs about $1,800. The individual pieces range from $1 to $15 per square foot for ceramic and $3 to $28 per square foot for porcelain. It isn’t the most popular option, except as a backsplash. Since it breaks and scratches easily under force and high heat, it’s best for baking and light cooking. Plan for grout maintenance to minimize damage and stains. If you cook a lot, consider it for secondary surfaces like bars, islands and dining areas.
The cost to install a concrete countertop runs $3,300 to $7,200 for 55 square feet. The material ranges $50 to $100 per square foot. Precast options tend to cost less than custom styles. It typically comes 1.5” to 2” thick, which is taller than the average. Pros offer stains and glazes in nearly any color. It can crack or chip, but sealing helps to prevent this.
Fifty-five square feet of wood countertop installation costs $1,550 to $3,800. The material ranges from $18 to $38 per square foot, depending on the species and the cut. Bamboo countertops cost less than other types. This style offers a natural look but requires monthly sealing. It is great for baking and food prep, but heat and moisture damage it easily.
Installing a butcher block countertop runs $3,500. The wood costs $10 to $35 per square foot, with an average range of $12 to $20 per square foot. Also known as end-grain, these surfaces feature short, square wood blocks joined with glue. They go from 4” to 12” thick and commonly top islands and bar areas. It is susceptible to moisture and heat damage.
The cost to install a stainless steel countertop ranges from $3,900 to $7,200 for 55 square feet. The metal runs $60 to $100 per square foot. It is a popular choice for commercial kitchens due to its durability and low maintenance needs. The surface does not absorb moisture or bacteria, but it can scratch easily.
The cost to install a copper countertop ranges from $5,500 to $9,625 for 55 square feet. This type of material has grown in popularity due to it's antimicrobial properties.
|Paper||$45 - $70||$55 - $100|
|Glass Slab||$50 - $110||$65 - $140|
|Glass Tile||$10 - $40||$20 - $70|
Keeping a green lifestyle with new countertops can be tricky. The harvest or manufacture of certain materials may not be environmentally-friendly. Homeowners who want to use recycled paper or glass in their kitchens have a variety of options to consider.
Installing a recycled paper countertop runs $3,050 to $5,500 for 55 square feet. The product comes from various fibers mixed with resin and costs $45 to $70 per square foot. PaperStone and Richlite are two popular brands. Homeowners prefer it because it is more durable than wood but weighs less than other solid surfaces.
Recycled glass countertop installation costs about $2,700 on average. Material prices depend on the size and style. It ranges from $65 to $140 per square foot for large slabs with high color variations. Tiles run $10 to $40 per square foot. Manufacturers can melt down recycled pieces and pour a new piece that looks striking and unusual or smooth and consistent. It is heat-resistant but prone to scratching.
In most cases, you will need to hire a countertop contractor to complete the project. Slabs can weigh over 200 lbs., making them impossible for one person to move. Tiles are lighter but harder to place accurately.
To avoid paying the $350 average price to repair countertops due to faulty work, it’s best to start with a professional installer:
Ask at least three for a written quote
Check their references
Remember that a rock-bottom estimate may mean lower quality.
Turn off water supply lines.
Disconnect sink plumbing. Turn both sink handles to drain excess water. Disconnect the water and drain lines.
Scrape off old caulking. Separate it from the cabinets and wall.
Apply caulking to cabinets. Lift the new unit into place.
Seal it to the wall. Apply a thin layer of caulking adhesive around the border.
Kitchen countertop replacement costs as little as $11 per square foot. Using the same type as the one you have can help you save money on installation.
Laminate and ceramic tile are the least-expensive countertop materials. You may also find natural stone or acrylic slabs at prices around $10 to $15 per square foot, not including labor.
Countertops are sold by the square foot or individual piece. To estimate what you’ll need, divide your kitchen into smaller squares or rectangles. Remember to include the "overhang", usually 1-inch for the front of cabinets or three or more inches for a bar or sitting area. Measure each in inches and multiply the length and depth. Add them together and divide by 144” for the total in square feet. Since most are cut to size, you may need to buy additional materials.
The cost to install a kitchen island runs about $4,000. This includes:
The price to remodel a kitchen averages $26,000. Replacing countertops, cabinets and appliances covers over half of this total. If the room’s last major upgrade is more than 10 to 15 years old, it may be a wise investment.
Installing new units can instantaneously change the mood of a home. Are you excited to update your kitchen or bathroom? Share your experiences with this project below.