Let’s say, you’re thinking of taking the first steps towards building your dream kitchen. Maybe you’ve already planned the whole aesthetic and the perfect layout. Maybe every time you walk into your kitchen, you even try to envision how it will look after you’ve made all the changes you have planned, and you can’t wait to sip your first coffee in your new kitchen and admire all the hopes that went into it. And then among the stupor, reality strikes.
It’s easy to throw money at anything to get the perfect output — just hire a top-notch designer and overspend on the rarest of materials. But for most of us, that’s never an option. We are all bound by our financial limits, no matter what our expectations.
But once in a while, don’t you hear of people who are able to create masterpieces out of nothing? The internet is full of stories of amateur interior decorators who create the most amazing spaces at a minimal cost. The difference between average homeowners and these people? Research.
These people utilize every trick in the book to fetch fancy-looking material and making the whole ensemble work around it. The number one rule of interior design is to have ONE focal point (maybe two in some cases) and have the other elements complement it. If say, they go for a fancy marble countertop — they will get potted plants & fancy crockery to display in open shelves and other cheap ornamental stuff just to highlight that. And that’s how the entire thing comes together.
Now, coming back to countertop materials — this can easily be the most important decision you will make about your kitchen. So, you have to make sure you do it right. Just so you can plan your ensemble properly, we have listed down all the popular kitchen countertop materials and their price range. You can start there and design your kitchen accordingly.
Cost Of Different Countertop Materials
There are different countertop materials that you can choose from. Each of these materials is ideal for different kitchens in its own way. One thing that you must remember while choosing a countertop material is the value that it provides to you and your needs, besides its cost. Here are some of the top countertop materials and their costs:
Granite is undoubtedly one of the most popular choices for a kitchen countertop. We’ve heard it before. Homeowners often say, “I want a granite countertop” or ask “Is this granite?”.
In fact, many homeowners treat granite as their first option because of its rising popularity and rightfully so. In fact, there are some obvious benefits to a Granite countertop. Not only is it stylish but is also highly durable. It will take more than a regular kitchen knife and some daily wear and tear to even put a single scratch on a granite countertop. Generally speaking, for the most part, a granite countertop is a good choice for most people. But how much does it cost?
Since Granite is a natural stone, it translates to more $$ than regular countertop materials. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s ridiculously expensive. Based on the type of granite that you choose, the average cost can range between $45 to $200 per sq.ft
For those who want a touch of luxury in their kitchen, there is no better material than marble. Marble countertops are the first choice for those that want a kitchen that people will not stop talking about.
Because of their popularity, the average cost of a marble countertop ranges from $40 to $250 per sq.ft. Yes, marble countertops don’t come cheap. However, you don’t necessarily have to spend big bucks to get one in your kitchen.
For instance, if you want to save some money and not compromise on the look and feel of a marble countertop, you can go ahead with Carrara Marble. It is cheaper than your regular white marble because of its ‘grey vein’ design, but most people can’t even tell the difference in terms of aesthetics.
Also Read: MARBLE VS. GRANITE: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Quartz, unlike other stones such as Granite or Marble, is an engineered stone. As a result, it is cheaper than natural stone and is relatively easier to maintain. Since these can mostly be manufactured within America, prices may be lower despite their unbeatable durability. Generally speaking, based on the quality of quartz used, the price ranges from $50 to $100 per sq.ft.
Quartz countertops are great for those who want flexibility in design options and a wide range of color choices too. While most quartz countertops fall in the mentioned range, the price depends on the brand that manufactures the product as well. Different brands like Cambria, MSI Q Quartz, Silestone and Caesarstone have different color options and the prices match the quality as well.
For instance, Silestone provides a highly versatile range of quartz in terms of design and colors. The average cost of Silestone quartz is $50 to $100. On the other hand, Cambria is another reputable producer of engineered quartz. They’re a family-owned, trusted producers right here in the USA. Because of their “Americanness”, their reputation generally precedes their name. The average cost of Cambria quartz is around $75-$80 per sq.ft.
Concrete countertops are a rather unique alternative to natural stone countertops such as granite or marble. For the trendy and hipster homeowner, concrete countertops are an increasingly popular choice. The average cost of concrete is around $75 to $125 per sq.ft.
While you may be imagining a dull and rough surface, concrete countertops can be polished and designed according to your needs. They add a very rustic look to the whole space which can be reimagined as contemporary with other elements in place. They provide good durability and come with fewer maintenance requirements too.
5. Butcher Block
For those of you who want a more rustic and warm vibe in their kitchens, the most obvious choice is to go with a wood countertop. Ranging between $35 to $200 per sq.ft, a butcher block is a stylish and durable option for this. Butcher block countertops require little maintenance, which includes oiling them a couple of times every year.
Other Important Factors to Consider While Picking a Countertop Material
Yes, money does matter but there are other factors that influence the cost and the decision of selecting a material for your countertops. In addition to the cost of the actual material, there are other factors that affect the pricing, either directly or indirectly.
For instance, if you choose a quartz countertop, the average cost of the material is around $50 to $100 sq.ft. However, the labor required to install it can cost you around $70/hour. If you happen to live in a rural area, the delivery costs can be around $150 to $200 and there is also the cost of removing your old countertop which can come to $300 to $400.
While these are the more noticeable factors, there are certain factors that come into play over a period of time as well. Think of it like this: Each material has long-term value in terms of its durability, maintenance, and resale cost. You can’t be replacing these countertops every other year, so you have to plan ahead. You can’t cut corners now, only to find your countertop unmanageable in a year.
For example, despite its popularity, a marble countertop is less durable than a granite or a quartz countertop. But on the other hand, it enjoys a huge favor among potential homebuyers when it comes to the resale value of the house. In fact, Granite and Marble both enjoy better resale value, despite them requiring higher maintenance than Quartz with a possibility of recouping up to 53% of the initial amount. Quartz, on the other hand, is highly manageable and requires no sealing.
So, how do you choose?
Making the Right Call for a Kitchen Worktop
We know there’s a lot that you need to factor in. But let’s get some perspective: it all boils down to your priorities. Besides the cost of purchase and installation, you also have to factor in how the countertop fits into your life with ease. Say, you have a family and a few kids…you don’t want to be stuck cleaning stains off it all the time, right?
We personally suggest that you think of the long-term benefits that a particular material will provide before picking it. Some materials are great for short-term benefits such as cost and aesthetics but fall behind on durability and maintenance. If resale value is your goal, you have to consider the popularity a material enjoys too. We can’t reiterate it enough: You can pick the best of countertop materials but it might not be best for you unless you prioritize factors based on your lifestyle. Rank how important these factors are in your head, and the decision should become much clearer. We suggest speaking to a professional supplier or fabricator for more assistance.