Countertops are usually the first thing that people see when they enter your kitchen because they are one of the biggest parts of the room. So, when you’re picking out your countertop, you want it to be special. But with so many different materials available, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you. And what about the cost? Let’s take a look at six of the most popular kitchen countertop materials, and dive into what they’re likely to cost you:
01. Laminate — An Affordable Option
Laminate is one of the most affordable materials used for kitchen countertops and that makes it one of the most popular materials as well. It’s also very durable and easy to clean. And nowadays, laminate can mimic just about any look or texture including stone or wood.
The only negatives of laminate include that you can see the seams, that it can be damaged by high heat, and it can be scratched fairly easily.
As for price, laminate can go for anywhere from $10-$60 per square foot. The price really depends on how much countertop you have, but overall, laminate is the most affordable countertop option on the market today. It’s worth noting that today’s laminate options are heads and shoulders above the laminate you may have seen in your grandmother’s kitchen. Old problems like bubbling and peeling have all but been solved.
02. Quartz — Durable with a Mid-Range Cost
Though a bit more expensive than laminate, quartz (also known as engineered stone) is another material often used for countertops. It’s made by combining quartz crystals and a resin to bind those crystals together. It looks like natural stone but with considerably less maintenance.
Quartz is very durable and hard, and because it’s nonporous, it’s easy to clean and won’t stain. It also comes in a ton of colors and hues so you can match it to whatever decor you have.
The one big negative is that it’s not as heat-resistant as natural stone is and it can be on the expensive side. The average price is around $50-$150 per square foot.
03. Granite — A Durable Natural Stone Countertop
Granite is a very popular countertop material because of how timeless and elegant it is. It can take an ordinary kitchen and make it look extraordinary. It’s also very strong, durable, heat-resistant, and doesn’t scratch easily. It will also resist stains if it has been sealed properly.
There are some negatives though. It needs to be re-sealed regularly or the porousness of the stone may lead to stains. And because of the porous material, it can also be harder to clean and may trap germs. Granite is also quite expensive. On average it can range from $80-$225 per square foot.
04. Porcelain — A Unique, Luxury Countertop Option
Porcelain countertops offer a beautiful, easy to care for countertop option that many don’t know about. Made from heating a mix of powdered china stone and white china clay, porcelain slabs are formed and then coated with a pigmented glaze that gives them a similar look to natural stone like marble.
The best parts of porcelain are how it looks, the number of colors and varieties it comes in, and its exceptional heat endurance. Porcelain is also as much as 30% stronger than the most durable granite, which makes it a great option for kitchens that see a lot of wear and tear. Because it’s an engineered stone, it can be created in a variety of colors and patterns, and it’s nonporous which makes maintenance easy.
On the negative side, porcelain is one of the thinnest countertop materials, which can make it susceptible to cracks. That said, you’d really have to try to crack your porcelain countertops — it’s still one of the strongest countertop materials on the market.
Porcelain is not the cheapest material either. It has an average price of $80-$250 per square foot.
05. Butcher Block — A Unique Look at a Mid-Range Cost
Butcher block is another great option for countertops that’s perfect for a traditional farmhouse or any home with a rustic or industrial style. It’s made from the grain ends of various woods that are glued together to form the butcher block pattern.
A butcher block countertop can be great for food preparation and any scratches and nicks just add to the character of the material. The surface can also be sanded and resealed fairly easily if needed, but when properly sealed and oiled, it can be very durable. This is often preferred by people who love to cook.
But if they are not sealed properly, the wood grain can trap a lot of bacteria. The seams of the countertop can also come apart if they consistently get wet.
The cost of a butcher block countertop ranges from $40-$200 per square foot.
06. Corian — An Affordable Option That Offers an Upgrade from Laminate
Corian is another popular material as it comes in a variety of colors and styles. It’s also quite durable and needs very little upkeep, which is why it’s always a popular countertop option for rental properties. That said, Corian isn’t very moisture-resistant which is why it’s not recommended for humid environments. It can also be prone to scratching.
As for the price, on average, it costs around $20-$75 per square foot.
Remember, the Cost of Your Countertops Comes Down to Size & Thickness
While these estimates should help you gain a better idea of which countertop options fit your budget, it’s important to remember that they are estimates. Many factors, including how thick your countertop is can also determine how much you pay for materials and labor. Countertops can range from 1-4 centimeters and the thicker the countertop, the more expensive it’s going to be. Quartz is best for a 1 cm thickness, marble, granite, and stone are best for 2 cm, most countertop materials work for 3 cm, and some marble and granite can be found in 4 cm thickness.
Want to get the most out of your kitchen countertop investment? Work with a local kitchen designer from Standard Kitchens. We carry products from all the top brands like Cambria and we can recommend beautiful pieces that fit into your remodel budget. To start your next project, stop into one of our showrooms or contact us online today.