Kitchen countertops play a big part in the look of your kitchen, but when it comes to replacing them, it can seem like it costs a lot of money.
The good news is that there are ways to replace your kitchen counters without spending too much money. Let’s look at some ways of replacing kitchen countertops on a budget.
What is the Average Cost of Kitchen Countertops?
The average cost of kitchen counters can be anywhere from $1800 to $4300. However, this includes more high-cost materials like granite or marble countertops.
The cost can be as low as $400 if you use the right materials, so the key is to find something that fits in with the look of your kitchen and is also on the budget-friendly side of prices.
Countertops are sold per square foot, costing from $10 to $70 per square foot. This means you need to understand the length of countertops you’ll need before you can start looking at the best options.
You may find that if you have a smaller kitchen, you can afford more expensive materials because you don’t need a lot of them. This also applies if you want to put a section of countertop in a bathroom.
How Do I Calculate the Square Feet of Countertop I Need?
To help determine how much countertop you need and decide on the right material, the first thing to do is to work out how many square feet of countertop you need. The easiest way to do this is to divide your countertops into squares and rectangles.
For example, if you have an L-shaped countertop, this would make two rectangles. Measure the length and width of each of them and multiply the results by two.
Add the two numbers together and divide this by 144 to get the approximate square footage you’ll need.
Cost of Countertops by Material Type
Let’s look at some of the material types available for your new countertops to give you some ideas about what might work for your budget.
Granite is a popular choice because it is very durable, and there’s a wide range of textures and a variety of colors you can choose from.
They pair well with granite tile backsplashes but also with things like ceramic tiles. Whole slabs can range dramatically from as little as $15 to nearly $150 per square foot.
However, you can also get prefabricated types where the cost can be under $40 per square meter.
Marble might not be quite as tough as granite, but it isn’t far behind, and it is a popular choice for new counters as it comes in a stunning range of colors, all with that distinctive patterning.
There’s a vastly different range of quality marble available, with some costing as little as $15 per square foot while the high-quality versions in the price range around $200 per square foot.
Limestone isn’t as tough as some countertop materials, but some people enjoy adding it to their kitchen design if they don’t have a high-traffic kitchen (in other words, if you don’t have kids!) because it is quite porous.
Because water gets into it easily, you need to seal it regularly. There’s a range of colors around the neutral shades, including grays and golden browns, and costs range from $10 to $70 per square meter.
Soapstone is usually found in smaller kitchens because the slab sizes are usually less than 7 feet long. It isn’t an ideal material for kitchen worktops as it can be prone to scratching.
It is an all-natural stone, and colors tend to be dark gray, black, or sometimes a blue or green tint. Costs per square foot usually range from around $20 to $70.
Travertine comes in both slabs for countertops and tile forms for walls.
It looks similar to limestone but darker in shade and has deep veins running through it in different colors, making it an attractive option.
It does need an occasional polish to keep the shine but is quite budget-friendly, costing around $10-35 per square foot.
Acrylic countertops offer a type of countertop ideal for small budgets and are available in a wide range of looks. It can mimic natural materials such as quartz or granite at a fraction of the cost. It is also very durable and easy to clean. Costs range from $10 to $30 per square foot.
Laminate countertops can be a great option for a budget-friendly option, but it is worth knowing that they don’t always last long compared with other materials.
They are a great way to upgrade the look of your kitchen and complete easy DIY projects, but they can chip, fade or scratch over time. They cost less than $10 per square foot to around $30 at the higher end.
Concrete countertops have become more popular because you can get many patterns, colors, and styles with them.
They need to be sealed to ensure they don’t crack with constant use, but they are relatively durable once this is done.
Cost-wise, they are more expensive than some options but still tend to be between $50-100 per square foot.
Wood countertops are ideal for those rustic kitchens, and there are many different kinds of wood you can use, such as butcher block countertops that tend to be made from something like teak or birch.
All of them will benefit from being sealed to ensure water doesn’t get in and cause them to swell. The price depends on the type of wood you choose, with bamboo being the least expensive.
Most cost around $18 to $40 per square foot. You can also get wood veneer options that combine the benefits of real wood with laminate.
Stainless steel countertops are often seen in commercial kitchens, where these durable countertops can withstand heavy use.
In most home kitchens, they tend to be a little easy to scratch if you want to keep a pristine appearance. In terms of square footage, they are usually around $60-100 per square foot.
What Other Costs Affect Replacing Countertops?
Regarding kitchen countertop replacement, it’s a good idea to factor in the other costs involved with the project.
Choosing the new countertops is just one part of the kitchen renovation project, and it is worth factoring in other costs to help manage a tight budget.
Some of the things to think about including:
- Removal of old countertops can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on whether there’s plumbing to factor in or how big the kitchen is. Factors such as a kitchen island can also affect the cost of removal.
- Types of edging – as well as the countertops, you will also need to consider some edging for spots where the countertop meets the walls or where there is a gap for something like a cooker.
- Labor costs – if you are not going down the DIY route, you’ll want to know how much it will cost for someone to install the countertops and remove those old ones.
Look out for companies offering free installation, as this can save much of the extra cost. Stores like Home Depot often have the best deals for new countertops and offer free installation.
Other Ways to Upgrade Your Countertops
If you don’t think your budget can stretch to new countertops or you’d rather spend the money on something like some new kitchen cabinets, there are ways to upgrade the look of the counters without spending a fortune.
Countertop Paint Kit
Depending on the type of material you have on your countertop, you may be able to use a countertop paint kit to improve the appearance. This works well on things like laminate counters where you can gently sand them down and paint over the top with the special paint.
If you know someone replacing their countertops or any local businesses that might have old ones, you can get recycled countertops and add them to your kitchen for a budget-friendly upgrade.
Some recycled glass countertops can even go over your existing solid surface countertops to refresh the look and cover any scratches or dents.
Create Tile Counters
If you have solid surface counters in good condition but want to change the look, then tile countertops could be an idea.
Here, you add tiles over the top of an existing surface if it is flat enough with options including natural stone tiles. This gives you a new look without needing to remove and reinstall all the worktops.
Find Thoughts on Replacing Kitchen Countertops on a Budget
Replacing your kitchen countertops is a good choice if you want to upgrade the room’s look without having an entire kitchen renovation.
There are lots of materials that can be budget friendly and still offer a luxurious option. Remember to factor in countertop installation costs when choosing what material to use. Then enjoy the look of your new kitchen!