Choosing a new countertop is relatively simple, but knowing how to replace countertops within your budget and timeframe is a different matter entirely. Many factors affect the cost of new kitchen counters, including material selection and installation options, but it is possible to save a substantial amount of money while still achieving beautiful new countertops.
In this guide, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks you may need to make sure you get the best value for your countertop renovation spending.
Why Replace a Countertop?
Whether it’s chipping, cracking, or staining, counters inevitably sustain damage due to normal wear and tear. Many people choose to replace a countertop when these kinds of damage interfere with the look or function of their counters and simple maintenance can’t fix the problems. People replace their countertops for any number of reasons, though — damage-related or not.
Some of the primary reasons people replace their countertops include:
- Repairing a damaged surface
- Changing the counter to match the style of a more extensive kitchen remodel
- Upgrading to premium stone, especially from a laminate countertop
- Bringing designs in line with changing trends or a homeowner’s changing tastes
- Modernizing a kitchen to prepare a home for the real estate market
Making the decision to replace is the first step, but knowing which material to select and how much of a hit your budget will take requires a little more information and planning. It’s important to speak with a home renovation specialist to get the full scope of what your project will entail, but in the meantime we’ll dive into the basics.
The Costs to Replace Old Countertops
Project costs for any renovation vary substantially depending on design and installation constraints. No two homes are exactly the same in style, design, square footage, set up, or homeowners’ tastes, and even the tiniest decision can make a huge difference in the funds necessary to complete your remodel project or countertop replacement.
Some things that can alter your renovation estimate include:
- Size of kitchen or bathroom
One of the most significant factors influencing the cost of replacing kitchen countertops is the size of the room. The more countertop surfaces you need, the more labor and materials are required to finish the job. That drives up costs for both services rendered from start to installation and raw materials.
- Counter material: stone vs. laminate countertops
The desired countertop material is also a factor. Marble is the most expensive option, for example, but virtually all stone slabs cost more than their tile or laminate counterparts. Granite can also be pricey, so quartz has emerged as a more affordable choice for many remodelers. You will also need to factor in the cost of backsplash, if you choose to replace the backsplash at the same time (as many contractors will recommend).
Laminate tends to be the most affordable option, but it is thin and prone to scratches. If you can afford it, you should consider a natural material like quartz or granite instead. These surfaces are more durable and provide better value over the long term, even if you don’t choose top-of-the-line marble or granite.
- Installation constraints
In addition to kitchen size, kitchen configuration can also impact the cost of installing new countertops. For instance, if you have an island or many rounded or angled countertop sections, it might cost more to cut and install even laminate countertops. Installing countertops independent of a larger remodel can sometimes be more since care needs to be taken not to damage the sink, stove range, oven, cabinets, and other fixtures. Similarly, it is more difficult to replace countertops without affecting the backsplash or cabinets.
- DIY vs. professional installation
If you are a relatively handy person, you may be able to save money on countertop installation by making a DIY project out of it. Some materials are more suitable for such projects than others — cement countertops, for instance, are popular among certain DIY communities. However, to go this route, you must be able to remove the sink and existing countertop sections, then replace them, without the aid of a professional. If the process goes wrong, it might result in water damage or damage to cabinets and kitchen fixtures, so the DIY route can end up being more costly if not done well.
4 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang For Your Countertop Buck
All home improvement projects require a bit of an investment, and replacing countertops is no exception. There are strategies that can help ensure you get top-quality results without spending too much, though.
Here are a few tips for how to shop countertops without breaking the bank:
- Shop the clearance section.
If you aren’t picky about color, you can often get surprisingly good deals by purchasing stones on clearance. Even high-end stones go on sale as trends shift, so you don’t need to worry about getting substandard materials just because you are spending less.
- Don’t fixate on a single material.
If you want to save money during a remodel, you need to be willing to shop the entire range of stones and tiles to find one that will work for your wallet. Becoming married to one particular stone limits your options and increases the likelihood that you’ll have to shell out extra money for the results you want.
- Consider remnants.
One way to get premium slabs for less is to select from remnants. Remnants are the excess, untouched areas of larger slabs that are still suitable for installation. Although the quantities may be limited, most interior design services will work with you to achieve the same seamless appearance as if you had worked from the original slab.
- Get professional help.
If you don’t know your way around a belt sander and drain lines, you probably should not try to replace your countertops by yourself. Installation mistakes can damage your cabinets, sink, or appliances, leading to costly repairs that could be avoided by consulting a professional from the beginning.
The ideal counter supports your daily routine while adding style and flow to your home. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend top-dollar to get these benefits, especially when you work with interior design experts who focus on meeting your needs.
Contact A&S For Interior Design Needs
At A&S Home Interiors, we provide expert fabrication and installation for solid surface countertops, specializing in natural stone and quartz. Contact our team today to speak with an expert about the options for your countertop replacement project.