When it comes to home improvement projects, one that might seem like it would be easiest that is, in reality, can be one of the more challenging is countertop replacement. Whether you’re thinking about installing your own countertop, or you’re considering having it professionally installed, the following are important things you should know about this project.
Also, keep in mind that it’s almost always best to have a professional install countertops, even if you think you have the tools you would need to do the work.
How Much Do Countertops Cost?
Replacing your countertops can be a costly project. The average cost, according to Home Advisor, is $2,927. The typical range for this project is anywhere from $1,869 to $4,095.You may usually end up paying anywhere from $15 to $70 per square foot for materials and then 410 to $30 per square foot for labor. That can mean a total cost of anywhere from $25 to $120 per square foot, according to the same estimates from Home Advisor. There may be additional costs as well such as the removal of your existing countertop, preparation of your cabinets, shaping or sanding, and sealing or polishing costs.
Natural stone countertops tend to be the most expensive, and of these options, you’ll likely pay the most for marble and then granite. While natural stone countertops are the most expensive, they also tend to be the most durable and they can increase the value of your home. Outside of natural stone, there are many other choices available too. For example, engineered stone quartz has become increasingly popular, as has Corian. These options usually aren’t much less expensive than natural stone, and they look and feel a lot like stone. Soapstone can give your kitchen are more vintage look and it’s fairly inexpensive compared to natural stone like granite, but it’s also somewhat soft, so the biggest issue with this material is durability. For something more affordable, you could choose an option like butcher block or laminate.
Consider Your Cabinets
You might think you’d like to give your kitchen or even your bathroom a minor facelift without a full-blown remodel. With that thinking, there’s the potential you would replace your countertop before you did anything with your cabinets. This may not be the best idea, though, especially if you’re also going to replace your cabinets in the near future. If you do the countertops before you do anything with the cabinets, there are risks.
One risk is that the countertops may need to be moved and reinstalled. Another risk is that the countertop material can be chipped or broken when the cabinets are being removed or redesigned. Also, there may be a chance that a fit issue arises if you do the countertop before the cabinets. The warranties on solid countertop surface materials are typically written so that the cabinets are first and then the countertops. If you’re leaving your old countertops, you need to make sure they’re going to be able to support whatever material you end up using on your new countertops. Your floor also has to be able to support the weight of the countertops you choose.
Other Things to Think About
With countertops, there are aesthetic concerns to keep in mind, but also functional considerations. You need a material that’s going to work for your lifestyle, be easy to maintain and still give you the look you want to achieve. If you currently have a solid stone countertop, it’s going to be tough to take out, and you may need professional help.
Replacing your counters often means you’re going to have to make some other replacements as well. For example, even if you keep your cabinets the same you’re likely to need to replace your sink. If you’re going from, as an example, laminate countertops to solid stone, you are likely going to need to do a replacement.
Then, changing your sink can change the configuration of the associated faucet, so you may have to replace that too. If you have other things around your sink like a garbage disposal, then that may be on the necessary replacement list too. Something else to add to the list of considerations—your backsplash. You may need to replace the backsplash for logistical reasons, but you might also find that your old backsplash doesn’t work aesthetically with your new countertops.
The same is true of your kitchen appliances. Those old, outdated appliances might suddenly look a lot worse when they’re next to a new countertop. As you can see, replacing your countertops can be a big undertaking and one that’s worthwhile, but only if you’re well-prepared.