Top 15 Kitchen Countertops Costs and Pros & Cons in 2021

Recycled glass countertop

If you’re looking to install new countertops in your kitchen, you’re not alone – 95% of homeowners looking to renovate say that “kitchen countertops are their top priority this year”.

This consumer buying guide covers top 15 countertop options, along with each material’s pros and cons, and the average cost to install.

  1. Granite countertops

Granite Countertop for sale at Lowe's

What it is: You probably already know! Granite is a natural stone countertop material which has been highly prized in the kitchen for many years. It is available in a wide variety of colors and blends well with many different flooring and wall designs.

Granite countertops are becoming more and more common thanks to their increased availability and affordability.

Granite worktop samples on display at Lowe's

What it costs: Granite can be expensive. Prices between $85 and $175 per square foot installed are not uncommon, depending on the size, color, thickness, and pattern of the granite slab, manufacturer/supplier and installer, and where you live.

Pros: Because granite is highly sought after and considered beautiful, the countertops will add non-depreciating value to your home. It is non-porous and sanitary, heat-resistant, and easy to clean. It does not get scratched easily.

Cons: Granite is very difficult to remove, and should be considered a “forever” upgrade, because you may have to rip out the entire counter if you get sick of it. It is expensive when compared to other common countertop materials.

It is also labor-intensive because it is so heavy, which means that it may require additional structural support than what your counters already offer. It must be sealed roughly every 10 years or so to prevent staining, and it can crack if hit by a large, heavy object.

  1. Quartzite countertops

What it is:

Not to be confused with countertops labeled “quartz” – which are a kind of manmade composite, consisting of about 90% quartz and 10% resin – quartzite is a relatively new solid-stone alternative to granite or engineered quartz countertops.

Quartzite is a naturally occurring rock that starts its life as a kind of sandstone and evolves into quartzite when subjected to heat and pressure. The resulting white or gray rock tends to have beautiful streaks of color, giving it the look of marble while maintaining the toughness of granite.

A word of caution, however – the term tends to be used somewhat loosely by manufacturers, so it is important to check with your supplier to find out if your quartzite is “hard” or “soft” quartzite, which will affect how durable the material is, and how often routine sealing must be done to care for it.

What it costs: $85 to $150 per square foot installed, depending on the type of quartzite you choose and where you live.

Pros: The neutral colors of quartzite look nice against almost any kitchen color scheme. Its natural swirl patterns lend a clean, modern, organic look. It is somewhat heat resistant (although protection should be used if you intend to leave a hot pot sitting for a while).

Did you know? Quartzite is also harder than granite, making it a little more durable.

Cons: Depending on the type of quartzite, periodic sealing must be done (as with any stone surface) to avoid staining. Also, because it is a heavy stone, it requires professional installation.

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6 Best Kitchen Faucet Brands and Their Costs: Best Functionality & Style

Any faucet will produce running water, but the best can adapt to different kitchen needs and endure decades of daily use. We talked to a dozen plus kitchen remodel and design experts, pored through hundreds of offerings from over a dozen brands, and contacted manufacturers directly to find out who’s making the best faucets on the market.

The 6 Best Kitchen Faucets

Now for a closer look at our top six brands. We highlight a few of our favorite models in the reviews of each brand, but they all have dozens of faucets worthy of consideration. If you want to look at everything the brand has to offer, you can click the links in the list below. Links in the reviews will take you to the specific models shown.

The Best Kitchen Faucets: Summed Up

American Standard Delta Kohler Premier Faucet Brizo Vigo
All-Around Brand All-Around Brand All-Around Brand Budget Brand Statement Brand Statement Brand
Averaging $300–$500 Averaging $350–$400 Averaging $370–$750 Averaging $75–$200 Averaging $580–$932 Averaging $170–$260

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2021 Kitchen Remodel Cost Breakdown: Recommended Budgets, ROI, and more!

Your kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of your home, or in more modern terms, the core of your family’s command center! 😉

amazing-yet-modest-kitchen

Whether your goal is to increase the value of your house or you’re simply wanting to make it a more enjoyable place to live, choosing to do a kitchen remodel or renovation is one of the best decisions homeowners can make. Breathing new life into an outdated kitchen adds value to a home in numerous ways.

Our pricing guide will break down the steps to planning your renovation and provide a breakdown of expected costs for the following:

  • Basic Kitchen Remodel
  • Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel
  • Deluxe Kitchen Remodel

Make a Plan

To get the most bang for your buck it’s important to set a budget from the start, know your needs and understand where the money will go. Before shopping for appliances, tile or flooring, know your personal needs and goals for the outcome of the remodel. Then you can create a wish list of desired components and begin your search for a contractor.

Recommended Budget

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has a recommendation for the value of a kitchen remodel to help homeowners set an appropriate budget.

As you create your budget, there’s more to consider than the amount of money you can afford to spend. Essentially, putting too much into a home improvement project can affect the rate of return on your investment.

The NKBA recommends budgeting 15-20% of the value of your home.

For example:

$250,000 home = $37,000-$50,000 kitchen remodel budget

$500,000 home = $75,000-$100,000 kitchen remodel budget

Once your budget has been determined, cut it by at least 25 percent. Set the extra money aside as a cushion to make unexpected surprises much less stressful.

Cost Breakdown

The NKBA’s guide for an average kitchen remodel is as follows:

  • Cabinetry and Hardware: 29%
  • Installation: 17%
  • Appliances and Ventilation: 14%
  • Countertops: 10%
  • Flooring: 7%
  • Lighting: 5%
  • Walls and Ceilings: 5%
  • Design Fees: 4%
  • Doors and Windows: 4%
  • Faucets and Plumbing: 4%
  • Other: 1%

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