In the modern home, it’s almost impossible to imagine the perfect kitchen within the added beauty and practicality of a natural stone countertop. To the general public, these swanky kitchen finishes are reserved only for the trendy and wealthy.
Although some stone countertops can cost you a pretty penny, most are actually affordably stylish and this price guide for the coming year will help you find those diamonds in the rough.
Before we get into the specific price ranges for each type of stone, it’s important to contextualize these prices and understand why they’re so high or so low. Stone countertops are rated and priced on a multifaceted barometer that measures and values aesthetics, function, and installation. If seeing multifaceted barometer made you anxious about figuring out all the specific of countertop ratings don’t worry, that was just a fancy way of saying there’s a lot that goes into countertop pricing.
Aesthetics of the Stone (Quality of Stone, Color, Design)
The easiest and most visible indicators to the price of your countertop are how good the stone is and how good it looks. In the world of stone countertops, not all are created equal. Certain colors of stone such as those that come in shades of reds, blues and purples are harder to come by and subsequently more expensive. While most stone countertops contain some sort of natural design in their fabrication, requests for customized or unique countertops that fit the “vibe” of your house better will cost you more than the more common countertops.
Taken together, these elements of aesthetics compile into the overall quality of the stone and for Granite, these qualities are explained through levels. A Level 1 or Low-Grade Granite countertop is usually prefabricated (mass produced in a factory), relatively thin and generally comes in basic colors and simple designs. Level 2 or Mid-Grade Granite Countertops are often fabricated in the store (selected and cut from specific stones), closer to the 3cm mark and come in more aesthetically pleasing patterns. Finally, Level 3 or High-Grade Granite Countertops are also fabricated in store, thicker than most slabs and contain beautiful and rare colors and designs.
Functions of the Stone (Size, Thickness, Finishing)
Another indicator that influences the pricing of the stone is the function or durability of the slabs you purchase. Intuitively enough, the more stone per square meter you purchase the more you will have to pay for it. Similarly, the price of the slab will increase as thickness increases; most slabs are generally sold as 3cm thick and although purchasing 2cm thick slab will definitely save you money, it will also detract from the hardiness of the counter, which is a cost to benefit ratio you’ll have to evaluate on your own. The finishing and coating you select (if you chose to) can also affect the price. Polishes and sealants will protect the integrity of your stone countertop but the addition of these shield coatings will drive up the price of your countertop. Always ask what (if any) coating has been added to your slab and bring that cost to benefit ratio out one more time.
Installation of the Stone (Origin of the Stone and Renovation)
You shouldn’t ever discriminate against someone’s origins – unless that someone is your future stone countertop. Where you import your slab of stone from influences its pricing as it takes more manpower and money to import 2 sq. ft. of Brazilian Marble than it would Scottish Marble of the same size.
The actual installation of your countertop (you guessed it) also takes manpower and money. Cutting and edging the countertop is a universal and inherent cost to every installation but one aspect of the installation that you can control is if the contractor will have to rip out your old countertops. If you have some carpentry skills, it would be better for you to put them to use and take out your old shabby slabs before incurring demolition fees from the contractor.
Stone Countertop Estimates
Now it’s time for the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the actual price listing for natural stone countertops for the New Year. Get your popcorn and checkbooks ready. (Note: These prices are averages; remember that every design or color of stone will change its cost)
Granite is one of the most popular natural stone selections because of its durability and gorgeous coloring and patterns. It is also one of the most varied stones with nearly 250 selections within Precision Stone Design (PSD)’s extensive catalog.
- Level 1 (Low-Grade): $36-$45 per sq. ft.
- Level 2 (Mid-Grade): $46-$50 per sq. ft.
- Level 3 (High-Grade): $51-$65 per sq. ft.
- Level 4 (Great-Grade): $66-$75 per sq. ft.
- Level 5 (Exceptional-Grade): $76 and above per sq. ft.
Another very popular selection, Marble countertops owe their dazzling crystalline patterns to the natural superheating of Limestone. Within PSD there are over 50 color and design options available to you.
- Average price: $55 per sq. ft.
- Highest: Danby – $75 per sq. ft.
- Lowest: Snow White (Marble) – $40 per sq. ft.
Composed of silicon and oxygen, Quartz is a durable countertop with a high melting point just in case your stir-fry goes awry.
The price of the Quartz slab depends on what service it is purchased from:
- Cosmos ($33-$69 per sq. ft.)
- Difinity ($42-$95 per sq. ft.)
- Hanstone ($40-$75 per sq. ft.)
- LG Viatera ($33-$65 per sq. ft.)
- Q Quartz ($40-$70 per sq. ft.)
- Silestone ($45-$99 per sq. ft.)
- Zodiaq-Dupont ($57-$69 per sq. ft.)
A sibling of sorts to Quartz, Quartzite is a metamorphic rock comprised of sandstone (which contains Quartz) that gets its beautiful patterns from the crystallization of Quartz after it’s gone through high temperatures and intense pressurization.
- Average Price: $90 per sq. ft.
- Highest: Mother of Pearl, Veyron – $119 per sq. ft.
- Lowest: Café Latte – $50 per sq. ft.
A naturally soft natural stone, Soapstone countertops are reinforced with Quartz to increase its durability and scratch resistance. Often found in grey colors with matte finishes, the only con to this stone is it is a bit high maintenance.
- Price Range: $75-$150 per sq. ft.
Zinc countertops are about as lively as a countertop can get. They’re porous which allows for easy cleaning, have anti-bacterial properties and over time, the surfaces develop a patina, a thin and natural protective covering that develops with certain metals and stones. The only downside to this animate countertop is its low melting point.
- Price Range: $150-$200 per sq. ft.
Aura Semi-Precious Stone
This countertop screams prestige. Aura Semis are artful combinations of semi-precious gemstones handcrafted by skilled craftsman. Each piece is carefully designed to cater to your sensibilities.
- Price Range: $250-$300 per sq. ft.
Porcelain/Sintered panels are some of the newest innovations in countertops. The porcelain panels are lightweight, durable, affordable and offered in numerous designs and colors that mimic the beauty of natural stone countertops.
- Price Range: $60-$100 per sq. ft.
Now that you have all the prices options in front of you and the reasoning behind them, its time to finish your dream kitchen. Email us now and get a free estimate on your material of choice to get started on that countertop you’ve always wanted.