Countertops are the focal point of a kitchen by creating a strong visual design impact. According to Houzz in 2021, almost 90% of homeowners doing a kitchen renovation choose to re-do their countertops! And since remodeling your kitchen can significantly boost the resale value of your house, you should definitely include new countertops in your remodel plan.
While there are many beautiful natural stone and quartz slabs to choose from, countertops are not just decorative showpieces. You’ll likely use your countertops for cooking and entertaining for years to come, so it’s important that they’re as functional as they are beautiful.
Kitchen countertops can be a hefty investment for many. Budgeting helps you prioritize your requirements, choose the right countertop material, and know exactly what to expect when it comes to costs associated with countertop installation.
By budgeting well, you might find that you can get even more from your home redesign project! At Rocktops, we can also help with installing fireplaces, vanities, coffee bars, and more. Whatever you’re looking for, you can choose from our fantastic range of beautiful stone.
Here are the most important things to consider when you’re budgeting for countertops.
Choosing the Right Countertop Material
First and foremost: what material will you choose for your kitchen countertops?
If your interior design style pushes you in the direction of natural stone, you probably have a timeless taste. Natural stones like granite and marble have always been popular, and are currently on-trend. In fact, they’re projected to become even more popular in the next few years.
When choosing a material for kitchen countertops, there are several factors to consider. Some of the most important include cost, durability, maintenance, and appearance.
Cost and Resale Value
Stone countertops, such as granite, marble, limestone, quartz and quartzite, tend to be priced higher than artificial materials like laminate and tile. Since stone countertops are highly durable, they provide great resale value and can sometimes be a complete return on investment in the long run, depending on their condition.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your kitchen renovation budget no more than 10-25% of your home’s sale price. The lion’s share of this budget will likely go to your appliances and countertops. If you choose to paint your cabinets instead of completely replacing them, you might have more wiggle room in your budget for natural stone counters.
Durability and Maintenance
Durability matters because kitchen countertops are subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Choosing a material that is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat can help ensure that your countertops will last for many years to come. The best countertop materials for durability are granite and quartz, which can last up to 30 years with proper care. Quartzites can also be durable when well looked after, lasting longer than most marbles.
Granite countertops are a popular choice for homeowners that want to prioritize great appearance, but who also have heavy use kitchens. As well as looking stylish, granite is resistant to stains, and doesn’t chip or scratch easily. It’s also incredibly heat resistant, which makes it a great choice for fireplace surrounds, as well as countertops!
For those that want a more uniform appearance to countertops, Quartz is a great choice. Quartz countertops are exceptionally durable, and unlike granite and marble counters, they don’t need to be sealed.
Marble countertops are a beautiful and luxurious addition to any kitchen or bathroom, and ideal for those who love to bake, thanks to its ability to stay cool! Called a ‘living stone’, marble is a porous material, so it is more susceptible to staining and scratching. Additionally, marble is a relatively soft stone, so can be damaged by acidic substances such as lemon juice or vinegar. Proper care and attention can keep marble looking its best. For example, regular sealing prevents water and other liquids from penetrating the surface and causing damage.
If you want the look of marble without the high maintenance, Quartzite has a beautiful, natural appearance that is similar to marble, but it is typically easier to maintain.
Laminate is a more affordable option, but is prone to damage by heat. It’s important to use a trivet or hot pad to protect the surface from hot pots and pans. Tile countertops can also be susceptible to damage from heat and sharp objects. They can also be difficult to keep clean, as grout lines can trap dirt and bacteria. On the other hand – while tile is easy to chip and crack, it’s also rather easy to replace a singular tile (as opposed to replacing a whole slab of stone!)
Other materials, such as stainless steel and concrete, are relatively low maintenance.
It’s the showpiece of your kitchen – and the chance to create a stylish and cohesive design. Whether you want contemporary, classic, or a dramatic statement, there are countertops in every material that can match your taste and color palette. We recommend using high contrast for a visual balance and playing around with light and dark elements.
Installation and Other Costs
The cost of installation should always be factored into the budget, as it can vary depending on the type of countertop and the complexity of the installation. Stone installations are best handled by professionals who have experience working with heavy slabs. They can also check the integrity of your cabinets.
Some homeowners may choose a DIY approach for their countertop installation to save on costs, but we only recommend this if you have prior experience and are working with tile and laminate, which are lighter and more forgiving materials.
The standard Rocktops edge is an eased edge, but if you’re looking for a different kind of custom edge, be sure to factor this into your overall budget. Some options you could consider include:
- A bullnose edge, which is a rounded edge that is easy to clean and maintain
- A beveled edge, which adds a more decorative touch to the countertops
- A waterfall edge, which extends the countertop down to the floor
- A mitered edge, which creates a seamless look between the countertop and backsplash
Make Your Kitchen Dreams Come True
Considering how integral beautiful kitchen countertops are to your home’s allure and resale value, the point is to find the highest quality countertop within your budget rather than searching for the cheapest option available in the market.
You don’t want to sacrifice beauty for an affordable but dull countertop. At the same time, you don’t want to choose a beautiful countertop that doesn’t have the durability for your family’s lifestyle. 30% of owners are forced to do a renovation because their kitchen breaks down. Choosing the right countertop for your needs will prevent you from needing to redo it many times over in the future. Your remodel should set you up for the long term, balancing both beauty and durability.
Rocktops is the leading choice for stone materials in Kansas City. We’re experts at fabricating, and installing stone countertops, and we’ll be with you every step of the process. Plus, we can help with projects like stone fireplace surrounds for your family room, and stone vanities for your bathroom. Don’t hesitate to contact us with your home renovation ideas – or directly schedule a visit in our showroom.