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Inexpensive Countertops: What Are the Best Low Cost Options?

Written by Christopher Miller on September 05, 2019
Edited By Brian Freeman, Last Updated On January 02, 2024
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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When looking to purchase new countertops, you will notice that the market is flooded with so many options to choose from. However, some options cost more than others, which can stretch some budgets too tight. If you are looking for a countertop but are on a little bit of a tight budget, there are several options you can choose from that are listed and explained below. 

What Countertops Are Not Budget Friendly? 

Not every countertop is an ideal choice if your budget is limited. For the most part, natural stone countertops are among the higher priced options that you will find. While not beneficial to homeowners looking for something that is cheaper, natural stone is beautiful and, in most cases, durable. There is a good reason that natural stone comes at a higher cost than other countertop options. But if natural stone is out of your budget, the following options should be more within the price range you are looking for. 


Laminate Countertops 

If you are looking for a low cost countertop option, laminate countertops may just be the best that you can find. The surfaces, which are created from a combination of paper and plastic materials, can be modified to resemble the look of natural stone. While the countertops cannot perfectly mimic natural stone, it is as good as you will be able to find at a low cost. 

Ceramic Tile Countertops 

Another inexpensive countertop option is a ceramic tile countertop. Part of the lack of expense comes as a result of the DIY abilities with installing a ceramic tile countertop. Although seams are very visible, you can have a stylish ceramic tile countertop – and even increase your use of the material by installing a backsplash too. This look can create a nice feel for a kitchen countertop especially. While it is not your most stylish countertop option, you can make the best of using the material. The main benefit of ceramic tile countertops is that they are not expensive. 

Wood Countertops  

If you want an inexpensive countertop option that is warm and inviting, wood countertops will be the perfect countertop option for you. The surfaces can be quite attractive and can add some life to your space. In addition, the countertops are warm to the touch, which can increase the inviting feel they give off. Of course, one major benefit of wood countertops is that the surfaces will not break your budget. On the flip side, wood countertops do come with negative aspects. The surfaces require frequent maintenance in order to stay in good shape. The countertops are also very prone to damages such as scratches, dents and liquid damage. 

Solid Surface Countertops 

Solid Surface countertops are among the more readily available countertop materials on the market. You have many brands and options to choose from, which helps keep costs down for these countertops. The benefits of solid surface countertops include durability and scratch resistance. The countertops are also easy to clean and non-porous. The downside to solid surface countertops is that they are able to sustain damages from heat, scratches and chemicals. 

Tile Granite Countertops 

If you are looking for another inexpensive and DIY-friendly countertop option, tile granite countertops can be just what you are looking for. These tiles are very accessible; you should be able to find them at any tile store or major hardware stores. Many homeowners choose to go with tile granite if they do not want to pay the higher cost for slab granite. A major difference between the two is that you will need to have a slab professionally installed, while with granite tiles, you can save money by installing them yourself. Despite these positives, many homeowners worldwide still prefer the look and other benefits of slab granite. Either way, granite countertops are commonly seen in homes. 

Modular Stone Countertops 

Modular Stone countertops are essentially a middle ground between the size of tiles and the size of slabs. Modular Stone gives homeowners the benefit of having the look of natural stone while being able to cut costs by installing the surface themselves. 

What Are the Alternatives and Why Are They So Expensive? 

Your primary alternatives to the countertop options listed above are natural stone options. Yes, these will come at a higher cost than the options above. However, provided that you can stretch your budget a little further, it can end up being well worth the additional cost. Below are some popular natural stone countertop options that you have. 

Granite Countertops 

There are many good reasons why granite countertops are so popular among homeowners. The material is attractive, durable, easy to maintain and comes with a seemingly endless array of options for you to choose from. Granite countertops are also resistant to heat and stains. 

Marble Countertops 

Marble countertops are a symbol of elegance. Like granite, there are many good reasons that marble is such a popular countertop material. Although they do not come with the ease of maintenance that you will get with granite, much of the appeal of marble lies in its gorgeous appearance. 


Quartzite Countertops 

Although the surfaces can be pretty pricey, quartzite countertops are absolutely stunning. Many feel that the looks of this natural stone are comparable to marble. There are many reasons why choosing quartzite countertops for your home is a great investment. 

How Much Do These Alternatives Cost? 

Below is a table depicting the costs of the aforementioned alternative countertop options. 

Granite $35 to $75 per square foot
Marble $40 to $100 per square foot
Quartzite $60 to $100 per square foot

While countertops are such a significant investment in the home, there are some times in which your budget simply will not allow for a major expense. In these cases, there are many options that you have for new countertops. Review this guide to help decide what option is right for your home. 

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