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Replacing Countertops: Best Tips and What to Expect

Written by Kyle Murray on September 12, 2019
Edited By Amanda Kaiser, Last Updated On February 28, 2023
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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Much like anything else in your home, your countertops can become old and dull. If you do not want to take on a full renovation of your home, a great way to improve your space is by installing new countertops. Replacing countertops can drastically change the look and mood of a room. This guide will walk you through what options you have and what you should prepare for when taking on the project. 

What Are Your Options for New Countertops? 

You will have many options to choose from when it comes to new countertop materials. These options are listed and explained in more detail below. 


Natural Stone Options 

Natural stone is among the finest material that you can have for your countertop. Many homeowners love taking the opportunity to add natural beauty into their homes. There are many stone options you can choose from, and each come with different factors you should evaluate before making your final choice. Here are your best natural stone options: 


Since the stone became readily available in the early 1990s, granite has become a favorite material for homeowners. Granite is extremely popular on the market because the stone is beautiful, durable and you will have a seemingly endless amount of options to choose from. Granite countertops will greatly improve any space you install them in. 


Marble is a classic natural stone that has been used as a building material since the time of ancient civilizations. The stone has been used to construct everything from famous statues to kitchen and bathroom countertops. Much of marble’s appeal lies in its natural beauty. The elegant veining and beautiful colors of the stone make marble countertops one of your best options. 


Quartzite is a stunning natural stone that often draws comparisons to marble because of its appearance. However, one major difference between the stones is that quartzite is much stronger and more durable than marble. Much like marble, many types of quartzite have elegant veining running throughout the slab. Between the natural beauty and durability, quartzite countertops are an excellent choice for any home. 


Another top choice for natural stone countertops, soapstone is a beautiful darker stone that looks great on any countertop. One of the unique features you will have with soapstone is the ability to darken the surface. The stone naturally darkens over time, but you can speed up this process by treating your countertop with mineral oil. While soapstone countertops are prone to scratches, these can be fixed easily. If you are looking for a gorgeous darker stone, soapstone countertops will be an excellent choice. 


Slate is very similar in color to soapstone. The material is also very durable, making it an ideal choice for a countertop. While it works well in any home, slate looks particularly stylish in a modern home design. If you like the look of a darker stone, slate countertops can satisfy your needs. 


If you are looking for a stone that will bring a lighter feel to the room, limestone is a great option. Colors range from grey to gold. While you will want to be careful using limestone in an area like the kitchen, as long as you are cautious, your limestone countertops should stay in great shape. 


Travertine is a form of limestone, although there are some distinct differences between the two options. Much like limestone, travertine colors range from beautiful shades of grey to gold. You will also have to be careful with travertine in a high traffic area like a kitchen, but the stone will look fantastic wherever you install it. Exercising the proper amount of caution can help keep your travertine countertops looking as good as new. 


Onyx is a stunning and exotic natural stone option. Because the stone is translucent, it can be backlit, which further enhances its beauty. Onyx countertops do require frequent maintenance, but if you are willing to put in the effort, the stone will reward you with its beauty. 


Gemstone is an amazing natural stone option that will truly draw attention to your countertop. Gemstone countertops are both beautiful and durable, making them an ideal fit for any home. 


What Are Some Other Options You Have? 

Beyond natural stone, there are many other options you have for replacing countertops. Some of these alternatives are described in further detail below. 


Quartz is a top choice on the countertop market. The material is an engineered stone that is made from roughly 90 percent quartz mineral and around 10 percent resins and pigments. The exact percentages will vary based on specific brand but will always be in a similar range. Quartz countertops are popular with homeowners because of their high-quality looks, durability and vast array of options to choose from. 


Although laminate countertops are not the most popular anymore, the surfaces are durable and will offer you a range of options. While natural stone is often seen as the most desirable option, laminate can be helpful if you are on a limited budget. 

Solid Surface 

Solid surface countertops are another option you will have. If you want a countertop that has an integrated sink, solid surface countertops can offer you that. 


Concrete countertops are trendy and stylish. Although they are prone to cracking, these surfaces can look great – especially in a modern home. 


Glass slabs are visually appealing and very durable. If you want a unique look for your space, consider installing glass countertops. 

Recycled Glass 

Recycled glass is made of crushed pieces of glass (such as old bottles) that are embedded in acrylic or cement. These unique surfaces are both eco-friendly and stylish. 

How Much Do These Materials Cost? 

Cost is a very important factor when assessing your countertop options. The table below will provide you with the prices for each of your options. 

Costs of Options
Laminate $20 to $50 per square foot
Granite $35 to $75 per square foot
Marble $40 to $100 per square foot
Travertine $50 to $100 per square foot
Quartz $50 to $120 per square foot
Recycled Glass $50 to $125 per square foot
Slate $50 to $200 per square foot
Soapstone $55 to $100 per square foot
Quartzite Starts around $60 per square foot
Concrete $70 to $150 per square foot
Limestone $70 to $200 per square foot
Glass Starts around $75 per square foot
Solid Surface $75 to $120 per square foot
Onyx $75 to $250 per square foot
Gemstone Starts around $100 per square foot

Can You Install Countertops on Your Own? 

Whether or not installing countertops is a DIY job depends on what material you choose. All natural stone options will require the assistance of a professional for the countertop installation. Natural stone is very heavy and hiring a professional will ensure that you do not get hurt and that the job is done properly. On the other hand, installing laminate countertops can be a DIY job. For the best results, it is always recommended that you hire a professional. 


Is There an Alternative to Replacing Countertops? 

If you do not want to totally replace your existing countertops, there are a few other ways you can visually enhance your space. Consider installing a new kitchen island or adding a stylish backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom. Replacing old countertops is not the only way that you can make your space look new. 

Whether you are replacing kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops or are just looking for some remodel advice, this guide can help get you started if you are trying to liven up your home.

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