Granite Countertops | Fabrication & Installation

Replacing Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash (Cost, Timeline, Facts)

3D illustration of a new kitchen remodeling design that includes replacing countertops and backsplashes

Changing a kitchen’s countertops and backsplash can make a massive difference in its appearance when upgrading your kitchen. But what do you need to know before you do it? To ensure your expectations align with reality, you must know the cost, timeline, and other facts. 

Today we’ll discuss answers to commonly asked questions, like:

  • How much does it cost to replace kitchen countertops and backsplash?
  • Do you replace the countertop or backsplash first?
  • How long does it take to replace countertops and backsplash?
  • Can you replace kitchen countertops without replacing cabinets when remodeling?
  • Do countertop installers remove old countertops?

Knowing the answers to these questions will ease your mind and help you plan your next kitchen remodeling project. 

3D illustration of a new kitchen remodeling design that includes replacing countertops and backsplashes

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Countertops and Backsplash?

Probably the most important aspect of any renovation is considering your budget. That’s why it’s best to know how much a project will cost, including the materials and labor. 

The cost of kitchen countertop and backsplash installation depends on which materials you use. On average, replacing:

  • Kitchen countertops are $3095 but can go as low as $400 and as high as $8000. 
  • The backsplash is $1000. It typically ranges from $15-$40 per square foot for materials with additional installation fees. 

Of course, the cost will vary depending on the type of material you choose for your countertops or backsplashes. For example, our countertop costs start at $1,500 installed!

The Cost of Different Countertops

view into a newly renovated kitchen with new appliances, countertops, back splash, and hardwood floors

There are many different countertop materials you can choose from, like granite countertops, quartz, marble, limestone, concrete, etc. Some are more expensive than others, which might affect your choice. 

The approximate cost of different kitchen countertops per square foot is:

  • Marble: $75-$250
  • Granite: $45-$200
  • Engineered Quarts: $55-$155
  • Slate: $50-$65
  • Soapstone: $60-$185
  • Lavastone: $250-$300
  • Limestone: $55-$125
  • Travertine: $50-$100
  • Concrete: $75-$125
  • Butcher Block or Wood: $55-$200
  • Bamboo: $40-$95
  • Laminate: $15-$40

It’s always best to ask installers about the cost of the countertops, as it can vary. For example, it might be cheaper to go for marble tiles than a solid marble slab. If you’re unsure which to choose, ask the fabricator or your sales person. They have years of experience and would gladly assist with any queries. 

The Cost of Different Backsplash Materials

Like countertops, the cost of your backsplash also depends on the type of material you want to use. The cheapest options are usually ceramic or porcelain tiles, but you might want to go a different route. 

The typical cost of various countertop materials per square foot is:

  • Ceramic tiles: $6-$26
  • Granite: $40-$60
  • Quarts: $60-$95
  • Porceline: $4-$14
  • Glass: $7-$25
  • Stone: $10-$40
  • Brick: $6-$18

These wouldn’t necessarily fit your walls perfectly, so they need to be cut into shape. That’s why it’s best to account for a little extra material to ensure you calculate for cutoffs too. 

Do You Replace Counters or Backsplash First?  

a beautiful classic kitchen design with exceptional molding detail, beige cabinetry, quartz countertops, tile backsplash, and a very luxurious interior

The order in which you tackle a kitchen renovation project is just as important as the cost. Doing it in the correct order will prevent unnecessary do-overs. While some might opt to do the countertops before the backsplash, we recommend something else. 

Usually, it’s best to replace the kitchen countertops and backsplash simultaneously. It ensures that you choose each design element’s correct thickness, layout, and placement. 

For example, if you replace the backsplash first, the new countertop might be a different thickness than the one you had. Then, you’ll need to take off some backsplash or fill in some gaps. 

At the same time, if you replace the countertops first, it might overlap the existing backsplash, and you will have to remove some of it. 

How Long Does it Take to Replace Countertops and Backsplash? What to expect!

When you have a home remodeling project, you want to know how long it will take. Our friends at HomeTech Services say that “unfortunately, the precise answer depends on a few factors.”

It usually takes 2-4 weeks to replace countertops and backsplashes from ordering them until they’re installed. That’s because the contractors must come to your home, assess your kitchen’s layout, take precise measurements, and make sure you have chosen the material, among other things. Once that’s done, they’ll fabricate your countertops to specs and get the backsplash materials you chose ready. 

Of course, the time might increase if you choose countertop materials like granite or marble. At the same time, it might be shorter if you go for generic, pre-fabricated laminate countertops. 

Can You Replace Kitchen Countertops Without Replacing Cabinets?

Renovating a kitchen can be costly, so many people opt only to replace the countertops. The question is, can you do that?

It is possible to replace kitchen countertops without replacing the cabinets. Once the old countertops are removed, the new countertop is set on a level cabinet surface. Once the countertop is set, it is screwed in place and ready for use. 

Of course, there is a little more to it than that. For example, you must get someone to cut out the countertops to make way for your sink, stove, and appliances. But that’s what professional installers will help you with. Here are a few other questions you should ask yourself:

  • Will the new countertops match your existing cabinets? For a cohesive look, it’s best to go for countertops that fit your existing cabinets. 
  • Will your warranty apply if you don’t replace the cabinets too? Usually, countertop manufacturers assume you’ve replaced the cabinets too. That means they won’t pay for any damages that might occur during installation if you don’t replace your cabinets. So, if you want a warranty, talk to the manufacturers to get one that applies to replacing countertops only. 
  • How sure are you that the cabinets won’t get damaged during countertop replacement? No matter how careful people are, there is a chance that your cabinets might get damaged when replacing countertops. That’s especially true if your cabinets are old and fragile. 
  • Is your kitchen layout ideal? If you’re unhappy with your kitchen’s layout, you can consider replacing both the countertops and cabinets. That way, you can choose a new design for your kitchen that flows better. 

Don’t be shy to ask if you have any questions. Again, your installers or contractors can help you with these queries if you’re unsure. It’s better to make informed decisions with your renovation projects. 

Do Countertop Installers Remove Old Countertops?

To replace your countertops, you must remove the old ones first. But what if you’ve hired a contractor to replace it? Will they remove the old countertops, or do you have to do it?

Usually, countertop installers remove old countertops as part of the installation process. However, this is the norm; it’s best to ask them beforehand. That way, you both are clear about the renovation expectations. 

If for any reason, they don’t remove old countertops first, you could always ask them to do it at an additional cost. Or, you can opt for an installation company that includes it in the package. 

The Bottom Line

Although kitchen renovations can be fun, they can also have underlying stressors if you’re unprepared. But knowing what to expect will make the process easier for you and your contractors. 

The cost of replacing countertops and backsplashes will depend on your chosen material and the contractor’s installation fees. And it’s best to replace both simultaneously to ensure proper measurement and placement of both. 

Typically, the installers will remove old countertops when installing the new ones, so that’s one less thing to worry about. You don’t always have to replace the cabinets when replacing the countertops. However, you have to keep a few vital things in mind. 

The project’s timeframe will depend on your chosen material, the contractor’s availability, and the amount of work needed. You can expect it to take a few weeks, but it will vary.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask your installer questions. It’s better to be on the same page to manage expectations than to miscommunicate. 

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