How Much to Replace Countertops and Backsplash

Kitchen and bathroom countertops and backsplashes are some of the most used surfaces in a home. Over time, they can become worn, damaged, or simply look outdated. Replacing them can refresh the look and feel of these important rooms. But before taking on a countertop or backsplash replacement project, it’s important to understand the costs involved so you can budget appropriately. Here is an in-depth look at the factors that influence the cost to replace countertops and backsplash.

Countertop Replacement Cost Factors

Several key factors determine how much it will cost to replace kitchen or bathroom countertops:

Countertop Material

The material you choose for the new countertops is the biggest factor affecting the total replacement cost. Materials range quite a bit in price.

Laminate is the most budget-friendly option, ranging from $20-50 per linear foot installed. It’s an easy material to clean and maintain. But laminate can be prone to scratches, burns, and stains over time.

Engineered stone like quartz is a very popular option right now. It’s more durable than laminate and costs about $80-150 per linear foot installed.

Natural stone like granite and marble is on the high end, with total costs typically between $100-200 per linear foot installed. But natural stone offers a timeless, elegant look.

Solid surface acrylic or polyester materials cost about $70-100 per linear foot installed. These non-porous surfaces resist stains and are easy to clean.

Tile can also be used on countertops. Porcelain or ceramic tile costs $40-100 per square foot for materials and installation.

Concrete is a trendy, industrial-chic option costing $100-150 per square foot installed.

Stainless steel is very durable and costs around $100-150 per linear foot installed.

Wood can also be used for countertops.Prices range from $60-200 per square foot. It requires careful maintenance.

So in summary, you can expect to spend anywhere from $20 per linear foot for laminate, up to over $200 per linear foot for some premium materials like marble.

Countertop Edges

The edges of the countertop also impact the total replacement cost. Simple straight edges are the most affordable. More complex edges like waterfall edges, ogee edges, bullnose edges, or mitered edges add $10-20 per linear foot to the overall price.

Countertop Size

The total size of your existing countertops determines how many linear feet need to be replaced. Measure the length of each section needing new countertop. Then multiply this by the price per linear foot for the material you want. Larger kitchens and those with more countertop areas (islands, peninsulas, etc) will cost more than smaller, simpler layouts.

Demolition and Disposal

Labor will be needed to remove your old countertops and properly dispose of them. Most countertop installers charge an hourly rate for this demolition work. Expect to spend $200-500 for this part of the job.

Custom Designs and Cutouts

Kitchen countertops often require customized elements like corners, angled edges, and openings for sinks and appliances. These customizations increase labor time and materials needed. Some materials like natural stone and concrete also have higher waste rates when cutting custom shapes. Simpler countertop layouts usually cost less.


Professionally installing new countertops costs approximately $40-100 per hour. The time needed can range quite a bit based on the size of the project and complexity of the new countertops. Simple countertop replacements could take 15-20 hours of labor, while large kitchens with custom elements could take over 40 hours.

Plumbing and Electrical

If you’re replacing the countertops around sinks, faucets, and appliances, your plumber and electrician may need to disconnect and then reconnect those items. This could cost $200-500 depending on how much needs disconnected.


Like most home improvement projects, countertop replacement costs will be higher in areas with higher labor and material costs. Installing countertops in a Manhattan apartment will cost more than a Houston suburb for example.

Factors That Impact Backsplash Costs

If your new countertops will also need a fresh backsplash, here are the main factors affecting the backsplash installation price:

Backsplash Material

Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile are the most common backsplash materials. Prices range from $5-50 per square foot. While you can sometimes find inexpensive ceramic tile for under $5 per square foot, costs typically range from $10-25 per square foot installed. Stone and glass tile cost $25-50 installed.

Mosaic sheets made of small tile pieces average $15-30 per square foot installed. Metal and acrylic backsplash sheets typically cost $50-100 per square foot installed.

Size of the Backsplash Area

Like countertops, your total number of square feet needing new backsplash determines the overall cost. Measure the height and length of each backsplash section that needs replacement.

Keep in mind that most backsplashes are 4-6 feet wide since they run along the rear of countertops and islands. But they may be 4-8 feet tall, from the counter to the underside of wall cabinets. Multiply the height x width of each section to get the square footage.

Demolition and Disposal

As with countertops, removing and disposing of the old backsplash takes labor. Expect costs around $200-500 depending on how difficult it is to remove the old backsplash.

Pattern and Design Complexity

Simple rectilinear tile patterns are quickest to install. Diagonal layouts, mosaics, mixes of tile sizes, and other intricate designs take more time and skill, increasing the total labor costs.

Grout and Accent Tiles

Grout color choice and tile accents like trim or decorative tiles add steps and cost to the installation. Using just one or two grout colors instead of intricate designs simplifies installation.

Niche and Decorative Add-Ons

Elements like a recessed niche for storing sponges/cleaners or decorative metal trim add complexity and price to the backsplash installation.


Like countertops, backsplash installation costs are higher in areas with higher labor rates like large metros versus rural areas.

Cost to Replace Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash

With all those factors in mind, let’s look at typical costs to replace kitchen countertops and backsplash:

Small Kitchen

  • 10 linear feet of laminate countertop at $30/foot = $300
  • 30 square feet of ceramic tile backsplash at $10/square foot = $300
  • Demo and disposal = $200
  • Installation (20 hours @ $50/hour) = $1000
    Total = $1800

Medium Kitchen

  • 25 linear feet of quartz at $100/foot = $2500
  • 50 square feet of glass mosaic backsplash at $25/square foot = $1250
  • Demo and disposal = $300
  • Installation (30 hours @ $50/hour) = $1500
    Total = $5550

Large Kitchen

  • 40 linear feet of granite at $150/foot = $6000
  • 75 square feet of marble backsplash at $50/square foot = $3750
  • Demo and disposal = $500
  • Installation (40 hours @ $75/hour) = $3000
    Total = $12,250

As you can see, costs range widely from $1500-12,000+ depending on the size of the space and materials selected.

Cost to Replace Bathroom Countertops and Backsplash

Bathroom countertop and backsplash replacements are smaller in scale than kitchens. But bathrooms still require demolition, new materials, and installation labor. Here are some typical bathroom countertop and backsplash replacement costs:

Half Bathroom

  • 8 linear feet of laminate countertop at $30/foot = $240
  • 20 square feet of ceramic tile backsplash at $10/square foot = $200
  • Demo and disposal = $100
  • Installation (12 hours @ $50/hour) = $600
    Total = $1140

Full Bathroom

  • 12 linear feet of quartz countertop at $100/foot = $1200
  • 30 square feet of glass backsplash at $25/square foot = $750
  • Demo and disposal = $200
  • Installation (18 hours @ $50/hour) = $900
    Total = $3050

Master Bathroom

  • 25 linear feet of marble countertop at $150/foot = $3750
  • 50 square feet of marble mosaic backsplash at $30/square foot = $1500
  • Demo and disposal = $400
  • Installation (24 hours @ $75/hour) = $1800
    Total = $7450

DIY vs Hiring a Pro: Countertops and Backsplash

Can you save money by replacing kitchen or bathroom countertops and backsplash yourself as a DIY project? Maybe, but take these factors into account:

DIY Labor Savings

A handy homeowner with some tiling experience may be comfortable doing their own backsplash replacement, saving on labor costs. But installing countertops requires expertise and tools that most DIYers don’t have access to. Leaving countertop replacement to the professionals is recommended.

Mistakes and Waste

DIY projects often have more wasted materials due to mistakes and lack of experience calculating exact material needs. A pro contractor is skilled at getting measurements right and cutting materials efficiently.

Speed and Convenience

A professional team can complete the demolition, countertop fabrication, and installation much faster than a DIY effort. The project will be done quicker rather than dragging out over many weekends.

Quality of Finish

Experienced contractors are adept at achieving a smooth, seamless countertop installation and nicely executed backsplash details like clean grout lines. DIY projects may sometimes have minor flaws in the finish quality.

Resale Value

Kitchen and bath updates done professionally typically recoup a higher percentage of their cost when selling the home. DIY makeovers may still add value, but likely not as significantly.

For all these reasons, hiring professional countertop fabricators and installers is highly recommended to get the best results. Only very skilled DIYers should attempt any portion of the project themselves.

Hiring Countertop and Backsplash Pros: What to Look For

When hiring a contractor for countertops and backsplash replacement, here are the best qualifications to look for:

  • A company that specializes in countertops and tile, not a general contractor
  • Several years of experience successfully completing projects similar to yours
  • A portfolio showing beautiful countertop fabrication and installation
  • Knowledge of the latest trends and materials like quartz and large-format tile
  • Top ratings from past customers
  • A reputation for quality workmanship
  • Red flags like significantly lower prices than competitors or lack of licensing

Be sure to get an itemized written estimate so you understand exactly what is included. Confirm timelines so you can coordinate having floors or appliances installed after the countertops go in.

Saving on Replacement Costs

If your budget is tight, here are some ways to get the updated kitchen or bath you want at a lower price:

Select Lower Cost Materials

Laminate counters and ceramic tile backsplash provide an affordable facelift. Or use tile just for the backsplash but splurge on natural stone countertops.

Look for Discounts and Sales

Big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s regularly run sales on countertop materials. Watch for markdowns on tile and accessories too.

Consider Refinishing

existing laminate or solid surface countertops can sometimes be resurfaced instead of fully replaced. This saves significantly on demolition too.

DIY the Backsplash

Save on labor by installing the new backsplash tile yourself if you’re up for the challenge. Focus pro funds on the countertops.

Get Multiple Quotes

To find the best deal, get 3-4 quotes from reputable local contractors. But make sure you’re comparing the same scope of work.

Renew Your Kitchen or Bathroom Affordably

Replacing worn or outdated countertops and backsplash is one of the quickest ways to update the look and function of your kitchen or bathroom. By understanding the factors that influence cost and looking for potential savings, you can complete this project within your budget. With some smart planning and hiring experienced professionals, you can achieve the beautiful new countertops and backsplash you’ve been envisioning in your home.

FAQ About Replacing Countertops and Backsplash

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about replacing kitchen and bathroom countertops and backsplash with this helpful FAQ.

What is the best material for kitchen countertops?

Quartz and granite are two of the best options for kitchen countertops right now. They are naturally stain and scratch resistant while offering an elegant look. Quartz is engineered stone while granite is a natural material. Both provide durability along with a wide range of colors and patterns to suit any design style.

How much does it cost to replace kitchen countertops with quartz?

For a typical mid-sized kitchen with about 30 linear feet of countertop space, expect to pay around $3000-4000 to replace existing countertops with quartz. This would include demolition, disposal, custom fabrication and installation of the new quartz countertops. Costs could go up from there for larger kitchens or more expensive quartz varieties.

Should you update countertops or cabinets first?

It’s generally best to replace cabinets first, then countertops. Cabinets need to be installed under new countertops. If you do countertops first, they would likely get damaged during cabinet installation. New countertops will give cabinets an updated appearance even if you keep existing cabinet boxes and just replace the doors and hardware.

Can you install new tile backsplash over existing?

It’s possible but not ideal. Removing the old backsplash allows the wall surface to be inspected and prepared for best results. Installing tile over existing risks trapping moisture between layers if the original wasn’t properly sealed. A clean slate is also better for proper thinset application when setting the new tile.

How long does it take to replace a kitchen backsplash?

For a typical medium-sized kitchen with 30-50 square feet of backsplash area, expect a 1-2 day installation timeline. Day one for demolition and prep work, then installation of the new backsplash on day two. Smaller bath backsplash replacements may only take 4-6 hours total to complete start to finish.

Can I install a tile backsplash myself?

With some DIY experience, installing a tile backsplash is a project a homeowner can tackle. Backsplashes typically have a simple rectilinear design rather than intricate patterns. Be sure to research proper techniques and allow extra time to compensate for lack of pro skill. Or consider just doing the demolition yourself, then hiring out the new tile installation.

Is it cheaper to replace or refinish kitchen countertops?

Refinishing can provide big cost savings over a full countertop replacement. Expect to pay around $350-750 to have existing laminate counters resurfaced versus $2000 or more for new replacement countertops. The tradeoff is that refinishing has a shorter lifespan vs new counters that should last 15-20 years.

Can you change a laminate countertop to granite?

Yes, without replacing the underlying countertop structure. Granite or other natural stone can be installed over an existing countertop base. The old laminate countertop would need removed. Then the base is prepared and new granite countertop fabricated and installed. Much less demo work is required compared to removing old countertops entirely.

Should backsplash match countertops?

It’s recommended for the backsplash and countertops to complement each other. That doesn’t mean an exact material match is mandatory. A granite countertop could pair nicely with a ceramic tile backsplash for example. Just be sure the colors and styles work together. Constructing samples out of tile, countertop materials, paint swatches, etc can help visualize how well your combinations go together.

Replacing worn or damaged kitchen or bathroom countertops and backsplash can seem daunting. But armed with the right information on what to expect cost-wise and tips to get the job done affordably, you can complete this project on time and on budget. Use the guidance above to make the process go smoothly from getting estimates to hiring contractors to executing the installation. Before you know it, you’ll have beautiful new countertops and backsplash to enjoy.