A stone benchtop will be an excellent addition to any kitchen. From its durability to the beauty it provides, stone benchtops are a great choice for many homeowners. However, not everyone knows how much stone benchtop installation costs or what they should expect when shopping around. This blog post is designed to help you understand stone benchtop prices and get a better idea of what you can afford before going into your stone countertops price estimator appointment!
What is a stone benchtop and what are the benefits of installing one in your kitchen
Stone is a natural and sustainable material that has been widely used for centuries. Stone benchtops can fit right in with many kitchen designs as they are available in a wide variety of designs and colors, all of which suit any style desired. Stone benches stay cool to the touch even during the hottest weather, making it a great option if your kitchen is often used during holidays or family gatherings where food items may be cooking on the stovetop next to the sink. The surface will also never develop sticky residue from spills or messes that are common with laminate surfaces. In terms of cleaning, stone fixtures require little maintenance as they are scratch-resistant and capable of enduring stains from most foods with only minimal care
The different types of stones you can choose from for your benchtops
Quartzite - quartz-like crystals, generally pure white in color. This is a durable stone that requires little care. It's also fairly easy to find in local stores or on the Internet, making it an excellent choice for homeowners who are looking for practicality but want to avoid the expense of pre-made countertops.
Marble - found in nature abundantly around the world, this material is often used in luxurious designs for houses and businesses alike because of how many colors it exists in. Marbles have always been prized both by artists and jewelers because they can be cut into marble chips to create variations on traditional stone patterns whenever people need them.
Granite - the most durable and scratch-resistant material for a countertop. The disadvantage of granite - not being as easy to cut as other materials, but this can be used as a potential advantage because it prevents little fingers from being chopped off by well-clipped kitchen scissors!
Why is better to hire a professional to install your new stone benchtop
Stone is a natural material, and as such comes with natural flaws - not to mention it's hard! So unless you've done this before, hiring a professional will ensure that the benchtops are set up perfectly for you out of the box. Often people will put a stone benchtop in themselves, but what they end up with looks nowhere near as good as if they had hired a contractor. The installer knows how to handle all of the different kinds of stones so that there isn't any cracking or movement from being installed improperly. It sounds like good value for money to do it right from the start!
Cost estimator - how much will it cost you to have a new stone benchtop installed in your kitchen, including installation costs and materials needed
Benchtop Cost = cost of materials + skilled labor + retail margin.
It costs a lot to install stone benchtops because it's a contractor cost. When you get a quote, the material will only actually be about 50% of what you hear because the other 50% is going to be professional installation - skilled labor and retail margin.
Stone benchtops are definitely not made for DIY. If installing your own stone benchtop, you should add up all the different measurements that need to go into laying this type of countertop before making your purchase, then add in some hiring help for lifting and screwing things together if necessary.
Some qualified tradespeople will take a deposit for a job and then quote the remainder of the price after going to the store. In this instance, it would be worth contacting a few suppliers in your area and asking what labor costs are included in their pricing vs those who charge separately so you can get an idea of value for money from each supplier.
Stone benchtops typically cost $80-$140 per square foot. This is the cost for materials and skilled labor to install them, which typically ranges from $4,000 to $5,500 for a 12" deep benchtop. But there are always extra fees. There may be an additional charge of 5% or more of the installer has run out of time and it's getting late in the day (before 2:00 pm). The final price will depend on retail margins as large retailers with high volumes generally charge less than small retailers with lower volumes. A 'small' retailer might charge 10%, whereas a large one might only charge 8%.
Installation costs typically include labor rates at about $100-$200 per hour for four hours with basic tools contracted down to local labor rates depending on your city- so the final result could be as low as $500 but over time will likely become closer to $2-3 thousand if you have an out-of-state contractor work with your pavers without using local subcontractors.
For example, working with granite is by far the most expensive option - installation costs are around $120/hour plus materials, and American black granite will likely be your best bet. To install a new benchtop that measures 60" (6'0") long and 28" (28") wide, you're looking at roughly 4 hours of work; if estimated material costs for this size are around $1000 at the time of purchase, then you can expect to pay about $4286 for your new stone benchtop.
How to care for your new stone benchtop so it will last a lifetime
- Clean Your Benchtop with soapy, warm water and a soft cloth or sponge
- Use a Rinse agent to remove any soap residue
- Scrub the stone when necessary with a household cleaner
- Avoid cleaners with abrasive particles which may scratch your surface in the event of improper application
- Protect your new benchtop by storing items off of, or away from it in order to avoid staining or scratching. Consider using an oil seal for this purpose if you live in a humid environment. This advice is especially sound for homes in coastal regions where the salt spray can break down natural stone surfaces.
-Avoid 'cutting' any type of food right on top of your new benchtop--use utensils instead!