By Donna Webeck
Kitchens are called the heart of the home for a very valid reason – its where the family congregates, friends gather and where unforgettable memories are made. It also stands to reason then that the kitchen is always a key focus for renovators, propelling this hub of the home back into the modern era.
While it is, of course, critical to lock down important decisions regarding layout, colour scheme and appliances, it’s the hero of this highly-popular room which needs the most attention: the not-so-humble kitchen worktop.
With a myriad of options available to renovators, starting from lower end laminates, through to mid-range stone and beyond into the ultra-luxurious marble and granite finishes, there are a variety of kitchen worktop choices to suit every budget in the United Kingdom. Ranging from as little as £30 per square metre for laminate, through to approx. £700 per sqm for a granite worktop, we’ve broken down your choices by basic, mid-range and high-end, to help solve your kitchen worktop renovation queries.
How much does a laminate worktop cost?
“Laminate worktops can be very affordable,” confirms UK Refresh Renovations expert, Tom Bentley. “Made from a laminate coated chipboard, they can be easily installed with the help of an experienced fitter, although you should bear in mind they don’t tend to go well with under-mounted sinks.”
A trusted choice for decades, this cost-effective material comes in an extensive array of colours and patterns, and, at times, is even mistaken for stone. Starting from approx. £30 per square metre, it ranges through to £80 per square metre for higher-end laminates. If you are looking for a high-performance option, solid laminate could be a good solution - starting from around £150 per linear metre. These layered laminate worktops are extremely durable and waterproof.
Laminate worktop costs
From £30 per m2, excludes installation.
How much does a wooden worktop cost?
If you are seeking the warmth of a timber finish for your kitchen, why not opt for a wooden worktop? At approx. £100 to £200 per square metre, it will be far friendlier on your hip pocket than other materials and can have antibacterial properties if maintained properly.
Wooden worktop costs
From £100 per m2, excludes installation
How much does a stone worktop cost?
For those who dream of dressing up their kitchen with the modern trend, stone, the good news is there is a manufactured type which sneaks into the basic worktop budget. Known as engineered stone or Quartz worktops, it is a good value alternative to natural stone.
“Quartz worktops are a great mid-range option and alternative to Granite,” Tom advises. “It offers a more uniform contemporary finish.”
Quartz is no-doubt a well-known choice in kitchen worktops, falling into the mid-range budget. Mid-range quartz options tend to cost £175 per square metre to around £450 per square metre.
Cost of a stone worktop
From £175 per m2, excludes installation
How much do stainless steel worktops cost?
There is also a new trend surfacing in mid-range worktop budgets - stainless steel. Making a move from its traditional home – the commercial kitchen – at approx. £450 per square metre, this delivers a durable and hygienic finish.
Cost of a stainless steel worktop
From £450 per m2, excludes installation
How much does a granite worktop cost?
“Granite is a very popular finish for high-end kitchens,” Tom reveals. “Hard-wearing and stylish, it also needs less maintenance if properly sealed and is stain resistant.”
A naturally occurring stone which boasts a striking façade and resilience, the cost of Granite includes factors such as thickness, colour, kitchen size, and height, as well as the number of cut-outs required (for a sink, taps, etc.). You could be looking at a price tag around £700 per square metre for top ranges.
Granite worktop cost
From £700 per m2, excludes installation.
How much do polished concrete worktops cost?
Polished concrete worktops are another popular choice in the high-end price bracket. Super solid and adored by those who boast an industrial influence in their homes, it can be fabricated with a wide variety of textures, colours, shapes, and inlays to add a unique feel to your kitchen. And while concrete itself is an inexpensive material, due to its labour-intensive creation process, expect to pay anywhere from £400 per square metre for this worktop finish.
Polished concrete worktop costs
From £400 per m2, excludes installation
How much do marble worktops cost?
Renowned as the epitome of high-end worktop finishes, marble presents as a prestigious selection for those seeking a natural stone surface in their luxury kitchen. Although its price can vary, depending on the grade of the stone, it's scarcity and shipping costs (for example, Carrara Marble is sourced from Italy) and if it is book-matched, will bump up the price. You can expect to pay from £500 per square metre for a marble worktop, depending on size, cut-outs required and depth, while some superior slabs, such as Calacatta can cost approx. £600 per sqm.
Marble worktop cost
From £500 per m2, excludes installation.
Looking for inspiration? Be sure to check out the benchtops other homeowners have opted for in our Completed Kitchen Projects.
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Please note: the costs within this article are rough estimates only and are subject to change. For a quote accurate to your project, please consult your local renovation specialist. All costs are exclusive of installation unless otherwise stated and do not include the price of an upstand. Also, please be aware that some benchtops may be sold in linear metres rather than m2, and vice versa.