Porcelain countertops cost $2,900 on average to install, taking labor and materials into account. The typical range for most projects is $1,000 to $4,000, but some higher-end projects may cost over $8,000.
More specifically, you should expect to pay $48 to $103 per square foot, depending on the quality and design. Since most projects occupy 30 to 40 square feet, your project will likely cost $1,440 to $4,120. Nonetheless, multiple factors influence costs, so let’s break them down.
Factors Affecting Porcelain Countertop Cost
Beyond materials, there are other factors affecting porcelain countertop installation costs.
Most porcelain slabs cost about $50 to $70 per square foot. Porcelain slabs usually come with some edge work, so you’ve already paid for them, but extra edge work by your contractors costs around $10 to $25 per linear foot.
As for the finish, it can be polished or unpolished. Polished finishes cost more because they require more work to get the signature shiny porcelain look. Polished finishes cost $9 to $12 per square foot, and unpolished finishes cost $8 to $11 per square foot.
Countertop Size & Type
Porcelain countertops come in two types: slabs and tiles. Slabs are a single, very large tile that is 12 mm thick. However, this is still relatively thin, making slabs fragile in inexperienced hands until installed. They create a seamless look that is very appealing to some homeowners.
Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are much simpler to work with. They’re thinner than slabs at 6 to 10 mm thick but easier to manipulate because they don’t have to move a large piece of porcelain.
Slabs generally cost less per square foot but require more specific experience from your contractor to install.
Prices vary depending on where in the house you’ll install your countertop: outdoors, in the bathroom, or the kitchen. Bathroom installations will generally involve the least material, so they will likely be the cheapest place to install porcelain countertops.
Installation and Labor
Installing a porcelain countertop requires specialized hands to bind the porcelain to your underlying surface properly. Labor costs usually range from $20 to $100 per square foot, depending on whether you opt for prefabricated or custom slabs.
Some contractors charge an hourly rate for their labor, ranging from $50 to $100 per hour. This method is more common for complex or custom installations.
Additional Costs to Consider
Other details affect the final cost of installing porcelain countertops.
Prefabricated vs. Custom Porcelain Countertops
Prefabricated countertops are generally less expensive because they are mass-produced in standard sizes. The installation process is usually faster, saving you time or labor costs. Plus, these are readily available at home improvement stores, making purchasing and installing them convenient. Expect to pay between $1,500 to $3,300 for a medium-sized kitchen.
On the other hand, custom countertops can be tailored to fit your space’s exact dimensions and design specifications. With these, homeowners have more control over the quality of the material and can opt for higher-end finishes. Custom options allow for a unique design that can serve as a focal point in the kitchen or bathroom. Expect to pay between $3,000 to $7,000 for a medium-sized kitchen.
You may need a permit to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, depending on your location. You probably won’t need it if the remodeling process doesn’t involve structural changes, like changing the entire layout or removing or adding walls. Regardless, any reputable contractor will be aware of and acquire all necessary permits, which cost between $50 and $500.
Old Countertop Removal
If you have an old countertop you want to remove, it’ll usually cost an extra $100 to $300 to dispose of it.
Sink and Cooktop Installation
Adding an under-mounted cooktop separate from an oven will cost you around $500-$1,000, and an additional $100 to $200 for each cutout necessary to accommodate fixtures.
A gauged porcelain sink costs $250 to $1,000. Gauged porcelain sinks create a seamless look that makes the sink blend perfectly into the countertops. You can always opt for a regular metal sink, though, or continue to use the old one.
Porcelain Countertop Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
A conservative estimate for a medium-sized kitchen might be around $2,000 to $4,000 if you do most of the work yourself. However, this can easily go upwards of $5,000 if you opt for higher-end materials or professional help.
Hiring a professional can cost around $3,000 to $7,000 for a medium-sized kitchen. So, the savings aren’t as significant as with other home improvement projects.
While DIY projects can offer significant cost savings, they’re not for everyone. Porcelain countertop installation requires time and skills. A DIY project could be rewarding if you’re confident in your abilities and are looking for ways to save. However, hiring a professional is the way to go if you’re looking for a hassle-free, high-quality finish and are willing to pay for it.
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