I discovered that comparing prices, options, and quality for kitchen countertops was a complicated matter. Many countertop suppliers use third-party companies for advertising, carrying, and selling their products. Unless you compare the same brand countertop with the same qualities, it can be impossible to answer the question, ‘are Costco kitchen countertops cheaper than other stores?’
I realized this on my visit to Costco. I had a list of questions written down to begin my research, and I left with more questions than answers to countertop materials and pricing. When starting your price comparison, ensure you are not comparing apples to oranges.
Table of Contents
- What type of countertop lasts the longest
- How much should I budget for new countertops
- What is the cheapest and most durable countertop material
- What’s the most popular countertop for kitchens
- What is cheaper in price, granite or quartz
- Which countertop adds the most value
- Corian or granite? Which is cheaper? Which is better?
What type of countertop lasts the longest
From looking through several countertop company websites, it was easy to see that the most popular countertop materials are quartz and natural stone. Quartz can be deceiving as it is not a naturally occurring mineral, as are granite and marble, and Quartzite is a natural stone, while quartz is manufactured.
Engineered quartz (manufactured) comes from quartz chips or dust. Quartz, in itself, is a colorless silicon that is found in all types of rock. It is not a chunk of stone, as many believe. Granite contains twenty percent quartz and many other building stones in its natural form. My head is still hurting from trying to picture a crystal that isn’t a crystal.
How much should I budget for new countertops
Regardless of the origin of quartz, the final manufactured slab of quartz is a great look-alike stone and carries a six-seven hardness reading, making quartz one of the most durable and flexible stonelike substances available today. Quartz slabs can be maneuvered to any size just by adjusting the mold.
Caesarstone is a company based in Israel and prides itself on the design motif of precious stones. Using up to ninety percent quartz materials compared to seventy-four percent of what competitors use, Caesarstone is considered the top-of-the-line in quality. The national average cost of buying and installing this product in a kitchen is $3350.00.
Silestone is made in Italy and is an offshoot of Caesarstone. Everything about it has close to the same qualities except for the textures and pigments used. A prominent standout feature is its ability to resist bacteria. With Silestone, you can have bright, bold colors and smooth, satin, or matte finishes.
What is the cheapest and most durable countertop material
I liked that the surface constantly fights bacteria at levels not seen in other quartz countertops. This quality alone makes Silestone popular and a bit more costly than Caesarstone. Where Caesarstone can run $40 to $100 per square foot, Silestone is usually about $60 to $140 per square foot. In addition to this price difference, quartz can come in different thicknesses.
Cambria is yet another brand of stone suppliers made in the United States. You may not see this brand as readily as Silestone and Caesarstone, and Cambria cannot be found in big box stores like Costco or Home Depot. While compatible with these companies, they only work with builders and designers on a more intimate level.
What’s the most popular countertop for kitchens
Granite slabs are becoming a famous stone for cabinet tops and counters. I was surprised to see granite as an option for customized countertops at Costco.
Consentino makes a granite surface that can easily be merged with adjacent slabs of Corian countertop or quartz material.
The difference between Consentino and an average granite slab is the sealed top that makes it scratch and stain-proof. Just when I was sold on the beautiful Silestone, I walked around the corner and spotted this lovely, durable selection of stone.
What is cheaper in price, granite or quartz
A black granite countertop was my number one choice before entering Costco. I had second thoughts about the multiple options of quartz, quartz-like, granite, and coated granite. Did I want a shiny finish that could be scratched or stained by a houseful of kids? I decided to be realistic and to look at the cost, discount, and installation fees.
A quote for quartz countertops can vary depending on the brand and edging selected. There are worksheets on the Internet for determining the general cost of materials, type of edging, and installation. These sites can give you a general idea of what a countertop project will cost.
For example, a 30-square-foot countertop of quartz may have a list price of $65 per square foot but be rated as low quality. A thicker Caesarstone may cost as much as $150 per square foot. The determining factors are aesthetics, maintenance, and thickness, and the labor and custom edging can add another $1000.
I found out that the price of granite and quartz were similar. It comes down to personal preference in looks and maintenance. Granite will always give you a one-of-a-kind appearance, but the colors are limited.
With granite, you can only preserve the surface from dirt and bacteria by sealing it regularly. While granite is more rigid than quartz and almost indestructible, chips do arise, and there is very little besides replacement that can be done to fix a damaged granite countertop.
Which countertop adds the most value
Quartz appearance is easier to match cabinets with the manufactured substances incorporated into the fabrication. You can see the difference in the multiple colors available and the beauty of the finish. No refinishing is necessary with quartz to keep an excellent finish, and it also bears well from stains and scratches.
Suppose you are like me and have trouble matching countertops; granite and quartz work fabulously together. Quartz countertops create a perfect modern look under cabinets and as a surround for sinks.
However, your kitchen island could be highlighted with a granite top if you love the granite features.
Corian or granite? Which is cheaper? Which is better?
I found a range of prices at Home Depot and Costco.
The manufacturers differed, with Home Depot carrying Silestone and Caesarstone quartz countertops and Costco offering Consentino and Corian. Costco’s pricing was a little better because they were running a discount on all countertop materials for a limited time.
Specials can be found through retailers, but selecting the right length and fabrication may force you to pay much more if you do it incorrectly. Stone countertops are a specialized material made to order and cannot be returned.
All big box home improvement stores offer installation on their countertops. However, if you are familiar with a contractor or carpenter, your countertop can be made and delivered. Installation is a big part of making your kitchen retain a sophisticated look.
I would never let anyone except my expert carpenters handle a job like a countertop installation. These professionals often have inside information on where the best product is for the money. I decided to go with a honed black granite on my huge kitchen island. Even though it will have to be refreshed once a year, the flat matte is beautiful and can stand up to my kids doing their homework.
However, because I love the character of the quartz Silestone with semi-precious stones of natural beige and green, I was able to use both favorites in my kitchen. Choosing your favorite colors and features is not simple, but the results can be astounding.
- About the Author
- Latest Articles
Karen Gillan, Senior Writer
Experienced Writer with 20+ years. Demonstrated writing experience includes technical writing, magazines, story writing, and journalist projects. Karen has a powerful media and communication background with academic training from LaSalle University (architecture, interior design) and business college courses. She loves editing novels and contributed to a national art journal.