Budget-Friendly Granite and Granite-Look Countertops

Maybe you simply can’t afford granite countertops at $100 to $200 per linear foot. Well, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your “wish list” altogether. There are three budget-friendly options that can allow your countertops to look like or even include the sought-after stone.


If you want a granite look for a laminate price, you can get laminate with patterns similar to granite. Ranging from $25 to $60 per linear foot, this commonly used material is sometimes called “Formica,” for the common brand name. Basically, it consists of synthetics overlaid with plastic. Not only are laminate countertops inexpensive, but they’re also easy to install, which helps keep labor costs low. While they do clean up easily, light-colored options may stain, and scratches show up easily on dark-colored surfaces.

The good news is that the solid colors from which your grandma chose aren’t the only options: Laminate can be found in stone-look patterns, among other trendy looks. The biggest drawbacks are that seams in the material will show and chips or scratches cannot be repaired. Even though laminate does not require sealing, it is sensitive to heat and standing water, so you’ll want to be cautious about that.


If you want to use granite but can’t afford the seamless slabs, you may want to opt for granite tiles, instead. With a somewhat broader price range, tile costs between $10 and $90 per square foot. A major trend toward larger tiles has been emerging, due to the hassle that comes with cleaning grout. Another trick to lessen the impact of grout lines is to use colored grout that complements the color of your tile.

In addition to the brightly-colored options available, accent tiles can be used as backsplash or all kitchen walls, as well. Maintenance includes cleaning the tiles and grout lines regularly.


The metal most commonly used for countertops is stainless steel, and it’s also the most affordable. (Other metals used for countertops include copper, pewter, bronze, and zinc.) When paired with granite, steel can make a trendy statement without denting your remodel budget as deeply as going all-granite would. At $85 to $150 per square foot, this durable material is fashionable, scratch- and heat-resistant, and versatile. Since it’s nonporous, it also resists bacteria and stains. To maintain it, you want to use a cleaner with high alcohol content and buff scratches along the metal’s grain.

Down sides of stainless steel include the fact that it can dent and that it can be noisy. Over time, most metals oxidize, but not stainless steel; however, a man-made patina can be applied to the finish for a somewhat darker hue. Using metal tiles as backsplash can be a nice touch, as well.

Even if going all-granite is clearly beyond your budget’s reach, you can be creative and still realize at least part of your dreams for your new kitchen counters.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

If you are looking for a full service commercial or residential construction company in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Fairfax County, Virginia region, we'd love to have the opportunity to learn about your construction project and give you a free quote. Submit our online contact form or call Don Hartman at (301) 926-9000.

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