All you need to know about the associated costs of replacing kitchen worktops including materials, labour and time frames.
This article is all about replacement kitchen worktops and how much should you expect to pay a joiner or kitchen fitter to remove the old worktops and replace them with new ones. Worktops can be reasonably easy to replace so this can be done as a DIY project to save money. But be very careful, worktops are not cheap and getting a neat finish in a mitered corner is not as easy as it looks, especially if the walls are not straight.
Make a bad mistake cutting or measuring, then it’s time to buy another worktop! Even if going the DIY route, if you have a built-in gas oven or hobs then then you’ll need an approved Gas Safe engineer to remove and then re-install it after the worktops have been fitted. Preparation is the key to a successful worktop installation, especially with pre-cut granite worktops. problems are nearly always caused by incorrect measurements, poor finishing on the mitered corners, or tricky uneven walls. You might also want to consider getting a new kitchen sink fitted too as it will be cheaper in labour costs to get it done at the same time.
There are many different materials used to make worktops, but laminate worktops are the most popular type in the UK and made from high-density chipboard, plywood or MDF, with a hard wearing plastic laminate. There are hundreds of designs to choose from and they come in a range of lengths from 3m to 4.1m, widths from 600mm to 900mm. There is even a range of finishes including high gloss and other more natural looking finishes designed to mimic wood, marble and granite. Laminate worktops are easy to maintain and can last the life of the kitchen, although it is highly recommended that you use a chopping board to help prolong the life of the work surface.
One of the reasons for the popularity of laminate worktops is of course the fact that they are the most affordable, so will suit almost any budget. There are so many options it can be hard to choose which material would suit your lifestyle best - wood or concrete, natural or engineered stone, stainless steel or marble? As if that were not difficult enough, you can now even choose to have mixed material worktops, such as a marble slab with a wooden worktop! Whichever worktop you do choose will have a huge impact on your kitchen, in terms of both visual appeal and function.
When it comes to cost there are a number of factors that can affect the price, for instance the more mitered corners the more time it will take, so the higher the price. The cost of the worktops themselves also vary considerably from £25 to over £200 per metre for something like Granite. Having exposed upstands, those kitchen units that stand in the middle of the floor rather than rather butting up to a wall, also increase the cost considerably.
Location is also a major factor in how much it costs to replace kitchen worktops, tradesman in London and the South East charge much more than those in the North or West. The type of tradesman you get in to do the work will also affect the price, small local fitters will usually be a lot cheaper than a nationwide company with hundreds of employees and heavy TV advertising. In addition, local fitters are often not registered for VAT as they are under the threshold, so they will be 20% cheaper than their larger competitors for that reason alone.
Manmade composite worktops made from minerals and resin offer a smooth and durable surface in a huge range of colours. They are robust but do show up scratches. Wood is always popular for worktops as you have beautiful woods such as oak, maple and walnut to choose from, each offering warmth and timeless looks for kitchens. Timber is naturally antibacterial too, plus simple to install and easy to repair. If you’re willing to oil it regularly, it can be as robust as other more expensive worktops too. Concrete work surfaces are very cool right now and there’s a surprisingly large range of colours to choose from. However, it’s not terribly robust and needs expansion joints so is not seamless. In addition, it takes ages to install so your kitchen will be out of bounds for a couple of weeks before it is ready to use.
Granite is the most popular natural stone for worktops and gives a peerless quality feel to any kitchen. There are tons of shades and patterns available to make each worktop surface unique too! Granite is very tough but is porous so needs to be regularly sealed around every six months. It’s also really heavy, so needs good quality cabinets to sit on. It’s really prone to stains if left unsealed, red wine or citrus juice can effectively ruin a granite worktop and if scratched, it's unrepairable. Copper is a beautiful choice for worktops, it has the warmth of wood, but you can put hot pans directly onto it.
It does oxidise over time but you can wipe that off with a damp cloth. It does wear over time to a weathered looking finish that some love, but others are less keen on. Be warned it's really hard to keep that new appearance with copper. Copper is naturally antibacterial however and really easy to clean with no worries about stains from spills in the kitchen.
The average cost to replace kitchen worktops varies greatly on the material you choose for your worktop and the size of your kitchen. The price of laminate worktops is typically around £20-£40 per sq metre. Average quality solid wood worktops will cost around £75-£100 per sq metre. Granite worktops are the most costly and can range considerably in price from £150-£400 per sq metre. The type of material you choose can also affect the labour costs.
A kitchen specialist will usually charge around £150-£200 per day in labour, and for an average sized kitchen, the job shouldn't take any longer than a day to complete.
Below are some estimated costs of hiring a tradesman to remove old kitchen worktops and supply and fit new kitchen worktops in a standard-sized kitchen:
|Worktop Material||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Solid Wood||£800||1 day|
Individual costs for hiring a kitchen specialist to install standard quality solid wood worktops in a regular L-shaped kitchen - Total Cost: £800