Laminate countertops are a very low-cost and attractive way to update your space. Laminate counters are made using several layered plastic pieces that get laminated together to form a very durable surface, and this leads a lot of people to wonder what the cost of installing laminate countertops is. Also, the fact that they come in many colors and styles to mimic the look of traditional granite countertops or other stones adds to the price complexity. There are different quality levels to consider, and some come with the ability to add an undermount sink.
So, the cost of installing laminate countertops will vary widely. The national average falls between $1,000 and $2,500, and most people pay roughly $,1900 to 30 feet of designer laminate counter, including the full installation process with a decorative edge and an undermount sink. The lost cost of installing laminate countertops is $900 for 25-feet of industrial-grade laminate with a three-inch backsplash and a sink cutout. The high-end is $3,000 for 30 feet of customized laminate counters with seamless tops, a sink cutout, and a four-inch backsplash with installation.
We’ll break down the biggest factors that play into your cost of installing a laminate countertop below, and you can decide if this project is feasible with your budget or not.
Laminate is a very durable material that looks high-end, and this explains why it’s a popular choice with homeowners around the country. Laminate Counters by Polygon Realty Limited / CC BY-NC 2.0
Laminate and Formica Countertop Differences
Many people use Formica and laminate as interchangeable terms, and this has led to confusion over whether or not there are actually differences between the two. This is largely due to the fact that Formica was the first company to manufacture laminate countertops, and like with most name brands, the manufacturer’s name became linked with the material.
Today, it’s still possible for you to buy a Formica brand laminate countertop, and you can also buy a laminate countertop from several other companies. Each has a different line of patterns, colors, surfaces, and edge styles to consider, and these all play into your cost of installing laminate countertops. Formica is a brand of laminate, so there is no difference, fundamentally, between the two things.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Laminate Countertops
The biggest benefit for learning the cost of installing laminate countertops and getting them is the cost. Laminate usually costs half of what you’d spend on other countertop types like granite or marble. Laminate is also a decently low-maintenance choice that doesn’t need any special cleaners. Newer laminate styles are also very durable as they can resist scuffs and scratches, and it’s possible to get antimicrobial laminate surfaces to make your kitchen safer.
On the other end of the spectrum, laminate isn’t a very eco-friendly choice because it’s made from plastic and you can’t recycle it. It also tends to produce a lot of VOCs when it’s made, and it will off-gas after the installation process. Luxury laminate is very long-lasting and durable and it has fewer seams, most standard laminate will start to break down and delaminate. So, it’ll peel around the edges and it won’t last as long as other material choices.
Cost of Installing Laminate Countertops per Square Foot
Like any other countertop material you pick out, laminate is available in several designs and colors, and this means your cost of installing laminate countertops will fluctuate. It’s common to find laminate for as low as $10.00 a square foot, and it can easily go up to $40.00 a square foot, depending on the finish, grade, and pattern. Thicker laminate will cost more than the thinner ones, and bolder colors or more elaborate patterns will cost more than uniform or more subdued colors and patterns. When you include installation, these costs go between $20.00 and $60.00 a square foot for just your countertops. Sink cutouts, edging, or backsplashes can add to your costs.
|Countertop Size||Average Cost Range|
|10 Square Feet||$200 to $600|
|20 Square Feet||$400 to $1,200|
|30 Square Feet||$600 to $1,800|
|40 Square Feet||$800 to $2,400|
Cost of Installing Laminate Countertops per Linear Foot
Laminate countertops get installed and sold using square feet. This makes you’ll have to take the linear feet of your countertops in inches and multiply it by 25 (countertop width in inches). This will give you square inches for your whole countertop surface. Divide your number by 144 to get the total square feet. So, if you have 12 linear feet of countertop space, you’ll need 25 square feet of laminate, and your cost to install laminate countertops will range from $500 to $1,500 on average.
In turn, you can loosely translate it to a total cost of $42.00 to $125 per linear foot. Also, note that a lot of edge treatments get priced by linear foot, and it costs between $5.00 and $20.00 a linear foot more. Backsplashes are more, so your final costs can easily change, depending on how you want to finish the countertop.
Type of Laminate and Countertop Prices
Laminate is a material that features multiple paper sheets that get coated in a resin before they’re heated and pressed together to form a very durable surface. Laminate countertops feature several layers of brown Kraft paper adhered to the bottom. This gets followed by a decorative paper layer, and then a clear paper layer. Each paper layer gets infused with resin, and then all of the layers are pressed together. Laminate gets used for a range of surfaces, and you can find it in several thicknesses and grades for various uses.
For example, to use laminate on countertops, it’s sold in Horizontal Grade, and this means that it’s heavier, thicker, and more durable than Vertical Grade. Vertical Grade is used for walls and furniture. Laminate is also available in low or high-pressure sheets. To use it on a countertop in the kitchen, high pressure is better. High-pressure means that it had 1,000 pounds of pressure to create the countertop, and this makes it more durable. Only 400 pounds gets used for low-pressure, and this makes it more suitable for vertical applications.
It’s true that there are different types of laminate countertops, they are horizontal grade and feature high pressure when they’re made. However, they also come with more surface coatings as well, and these coatings increase the durability and function even more. For example, they could come with an antimicrobial surface that makes them resist bacteria growth. They may also have finishes like Wilsonart’s AEON finish, and this creates a scuff-free surface.
|Laminate Type||Average Material Cost|
|Antimicrobial Finish||$15.00 to $30.00 a square foot|
|High-Durability Finish||$20.00 to $40.00 a square foot|
|Standard Horizontal-Grade||$10.00 to $15.00 a square foot|
Laminate Countertop Prices by Location
Laminate countertops make a great addition to a lot of different rooms in your home, including bathrooms, kitchens, and even in outdoor kitchens. Each will have a different cost of installing laminate countertops based on the size, but there are also other considerations to take note of, and we’ll outline them below.
|Location||Average Total Costs|
|Bathroom||$120 to $720|
|Kitchen||$600 to $2,400|
|Outdoor Kitchen||$240 to $1,200|
The average cost of installing laminate countertops in your bathroom will range from $120 to $720. Most bathrooms come with countertops that are roughly 6 to 12 square feet. However, you can get smaller or larger countertops too. If this is the case in your situation, then you could have a different cost range. Laminate is popular for use in the bathroom as long as it’s made to handle moisture and humidity. Using a lower-quality laminate in a wet environment like your bathroom can cause the edges to delaminate. This means that the edges will start to peel away if it gets overly damp.
Kitchen Countertop Cost
The average cost of installing laminate countertops is between $600 and $2,400. Most kitchens offer 30-square feet of countertop space, and some will need up to 40-square feet. However, it’s possible to have a galley-style kitchen with fewer countertops or have a larger kitchen space with islands or peninsulas that require more. In either of these instances, your costs could vary. There are also several laminate types available that will work out in the kitchen area, and you get more options for sink installation types, decorative edges, and backsplashes.
Your kitchen counters see a lot of use, and this is why you need a very durable material like laminate to withstand daily use. Kitchen Laminate by Pohlenz Cucine Moderne / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Outdoor Countertop Cost
The cost of installing a laminate countertop in an outdoor kitchen ranges from $240 to $1,200 on average. Most outdoor kitchens have between 12 and 20 square feet of countertop space, and it’s possible to have more or less. If this is the case, you’ll have a different cost range to contend with. You can use laminate outside if it’s in a protected or covered area. It won’t stand up to long-term exposure to moisture very well, so under a pavilion or on a covered porch would be best.
Laminate Countertop Edge Options + Pricing
Your standard laminate countertops come with a square edge on them, but newer designs and luxury countertops have other options. This includes very stylish and decorative options that will tie your kitchen together. Each edge has a set of costs to consider.
|Edge Type||Cost per Linear Foot|
|Dupont||$10.00 to $20.00|
|Eased||$5.00 to $7.00|
|Full Bullnose||$7.00 to $10.00|
|Half Bullnose||$7.00 to $10.00|
|No-Drip||$5.00 to $7.00|
|Ogee||$10.00 to $20.00|
The Dupont edge style is a very decorative edge that you’ll find on luxury laminates. IT’s very similar to the ogee edge, but it offers a sharper, shorter top with a shorter curve along the bottom. Prices range from $10.00 to $20.00 a linear foot.
An eased edge style is a square edge that has a slightly softened top. This makes a much smoother transition, and it also works to hide the edge seem slightly better. You’ll pay between $5.00 and $7.00 a linear foot for it.
Full Bullnose Edge
The full bullnose edge comes with a slightly curved top and a curved bottom, and this gives you a 100% rounded edge. This is a slightly newer edge for laminates, so you’ll only get it on luxury-grade countertops. You’ll pay between $5.00 and $7.00 a linear foot for it.
Half Bullnose Edge
The half bullnose edge has a rounded top with a square bottom. This makes it slightly easier to create, and it’s found on almost every laminate countertop type. You’ll pay from $7.00 to $10.00 a linear foot for it.
The no-drip edge is one you generally only see on laminate countertops. Just before the final edge, you’ll notice that your countertop raises slightly to form a small bump that helps stop spills from sliding over the edge. It gives a very subtle look, and while it won’t prevent big spills, it helps keep things clean. This edge usually costs between $5.00 and $7.00 a linear foot.
Ogee is a very decorative edge type that you’ll find with high-end laminates. It has a very sharp top that extends downward to create a longer curve. It costs between $10.00 and $20.00 a linear foot, and the cost will depend on the manufacturer and size you need.
Most standard laminate counters come outfitted with a square edge on them. This forms a sharp corner, and it usually gets seamed at a 90° point. This edge is standard, and it usually comes with no additional costs.
Cost of Installing Laminate Countertops
Laminate countertops aren’t very challenging to install, and many times, people with DIY when they’re using standard material and sizes. Installation will usually run between $10.00 and $20.00 a square foot. Prices are much higher for luxury laminate and for laminates with fewer seams visible.
Also, along with the basic installation costs, you might have other costs to consider. For example, an under mounting sink will add roughly $200 to the project total. Finishing the corners on the laminate can easily add between $25.00 and $50.00 for each corner, depending on the type of laminate you have.
You could potentially save money by installing your laminate countertops yourself, but if you happen to screw up, the material costs to replace it will be expensive. Granite Charlotte Countertops by All Wood Cabinets and Granite Countertops / CC BY 2.0
Laminate Countertop Replacement Costs
Some installers will charge the same amount to install new countertops as they will to replace them. Other contractors charge another fee between $8.00 and $10.00 a foot to remove and get rid of your old laminate counters. This will increase your total cost of installing laminate countertops by $240 to $300 over the cost of a new installation project.
Laminate Countertops Cost by Brand
A lot of brands create laminate countertops, including Formica. Some of the best and most well-known brands have the most choices available when it comes to style, color, and durability, as well as edge treatments. Each brand will have a different cost range, as well as styles and colors to pick from. Most will also offer a quality range to choose from too, so you can easily find a style to fit your remodeling project.
|Brand||Average Material Cost|
|Arborite||$10.00 to $30.00 a square foot|
|Formica||$15.00 to $40.00 a square foot|
|Pionite||$10.00 to $30.00 a square foot|
|Wilsonart||$20.00 to $40.00 a square foot|
Arborite Countertops Cost
Arborite makes a range of patterns and colors for your laminate countertops. They have repeating patterns, solid colors, and some styles and colors that mimic stone or wood. On average, you’ll pay between $10.00 and $30.00 a square foot.
Formica Countertop Cost
Over the years, Formica has gone through big changes, from being one laminate brand to a company that excels with more luxury options. They still create the line of solid patterns and colors and have an antimicrobial finish on them. However, they also feature luxury finishes and colors. The costs for Formica laminate range from $15.00 to $40.00 a square foot for the materials. The cost of installing laminate countertops from this brand range between $10.00 and $20.00 a square foot.
Pionite Countertops Cost
Pionite is a very well-known laminate manufacturer, and they offer a decent range of patterns and colors. These include a range of some patterns or solid colors that mimic the look of marble or granite. They usually cost between $10.00 and $30.00 a square foot.
Wilsonart Countertops Cost
Finally, Wilsonart has a reputation for offering high-end and luxury laminate countertops. All of the materials they offer are antimicrobial, and they have an exclusive AEON finish that makes the countertops up to five times more durable. You can get options for intricate edges and undermount sinks, and you’ll pay an average of $20.00 to $40.00 a square foot.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Along with the normal cost of installing laminate countertops, there are several enhancement or improvement costs you should factor in when you’re coming up with your project budget. They include but are not limited to:
It’s extremely common to install a new backsplash at the same time that you install your new countertop to give the entire kitchen area a facelift. The average cost to install a new backsplash is $1,500.
Laminate countertops usually can’t accommodate drop-in cooktops very well. Some companies may be able to accommodate this want, but they won’t guarantee it. In most instances, installing a range is the best option when you work with laminate, and it costs around $600.
Laminate Countertops that Mimic Granite
Every manufacturer that works with laminate knows how to create patterns that mimic the look of granite, wood, or other stones. The costs usually start around $15.00 a square foot, but the most realistic-looking laminate countertops cost up to $40.00 a square foot.
Old Countertop Removal
Some companies will remove your old laminate countertop without charging anything else. However, other companies can easily charge between $8.00 and $10.00 a square foot to safely get rid of the old counters.
The sink cutout gets included when you first pay for your countertop, but you’ll have the additional costs of installing the sink after you get the counter in. This has an average cost of $400.
There are many additional things you can add when you have laminate counters installed, but they’ll increase your total project cost very quickly. Sink by Dennis Sylvester Hurd / CC0 1.0
Additional Considerations and Costs
There are a few more things you should keep in mind when it comes to figuring out the cost of installing laminate countertops. They include:
- Cleaning – Laminate is easy to clean using dish soap, a soft cloth, and warm water. Always make sure you thoroughly dry your counter and wipe up spills as soon as you notice them to avoid water pooling in your seams.
- Durability – Laminate used to scratch easily, but the laminate you get today is much more durable and resistant to scuffs and scratches. If this is a concern of yours, consider springing for luxury laminate as it has a durable surface to resist scratching.
- Trivate Use – Laminate will resist heat exposure better than some other material, but it’s still recommended that you use a trivet and avoid putting hot pots or pans right on your laminate to avoid scorching it.
- Warranty – Most laminate come with a full year warranty from the date of purchase. You want to double-check and see what it covers and what it doesn’t.
DIY vs. Hiring a Laminate Countertop Pro
The cost to hire a contractor to install your laminate countertop ranges from $30.00 to $40.00 a square foot, and this is on top of the material cost. Adding them together brings this price up to $40.00 or $80.00 a square foot. This doesn’t include any additional finishing costs or the cost to mount your sink. It requires very careful accuracy and measurements. It’s best to pay to have the countertops delivered because they can break if you don’t move them correctly. Delivery costs will vary depending on the vendor and how far they are away.
Cost of Installing Laminate Countertops Yourself
If you’re someone who likes to DIY, you could tackle installing your laminate counters on your own. It’ll take a weekend, and it is a good idea to have another person there to help. You’ll need additional supplies and tools too, like mounting screws and silicone glue. If you do the installation yourself, you’ll save between $30.00 and $40.00 a square foot. However, hiring a local contractor can save time and ensure the finished product is very accurate. It can also ensure that your countertops last longer.
Cost of Installing Laminate Countertops FAQs
No matter if you want to DIY this process or hire a professional, it’s common to have several questions surrounding the process. We picked out the most frequently asked ones and outlined the answers for you below. Laminate Countertops FAQs by Nancy Hugo, CKD / CC BY-ND 2.0
1. Is it easy to install laminate countertops on your own?
Installing laminate counters is moderately difficult and it may take a full day or two from start to finish for this project if you’re experienced. You’ll need time and the correct tools to measure the countertop correctly.
2. Can you put a layer of laminate over existing laminate countertops?
Yes, it’s possible for you to put laminate over existing laminate countertops. However, this process requires that you prep the surface before carefully applying the new laminate layer.
3. Do laminate countertops cost less than granite?
Yes, laminate countertops are much less expensive than granite countertops, by roughly $30.00 to $60.00 a square foot. The cost of installing granite countertops is also more expensive due to the sheer weight of the material. To install granite countertops, you’ll typically pay between $35.00 and $85.00 an hour, and the cost of installing laminate countertops ranges from $30.00 to $40.00 an hour.
4. How do you safely remove stains from your laminate counters?
You can use a homemade cleaning solution to remove stains from your laminate countertops. To make it, you’ll mix water and baking soda to form a paste and leave it on the stain for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t scrub at the stain as baking soda can be very abrasive. Get a damp, soft cloth to remove the paste. Repeat these steps again if it doesn’t lift the stain completely.
Now you know the average cost of installing laminate countertops. You can take this information and create a rough budget for this project, and this will help you decide if you should tackle it on your own or hire a professional to do the installation process for you to give you new, pretty counters.