are stainless steel countertops expensive

Perhaps you are a homeowner remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, or maybe you are in the process of designing a commercial kitchen. Stainless steel is an excellent choice for countertops for durable, stain-resistant, heat-resistant and low-maintenance characteristics. As with all projects, cost is always a concern when remodeling or designing a space. With a wide range of options and design features, stainless steel counters can range from $80 to $200 per square foot according to Homeguide.com. Depending on your total square feet of countertop, customization, and material thicknesses used, a stainless steel countertop can vary in cost with different manufacturers.

 

If you are considering stainless steel for your new countertops, we’ve taken the front end guesswork out!

 

Visit our helpful stainless steel countertop price calculator to get started

 

How Much Do Stainless Steel Countertops Cost?

How much your stainless steel countertops will cost depends on your unique project and what it takes to create, customize, and install. Below is a breakdown of several factors determining the average cost of stainless steel countertops.

 

Materials

Stainless steel generally falls in the higher cost range of popular countertop materials, with an average price of $80 to $200 per square foot. However, stainless steel is less expensive than thicker materials like concrete or quartz and it has a lifetime use, unlike many countertop materials.

 

Gauge

Stainless steel counters can be ordered in different gauges. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the material and, consequently, the more durable it is. Lower gauges are naturally more expensive, and are commonly quoted in 16 gauge for residential countertops and 14 gauge for commercial applications. Stainless countertops fabricated in thinner material, such as 18 gauge, may show dings and dents if heavy objects are dropped on them.

 

Size

The size of your kitchen space will affect how much you spend on your stainless steel countertops. The average residential kitchen is about 30 square feet, so the lowest average cost would be around $2400 and $6000 for higher quality total costs. Of course, this varies depending on the layout of your kitchen and the unique specifications of your project.

 

Labor

If you do not have the experience or expertise to install countertops, it is recommended that you hire an expert to do the job. Stainless steel countertop installation can cost anywhere from $30-$100 an hour and can range from a couple hours to a full day for installation of a large kitchen. Unless field welding and finishing is required on site for complex projects, custom fabricated stainless steel countertops by Specialtystainless.com are shipped ready for installation on your cabinet bases, complete with wood sub-straight.

 

Customization

If you plan on installing stainless steel countertops in a unique space that requires customization, that can increase the cost. Stainless steel can also be customized to different finishes like antique matte, mirror, or brushed, as well as different edge profiles like marine, beveled, or bullnose. These are just some examples of how stainless steel countertops can be customized for your specific design and cooking style.

 

Budget-friendly prefab stainless steel countertops are available in the marketplace for standard spaces that do not require customization. These generally are well suited for DYI projects.

 

Is it Cheaper to Build and Install Stainless Steel Countertops Yourself?

Designing, cutting, forming, finishing and installing stainless steel countertops requires more precision and expertise than the average DIY project. While you might save on labor and installation costs, you risk making expensive mistakes that could lead to hundreds of dollars in re-fabricating, re-installation or poor surface finishes. Unless you are trained and have experience with stainless steel, it is best to invest in professional fabrication and installation for a quality stainless countertop project.

 

Are Stainless Steel Countertops Expensive Compared to Other Materials?

When comparing the costs of countertop materials, it is essential to remember what value and longevity are included with various materials. While some materials may be cheaper, it may correlate to expensive maintenance, repair, or more frequent replacement of countertops. Stainless steel is more costly than other common materials due to the quality of material and expertise required for fabrication. If you opt for stainless steel, you have essentially have countertops for life, as opposed to other materials that need to be replaced periodically due to wear, staining and less durability.

 

Granite vs. Stainless Steel

Granite countertops can be cheaper than stainless steel countertops at the lower range, at an average of $35 to $200 per square foot. With good care and periodic re-sealing, granite countertops can last 15 years; however, stainless steel countertops are known to last an entire lifetime and can be recycled if you decide to change them out, making them eco-friendly.

 

Quartz vs. Stainless Steel

Quartz countertops fall between granite and stainless steel at an average of $65 to $155 per square foot. Quartz countertops can last for ten years with good care. However, they are prone to discoloration and patina over time.

 

Marble vs. Stainless Steel

Marble countertops can be less expensive than quartz but more expensive than granite or wood, with an average price range of $45 to $320 per square foot. At the top end, marble countertops are more expensive that stainless steel counters. Marble can last up to 50 years; however, as a natural stone, the material is porous and prone to absorbing liquids and acids vs stainless steel. To properly maintain marble countertops, they must be sealed every six months and cleaned with gentle, non-abrasive cleaners and a microfiber cloth. Stainless steel countertops area easily maintained with a damp microfiber cloth.

 

Wood vs. Stainless Steel

Wood countertops range from $35 to $300 per square foot, depending on the wood countertops you opt for. Reclaimed wood is more expensive than stainless steel, with the lowest average at $100. However, butcher block countertops are in the same price range as granite, with the lowest average starting at $35. Wood is also porous and prone to dents and damage, making it more challenging to maintain. Stainless steel countertops are easy to maintain and are less prone to damage.

 

Why Choose SpecialtyStainless.com for Your Stainless Steel Countertops?

SpecialtyStainless.com provides precision-engineered, handcrafted, high-end stainless steel countertops for residential and professional kitchens. They also custom fabricate stainless steel cabinetry, integral and free standing stainless steel sinks, backsplashes, and more. With expertise in metal fabrication since 1944, their long history of satisfied customers has set the example for today’s quality hand crafted stainless steel kitchen countertops.

 

Join our history and collaborate with our engineers to design your custom stainless steel countertops. Choose your style, edge profiles, integrated sinks, drainboards, finishes and much more. To get you started, you can use the online cost estimator to get an idea of your project’s cost, including the kitchen sink!

Conclusion

The total average cost for stainless steel countertops ranges from $80 to $200 per square foot. While stainless steel can be more expensive than other common materials used for countertops, it requires the least maintenance and lasts the longest of other materials.

 

Wood, marble, quartz, and granite require varying levels of care, including periodic replacement, glazing, and damage prevention. Stainless steel is easily maintained with a damp microfiber cloth.

 

SpecialtyStainless.com provides precision-engineered, custom stainless steel countertops using the latest technology to best match your kitchen countertop needs. Once installed, your stainless steel countertops can last a lifetime, bringing added value and savings to your dream kitchen.