We recently updated our guide to fully fitted kitchen prices in the UK (see that price guide here) and we thought it would be a good time to look again at kitchen worktops.
We updated the content and prices on this page in spring 2021.
There are several reasons why one may want to replace a worktop; as part of a new kitchen, to rejuvenate an existing kitchen or because a new appliance or sink is being installed and it won’t fit the existing hole.
On this page we will cover:
- What work is involved with replacing a worktop.
- An installation price – with some examples.
- Examples of when you can expect to pay a premium.
- Tips to help you save money.
- How long it takes to replace the worktop.
What Work is Included in our Price?
The price displayed further down this page is for the following:
- Disconnect and remove a gas hob.
- Disconnect and remove a sink.
- Remove and dispose of the old worktop.
- Install new worktop with one corner cut.
- Reconnect gas hob and sink.
- Seal worktop to walls/tiles with silicone sealant.
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On Average, How Long Does it Take to Replace a Kitchen Worktop?
Kitchen worktops can either be easy to replace or in some cases can be a real PITA (pain in the ass).
The walls in most kitchens are not perfectly straight so the worktop usually needs to be scribed and cut to fit.
Mitred corners and joints all add to the time it takes – the more cuts, the more time you should allow.
As a guide, we would suggest that a two-piece worktop with one mitred corner, one sink and one hob cut out, will take about 3 hours to fit.
A more complex installation, such as three sections, a joint, a mitred corner and multiple cut-outs will take anything from half a day to a full day.
I Heard That it Must be Fitted by a Gas Engineer, is This True?
No, this isn’t true. Only registered gas engineers can fit a gas appliance such as an oven/hob but anyone can fit a worktop.
In most cases, the tradesperson contracted to fit the worktop will switch off the gas supply, remove and dispose of the old worktop and complete the installation of the new product. A gas engineer will then reconnect the gas supply to the hob.
Some kitchen fitters (and also worktop fitters) are also registered gas engineers while some are not. Those that aren’t will just subcontract this small job to someone who is.
Worktop Materials, Prices and Their Pros and Cons
Below is a rough guide to worktops, their pros, cons and costs.
While this list isn’t exhaustive, it covers the most popular products on the market today:
This is the most popular choice for kitchen worktops:
- Wide choice and readily available off the shelf.
- Easy to fit (usually!).
- Can be made to look like expensive alternatives.
- Can scratch, peel and sometimes burn easily.
- Not the most hygienic option.
- Can look cheap if careful thought isn’t given prior to choosing a product.
Price Range – expect to pay from £20 per metre for a 28mm thick product and £30 per metre for a 38mm worktop. This is a supply-only price and excludes delivery fees.
Real solid wood is visually more appealing than a laminate that is designed to look like solid wood:
- Looks often improve with age.
- Traditional appearance.
- Good choice of colours and grains.
- Scratches easily.
- Can stain.
- Requires regular professional cleaning and maintenance.
Price Range – the entry price is between £60 and £100 per metre depending on the thickness of the board. Premium top-of-the-range products can cost many times this. Price excludes delivery.
These worktops are formed from quartz and are an alternative to solid stone which has similar characters but is much more expensive:
- Tough and hard-wearing.
- Difficult to scratch.
- Antibacterial and easy to clean.
- Is very heavy.
- Not the easiest to cut and install.
Price Range – expect to pay from £200 per linear metre. This is for a 20mm thick board at 600mm wide. Prices start at this figure but do go much higher. Price excludes delivery.
Stainless steel is often used in commercial kitchens but in recent years more and more “ultra modern” kitchens are using it in their design. Because steel is usually custom made-to-measure it’s difficult to price on a per metre basis.
Glass is another material often seen in very modern designer kitchens. It’s stylish, hygienic and easy to clean although it shows water stains easily and requires frequent wiping and polishing. Glass is usually priced on a custom basis after inspection by the installer.
What We Think You Should Pay For a New Kitchen Worktop
Below is our guide to kitchen worktop installation prices.
We have only included prices for laminate worktops as they are the most popular product in the UK:
|Laminate worktop 5m x 0.6m||£200.00|
|Fixings, sealants and adhesive||£15.00|
|VAT on labour and net profits||£70.00|
|Get a Custom Price Here||Get a Custom Price Here|
A Detailed Look at Where Your Money Goes
Below is a graphic showing where your money is spent.
We assume 5 metres of worktop and one corner cut:
Worktop – we costed a laminate worktop 5 metres in total length at 600mm wide. This is the standard width. Cost – £200
Fixings, wall sealants and glues/adhesives for the mitred corners and joints Cost- £15
Waste disposal. Businesses must pay to dispose of waste. As there is very little waste on a small project like this, your contractor will most likely store the waste in their yard until they have enough for a trip to the waste disposal centre. Or they will have a skip at their premises: Cost – £25
Labour fee, this is what’s paid to the installer and doesn’t include things like overheads and company profits, salesman’s commission etc. Cost – £150
Net Profits – this fee covers profits, overheads etc. Small businesses have fewer overheads and lower profit expectations while larger firms are often the opposite and charge more. Cost – £200
VAT. This is charged by VAT registered traders on their labour fees and profit margins. VAT is already included in the cost of the materials. Cost – £70
As you can see from our analysis above, we have included the cost of labour, a net profit and VAT.
Obviously, if you instruct a small business or one-man type trader to do this work then you might be able to make a saving because:
- Not all businesses are required to charge VAT (see VAT registration threshold).
- Smaller firms often charge a fee for their labour and overheads but don’t make a profit above this.
- There’s an abundance of one-man kitchen fitters out there that are very capable of fitting a kitchen worktop.
4 Ways You Can Save Money
- Buy your own laminate kitchen worktop and avoid the “mark up” most fitters add to the supplied price.
- Also, have you considered fitting it yourself? While this work isn’t for everyone, those with some trade skills and suitable tools should be able to fit a laminate board without too much difficulty. For step-by-step instructions on how to cut the board and leave a neat seamless finish, check out this helpful guide.
- Also, to avoid any tiling or plastering work, ensure the new worktop is the same thickness as the old board.
- By choosing a smaller firm that is trading below the VAT threshold, you can avoid this tax on the labour and profits the company is charging.
You Can Expect to Pay More if:
Our price is our guide for laminate worktops.
You can expect to pay considerably more in labour fees for granite and quartz as this usually requires specialist cutting equipment and expertise.
Such materials are outside the scope of this article but you can get a customised price here.
Get Ideas and Inspiration for Kitchen Worktops
Pinterest is a great place to find photos and ideas for kitchen worktops. Check out this great list of ideas.
Get a Quote Online
Our price guide for kitchen worktops was last updated in 2021 and is based on our knowledge and experience in the home improvement sector.
To get your own customised quotation, just tap the link below and we can point you in the right direction:
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See how much carpenters and other tradespeople earn here.