How Much Does It Cost to Install Laminate Countertops?

Mariel Loveland
Written by Mariel Loveland
Updated December 22, 2021
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Photo: fizkes / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • Laminate countertop installation costs as little as $400 or as much as $2,500

  • Most homeowners pay between $790 and $1,620 to install laminate countertops

  • Factors like substrate material, type of laminate, and countertop size influence cost

  • Installing laminate countertops yourself can save $1,000 if you know what you’re doing

  • Most contractors charge between $30 to $40 per hour for their labor

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Don’t have a huge budget? Your dream kitchen or bathroom renovation may still be within reach—just reach for laminate countertops. They’re some of the most widely available countertops on the market, and laminate countertops are easy to fix if anything happens to them. They come in hundreds of colors, designs, and finishes, but their main draw is affordability. So, how much do laminate countertops cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the typical laminate countertop installation costs anywhere between $790 and $1,620, but it will vary based on the project.

How Much Does Laminate Countertop Installation Cost by Square Foot?

Laminate countertop installation costs anywhere from $40 to $80 per square foot. This includes both materials and labor. The countertops themselves cost $10 to $40 per square foot, but prices vary based on the manufacturer, color, and style.

How Much Does Laminate Countertop Installation Cost Near You?

Laminate countertop installation costs compared by state, with Nashville, TN averaging $960
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Laminate countertop installation costs vary slightly by area, though the size of your counter and type of laminate tends to have the biggest impact on price. As is typical with most home improvement projects, installation costs more in areas with a higher cost of living. Here are some average laminate countertop installation costs:

CityCost
Atlanta$810
Nashville, TN$960
Chicago$980
Los Angeles$1,170
Santa Fe, NM$1,210
Miami$1,270
Houston$1,130
Dallas$1,310
Boston$1,340
New York$1,700

How Much Does It Cost to Install Laminate Countertops Yourself?

You can buy prefabricated laminate countertop sections for $50 to $200 at most home improvement stores. Usually, they come in 4-foot sections, 8-foot sections, and corner pieces. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it can be quite inexpensive, but laminate countertops don’t leave a lot of room for error.

You can’t repair damaged laminate, and it’s particularly susceptible to water damage. Water can seep between the joints of a poor installation. Though you’ll save about $1,000 upfront if you do the project yourself, you can end up paying a lot more if it’s done incorrectly. Laminate is lightweight and relatively easy to install compared to other kitchen countertops, but it’s best to hire a local professional countertop installer unless you’re familiar with the DIY.

Laminate Countertop Installation Cost Breakdown

The two main costs when installing laminate countertops are materials and labor.

Materials

Laminate countertops are composed of two parts: laminate and a supportive substrate made of either plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). These materials are typically sold in sheets, and price depends on the brand, quality, and type:

  • Laminate costs $100–$300 for a 60-by-144-inch sheet

  • Substrate costs $6–$45 for a 4-by-8-foot sheet 

Your contractor will automatically work other materials (like silicone glue, a drill, a straight edge, and mounting screws) into your estimate. If you do a DIY job, you’ll probably spend $30 to $60 on these additional materials.

Labor

It will typically cost $30 to $40 per hour for a contractor to install a laminate countertop.

Factors That Influence Laminate Countertop Installation Costs

The cost of installing laminate countertops depends on the type of laminate and substrate, the shape and size of your countertop, and whether you’re replacing an old laminate countertop or installing a new one for the first time.

Type of Laminate

Laminate comes in hundreds of designs, patterns, and colors with all kinds of edges and finishes. Some may look and feel like granite or wood. Others are a solid color with a matte or smooth finish. Premium edges, patterns, and finishes will cost more, as will higher-end brands.

Formica, a laminate brand that’s become so ubiquitous people use it as a catch-all term, is slightly more expensive than other laminates. Formica costs a minimum of $15 per square foot, but around $25 per square foot on average.

Type of Substrate

MDF substrate is more expensive than plywood substrate. The cost of a single 4-by-8 foot sheet is usually around:

  • $6–$20 for plywood 

  • $15–$45 for MDF

MDF is smooth, consistent, and easily cut. Plywood is a little more finicky, but it’s much stronger than MDF. It can withstand extreme temperatures, so it’s ideal for a kitchen counter that might encounter a boiling pot or two.

Size of Countertop

Large kitchen countertops cost more than small kitchen countertops. The more sheets of laminate and substrate needed, the higher the cost. 

Custom vs. Prefab 

Custom laminate countertops cost more than prefabricated countertops. 

Replacement vs. Brand New Construction

If you need a replacement, your contractor will have to remove and dispose of your old laminate countertops before they can put in new laminate countertops. This will add around $500 to $800 to your project. 

FAQ About Installing Laminate Countertops

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How much laminate does the average kitchen need?

The average kitchen counter is 30 linear feet. Laminate kitchen counter installation costs around $1,575 for a kitchen of this size.

Is Formica the best value?

Formica is a name brand that tends to be slightly more expensive than the average laminate. It does, however, have premium finishes (like Formica IdealEdge) and premium edges (like Crystal or Natural Grain) that homeowners prefer.

Can laminate countertops look as good as wood, granite, or quartz?

Laminate is much more affordable than wood or granite, and it can look very—although not completely—similar. Higher-end laminates do a better job at mimicking other materials, so if you’re going for a certain look, you may want to splurge.

Where can I find someone to install laminate kitchen countertops?

You can use a website like Angi or HomeAdvisor to help you find a top-rated professional kitchen countertop installer.

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