After cabinets, kitchen countertops are among the most expensive purchases. Countertop materials range from wood to plastics to metal to stone, and you can save plenty by shopping for the best price. The table below shows prices Consumers' Checkbook’s mystery shoppers were quoted for granite countertops, using the exact same design and the same type (Uba Tuba), finish, and thickness of granite, with the dealer supplying the granite, and fabricating and installing the countertop.

As you can see, prices varied by nearly $1,200, from $1,600 to $2,797.

Of course, quality of fabrication and installation is at least as important as price. Check with friends, ask to see examples of a company’s recent installations, and note how closely a company’s staff listens to you and how carefully they measure.

You can obtain ratings of countertop suppliers and installers here.

Illustrative Granite Countertop Prices*

Price quoted
B & B Formica Corian & Granite, Chicago, 773-804-1015 $1600
A-American Custom Flooring, Niles, 847-966-0500 $1632
StoneTek International Design, Addison, 630-543-5100 $1655
Granite Corp, Oswego, 630-801-9955 $1673
The Granite & Marble Depot, Aurora, 630-966-9666 $1700
Quality Granite & Marble, Addison, 630-268-7866 $1740
Best Buy Carpets & Granite, Aurora, 630-820-1439 $1882
Sprovieri’s Custom Counters, Addison, 630-543-3400 $1983
Peterson Woodworking, Woodstock, 815-334-9990 $2165
Heartland Granite, Aurora, 630-499-8000 $2221
Kitchen Tune Up, Downers Grove, 630-985-0858 $2586
Mastercraft Marble & Granite, Lake Forest, 847-295-9900 $2652
Stonecutters, Glenview, 847-657-9000 $2664
Tith of Tile & Marble, Highland Park, 847-831-3444 $2797
*Price quotes are for specified 3-centimeter-thick Uba Tuba granite countertops with backsplash and standard square edge and include fabrication and installation.