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 more than $2,000, from $1,555 to $3,900.

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
Pius Kitchen & Bath, Seattle, 206-382-6638 $1555
Contour Countertops, Kent, 253-681-6400 $2250
Western Tile & Marble, Bellevue, 425-643-1380 $2287
Creative Countertops, Poulsbo, 360-598-3106 $2541
Precision Countertops, Kent, 253-256-2666 $2378
Whittington Tile & Stone, Bremerton, 360-377-5678 $2560
Priceless Granite, Granite Falls, 360-691-1477 $2721
Lakewood Counter Tops, Lakewood, 253-588-2169 $2852
Scrivanich Natural Stone, Woodinville, 425-486-5222 $2953
Allied Marble, Seattle, 206-763-1250 $2771
Coast Home Improvement, Tacoma, 253-588-3636 $3124
McClincy’s Home Decorating, Maple Valley, 425-432-6161 $3900
*Price quotes are for specified 3-centimeter-thick Uba Tuba granite countertops with backsplash and standard square edge and include fabrication and installation.