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 $1,400, from $2,295 to $3,730.

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
Romarts Marble & Granite, San Leandro, 510-667-0857 $2295
Sosa Tile, Livermore, 925-373-7675 $2349
Pacific Stone, Concord, 925-680-8741 $2394
In Stone Marble, San Leandro, 510-351-1900 $2450
Everlasting Surfaces, Livermore, 925-960-9777 $2550
Best Marble & Granite, San Leandro, 510-614-0155 $2800
United Marble & Granite, San Jose, 408-347-3300 $2992
The Granite Encounter, Hayward, 510-324-0110 $3020
Fox Marble & Granite, San Francisco, 415-671-1149 $3150
Artistic Stone, San Leandro, 510-483-1298 $3194
The Countertop Store, San Carlos, 650-598-0100 $3283
Baker Marble & Granite, Oakland, 510-444-3005 $3620
Sullivan Counter Tops, Oakland, 510-652-2337 $3730
*Price quotes are for specified 3-centimeter-thick Uba Tuba granite countertops with backsplash and standard square edge and include fabrication and installation.