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 $1,000, from $1,778 to $2,874.

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
Nature’s Stone, Burnsville, 952-890-9118 $1778
Bob’s Wood Specialties, Burnsville, 952-890-4700 $1902
Pacific Granite, Eagan, 651-688-9898 $2119
Bloomington Carpet & Floor, Bloomington, 952-881-5825 $2213
NU Shapes Construction, Lakeville, 952-469-8940 $2288
Affordable Granite & Cabinetry, Minneapolis, 763-450-3700 $2318
Paramount Granite, St Michael, 763-428-4075 $2400
Vetsch Custom Cabinets, Albertville, 763-497-3060 $2496
Granite Tops, Cold Spring, 763-497-1033 $2553
Andersen Cabinet, North St Paul, 651-777-5377 $2641
VIP Home Center, Minneapolis, 612-521-7663 $2709
Innovative Surfaces, Hastings, 651-437-1004 $2761
Minnesota Tile & Stone, Woodbury, 651-730-0447 $2868
Northwestern Marble & Granite, Edina, 952-941-8601 $2870
Select Surfaces, Roseville, 651-483-1576 $2874
*Price quotes are for specified 3-centimeter-thick Uba Tuba granite countertops with backsplash and standard square edge and include fabrication and installation.