On this page:
- How are Countertop Repair Projects Estimated?
- Should I Repair My Countertop?
- What Affects the Price of Countertop Repairs?
- How Will My Project Add Up?
- Preparing for Countertop Repairs
- Cost Comparisons
- Level of Difficulty
- Find a Pro
Countertops are one of the unsung heroes of the home, enduring all sorts of use day in and day out. From heat, spills, and impact to regular wear and tear, all types of counters can show their scars and age. Many type of countertop damage can be repaired to restore the surface to its former glory, but the difficulty and expense of the job typically depends on the nature of the damage and the type of countertop material.
How are Countertop Repair Projects Estimated?
How Do Pros Price the Work?
Most types of repair work are priced as a whole, according to the specific features of the project. Most pros charge “time and materials” for this type of work, or the cost of supplies and labor needed to get the job done. Labor rates for countertop repairs generally range from $25 to $45 per hour per crew member, though some contractors charge a minimum fee for small jobs that take less than a couple of hours. In these cases, a service fee of $75 to $200 is customary.
What Should I Expect From an Estimate?
It can be difficult for pros to offer precise pricing for repair jobs since they may not know the extent of problems or damage before the work gets underway. So rather than a bid or quote that provides you a guaranteed price, you may receive an estimate for a countertop repair job. Your estimate should specify the portion of the total allotted to both materials and labor so you can compare multiple estimates easily.
Should I Repair My Countertop?
What are Your Expectations?
Repairs in many types of countertop materials can be virtually undetectable, but other types are difficult to repair without leaving noticeable seams or variations in color or sheen. Depending on the nature of the damage and the repair options available, it may not be possible to achieve a flawless, like-new appearance. If you expect perfection, total replacement of the countertops may be your best bet if this is the case. If you can deal with a little extra character, repairs are an economical alternative-- generally costing a fraction of replacement.
Is a Repair Cost-Effective?
If your counters are significantly damaged or are getting on in years, the cost to repair them might rival the cost of replacement. This isn’t generally the case with high-end materials like stone and engineered solid surfaces, but laminate and tile can be nearly as expensive to repair as to replace, depending on the extent of the job. If this might be the case on your project, compare estimates for both repair and replacement before deciding which makes the most financial sense for you.
What Affects the Price of Countertop Repairs?
Scope of Repairs
Naturally, the bigger the job of repairing your countertops is, the more it will cost. If the job involves filling a chip or sealing a minor crack, the labor and materials requirements will be much less than if the entire surface must be polished and sealed. Likewise, replacing a damaged section of countertop will cost considerably more than adhering some wayward laminate or replacing a damaged tile or two. Minor repairs can typically be completed in an hour two for less than $150, while a more substantial job might take most of a day and cost several hundred dollars.
Your repair options may depend on the type of countertop you have, and the skill level and materials required will directly affect the cost of the job. Repairs to wood and laminate counters can typically be made by a carpenter or handyman, while a specialist might be needed to fix up your natural stone, tile, or solid surface counter. The availability of a skilled pro in your area may affect the cost of labor; if the selection is narrow, it could cost 50 percent more than hiring a general service provider, or hiring a specialist in a more competitive market.
Some counter repairs can be completed with basic skills and repair kits, making the job a DIY option for some. If you can forego the cost of labor, your repair could cost less than half what it would to call in a pro. If you need an expert, expect to pay $100 to $250 for a minor job and $500 or more for a big one.
How Will My Project Add Up?
Minor chips, cracks, and dings in many counters can be filled with epoxy or resin, making for an economical repair. Stains and deep gouges make for a more challenging project though, which may call for multiple visits from a pro, or even complete refinishing of the surface.
Restoring the finish of a worn, etched, or scratched stone, solid surface, or wood countertop can typically be done by sanding or polishing, then sealing the surface. It’s recommended to treat the entire counter area at once to avoid noticeable differences in appearance, and the process can take several hours (or even days), depending on the size and material of the counter.
Cracks and Breakage
Substantial cracks, holes, or damage may require a more involved repair approach than a surface treatment, making it a more expensive proposition. Securing cracks, replacing tile or counter sections, or building custom insets to conceal holes can be time consuming and carry higher material costs than restoration and basic patch work. On the other hand, securing loose laminate or repairing wood or tile edging can often be done more simply and cost considerably less.
Water damage is typically not an issue for stone, tile, or engineered surfaces, but water can compromise wood counters and the substrate of laminates or the structural support of solid materials, if allowed to leak beneath the surface. Repairing water damage is generally complex and may involve the removal and reinstallation or replacement of the countertop.
Preparing for Countertop Repairs
It’s always a good idea to get multiple estimates for any home improvement project so you can compare local labor rates as well as pros’ recommendations for the job. Be sure to include handymen, carpenters, and remodelers on your list of candidates; you may get a better deal from one of these versatile pros if a specialist is not required.
Depending on the nature of the job, your counter may be out of service for a while after the repair is completed. Be sure to check with your pro ahead of time to avoid inconvenient surprises. Also, save your pro time by clearing the counter of your belongings before he arrives.
|$25 - $120||$220 - $600||$450 - $1,200|
The scope and nature of your countertop repair will influence the cost of the job, but our examples may help you see how your project measures up.
DIY Patch-Up: $25 - $120
- • Type of Damage: Minor chips and cracks don’t usually compromise a countertop, but repairing them can make the surface look almost new. This job calls for filling blemishes with an off-the-shelf filler product.
- • Scope of Repair: Repairs are limited to small areas of damage. No special prep work is required and disruption is minimal.
- • Labor Costs: Tackling this as a DIY project cuts out labor costs entirely, saving $75 to $150.
Full Face Lift: $250 - $600
- • Type of Damage: Surface blemishes, stains, and etching show the age and wear of granite counters. Though more extensive, this project is still cosmetic in nature.
- • Scope of Repair: In addition to filling chips and cracks, removing stains, replacing caulk, and giving the entire surface a polish and sealing will spruce things up.
- • Labor Costs: Hiring a pro for this job increases the bottom line by at least $200, but is the best way to get great results.
Repurpose and Repair: $650 - $1,200
- • Type of Damage: Replacing a cooktop with a range leaves a gaping hole in this solid surface counter and requires cutting an opening in a new spot. In order to avoid replacing a large section of material, a creative solution is in order.
- • Scope of Repair: Preparing the site for a new range involves cutting and edge finishing the material in one area, while a custom cutting board is fabricated to fill the old opening.
- • Labor Costs: Constructing and adding support for a custom inset and cutting engineered countertop material requires skill, making this a job for a pro—with $400 to $800 added to the bottom line.
Level of Difficulty
Some superficial countertop repairs can be completed by a do-it-yourselfer with basic skills, though care must be taken when handling some filler products. In order to get flawless repairs, though, or to handle more substantial damage or alterations that call for specialized tools, materials, or techniques, hiring a pro is the best way to ensure good results.
Find Countertop Repair Professionals Near You
Whether your counter just needs a little TLC or some major repairs and modifications, an experienced Countertop Repair Pro can get the job done right. Be sure to meet with a few different pros to compare their recommendations and estimates before choosing the one who is the best fit for the job.