There are several different types of materials commonly used for countertops, such as natural stone, wood, laminate, ceramic tile and concrete. Each of these comes with a different price; ceramic tile is typically the cheapest option, at around $3 to $5 per square foot, and wood and stone averages upwards of $200 per square foot as of 2015.
Natural stones, such as granite, soapstone and slate, make excellent countertops and are very common. However, care should be used when cleaning, as these types of countertops need specific stone cleaners for everyday cleaning. Wood is another choice, and it runs about the same price as stone countertops. However, these types of countertops usually require the application of oils every four to six weeks to maintain their appearance.
Plastic laminate is a cheaper option when compared to stone and wood, and it is nearly as resilient as the other types of countertops. Usually, prices for this type of countertop range between $15 and 25 per square foot, depending on the specific type of laminate used.
Ceramic tile is the cheapest option listed, but installation can drive the price to upwards of $30 and $50, depending on a contractor's individual costs.
Concrete countertops are extremely smooth and flat, and certain blends of concrete resist cracking for many years. The cost for concrete countertops averages between $85 and $100.