We understand that shopping with a budget can be frustrating. When something you love is out of your price range, you feel disappointed. You’re forced to make a tough decision — consider increasing the budget to get what you want or diligently stick to your budget and get what you can afford.

At Preferred Surfaces, we often see customers use most of their budget for their entire kitchen or bathroom renovation and then use “whatever is left” as their countertop budget. And though we may be biased, we think countertops should be a higher priority — not the final consideration. Read on to learn why.

Granite is a popular option for new kitchen countertops in Pittsburgh, PA.



The countertops, along with the cabinetry make the strongest first impression when entering a kitchen. If you want a high-end look and order beautiful custom cabinets, then don’t have the budget left to select a stunning countertop surface, your look will fall flat.

This is why we encourage you to analyze your entire budget before you start making plans. What can you do now and what can you do later? Trying to fit an entire renovation into a tight budget will mean you’ll be skimping — and ultimately won’t be happy with the results.



Once you install new countertops, it’s unlikely that you’ll replace them in the next few years when you have the funds to get the surface you wanted in the first place. However, it’s easy to upgrade cabinet hardware or appliances as the funds become available.

This is why we don’t think leaving the countertops to the end is the best idea — they’re not an afterthought, they make the space.



Even though we have enough stock to match any kitchen, we recommend putting thought into the type or countertop surface you want before proceeding with your renovation.

Fall in love with the countertop surface — and then make everything else work with it.


So what happens if you’ve already used the majority of your budget and then fall in love with a surface that takes you over? You have options.



As some surfaces have specific properties that make them useful for a specific type of cooking (for example, marble stays cold and is great for bakers), we’re increasingly seeing people mix and match.

Granite throughout the kitchen with a complementary marble slab for baking is a great way to bring the utility and beauty of marble into your kitchen — while enjoying the durability and ease of granite.

We’ve also had customers select a more neutral surface for their countertops, with a surface that completely contrasts for their center island. This bold look is interesting and modern, but isn’t so trendy that it will look dated within a year of installation.

The mix and match look will allow you to enjoy a more expensive surface while balancing the cost with something less pricey.



Preferred Surfaces have the widest selection in the region. That’s because we source our surfaces from nine separate companies. Solid stone surfaces aren’t all the same price — the origin, finish and thickness are just three factors that determine the price. If you love a surface that’s out of your price range, that doesn’t mean every single piece of the same surface will be the same price.

So ask us — we’ll do our best to help you find something similar to your first choice that fits within your budget.



We will never encourage you to go over budget in order to sell a more expensive surface — that’s just not how we run our business. But sometimes the additional money needed for the surface you want is easier to find than you think.

Perhaps you were planning to replace the table and chairs in your breakfast nook. Or redo the flooring. Can these things possibly wait? Assessing the entire scope of the project to revise the allocation of your budget can be helpful.


Budget aside, how do you know what you need in your new countertops? Sometimes it can be hard to balance what you need with what you want. But take it from us — there’s always a way.



For homes with young children, you’ll want a surface that’s highly stain resistant — quartz, granite and solid surface are great options. You’ll also want to pick an edge finish that is rounded, not sharp — and there are plenty of beautiful options for this.



For those who love to cook, you’ll want a surface that is resistant to scratches from knives and heat. Granite is a great option. Some especially avid cooks like to mix granite with a wood or marble area — wood for food prep and marble for baking as it stays cool.



If you’re a frequent entertainer, you’ll want a durable surface that stands up to wine spills and people leaning on the surface as they talk in the kitchen. For this reason, we recommend a surface that can stand up to high traffic. Granite and quartz are good options. 



If you’re planning to resell your home, your needs are different. The needs are based on what will sell, typically neutral colors. While you may love something bold and unique, you need to select something that will appeal to a wide range of buyers.

Preferred Surfaces | Custom Countertops | Pittsburgh, Pa | Surrounding Areas

If you’re ready to start or finish your kitchen countertops, get in touch. We can help you — while considering your budget and your needs.

We also have a free countertop shopping guide that provides all the information you need to start your remodeling project.