Your New Kitchen Countertops

Just What Do You Have In Mind?

There are literally thousandsof different types of kitchen countertops to consider for your kitchen.

Granite countertops, quartz, laminate, formica, slate, butcher block and a wide range of stones, just to name a few. Here, we’ll concentrate on those projects that won’t cost an arm and a leg and methods you can do yourself, if you choose.

The options below represent types of products that will allow you to create a beautiful, professional looking job that, whether you’re flipping the place or intend to live there, will enhance the kitchen (or bathroom) for years to come. As you’re considering this project, read the options below and decide whether you want to “DIY” or hire it out.

Here’s a Bright IdeaThe more creative you get, the more cash you could save. So, decide—before you begin—whether or not you want to work with tiles, laminates, butcher block, solid surface materials or several methods and materials combined for a truly custom kitchen countertop remodel!


Tile is the do-it-yourselfers dream. Its the least expensive, easiest and arguably the “warmest” of all the kitchen countertop options, whether it is 6″, 8″ or 12″ granite or ceramic tile. You can find 12″ tiles at the big box home improvement stores for less than a buck each, so it’s conceivable you could remodel your kitchen counters (in beige or muted earth tones) for a few hundred dollars! Tiling directly over a laminate (like Formica™ or Wilsonart™) without the need for an underlayment cement board, doing all the work yourself and edging with wood could drive the financial outlay down to less than the cost of dinner out. If you’re remodeling an old fifty’s rancher, its a perfect option.

Tiles come in a lot of colors, textures, prices and looks. You can roll your cart right up, load as many as you’ll need and take them home. Hot pots and pans can be set on most tile counters. Because it’s installed one tile at a time, it can be done by anyone and if you’ve sealed the grout well, cleanup is easy.

Chipping and cracking is a problem and the surface is going to be uneven. The grout can become stained, and although fixing stained grout is easy (by scraping out the old grout and replacing it) it will take a little time when the time comes. Really cheap tiles are limited in style and color and really nice tiles are expensive.

Inexpensive to Moderate: Tiles can range from 50¢ to $10.00 (or more) each! You’ll have to rent or buy a tile saw if you don’t have one, and you’ll need a few other tools and materials.


Laminate sheets and sections can be inexpensive, easy and a good choice, especially if you want a smooth surface you can roll out pizza dough on. Sheets are available in 3′, 4′ and 5′ widths and lengths of 8′, 10′ and 12′ and sections come in standard counter widths by 6′, 8′ and 10′, in a bunch of colors and patterns. Sections can have a pre-installed backsplash. Some even come cut at 45 degrees on one end for “L” shaped counters. Laminates bear trademarks such as Formica, Nevamar, andWilsonart to name a few.

There are four ways to have a laminate kitchen countertop: A. Make your own from raw sheets, B. Buy pre-made sections, C.. buy a custom-made laminate countertop and attach it yourself and D. hire a contractor.

Laminates come in a wide range of colors and textures. They’re easy to maintain and are durable. They resist stains, abrasions and moisture. Two people can make this an inexpensive weekend project and there are lots and lots of options on finish.

Dings, chips and scratches are impossible (nearly) to fix and hot pots and pans are verboten! Don’t cut on them and never use abrasive cleaners. Because the underside of the countertop is unfinished particleboard and porous,under-mount sinks are out. Also, end and edge finishes can be expensive.

Inexpensive to Upper-Moderate: Sheets are $10 or less sq ft., molded/beveled edge or custom designs range between $16-$30 sq ft. and for professionally installed laminate kitchen countertops, you can expect to pay from $25-$65 (or higher!) sq ft.

What home remodeling or improvements information are you looking for?. Try a local BING search of our site for your answers. The search box is in the right column, just enter your search term & CLICK!.


Butcher Block has an edgy, new look with an industrial flair as well as a “homey” appearance. Hey … butcher block kitchen countertops have been around since, well, countertops.

They come in a variety of woods and wood tones and these solid structures are what butchers cut and package meat on because of their durability, hardness and ability to withstand just about any type of force. Their solid surface means that there is nowhere for germs and bacteria to grow, unlike other materials, which may scratch or get nicked.

Most do-it-yourself centers and home improvement stores carry wide selections of butcher block material and can custom cut it to any size you need. Some of the the finest kitchens feature butcher block counters throughout. They are natural, beautiful, practical, renewable and, contrary to popular belief, one of the very safest, most sanitary kitchen work surfaces available.

Warmth and beauty adding value to your home and recognized as high end. Soap and water is all you need to clean and, if you re-oil every month or so, the finish could look new for years and years. They can be sanded if they become stained or scratched.

Because its real wood, you do have to be somewhat careful. No hot pans and some foods could stain. Water may cause damage. To preserve the kitchen countertops for as long as possible, remember to keep it away from any sources of water such as taps or drinking water sources. Wipe up any spilled waterimmediately if not sooner.

Moderate: For a few hundred to maybe around a thousand dollars (depending on sales, wood types and the extent of labor you’re willing to do yourself) you could have a nice upscale kitchen for less than you think.


Solid Surface counters are just that (solid) so, any scratches can be sanded out. These kitchen countertops are custom-made to your specifications, and can be installed by pros or possibly you. Ask around at your favorite home improvement retailer or hardware store and talk it up with anyone who’ll talk to you. You might be surprised at how reasonably some solid surface kitchen countertops cost.

DIYers have always been frustrated about solid-surface kitchen countertops, though, because they pretty much had to be installed by professionals … until recently. For now, go talk to the salespeople at the Big Boxes and kitchen countertop retailers.

Comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns, its seamless and stainresistant. Solid surface kitchen countertops can be edged like no other and will look new for decades. Their non-porous surface keeps bacteria away, and scratches can be sanded out.

Solid surface kitchen countertops are not meant to have hot pans placed on them and if stained are somewhat difficult to fix and difficult to fabricate without special tools and expertise. They can be damaged cutting on them and they are expensive if you get all the bells and whistles, such as tricked out edges and molded backsplashes.

Moderate to expensive: Depending which way you go and which product/design/material you choose, you can spend between a lot and a fortune. Look for sales.

The main thing to remember here is to keep an open mind, have fun with it and keep to your budget. You may even finish the kitchen countertops and decide that the cabinets don’t really look that bad. Maybe all the kitchen needs now is a new floor!

… for any questions, concerns or problems on a remodeling or landscaping project, just click the carpenter’s pencil above. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours with solutions or advice on where to get solutions.
We never charge for help or advice!.

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Updated: November 22, 2013 — 10:39 pm

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