Laminate is the most affordable material for use in countertops. It comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, many of which are created to resemble granite, marble, or other high-end materials. For most homeowners who are undergoing a kitchen renovation, budget is a key factor in deciding whether to prepare meals in granite or laminate. The problem is that if you've never had to replace your countertops before, it's hard to know how much to budget for them.
Here are 10 countertop materials that look great, and while there's nothing “cheap” about a kitchen renovation line with two or four zeros in the figure, they're at least cheaper than materials like granite or marble. If you really want to save some money, consider DIY your kitchen countertops with materials such as plywood, concrete, and tile. Keep reading to get inspired and start cooking. If you're looking for a darker colored countertop, consider soapstone, as its limited palette tends toward intense, dark tones.
Soapstone is a non-porous natural stone that does not crack easily. This durable material is also heat resistant. While it does not require sealing, it is recommended to apply a thin layer of mineral oil to darken the countertop. Otherwise, spilling oil on soapstone countertops will create unsightly dark spots.
For a modern, industrial touch to your kitchen, it's hard to beat concrete countertops. They offer the same solid, earthy feel as natural stone, but at a fraction of the cost, especially if you can do it yourself. Dazzling stains and finishes give concrete countertops a vitality that goes far beyond opaque gray and allow the material to adapt to almost any kitchen design. If you want the durability of natural stone but don't have the budget, consider tile countertops.
The tile comes in a range of colorful designs and natural tones, and can save you a lot of cash compared to custom-cut stone slabs. Add interest by using more expensive tile types such as borders or accents along with classic, more affordable styles. While marble and granite can give a cool look, wooden, bamboo, or butcher block counters add warmth to the kitchen. Wood has the added benefit of being significantly cheaper than stone.
Maple, oak, and walnut are popular choices, but other species are also available. If you opt for wooden countertops, remember that they require greasing every 2 or 3 years. Although stainless steel is not a particularly cheap option as a custom-made countertop for a complete kitchen, a freestanding stainless steel worktable, such as this one from FDW, can function as a kitchen island and countertop, saving you a considerable amount of money. Many freestanding stainless steel counters offer storage shelves underneath for easy access to commonly used items.
While it may seem unorthodox, plywood can be used to make countertops. This affordable material works particularly well in a rustic-style house. Use ¾ inch thick sanded plywood on pine, birch, maple, or a species of your choice, and dye or paint to your liking. Seal it with a transparent, durable sealant.
The cheapest alternatives for kitchen countertops to granite are quartz, granite tiles, or a recycled solid surface. Granite is still the most popular kitchen countertop material in use today. If you are looking for a contemporary, industrial touch to your kitchen, concrete countertops are an excellent option. Concrete is one of the most affordable countertop materials available on the market today.
They give you a rich, earthy feel at a fraction of the price of natural stone. They are easy to install as a countertop in your kitchen. If you're looking to put a nice finishing touch on your kitchen remodel, bamboo countertops can help you do that. Although some types of the material can be expensive, you can certainly find an excellent inexpensive kitchen countertop material (or surface for other rooms) in quartz.
In addition to their beauty, slate countertops are also heat and stain resistant, making them an excellent countertop choice. Stainless steel comes in different grades and finishes, and the best grade of steel for kitchen countertops is Type 304, which is very scratch resistant and very strong. Similar to cultured marble, cultured granite kitchen countertops serve as an excellent alternative to their natural stone counterpart. Not to be confused with countertops labeled “quartz”, which are a kind of artificial composite, consisting of approximately 90% quartz and 10% resin, quartzite is a relatively new solid stone alternative to granite or engineered quartz countertops.
Opt for a less expensive quartz or laminate countertop material if you are looking to achieve a thick edge instead of natural stone and have a countertop manufactured to meet your exact expectations. If you're looking to install new countertops in your kitchen, you're not alone: 95% of homeowners looking to renovate say “kitchen countertops are their top priority this year. Formica Group watercolor laminate designs turn your kitchen countertop into an artisanal work of art. Concrete countertops offer a sleek, industrial look that works well in both modern and rustic kitchens.
Natural stone has been used to create everything from kitchen countertops to some of the world's most famous statues. Thanks to their manufacturing, quartz countertops are a durable, non-porous, and scratch-resistant solution that remains more affordable than most natural stone countertops. Although natural stone countertops made of granite or marble slabs offer an eye-catching look, these expensive materials can quickly consume a large portion of your kitchen remodeling budget. .