Author Topic: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?  (Read 3973 times)

k_to_the_v

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I have an adorable 1941 bungalow that I love, but have decided to do some work on the kitchen. I love to cook and there is very minimal counter space. Even with the changes it is a small space, so I'm not looking at a ton of square footage.

My goal is to have a more practical workspace, maintain the vintage character of the home, and not overspend on the project. I love the look of butcher block countertops, and they would work well with the home's vintage character. That being said, a contractor I am considering working with suggested I take a look at laminate countertops for a cost savings and said they have come a long way. (I hate granite and it wouldn't be appropriate for my home's style nor expected in this neighborhood - I'd never recoup those costs). I have always had laminate and the one thing I do love is the low maintenance.

I thought this would be a good place to ask for suggestions for different cost-effective countertop materials. I've never done a kitchen remodel and I'm sure there are options out there besides butcher block and laminate.

pbkmaine

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 08:59:06 AM »
I have looked at every possible countertop material and have come to the conclusion that plain laminate (not the fancy high-definition stuff) is the best value for the money. It comes in an astonishing variety of colors and patterns. If it were just me, my other choice might be ceramic, slate or granite tile with dark grout, but DH hates grout, so laminate it is.

Beriberi

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 09:02:50 AM »
IKEA has really nice butcher block countertops - both solid and veneer. The are really inexpensive. We've had ours for 2 months, so I can't say much about the longetivity.

But, you can check out this review:

http://newlywoodwards.com/2013/03/a-review-ikea-butcher-block-countertops.html


About costs, if you are not going to DIY, the main cost of a cheap countertop will be installation. I'm not sure granite would have cost a lot more than laminate for us.

mm1970

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 09:24:35 AM »
We have a little 1947 house and we have ceramic tile.

I'm generally not a fan of grout, but the tile fits the house.  (Granite would have been a disaster.)  My hubby is a DIY kind of guy, and he did the tile.

It can take hot pans too, which is a bonus.

Because I occasionally make bread, one section of the counter has an 18" x 18" tile.  The rest are 6"x6"

BeanCounter

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2016, 09:29:16 AM »
We did a basic kitchen reno in our 1959 cape and went with a little bit higher end laminate. It's Formica, one step up from the basic. I think the whole countertop cost us $400. I was happy with it, and when we sold it the lack of granite never came up with prospective buyers.

kendallf

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2016, 11:57:14 AM »
I agree with Beriberi, that installation costs for a small kitchen will be the driver, not material.  I actually did my own granite countertop using a slab from Floor n Décor about a year ago; the granite was only $350 or so.  Cutting it with a diamond saw blade, doing a seam, as well as cutting the sink hole in place to avoid cracking the slab, were challenging however.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/kitchen/24264/

If those Ikea countertop dimensions are big enough to cover, they're dirt cheap, and butcher block is really easy to install (screws up into it from beneath, done). 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2016, 12:03:21 PM »
I can confirm that Ikea's wood countertops can fit in a Honda Fit. That said, I found wood countertops to be a pain to have and I really prefer the laminate that I have now.

Dicey

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2016, 12:54:26 PM »
If you do go with Formica, get the straight edge, not the half bullnose one. My vote, due to the era of your house, is butcher block. I'd also recommend a combination of something stone (granite, marble, slate) bought as a remnant and the balance butcherblock. Less expensive, more versatile and hits the trend while not being too trendy.

Cassie

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 02:00:34 PM »
Prefab granite is really cheap compared to regular. It is the same stuff but cut in certain lengths. So if your counter is too long they will seam it which you can't even see. WE used it in our 1950's kitchen and it looks great. wE have one really long counter and one small one an it only cost 750.00. The up side is that you can set hot pans right on it with no damage.

pbkmaine

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 02:04:55 PM »
If you do go with Formica, get the straight edge, not the half bullnose one. My vote, due to the era of your house, is butcher block. I'd also recommend a combination of something stone (granite, marble, slate) bought as a remnant and the balance butcherblock. Less expensive, more versatile and hits the trend while not being too trendy.

Why the straight edge instead of the bullnose?

Papa bear

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2016, 02:05:18 PM »
What about stainless steel? I haven't priced it out, but it would fit the era of your home and is very durable.

Laminate is just fine though, and it's inexpensive to DIY.


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index

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 02:38:24 PM »
Check out Craft Art for butcher block counter tops-

http://craft-art.com/shop/

You are looking at about $40-$45/sf for 1-3/4 solid butcher block in maple, walnut, cherry, sapele, or white oak. It will be much better quality than most Ikea butcher block which is a 9/64" wood veneer over particle board. Ikea does sell some solid birch, beach, and oak countertops their Hammarp line which are 1-1/8 inch thick for ~$10/sf .

COlady

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2016, 03:24:52 PM »
We were planning on doing laminate when we remodeled our kitchen. We found that granite was only 25% more than laminate.  I'm really glad we went with the granite.

k_to_the_v

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2016, 04:18:34 PM »
I want to thank you for all the suggestions, but granite is not an option simply because I hate it, lol. Even if granite was the cheapest option I wouldn't get it. I've never liked the look of at and really don't want it in this house.

I have found some really cool looking laminate designs that I will price out in addition to the butcher block.

ZMonet

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 05:24:31 PM »
Not sure how much you are into DIY but I'm in love with soapstone.  This place has a "Kitchen to Go" kit that I'm really interested in.  Supposedly the soap stone can be cut and shaped with normal wood working/hand tools/sand paper.

http://shop.soapstones.com/do-it-yourself-diy-soapstone-slabs/

BigHaus89

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2016, 05:40:55 PM »
I had a friend put in concrete counter tops in his rental. They are much cheaper than granite and it's my understanding that you can get a lot of different looks with different concrete blends.

JLR

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2016, 06:06:50 PM »
We had a 1928 bungalow that we renovated. The kitchen had been done only about 10 years before, with a fake wood look laminate counter top. It looked really good. Was easy to care for. We didn't change it and it is still in the house after 9 years of us living there and 2 years of the new owner living there. Still looks great. :)

Dicey

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Re: Cost Effective Countertops for Small Kitchen Remodel - Laminate?
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2016, 06:16:36 PM »
If you do go with Formica, get the straight edge, not the half bullnose one. My vote, due to the era of your house, is butcher block. I'd also recommend a combination of something stone (granite, marble, slate) bought as a remnant and the balance butcherblock. Less expensive, more versatile and hits the trend while not being too trendy.

Why the straight edge instead of the bullnose?
Because Quartz is rising in popularity and it's done in straight edge, not bullnose. With Formica, you're implying it's something else, but the half bullnose appears nowhere in nature, except in Formicaland.
Also, I get that you don't like granite, but there are deals to be had on marble and slate, both of which are period appropriate. Note I didn't suggest quartz, because it's just this generation's Corian. A durable synthetic, not a natural product, despite the natural sounding name.

And BigHaus89, concrete countertops are cool, but fraught with pitfalls. They are heavy, they crack and an amateur job is far from a joy to behold. Thus, they are not really cheaper, they're just a different look, and not era-appropriate for the OP's vintage home.

And to ZMonet - Soapstone is an excellent suggestion! +1