- In the kitchen, counter tops serve the basic purpose of giving you a surface to cook and prepare food. In the bathroom they create a place where you can display product or lay tools during use. Because they come in so many different colors and materials, use them as a way to make a statement about your room. If you want to remodel, but are low on funds, simply replacing the counter top and nothing else can completely change the feel of your home.
- If your laminate counter tops are in good shape, consider just updating them with paint. You can do an all over faux finish or you can consider adding a stencil border to make them more interesting. If you have an island with a kitchen, consider replacing the counter top on just the island. Maybe a stainless steel or butcher block will make the area more useful for food preparation, or different color or texture could add another layer of texture to the area.
- Stone, such as granite and slate offer color combinations to fit any taste or décor. Some pieces even feature a metallic look that can add a touch of glamor to your home. Engineered stone, such as Corian and Silestone, offer scratch and fire resistance. Ceramic tile, used often in bathrooms, is easy to install and care for. Laminate is an affordable counter top option. Concrete offers a lot of versatility since a contractor can custom-pour it to match any unique kitchen counter shape.
- In 2010, Costhelper estimates that granite or slate counter tops cost $40 to $120 per square foot installed. Stainless steel ranges from $50 to $150 per square foot. Solid surface materials go between $40 and $80 per square foot. Laminate ranges $15 to $60 a linear foot. If you install it yourself, knock that price down to $12 to $15 per linear foot. Using ceramic tile for your counter top is the most economical choice at $5 to $15 a square foot installed.
- Counter tops come in large solid runs of material or individual tiles. Some fit over the existing counter top, while in other cases you will need to have the old counter top removed first. When working with stone, choose an installer who has experience with the exact product that you have chosen to lessen risk of damaging during installation. If you remodel your counter tops by painting, be sure to use a sealant to protect them. For the kitchen, use a food safe sealant.