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How Do I Choose the Best Cheap Countertop?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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When it comes time to replace a countertop or install a new one, you will have more options than you can possibly sort through. Narrowing down your search by cost can make the search easier, but it is important to remember that choosing a cheap countertop will not always save you money in the long run. Some cheap countertop materials will break down or wear out quickly, necessitating repair or replacement more quickly than higher-quality, more expensive countertops. For the money, your best choice is probably a laminate countertop.

This type of cheap countertop features a wood base that is covered with laminate, which is a large sheet of layered plastic that can be easily manipulated, cut, and secured to the base wood. Laminate is inexpensive and can be reasonably attractive, depending on which style you buy. It will be far less expensive than other options such as granite, marble, soapstone, or slate. Installing laminate is also fairly easy, though it must be done properly to avoid bubbling or other types of damage. The laminate is glued down to the countertop, which means if the glue is not mixed properly or applied evenly, the laminate can peel up, making the cheap countertop look just that: cheap.

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The other problem with laminate is its tendency to melt, wear out, or otherwise become damaged fairly quickly. In the kitchen, you will need to avoid placing hot pans and pots on the countertop, as the laminate can become damaged. After time, the laminate can dull or fade, making the kitchen unattractive. Laminate is, fortunately, very easy to clean with soap and water, but abrasive scrubs should be avoided since the laminate surface can scratch or fade fairly easily.

If laminate is not quite the right option for you, you can consider other cheap countertop materials. Slate is more expensive than laminate by far, but it is one of the least expensive options for a stone countertop. Stone countertops tend to be more durable and long-lasting, and the aesthetic is likely to be in style for many years. Slate is usually available in shades of black and gray, limiting your options for aesthetics, but it is durable and resistant to heat damage, making it a suitable choice for kitchen countertops. It is also fairly easy to clean, and while it will absorb water, it will not sustain water damage quickly or easily.

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Heavanet
Post 2

@Raynbow- I had this type of pre-cut kitchen countertop installed in my kitchen, and I was very happy with the quality and durability of it. Under normal usage, you shouldn't have any problems and your new, cheap countertops should last for years. I wouldn't recommend setting very hot pots and pans on them, but I wouldn't recommend doing that on any type of countertop material.

Raynbow
Post 1

I have noticed that some home improvement stores carry pre-cut kitchen countertops that are not very expensive. All you have to do before installing them is trim them to fit your kitchen cabinetry.

Does anyone have experience with these types of countertops, and if so, are they worth the savings? I need new countertops and don't want to spend a lot of money on them, but I also don't want to waste money on materials that won't last long.

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