Old beat-up countertops in your kitchen and bathrooms can have a huge impact on the aesthetics of your home. Whether you live in a rental that features countertops hailing from a bygone era or if you haven’t had a chance to spruce up your kitchen and bathrooms in a long amount of time, we are bringing you some tips to cover old countertops in your home and make them look brand new.
Owing to budget restraints and lack of time, installing new countertops may not be a feasible option. However, there are quite a few ways you can update countertops without replacing them.
Wondering what to do with old countertops? Let’s find out.
How to Cover Old Countertops
Here are some of the most popular ways to cover old countertops and make them look brand new.
Cover Old Countertop with Tiles
To start off, you can cover old bathroom and kitchen countertops with tiles.
Since replacing your old countertops with new ones can easily put a dent in your bank account, you can opt for something a little more budget-friendly that will give you more or less the same impact. Interior designers use tiles to cover all types of surfaces, be it the floors, walls, showers, and whatnot. Therefore, there’s no reason why tiles cannot be used to cover old kitchen countertops. You can even use them to upgrade your bathroom countertop as well.
Glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles are two of the most popular choices for a countertop overlay. This is mainly because these tiles are resistant to moisture, heat and staining. Moreover, both porcelain and ceramic tiles are known for their durability, strength, smoothness and longevity. They are easy to clean as well.
You can also find these tiles in a wide range of colours, styles, shapes, patterns and designs to complement the rest of your décor. Compared to natural stone tiles, they are also relatively less costly, though ceramic is even cheaper than porcelain.
Depending on the condition of your old countertops, you can either install tiles directly on top of them or use thin cement boards to ensure the surface is stable and flat. Please keep in mind that laying the tiles on top of cement boards will increase the height of your countertops by ¼-inch at the very least. If that’s not a deal-breaker for you, you should consider giving this trick to cover old countertops a try.
As far as the grout joints are concerned, make sure to seal the tile countertops every few years to minimize the build-up of grime and deep-set stains.
Cover Old Countertops with Contact Paper
Who doesn’t want to make their bathrooms look like a spa and their kitchen appear high-end without spending a lot of money? Since buying and installing new countertops can be pricey, you can opt for removable contact paper for countertops to give your space a complete transformation on a shoestring budget.
There are quite a few types of peel and stick countertop contact papers available in the market. For instance, if you want to butcher block countertops in your kitchen but have not been able to install them because of your landlord or budget restrictions, you can consider opting for wood grain contact paper to spruce up your kitchen. Similarly, if you are a fan of stone countertops, you can easily find marble and granite patterned contact paper in the market to make your space look classic and luxurious. Meanwhile, those who love to add a bit of their personality into their décor with bold colours and statement pieces can install contact paper with bright colours and striking patterns. Contact papers are also a great way to cover hardwood countertops.
The best part? If you don’t like how it looks, you can easily swap it for something better.
On the other hand, countertop films also serve as temporary countertop covers. They are a bit thicker (and thus tougher) than the regular contact paper, making them last a little longer. However, unlike installing contact paper, dealing with contact films can be a little tricky. For starters, contact paper installation only requires measuring the countertop, laying out the paper, trimming it to fit the size and sticking it down on the surface. Meanwhile, counter films are a lot denser, making the installation a little time-consuming.
Cover Old Countertop with Laminate
Stained yellow laminate or Formica countertops can bring down the value of your home. Luckily, laminate overlays are a great way of covering old Formica countertops with square edges.
Re-laminating your countertops is a lot like installing new laminate countertops. A lot of homeowners prefer this option to cover old countertops because laminate is easy-to-install, budget-friendly and most importantly, available in a vast variety of shades and colours to go with the rest of your décor. Moreover, this material is durable, easy to clean and mimics natural stone or wood to give your kitchen and bathroom a hint of elegance.
Generally, laminate sheets are available in sizes up to 5 feet wide and 12 feet long.
In case you are going the DIY route, make sure to thoroughly sand the existing laminate countertop to remove the existing coating and other debris. It is important to resurface laminate countertops in order to get rid of any bumps in the surface. It also roughens up the existing coating just enough for the adhesive to properly bond with the countertop.
Next, you need to measure your laminate sheet and cut them accordingly before glueing them down. Make sure to cut a few inches extra so you can cover the countertops without much hassle. Use a utility knife to trim off the edges and voila! You now have a brand new countertop.
Since laminate sheets are very thin, you will only be adding around 1/8-inch of height to your countertops, which is almost negligible.
Cover Old Countertops with Wood
If you’ve always wanted butcher block countertops, you can turn your dream into reality by using hardwood or plywood planks for covering kitchen countertops in your home. After all, nothing makes your home look more posh and lavish than wooden countertops, right?
The type of wood you choose for this project depends largely on your budget and personal preference. Hardwood is stronger and more durable than plywood, but it is also rather pricey. Plywood, on the other hand, is very economical and available in larger pieces, making it easy to cut and install.
Bamboo sheets are also an ideal option for wood overlays to cover old bathroom and kitchen countertops. They are eco-friendly, moderately-priced and fairly easy to install. You can buy them in sheets up to 4 feet wide and 8 feet long.
A wood overlay can add a few extra inches to your existing countertop. They also require some basic woodworking skills and a few tools for proper installation. Moreover, along with covering up the flat surface of your kitchen or bathroom countertops with wooden planks or plywood sheets, don’t forget to cover the sides of the counters before applying a waterproof sealant to increase its longevity.
You can also stain these wood countertop covers to complement the rest of your theme.
Cover Old Countertops with Concrete
Another popular way to update countertops without replacing them is to coat them with a thin layer of concrete. This will give your kitchen and bathroom a more industrial look.
Now, there are two ways to cover old kitchen countertops with concrete. You can either install cast-in-place concrete slab countertops, which require a lot of time and intense labour, or you can coat them with a cement-based flooring underlayment. The second method is fairly cheaper and relatively easier to accomplish.
Whether you are planning to cover hardwood countertops or those made of any other material, make sure to sand the surface using sandpaper. This step is very important if you want your adhesive to work properly. Once the surface of the countertop is roughened up, apply thin layers of cement using a trowel. Wait for it to dry before applying the final coat. Don’t forget to top it off with a food-grade sealant. You can also polish it with wax for a shiny finish. Waxing will also help prevent staining and make the clean-up rather easy.
This trick to update countertops without replacing them may not be very durable, but you won’t have to worry about the surface getting ruined at least for a few years, granted you treat it with care. Moreover, concrete is prone to scratches, so always make sure to use a cutting board to cut vegetables, fruits, meat and other grocery items.
Here are some more pros and cons of installing concrete countertops to help you reach an informed decision.
This brings an end to our list of ideas to cover old bathroom and kitchen countertops. If you have any tips or feedback about the best ways to cover old countertops, you can share them with us at email@example.com
Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our following guides for some added countertop inspiration:
- Best options for kitchen countertops
- Eco-friendly countertops for your kitchen
- Creative ways to decorate your kitchen countertops
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