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Replacing Formica countertops with something affordable and interesting

I'd like to replace our 70's Formica countertops with something different that will be durable and not cost $50-$100/sq. ft. We're willing to do some of the work ourselves. I have seen lovely countertops made from aluminum ceiling tiles ($8 each 2x2-foot tile): the tiles can be painted/antiqued as desired, then nailed onto the wood base and sealed with 3 coats of polycrylic. Would you recommend this? My husband thinks it will leak.
Submitted by ajs

While it may look neat to use ceiling tiles for a countertop, I don't think it's very practical. The only ceiling tiles I've seen are not flat and would cause a haven for bacteria growth, potential water leakage and a cleaning nightmare. I have to agree with your husband. Your countertop options are: new plastic laminate (the cheapest option), ceramic tile (maybe cheap depending on the tile and your expertise), solid surface (one of the most practical), concrete (expensive and hard to do right) and stone. Don't be scared of stone. Recently the price has come way down and still the only countertop that is something to brag about when selling your house.

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How can I update formica covered kitchen cabinets? Can I paint them or is there something other I can do to change the 80s look?
Submitted by nip158
Have you checked out Lowes or Home Depot They have laminate countertops already made in different size and patterns ...Lot look like granite or stone and very budget friendly..
Submitted by pcrowthe