You don't have to replace your outdated countertops to take them from tired to trendy. Save time and money by resurfacing your existing countertops with these three easy techniques.

By Kathy Barnes

Take your outdated kitchen counters from blah to beautiful. Countertop resurfacing is a fairly easy process of covering the existing surface with tile or sheet goods. In just a few hours or days, you can give your kitchen a whole new look at a fraction of the price of brand-new counters. Resurfacing works best over smooth laminate. If you have tile or very damaged laminate, you'll need to strip away the existing counter down to the particleboard underneath. Remove the sink before beginning; it can later be replaced and caulked into the new surface.


Love laminate but hate your current counter's outdated style? Bring your kitchen into the modern age by installing new laminate right over the existing tops. Sand the old laminate. Cut new laminate to fit, leaving about an inch overhang in the front, and place it over the counters with dowel rods between the two surfaces. When the new piece is in the correct position, bond it to the old counter using contact cement, removing the dowels one at a time and pressing the laminate down as you go. Use a rolling pin to get rid of air bubbles. Remove the overhang with the edge of a power router. Affix precut plastic edge pieces and use clamps to hold the laminate in place until the glue has cured.

Granite Sheets

Love trendy granite but not the hefty price tag? Get the look at a fraction of the cost with an overlay, which is real granite blended with polymer resin to create thin sheets. Professionals must install this product. The company will measure your counters, make a template, cut granite to fit, and install the sheets. Although it is more expensive than do-it-yourself solutions, granite overlay is about 20-30 percent less than new slab granite and can be installed much faster and with less mess. The product is heat-, stain-, and scratch-resistant, doesn't need to be sealed, and carries a 10-year warranty.


Whether you love the classic look of square white tiles or want an affordable way to get the look of granite, tile is a great solution for covering up dated laminate. If you aren't starting with a particleboard base, first install a sheet of thin cement board over your existing laminate counter. Lay out the tile using rounded bullnose tiles for the front edge, set them with mortar, and add grout. If you're installing granite tiles, use a matching grout to create the seamless look of slab granite. Ceramic or porcelain tiles are a smart addition in the kitchen because they are moisture-proof, knife-proof, and don't hold heat.

More for You Countertop Material Finder If resurfacing won't work for you, take our quiz to find the perfect material for your new counters. Kitchen Remodeling Guide Download our FREE guide to remodeling your kitchen. 


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