Cheap Countertops: The Good, The Bad, The Seriously Ugly

Cheap Countertops: The Good, The Bad, The Seriously Ugly
Cheap Countertops: The Good, The Bad, The Seriously Ugly

What if you could make your kitchen dazzle without breaking the bank?

That’s the goal of all homeowners. And the best way to make your kitchen stand out is with brand new countertops.

However, it often seems like the best countertops cost way too much money. This may leave you curious if you can have cheap countertops that still look good.

Fortunately, the answer is “yes.” Read on to discover everything you need to know about this complex topic!

What Are Cheap Countertops

When it comes to “cheap,” everyone has their own idea of how much is too much. And if we’re being honest, home renovations will always cost more than we want to pay.

One way to define “cheap” is by the price per square foot. This is one of the reasons that some homeowners prefer to use laminate on countertops, as it typically costs only $40 per square foot.

Another way to define “cheap” is the percentage cost of your budget. If you can renovate your countertops for ten percent of your overall renovation budget, then you are getting quite a deal.

Keep reading to discover more about the good, bad, and ugly of getting new countertops!

Good: Laminate Countertops

As mentioned earlier, laminate is a great material to use for your countertops. One of the most compelling reasons why is that it saves so much money compared to other materials.

Another advantage is that it is long-lasting. The material is remarkably resistant to things like stains and heat that typically damage countertops. Just be careful not to accidentally cut the laminate with a knife!

Finally, laminate looks a lot better than you think it does. Many homeowners have unpleasant memories of laminate that looks cheap and has an ugly-looking edge at the seams.

Modern laminate offers many different looks, including some that look very similar to the much costlier granite. And modern decorative edges help to hide unsightly seems.

This gives you great-looking countertops at a fraction of the price you’d pay for other materials!

Good: Quartz

If you don’t want to pay the price for actual marble countertops, then quartz is a good compromise. The material offers some of the benefits of marble (such as being resistant to scratches, spills, and burns) while looking just as good.

Best of all, quartz is low-maintenance compared to marble. You don’t have to seal it or clean it like marble requires, which ultimately saves you time and money.

Good: Butcher Block

An unexpected (and cheaper) alternative to things like marble countertops is butcher block countertops. This offers a look that is a perfect blend of modern and natural aesthetics.

One bit of maintenance is that you have to periodically rub mineral oil onto your finishes. However, this is counterbalanced by how easily wood can hide small scratches and spills.

A quick weekend of sanding and refinishing your countertops will hide most minor blemishes. And the ability to stain the wood any color you want means you can get a perfect match for your home.

Bad: Marble

You’ve probably spent years hearing about how marble makes for the absolute best countertops. However, there are several downsides to using this material.

The obvious downside is cost. For those trying to find cheap countertops, marble usually ends up being way too expensive.

The second is that marble is very easily damaged. It stains much more easily than other materials, and it also chips very easily.

One slip of a knife or a dropped pan may result in the marble chipping. This means you are either stuck with unsightly surfaces or an ongoing repair bill.

Bad: Solid Surface

When it comes to countertops, solid surface is your most basic option. But who wants their kitchen to be basic?

These are the standard countertops in many homes. That’s part of why they are bad for a renovation: they don’t add anything new or exciting to the home.

While they are more durable than some of the other options, they also end up being a bit more expensive than most laminates. Because you can get better-looking countertops for less money, we’d pass on solid surface.

Ugly: Stainless Steel

The idea of stainless steel countertops sounds cool and futuristic. However, they are actually one of the worst decisions that you can make.

The whole point of stainless steel is that it looks aesthetically pleasing. However, it stains and scratches very easily, which can be difficult for you to find and fix.

Furthermore, the material also dents very easily. The final result is a kitchen where you must spend half your time worrying about damaging your countertops and the other half cleaning and repairing them.

Throw in the relatively high cost and you’ve got countertops you’re better off avoiding altogether.

Ugly: Grouted Tile

Grouted tile is one of those ideas that looks good on paper. It’s sturdy and relatively low cost. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, the answer to this is that this tile can end up looking very ugly, very quickly. The grout does a great job of collecting every spill and other kitchen calamities, giving it a nasty discolored look.

This means you have to spend almost every day cleaning the grout. If you don’t, the entire kitchen area will look dirty all the time. This is not only gross, but it hurts the value of your home.

The Bottom Line

Look, we get it. You want to get the best-looking countertops for your home at the lowest possible prices.

However, it can be difficult figuring out where to start. Even after settling on a material for the countertop, you need to find the best place to order it.

That’s where we come in. At International Granite & Stone, we are able to offer you the best possible selection of countertops at prices you’ll have to see to believe.

We’re ready to help you completely transform your home. To see how we can help bring your renovation vision to life, come get a completely free quote today!