Replacing a countertop is one of the most dramatic ways to upgrade your kitchen in a hurry. Not only will it make your kitchen feel like a whole new room, but it can also make a huge difference in your life. You use your kitchen counter every day, and having something you love will be a continuing joy.
But there are a lot of factors to consider when you’re starting on a countertop replacement project. You’ll need to think about the budget, material choice, and more. Read on to learn everything you ever needed to know about getting your countertops replaced.
Know Your Budget
The first thing you’ll want to figure out when you’re considering a countertop replacement is your budget. This will determine what material you use, whether you hire a contractor or do it yourself, and whether you even do a full countertop replacement at all. It can even affect what color or pattern you get in your new countertop.
When you’re deciding how much you want to spend on your countertop, you should include a little extra padding. There will be unexpected expenses with the project, and having some extra money built into your budget will help avoid going over budget. If you come in under budget, you can go out for a fancy dinner to celebrate or put the money towards your next project!
Take Careful Measurements
The next step you’ll want to take in replacing your countertops is taking careful measurements. How much your project costs will be determined by the area of the countertop you’re replacing. Being even a few inches off on your measurements can make a huge difference in material costs.
Measure the length and width of your countertop, making sure to include any backsplash, corners, raised bars, or extra spaces. This will give you the area of your countertop, preferably in square inches. Make sure to double and triple check all your measurements and calculations to be sure you get an accurate number.
Pick Your Material
Now that you have your budget and your countertop area, it’s time for the fun part – shopping for materials! We know at this point, you probably already have an idea of the material you want for your countertop. Some popular choices are marble, granite, laminate, quartz, solid surface, and concrete.
Each countertop material has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll need to take into account your lifestyle and your needs. For instance, if you drink a lot of coffee and your house is prone to spills, you probably don’t want a marble countertop that will etch if it gets coffee spilt on it. Your budget will factor into this decision as well, so keep that in mind while you’re looking.
Don’t Forget Maintenance
Another factor you’ll want to consider when looking at countertop materials is how much maintenance each requires. For example, as we mentioned, marble is susceptible to damage if it’s exposed to acids like coffee or vinegar. Having marble countertops means quick cleanup on spills and occasional polishing and resealing.
Countertops made of quartz, stainless steel, solid surface material, concrete, and similar materials require less maintenance. If you’re going for wood countertops, you may need to reseal those every now and then as well. Research maintenance requirements for the different materials, and choose one that will work with your lifestyle.
Decide If You Want to DIY or Not
Depending on your experience, the material you plan to use, and your budget, you may want to look into installing your new countertops yourself. Some laminate countertops are designed to be easy to install, and you can probably handle them yourself. Other materials require more experience to get a quality result.
In most cases, you’ll want to hire a professional to install your new countertops. The money you might save by installing your new countertops by yourself will be lost anyway if you have to pay someone to come fix them. In the long run, you’re probably better off hiring someone in the first place to make sure you get the quality you want.
Figure Out the Timeline
Don’t forget to factor in construction time when you’re planning your countertop replacement. Countertop installations can take a while, so you’ll want to be prepared for that going in. (That’s another perk of hiring a professional; the job will get done much quicker than if you do it yourself.)
In general, most contractors can install a countertop in a day, though this depends on the size and complexity of the project. Fabricating the countertop, however, can take up to two weeks. So if you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year and it’s the beginning of November, it’s probably best to wait till after the holidays to start this project.
Consider Alternatives to a Full Countertop Replacement
If your budget will not support doing a full countertop replacement, you still have some options. On one hand, you can look into project financing or consider delaying your project until you can save the money to do it in full. But sometimes, you may be able to get away with doing a repair or partial replacement.
If one part of your countertop is damaged, talk to your contractor about the possibility of repairing that section without replacing the entire counter. If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, you could replace one section and plan to replace more later. If you go this route, you should consider trying to buy enough material for the entire project at the beginning to make sure you don’t wind up with a shortage later on.
Get the Best Materials
Doing a countertop replacement is a great investment in your kitchen. They will make your space instantly more beautiful, and they are something you can enjoy every day for decades. If you carefully consider all the factors, you can have the countertop of your dreams.
If you want the best in granite and stone countertops, visit the rest of our website. International Granite and Stone is the number one rated quartz and granite countertop installer in the Tampa, Sarasota, and Orlando area. Shop our countertops and get started on a quote for your project today.