Inexpensive Kitchen Countertops

Select the surface that's right for your budget—without sacrificing style—by exploring easy-to-maintain and inexpensive kitchen countertop options.


Laminate countertops are an inexpensive, low-maintenance alternative to pricey stone and solid-surface countertops, and they are available in many styles that mimic expensive surfaces such as granite or marble. Laminate countertops are not resistant to heat and can scratch. Image courtesy of Formica Corp.

Photo by: Scott Dorrance

Scott Dorrance

Searching for a stylish but affordable material for your kitchen countertop? Don't snub your nose at inexpensive kitchen countertop surfaces like laminate.

How to Update Your Kitchen Without Breaking the Bank

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Don't Desert Your Island

If you love your kitchen cabinets, but want to add some interest to the space for very little money and time, consider changing the color of your island. This has been a popular design element for years and is showing no signs of changing anytime soon. Paint it, stain it a darker color or clad it in beadboard. You could even put corbels under the breakfast bar for added dimension and inexpensive customization.

Are You Both Worn Out?

These kitchen cabinets are hopefully in worse shape than yours, but they're not that uncommon. If you like the style of your existing cabinets, they're still functioning well or new ones aren't in the budget right now, paint is your friend here. Choose a color that complements the other elements in the room and get ready to go from "ow" to "wow!" Check out the next picture to see just how amazing this low-cost solution can look.

Acquaint Yourself With Paint

A fresh kitchen is just a few days' elbow grease away. Prep work and light, even coats are the keys to a successful paint job. Take the time to sand the surfaces until smooth, caulk as needed and try using pieces of a brown paper bag to "sand" between coats. It smooths and knocks down the high spots without dulling/removing as much paint as sandpaper so you don't have to be quite so careful.

Ready For a Change

This kitchen could be Anywhere, USA, and might remind you of yours. Let's say you have a bigger budget and it's time for some changes, but new cabinets aren't one of them. Repurposing them by changing their color and focusing on other areas that'll give you a big bang for your buck is a smart way to go. Look to the following picture for inspiration.

More Bang For the Buck

This kitchen's renewed darker cabinets, new backsplash and stainless steel appliances all combine to make it into a welcoming space with minimal hassle and mess. Keeping the same layout, cabinets and flooring made it possible to put the dollars into the higher-end appliances people expect these days and to add texture with the tile backsplash — all ideas you can consider if your kitchen's not to your taste.

Not-So-Bright White

This kitchen's beige/whitewashed cabinet color makes the white countertops and walls look dull. That isn't what anyone wants in a space that should be clean and fresh for cooking and eating. If you're ready for a change and crave color, check out the next picture to see how adding a new hue to just the cabinets transformed this kitchen.

For Those Who Crave Color

New molding along the top of the stock cabinets and N-HANCE® wood renewal in blue make the entire kitchen look unique, bright and white, even though the countertops and walls didn't change. When you're ready to update your kitchen cabinets, consider all your color options and don't be afraid to make a bold statement.

Consider that between the brands Formica and Wilsonart, more than 325 colors and patterns are available. This makes it nearly impossible to not find the style that works for you.

And if that's not great news, consider the price: at $12 to $40 per square foot installed, you'll save a small fortune in comparison to more expensive stone surfaces like granite and marble.

Beyond laminate, other inexpensive, easy-to-maintain surfaces include solid wood and butcher block countertops as well as ceramic tile countertops. In addition, solid-surface countertops like Corian shouldn't be overlooked. Corian, in fact, once enjoyed the status granite does today and was known for its seamless installation and the ability to easily integrate sinks and backsplashes.

Unexpected materials like concrete or glass are more recently trending countertop materials, as they not only make a statement but also offer plenty of personalization options, from stains and dyes (concrete) to LED illumination (glass).

Top Countertop Materials for the Kitchen

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Corian Kitchen Countertops

Longevity and ease of cleaning are just two key traits that make Corian a great choice for a busy kitchen.

Cheap Kitchen Countertops

When budget is the first matter of consideration, it's important to consider price, from cheap kitchen countertops to the most expensive options.

Tile Kitchen Countertops

Get creative with the kitchen countertop (or a limited budget) by using natural stone or ceramic tiles to achieve a surface that’s both high-quality and long-lasting.

Affordable Kitchen Countertops

Style and affordability don't have to be mutually exclusive when you get creative countertop materials that mimic the look and feel of luxurious surfaces—for a fraction of the cost.

Cheap Kitchen Countertops

Is it possible to add character and interest to the kitchen without breaking the bank? When you discover the world of eco-friendly or stone-look surfaces, the answer is "absolutely."

Tiled Kitchen Countertops

Update your kitchen countertops for less: at as little as $10 per square foot installed, tiled kitchen countertops are a great solution for style-savvy, cost-conscious consumers.

Kitchen Countertop Prices

What should you expect to pay when upgrading and installing new kitchen counters? HGTV uncovers the most cost-effective materials.

Eco Countertops

Sustainable surfaces can also be attractive, high-quality and easy on the budget.

Express Yourself with Concrete Countertops

For the homeowner in quest of an artistic, one-of-a-kind countertop that transcends the commonplace, concrete may be worth the price.

DIY Kitchen Countertops

Tap into your creative side with these tips for creating a do-it-youself kitchen countertop.


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