Kitchen Countertop Replacements

Before you settle on a kitchen countertop replacement that's right for your space, consider the range of materials available—and the cost of installation—as well as the ease of future maintenance and repairs.


Green Home 2011 Kitchen with dark cabinetry, tiled backsplash, kitchen island that serves as an eating area with clear barstool seats, and a hardwood floor.

Has the time come to replace your existing kitchen countertops? If so, there are lots of options available to you.

10 Tricks to Wake Up a Kitchen

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Before: Boring Big White Box

The list of design crimes: Barely any cabinet space, the awkward peninsula cabinets that chopped the room in half, broken oven, nasty peel-and-stick floors, and fluorescent lighting


The Winner at Work

When Meg first scoped out this kitchen emergency, she found an out-of-order cooking space in desperate need of a remodel. Turns out the Chicago family of four had plans for an overhaul, but projects in other parts of the house demanded their attention—and their budget—so their reno dreams were put on hold. But then: Meg swooped in to the rescue!


After: Much Smarter Space Planning

Meg didn’t tear out a single wall, but it sure feels like she did! By lining everything up on two facing walls, the layout is a lot less cramped. Meg’s tip: “Countertops on opposite walls shouldn’t be more than eight feet apart,” she says. “Any wider and you’ll want an island in between them.”

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Sleek Storage

For the cabinets, Meg paired rich cherry wood with modernish nickel knobs. Find the same ones at

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Invincible Countertops

The smart selection: off-white Corian that looks like marble but won’t stain.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Cushy Floors + Durable Pretty Furniture

Meg picked dark-stained cork for the floors. It’s warm and sound-absorbent. “It feels like you’re walking on gel!” she says. The dining benches can take a beating and keep on seating. Meg gave the floral fabric an iron-on vinyl coating so they can be cleaned with a Windex wipe-down after meals.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Glam Lighting

Meg created a custom fixture by hanging a cluster of mercury glass pendants at different heights over the dining table. “It makes the room shimmer,” she says. A leftover pendant was suspended above the sink.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Unexpected Stripes

Thinking outside the box, Meg flipped the funky glass tiles to run vertically along the backsplash. Little change, big impact!

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

No-Limit Mixing

Forget dining sets (so The Price is Right!). Meg prefers to mix styles and materials, so she pulled up a pair of cane-back wood chairs and upholstered benches to a painted metal table. “These are the kinds of risks that add personality to a room,” she says.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Hide-and-Seek Window Shades

Custom valances made of plywood and supercute fabric cover the blinds, which drop down for privacy.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Multi-Functional Space

It’s art. It’s a bar. It’s both! You have to love a house that says, “Help yourself to a drink.” Meg amped up the kitchen’s bar area with zigzag wallpaper and floating shelves.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Even More Seating

Metal bistro stools scoot under the extra-thick Corian counter. They come in handy for parties.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

If you're like millions of homeowners, you could be living with worn, decades-old laminate or retro-colored tile countertops. If you dream of replacing it with a higher-end stone, a handsome, warm wood or seamless solid surface, then read on.

Before you settle on a kitchen countertop replacement that's right for your particular space, it's important to consider the range of materials and cost of installation as well as the ease of maintenance and repairs for that particular surface.

Homeowners looking to increase the resale value of their home, for instance, may be interested in upgrading their counters with granite, marble or stone. Homeowners interested in achieving the look of stone when replacing kitchen countertops, but without the hefty price tag, have a variety of options from which to choose including solid surfaces like Corian, engineered quartz, and even updated versions of laminate.

Others may opt to replace kitchen countertops with handsome woods like butcher block, bamboo or reclaimed woods, while metals like stainless steel offer a nice counterpoint to both contemporary and traditional styles of kitchens.

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