Resurfacing Kitchen Counters

What's the difference between resurfacing and refinishing kitchen counters? HGTV has the answer.

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The terms "resurface" and "refinish" are often used interchangeably when describing the transformation of laminate counters. However, there are some subtle differences between the two concepts.

Kitchen Countertops: Colors and Materials

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Resurfacing kitchen countertops actually involves either removing and replacing the laminate or completely re-covering it with a fresh layer of laminate (or even tile). Refinishing, meanwhile, typically involves repairing the counter, sanding down stains, and recoating the existing surface for an updated look.

Resurfacing your kitchen countertops, though, is still a cost-effective alternative—not to mention a low-cost investment that will last for years to come. Expect the resurfacing process to take anywhere from 36 hours to a full week, depending on the scope of the project.

Before getting started, know that any resurfacing job will require removing sink bowls and range tops; but don't worry, they can be re-affixed to the new surface. Also, the surface, whether it's the existing laminate or a particle board base, will need to be completely flat and smooth.

Note that new orders of laminate, once they have arrived in your kitchen, will need to acclimate to room temperature for at least 48 hours before you begin installing them.


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