Budget furniture doesn’t have to be tacky or flimsy. Of course, if you’re good at hunting for deals you can wait and bargain your way to a fantastic piece of furniture, but for those who aren’t, there is still hope.
You see, price works on a simple demand-supply system. If something’s in high demand and its supply is low, the price shoots up. If granite suddenly fell out of fashion, for instance, its price would drop.
So in today’s post, we’ll take you through some excellent inexpensive kitchen countertops – options that should be expensive, but aren’t. And of course, we’ll provide DIY and other budget options as well, because everyone has different needs and preferences!
1. Granite remnants
If your kitchen isn’t very large, you could very easily have a beautiful granite countertop for it. There’s no catch – we mean 100% real granite, for as little as half the usual cost.
Granite remnants are bits and pieces left over from previous projects. Most granite dealers have slabs of a few sizes, and when clients request a countertop they cut the slab to size. So for instance, if the original slab was 4×7’ and the client needs two countertops of 1.5×7’, the dealers will be left with a remnant 6 inches in width and 7 feet in length.
They can combine various such remnants to make a beautiful mosaic countertop for you. It’ll look a little strange, but not in a bad way. The pieces will be fitted together, glued, and sealed so there’s no risk of liquids seeping into the cracks. You will need to get it resealed a little oftener than usual, but that’s not a huge pain. Granite remnants are especially ideal for kitchen islands.
When looking for kitchen countertop ideas on a budget, you should seriously consider concrete. We usually don’t think of concrete as a material for furniture, but it’s perfect for your kitchen countertop. It’s strong, sturdy, affordable, and it doesn’t have to look dull either!
A concrete countertop will be hygienic, non-porous (once sealed), and if treated properly it can look rather nice too. There are tints, sealants and other products you can apply to make concrete look wonderful. Whether you’d like a minimalist appearance or something more fancy, there are lots of options available on the market. A concrete countertop doesn’t have to look like concrete floors and pillars unless you want it to.
The installation costs can be a bit high, so try to find someone you know personally who can offer a discounted rate.
Tile is without doubt one of the best inexpensive countertop ideas. The best thing about it is that it’s available in so many different varieties, and for a lot of them you can install the countertop yourself if you have some experience in this area. We always recommend hiring a professional for best results, but if you really need to cut costs or if you enjoy DIY projects, tile’s your best bet.
Now, you probably associate tile with floors, and it might feel weird to install it on your kitchen countertop. However, tile’s actually a really versatile material which has been sadly limited to flooring. It can be used on the ceiling, on walls, on vanities, swimming pools, balconies, and many other places. It’s waterproof, attractive and low-maintenance, which makes it perfect. It’s also easy to work with and quick to install, so installation costs aren’t very high.
Wood’s the good old favorite – it looks great, works excellently, lasts long, and is fairly affordable. The thing about wood is, there are many different varieties of it. So if you go for cherry, walnut or mahogany, for instance, you’ll be paying an awful lot, whereas pinewood and some others cost a lot less.
If you’re on a budget and can balance a plain wooden countertop out with other cool elements, this will work perfectly for you. Hunt around for the wood variety that’s cheapest in your area, find out whether it’s suitable for countertops (and if not, what you can do to make it suitable), and get that installed and sealed. That’s how you get lasting kitchen countertops on a budget. Granted, it may not be the best option maintenance-wise, but it’s a solid one!
5. Ceramic tile
Ceramic tile has helped create some of the best kitchen countertops (on a budget). We’re a bit traditional and prefer granite or wood, but if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to deal with wood’s fussiness, this is possibly the best option. Ceramic tiles are a dream to work with – they’re cheap, easy to find, available in numerous varieties, easy to cut, and installed quickly enough. You’ll have to shop around to make sure you get the right materials, but that’s the only hard part.
Some homeowners don’t like ceramic tile because they feel a little unhygienic. Seams are a problem area, and the grout will need special cleaning. You knew there was going to be a con. However, if you have tile elsewhere in the house and have managed to keep it clean, the kitchen shouldn’t be much different. You won’t be walking on it, so it’s a million times cleaner generally.
You’ll find two types of laminate – expensive and cheap. The expensive variety is of course better all-round. It’ll last longer, it’ll look better, it can handle more heat and weight, yada yada. But the cheap variety isn’t bad either, as long as you’re a little careful while using it. Since you’re looking for kitchen countertop ideas on a budget, laminate is one you should research.
You’ll find some fairly cheap options at Home Depot, IKEA and other similar stores. They’re not the prettiest or the sturdiest options, but they’ll give you a decent countertop. You could also hunt around for a bathroom vanity laminate counter, because those tend to be a bit cheaper. Take your counter’s measurements carefully – the vanity laminate often has a cut-out for the sink, so you’ll need them! You can easily install the product yourself.
If your goal is to revamp an old wooden countertop, paint might work. It’s not a countertop material, meaning you can’t just paint the structure over – but for revamping purposes this’ll work just fine. Paint, stains, polishes and resin will all look gorgeous. If you’re into DIY you could even try making some colorful resin, carving out a wooden countertop, and making a wood-resin countertop.
Painted countertops don’t look very stylish or expensive, but they do look neat. If it’s for a temporary home, a hobby project or a shed or the like, this should work. For good-looking and serviceable budget kitchen countertops, try good old paint. Polishes and tints will revive dull old wooden countertops, and resin will diminish the appearance of scratches. Do make sure the products you use are heat-resistant, however!
We hope this article gave you some ideas. There are lots more options you can choose from, but these were some of the best. When you have a small budget you’ll have to venture into a pool of products that have some or the other fault – a short life, for instance, or susceptibility to moisture damage or breakage. The inexpensive countertop ideas here have as few cons as possible. For more tips, ideas and inspiration, follow our blog!