Replacing Kitchen Countertops on a Budget

There can be many needs why you need replacing the kitchen countertops with a new one or improve that one to make a better adjustment to your kitchen. The overall work-condition can be really easy and cheap if you have the proper guide to replace kitchen countertops on a budget.

Replacing the countertop is essential for the family who will live a long time in the home. With the introduction of modern kitchen appliances, kitchen faucet, and other cookeries, you need to improve the kitchen, especially if you have a compact kitchen.

If you understand the whole improvement mechanism then the workflow will look easier. And also, you can do it on yourself if you don’t want to invest in workers. In this article, I am going to discuss some kitchen countertop ideas on a budget and guide you to do it by yourself easily.

Replacing Kitchen Countertops on a Budget

Raising Corian countertopThe first step for replacing the countertop in the kitchen is to understand the sink and how you can install them. Afterward, you can know to remove the countertop without hassle or improving them with ease.

Installation of Sink is in The Process of Replacing Countertop

Thinking about replacing your countertop in the kitchen? You need to follow some guidelines to remove it in a better way. The afterward part is to install the sink.

  • For a sink installation, check the sink carton for installation instructions and a template for making the sink cutout in the new countertop. With a keyhole saw, you can make the cutout from the top; with a saber saw, you have to cut from the bottom of the laminate will chip.
  • Using the template, draw the line for the cutout. Use a sharp punch or nail inside each of the four corners to make pilot holes for the drill, and then drill holes all the way through at each corner. Be sure the bit does not cut outside the guideline and be sure before you cut that you have spaced the sink properly from front to rear so that there is room for its rim in front of the backsplash.
  • Start sawing from hole to hole with the keyhole saw. To avoid chipping the laminate, apply transparent tape over your cutout line. If you use a keyhole saw do not saw too hard; apply pressure only on the down stroke and none on the upstroke.
  • Apply a thick ribbon of caulk around the edge of the cutout where the sink rim will rest, set the sink in place, and press down all around. Wipe away the excess caulk. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for fastening the sink to the countertop.

How to Install a Laminated Hardwood Countertop

The procedure for installing a laminated hardwood countertop is exactly the same as that for installing a plastic laminated unit, with these three exceptions:

You will need help in handling the material because laminated hardwood countertops are extremely heavy, weighing up to several hundred pounds.

You must exercise greater care with a laminated hardwood countertop because the material can be chipped much more easily than high-pressure plastic laminate.

Corners are butted, not mitered.

 

Corian Countertop in the KitchenHow to Install a Corian Countertop in the Kitchen

Corian can be worked just like plastic laminate even though it looks just like marble; however, care must be used in cutting this material. It is a good material to use in modern compact kitchens. But it has a nature of its own. It is heavy (so you will need a helper) and will chip or break unless care is taken with it. You should be very careful with this expensive material, for mistakes can cost money. If you lack the time or skill to do it carefully, have the top and cutout made by a professional.

You will need the following tools and materials:

  • A screwdriver, hammer, and wedge,
  • Level, circular saw (with a carbide blade)
  • Router, C-clamps, neoprene adhesive
  • Turnbuckles and screws
  • Scrap lumber, and sandpaper.

Corian Countertop Installation Steps

Installing this countertop is really easy if only you know how to do it. To install a Corian countertop, follow these steps:

Remove the old countertop

Remove the old countertop and level all the base cabinets. If your kitchen has just a sink front instead of a sink cabinet, you must provide extra support for the new countertop. Corian is very heavy, and it needs support behind the sink.

A wooden cleat nailed to the wall can provide support here. It can do it at other places such as the corners-where, there may not be adequate support. To provide extra support along the middle, lay a 14-inch board along the length of the cabinet run.

The process of cutting Corian

If you ordered a Corian top with an integral sink, the piece will be cut to the correct depth. And that depth is 25 inches front to back. But if you ordered a sheet of 3/4-inch Corian you will have to cut the Corian to the correct 25-inch depth. You also need to understand the proper length. This is a major step in replacing kitchen countertops by yourself.

The best way to cut Corian is to go very slowly with a circular saw equipped with a sharp carbide blade. Be sure that the blade should be as sharp as possible to avoid chipping. Since cutting will produce a “snowstorm”, plan on sizing it outside if possible.

Raising Corian countertop

Raising Corian countertopThe size can be customized according to the plan of placing the appliances or kitchen faucet. Like if you place the modern pulldown faucet with filtration system, you need a bigger area. Does not matter what the size is though, you need to follow the proper rule as well.

To raise the Corian countertop so that the top surface will be 36 inches off the floor, cut a strip 3 inches wide from the scrap to run the entire length of the top. Turn the Corian over and glue the strip along the bottom front, recessed about 1/8 of an inch, using neoprene adhesive.

Be sure you glue so that the factory-finished front edge will face the front. Then do the same along all sides. A ready-made top will already have this done for you.

Proper steps of installing a turnbuckle

If you must turn a corner for an L shape, make a butt joint rather than the miter joint you would make with a laminate top. Seal the butt joint with neoprene adhesive.

If you wish to draw the two sections of Corian snugger (never tight), you can install a turnbuckle underneath attached to a recessed screw on either side of the joint. Readymade tops will already have turnbuckles.

Sink cutout process

You can make a sink cutout in the same manner as in a plastic laminate top.  Except that a router will do the job faster and better than a keyhole or saber saw. If you use a router, first make a jig of scrap lumber. And then fasten it down with C-clamps to guide the router.

Despite the “snowstorm” of Corian, do not attempt to make the sink cutout outside. The strips at the front and back of the sink cutout would almost certainly break under the strain of supporting the weight of the heavy side portions. Once the cutout has been made, do not move the top without help.

Corian fractures easily. Cutting Corian leaves sharp edges; sand cut edges until they are smooth.

Last Few Words

In the last time, I did some home improvement works on my kitchen and I was pretty amazed at the result. I could improve the countertop position and area to adjust my compact kitchen and was easily able to place a filtered kitchen faucet. I was also able to place the home espresso/coffee maker, which is one of my most used items for breakfast.

Replacing kitchen countertops on a budget will not be easy without proper experience and knowledge. You can learn a few pieces of knowledge from this guide. And as for experience, you need to try out a few things first RIGHT?

 

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