LAMINATE (Formica) Kitchen Countertop Update Tip & Ideas
In between flooring, faucets, countertops and cabinets, kitchens offer so many ways to spend spend spend and add to that never-ending ‘honey-do’ list. And while updating your kitchen is a great way to add value to your home, it’s also an easy way to suck the living daylights out of your bank account (it’s a yin/yang thing).
So, today I want to talk to you about countertops and how to add value to your home, while not going unnecessarily buck-wild (which I have been known to do on occasion).
Listed below are entry-level laminate countertops. To view luxury laminate countertops (that are still a HECK of a lot more affordable than quartz or granite), check out this blog post…The New Era of Laminate Countertops and Why They Rock
TIP #1 Not all laminate countertops are the same price
Many countertop suppliers have special groupings of countertops that are purchased in bulk and are then offered at a lower price. Locally, we have a grouping called The Top 66 which has some gorgeous high-end laminate selections.
These aren’t the least expensive because they’re the least desirable. In fact, they’re some of the most popular countertops which mean they can be bought in bulk and then sold to you the buyer at a fan-tiddly-astic price.
Here are a few of my faves…
MINERAL JET by Formica
Mineral Jet by Formica (here)
CREME QUARSTONE by Formica
Crème Quarstone is a light creamy mix with an amazing sheen. It also has a few wee flecks of orange and an almost there (but not really) greenish undertone.
Crème Quartstone by Formica (here)
PALOMA POLAR by Formica
Paloma Polar by Formica (here)
Now, not every company will call their bulk items ‘The Top 66’, but most companies should have a range of products that are offered at a reduced price. Also, I generally avoid the big box stores when it comes to these products and try to find a local supplier (like BC’s Colonial Countertops) to avoid the whole ‘middle-man’ thing so I can flutter my eyelashes, wear a low-cut top and see how it goes (I do not encourage my male readers to do this…)
IDEA #2 The Countertop Profile Can Cost Money…or not
The profile is the front edge of your countertop and the profile you choose can make a HUGE difference to the overall look of your kitchen.
My fave is definitely the square wrap or double radius…(shown in Soapstone Sequoia – see more here)
- rounded is dated, don’t do it…says me
- don’t even consider doing your front profile in wood with your top in laminate as it costs more, wears easily and is soooo 1990s
- a bevel edge profile (standard or micro-bevel) is a classy look, just keep in mind that it is an extra cost per linear foot
- the square wrap or double radius is the most popular profile as it’s modern, but not too edgy and is included in the product pricing (aka – free)
I also want to take a moment to talk about the ‘ogee‘ profile (Oh gee, it sucks – hehe)
The ogee is popular because a lot of people think that this particular profile mimics the look of quartz/granite countertops and it LOOKS lovely. However, I find it not so hot for a couple of reasons…
1. When you wipe the counter, the shrapnel falls onto that second ledge (or your floor if you get a good run at it) and you have to wipe that as well.
2. It’s an extra ‘per linear ft’ charge.
3. Unless you specify your corners you will get a flat edge on one side which kills the whole idea of it ‘looking like a natural stone product’. While you risk this with any laminate product, it’s much more pronounced with the ogee profile.
TIP #3 Do you have 2 feet & a heartbeat? Well, then you can save some money!
Okay, so it’s not THAT easy as you will also need some time and a moderate amount of muscle. You will pay per linear ft for the countertop company to remove and dispose of your old countertop. This usually costs $7 per ft which means the average kitchen is $150 – $200 (and is included in the overall price so you don’t really know it’s there). Just recently we removed our own countertops and took them to the recycle depot. This took about 1 hr and 1/2 a bottle of wine – well worth it if you ask me!
Tip: Take a blade and cut where your countertop meets your drywall as paint often binds the 2 together.
You can also save money by removing your own appliances and unhooking your plumbing (sans plumber butt). This can save you approx. $125.
There are even more fun and fabulous ways to save money when updating your kitchen, but that’s it for now my friends!
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ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2015, UPDATED IN EARLY 2021