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3 Kitchen Countertop Update Ideas: How to Save Money!

Posted on March 29, 2015 by KylieMawdsley


Kitchen Countertop Update Tip and Ideas: Laminate

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, 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 are the least desirable. In fact, they are some of the most popular countertops which means 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…

Formica Mineral Jet

Mineral Jet is a mix of black, brown and gray and is best in the Radiance finish. It looks fabulous with oak cabinets.

Formica Mineral jet is an affordable laminate countertop for a kitchen or bathroom update

Oak cabinets Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray. Formica Mineral Jet, black appliances, Gentle Cream walls. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online color consultant. Photo by Artez Photographpy

Mineral Jet by Formica (here)

Formica Crème Quarstone

Crème Quartstone 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.

Formica Creme Quarstone is an affordable laminate countertop

Crème Quartstone by Formica (here)

Paloma Polar by Formica

Paloma Polar is essentially a soft white countertop with a gray fleck that has a slight purple undertone – it also has a fabulous sheen!

Paloma Polar by Formica is an affordable neutral countertop idea

formica paloma polar is a budget friendly laminate countertop that will update a kitchen

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)

Hexagon shape subway tile backsplash, soapstone sequoia countertops by formica and maple shaker cabinets painted Cloud White

  • Rounded is dated, don’t do it…says me
  • Don’t even consider doing your front profile in wood with your top in laminate. This costs more, wears easily and is soooo 1990’s
  • A bevel edge profile (standard or micro-bevel) is a classy look, just keep in mind that it is an extra cost
  • The square wrap or double radius is the most popular profile as it’s modern, but not too edgy. This edge/profile is included in the product pricing (aka – free)

This is the bevel edge on a gorgeous Wilsonart…

Edge options for laminate countertops by Wilsonart This is the mitred edge

Via Wilsonart

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 2nd 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.

See the ogee and other profiles here

Tip #3    Do you have 2 feet and 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!

Bathroom vanity with travertine silver countertop, painted Benjamin Moore Kingsport Gray with white sink. Kylie M Interiors e-design

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!

Need help picking the perfect countertop?  Check out my Online Consulting Services!

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and EdesignREAD MORE:

4 Ideas to Update your Kitchen on a Budget

The New Era of Laminate Countertops and Why They Rock



  1. Thank you for the help. My wife and I are going to remodel our kitchen soon and we would like to add new countertops. I love the mineral jet look that you shared. I think it looks so clean on top of white cabinets. I imagine the dark color is much easier to keep clean as well.

  2. Which I’d these would work best with a biscuit bathroom fixtures and grey tile floor? I was leaning towards wilsonart hd Bainbrook Grey… would a consultation be best?

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  3. Love your ideas but every kitchen shown had a wood floor. We have light colored oak cabinets that look new and a tile floor. Very nice, 18″ tile which poses a pcountertop issue due to a muted pattern in the tile. I wish I could post a photo. Anyway, thanks for all of the information and ideas.

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      Hi Tom! The key will be to find a colour in your tile floor that you can repeat on the countertop in a more solid form – so no busy pattern/veining. If your tile has a range of depths, this can look nice if you hone in on the ‘medium’ depth, but going lighter works too. Just make sure your countertop colour really does MATCH what’s in the floor, that’s how you’ll create a purposeful palette :).

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