LESLIE: Frank in New Jersey needs some help with a countertop. What would you like to do to it?
Laminate Countertop Makeover
FRANK: Well, I have an old laminate countertop that needs replacing and I might be relocating in three years, so I don’t want to spend a whole lot of money and I know that the in thing now is to get solid-surface, granite countertops.
FRANK: But for my kitchen, they estimated that to be about $3,000 and I was wondering if something like a 12-inch granite tile would be considered a reasonable alternative and not too tacky.
TOM: It certainly would be and there’s another alternative, too. There’s a granite countertop paint that’s designed to specifically go over laminates; that’s made by the same people that make the stainless steel paint.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, the website is called Liquid Stainless Steel and the product that Tom is talking about is called Giani and that’s there granite paint for laminate countertops. Now, you do have to be sort of crafty. I will admit to you it goes on very easily. There’s a series of different layers and process that you have to follow to give it that granite look, but it dries incredibly hard. Tom and I saw this at the hardware show. And I mean we would never recommend painting laminate until we saw this process because it’s super-durable. So that’s an option for you. Check out LiquidStainlessSteel.com.
You can also relaminate your existing laminate countertop by getting laminate from Wilsonart, Formica, Lamin-Art – any of those companies – and then adhering it to the old laminate and then just putting a new edge on it and that looks fantastic, too, and can be affordable.
FRANK: OK. Well, I was hoping to do something, too, that would look like an upgrade so if I did sell it would add value.
TOM: Yeah, well I mean the laminate paint is pretty good. It is going to look like an upgrade. If you want to resurface it, that’s going to look like an upgrade. Either of those I think is a good option for you.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. The granite tile, I’ve seen it done where it looks really nice. Keep in mind that you’re not going to grout those joints. You want them to be as tight together as possible. This way …
TOM: And you’re going to need an edge. What would you use; a wood edge?
LESLIE: You can. You can use a wood edge; you can use a tile edge. Hmm. I wonder if you can cut the granite tile into strips and then use that as an edge; keeping your joint lines in the same location.
TOM: My concern with the granite tile idea is, as you say, you want it took like an upgrade. It might look like a low-budget upgrade and it could take away from it.
FRANK: That’s what I was afraid of, yeah.
TOM: Yeah. If it’s not done really well and really professionally, it could look bad.
TOM: I’d try the granite paint for countertops. We saw it done. It looked really good.
FRANK: OK. OK, very good. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Frank. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.