How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Counters?
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When your kitchen or bathroom countertops are starting to look tired and worn, it's time for a change. Replacing counters is a costly endeavor, but in many cases, you have the option of refinishing the counters, making them look brand new and extending their life by 10 years or more. It pays to know how much the work costs before shopping for quotes.
If you need help along the way, we can get you in touch with local countertop professionals near you.
Table of Contents
- Countertop Refinishing Cost
- Countertop Refinishing Cost Comparison
- What Is Countertop Refinishing?
- What Countertops Can You Refinish?
- Advantages Of Countertop Refinishing
- Disadvantages Of Countertop Refinishing
- Countertop Refinish Colors
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Refinish Counters
- Find A Pro
Countertop Refinishing Cost
The cost of refinishing a countertop depends on a wide range of factors, including the size of your counters, the type of material you’re using, your geographical location and whether or not you hire a professional or do the work yourself. Employing a professional contractor to refinish your countertops costs anything from $35 to $85 per hour. The cost of materials depends on the finish you choose:
- Laminate: $1.67 to $4.17 per square foot.
- Epoxy: $2.92 to $7.17 per square foot.
- Paint & Sealant: $1.17 to $2.33 per square foot.
To keep costs down, you have the option of refinishing the counters yourself, in which case you only have to pay for your materials and equipment. However, there is a significant investment in your time, especially if you have never done anything like this before and need to learn as you go.
Countertop Refinishing Cost Comparison
Refinishing countertops is significantly less expensive than installing new counters, and is also less disruptive to your living space. It's possible to save from 30% to 70%, with bigger savings from people who do the work without the aid of a professional. For example, the cost to finish 60 square feet of countertops ranges from $150 to $1,030, while the cost to replace the countertops is as much as $2,000.
Doing the work yourself is much cheaper than employing a professional, but the lack of a guarantee and the possibility of mistakes means that it's often more cost-effective to employ a contractor to get the job done correctly.
What Is Countertop Refinishing?
Countertop refinishing is a cost-effective way to revive your kitchen or bathroom by restoring damaged units. The process involves adding a new layer of material directly over the original counter, so there is no need to replace anything. Refinishing materials include laminate, epoxy, paint and peel-and-stick vinyl.
What Countertops Can You Refinish?
It's possible to refinish any type of countertop as part of remodeling your kitchen. The best techniques depend on the type of counter:
- Tiles: Repaint and then seal, or coat with epoxy
- Wood: Sand down and then paint or varnish
- Cultured Stone: Coat with epoxy
- Laminate: Coat with epoxy, or layer with new laminate sheets
Advantages Of Countertop Refinishing
The main advantage of refinishing countertops, or furniture for that matter, is the potential cost saving compared to replacement. The lower costs mean you have more options for choosing the look and feel of your counters, and you may have enough left in your budget to upgrade sinks and other fittings to match the new style. Refinishing also takes less time, so the amount of disruption in your home is minimal.
Disadvantages Of Countertop Refinishing
Refinished countertops are often less durable, especially if you completed the work yourself. Hot pans and sharp knives quickly take a toll, making it essential to use chopping boards and trivets whenever possible and to keep the surfaces clean. Additionally, as a DIY project, refinishing countertops is time consuming; and there is the potential that the finished counter does not look as good as you originally hoped it would.
Countertop Refinish Colors
The available colors depend on the materials. Laminate sheets, vinyl and epoxy are available in hundreds of colors, but paint gives the widest range of options. Unusual or rare colors are often more expensive, causing your project budget to escalate.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
By refinishing your own countertops as a DIY project, it's possible to significantly reduce costs. All you need to do is purchase suitable materials and tools, and then set aside a day or two to get the job done. However, if you lack confidence or experience, it's often better to hire a contractor. Home service professionals have the tools, materials and skills to get the job done to a high standard with the minimum amount of disruption. Many contractors guarantee their work, and they are usually in a position to negotiate trade deals with suppliers, which brings down overall costs.
How To Refinish Counters
The exact method for refinishing your countertop depends on the counter's material and the type of covering you use. A quick and effective way to transform an old laminate counter is to create a faux marble finish with paint:
- Clean the countertop to remove any dirt and grease.
- Wipe the countertop with denatured alcohol.
- Remove all of the old caulk from around the edges of the sink and walls.
- Use epoxy to fill any cracks and chips.
- Sand the surface with 100-grit sandpaper to ensure good paint adhesion.
- Apply an oil-based primer.
- Apply a base coat in your chosen color.
- Add at least two additional layers of paint, in lighter shades, using a sponge to create a mottled effect.
- Apply each layer of paint before the last is completely dry.
- Sprinkle glitter over your final coat of paint.
- Add black veins using a fine brush.
- Apply at least two acrylic polyurethane topcoats with a foam roller.
- Apply new caulk when the topcoat is dry.
Find A Pro
Find a pro in your area to ensure you get refinished countertops that look fantastic and last for years. By using online searches and word of mouth recommendations, it's possible to find home service contractors that meet your requirements. When possible, get at least three quotes; but remember that the cheapest quote is not always the best option. Don’t sacrifice quality to save a buck.
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Last updated on Feb 16, 2017