If your kitchen countertops are old and knackered, there are a number of things you can do to repair them or breathe new life into them. To update your kitchen and deal with old countertops, consider the following ideas.
1. Pry Off and Replace Old Laminate
If you have peeling laminate or Formica countertops, you can consider just replacing the laminate. To do this, you need to peel off the laminate. Gently use a prybar, taking care not to damage the benchtop under the laminate. To remove small stubborn pieces of laminate, use a bit of Isopropanol and a rag to help dissolve the adhesive.
Once the old covering is going, putting on new laminate is relatively straightforward. Similar to laying a sheet of vinyl flooring, the process involves cutting the covering to size and pressing it into place carefully.
2. Replace Damaged Benchtops
If you remove the laminate and find that the underlying wood is water damaged or has other issues, you need to replace it. In most cases, the benchtop is held in place with glue and nails that you can access from the underside of the benchtop (inside the cabinets).
Once it is removed, you can put a new benchtop of your choice in place.
3. Consider Resurfacing the Wood
Instead of replacing the laminate covering, you may want to resurface the underlying wood. This also works for original wood benchtops.
Just sand down the benchtops — if you use an electric sander, start gently with a fine grit sandpaper so you don't remove too much of the benchtop. Then, paint or varnish as desired.
4. Use a Coating That Mimics Stone
To give your wood benchtops a bit of extra protection, consider adding a coating that mimics stone. You can talk with a professional benchtop supplier or a carpenter about options and advice.
5. Consider a Maintenance-Free Benchtop
If you want to avoid dealing with resurfacing or other types of benchtop maintenance, you may want to consider replacing your existing benchtops with a more durable option. Stone benchtops in particular are especially durable.
Granite is a popular and stylish option, and it's more resistant to issues than wood or laminate. For extra durability, you may want to consider quartz. It is less porous than granite, and as a result, it resists stains. In both cases, you don't have to worry about resurfacing or much maintenance down the line, but you may want to add a finish for extra protection.
Overall, you can often find cheap price stone benchtops that will be a great replacement for your worn down counters.