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What are the Best Tips for Countertop Refacing?

Article Details
  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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During a kitchen remodel, it is not uncommon for a homeowner to consider the option of countertop refacing, as opposed to the installation of all new cabinetry. Choosing to refinish the countertops is often less expensive to install, offers many choices, and in many cases it can be done without the assistance of home improvement professionals. There are several factors associated with this project, and it is important to decide on the overlay material, how to prepare the surface for the new material, and the correct method involved installing the chosen overlay. For those people who wish to install the new countertop themselves, assistance can be found online and from the local home improvement store staffs. In most cases, the entire countertop refacing project will only take a few hours to complete.

The first step for this type of kitchen remodel is choosing the countertop refacing material. One of the most popular products for this project is sheet laminate because it is easy to work with, tends to be very durable, and is available in many colors and patterns. There are other materials also available including ceramic tile, glass tile, and natural stone options such as granite or marble. Some homeowners choose to update their kitchens with wood countertops, eliminating the need for cutting boards during food preparation.

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Once the material for the countertop refacing has been procured, the old countertop material will need to be removed. The removal process will depend on the type of material already in place, but it is usually as simple as using the claw section of a hammer or pry bar to peel the finish away from the underlying countertop. Stripping compounds are ideal for removing the old adhesives and any remaining sections of countertop, especially laminate materials. Before the new countertop refacing material can be installed, the counter surface should be sanded, properly dusted, and cleaned. Adhesives should be applied in a thin, even layer to ensure the entire countertop material will adhere correctly with no gaps or bubbles.

When applying laminate countertops, the use of a heavy roller is suggested to reduce the likelihood of air pockets becoming trapped under the material. Other countertop materials will need to be installed according to their specific requirements. Ceramic or glass tiles will require careful spacing and the addition of grout to be properly installed. Unless the homeowner has previous experience, most home improvement experts suggest hiring a professional to install granite or marble countertops due to their weight.

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