Countertop insert?

wifetojoeiiiJanuary 1, 2009

Happy New Year! On to projects for 2009!

I am looking for any & all advice/comments. We have formica countertop & unfortunately, but predictably, there are burns and the counter is marred next to the cooktop. I have used a large spoon rest to hide for a while & I am now considering options.

We cannot afford to replace all the countertop at this time.

I have read about cutting a square in the formica & inserting some type of insert; if we go this route I am leaning towards quartz. Does anyone have such a cutout/insert? It seems to me that somehow we would need to either border the cutout or fabricate the stone to allow for a "lip" that would sit on the counter; otherwise you would see where the cutout was made.

I am also considering completely replacing the entire length of countertop in that area, which would require more counterop & be more expensive. It is the most used section of the kitchen.

If you need more info to visualize let me know; all suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks -


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If you are on a really tight budget, I think that the least expensive thing to do would be to buy one or two large granite tiles and make a cutout in your counter top to accomodate them. If you make the cutout about 1/8 inch larger around the perimeter than the size of the tiles you would be able to seal the insert with grout which would finish it nicely.

You may need to reinforce the countertop substrate from underneath in that area.

If you are going to do this yourself, it would probably be cheaper than replacing the counter, but if you hire someone to do it, I would think that it would cost almost as much as a new counter.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:08AM
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Not sure if there is an Ikea near you, but they have very affordable butcher block countertops.

I also like sailormann's idea. It sort of reminds me of a "built-in" trivet.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:12AM
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If you are the least bit handy you can replace just the top of the formica counter top for a very inexpensive price, depending on the size. You can buy sheets of formica at any home improvement store and buy the adhesive to apply it., We have friends who did approx 22linear feet of counter top for under 200 dollars. It took a little time, but it gave the kitchen a whole new look. Took less than a day and very little skill......They got the directions for a book and just followed them. It really looks great.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:56AM
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Thanks for the ideas - my husband & I are discussing options right now. I like the idea of grouting to border granite tiles; butchcer blcok really won't work in my kitchen; and a formica cover up is a consideration too.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 1:01PM
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We are putting a butcherblock insert into the paperstone countertop we are installing in order to minimize the number of visible seams. I probably won't cut on it, but we are finishing it such that I could.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 2:23PM
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Circus Peanut

You might also consider a section of stainless steel or copper sheeting applied to that area? (Remove formica first, then apply the metal sheet to the mdf substrate.) Great for hot pots/pans, and nearly indestructible -- I can bang my pans right from the stove onto my copper counter. Also not terribly difficult and quite cheap, if you are into DIY projects.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Will soapstone work? Looks like a fairly easy to adapt solution at the link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Soapstone Tile

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 6:06PM
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If you like one of the in stock colors at a local big box and can cut the slabs to size, you can probably redo your entire counters for under $250. Compared with the aggravation of trying to engineer an insert, it's worth replacing the whole thing.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 7:48PM
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I just bought an 8 ft length of pre-fabbed Wilsonart laminate countertop for my pantry at Home Depot for $90. They even sell lengths with the 45 degree angle cut into them, and all you do is insert some metal biscuit-type things and glue to make the joint. You use some adhesive laminate "tape" on any ends you have to cut, and voila - new countertops. I bought black to look similar to the soapstone we're installing in the main kitchen, but they have lots of color options. You really could do all new countertops in a standard-sized kitchen for $200-400.

If I couldn't swing that, I'd go with soapstone tiles or trivets that I could put hot pots on.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 10:50PM
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