A countertop is oftentimes the single most important decor feature of a kitchen or bathroom. The right countertop style and design can be the key to unlocking the beauty of your home fashion concept, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. So, what are the top 7 cheap and affordable countertop options for your kitchen and bath?
The top cheap and affordable countertop option is the Hampton Bay Laminate Countertop. Hampton Bay laminate countertops are cheap, durable, easy to maintain, versatile for kitchen and bath, easy to install, and incredibly beautiful. For the price, there is simply no better option than Hampton Bay.
In this article, we will be going over the things to look for and the factors to consider before settling on a countertop option for your bath or kitchen. We will also look at the various types of countertop materials, what each one offers, and how design options differ between the kitchen and bathroom. And lastly, we will provide our list of the top 7 affordable countertop options, so keep reading!
What To Consider When Deciding on a Countertop for Your Kitchen or Bathroom
When shopping for the right countertop to complete your kitchen or bath and bring the design to life, many factors must first be taken into account.
Never rush into buying a countertop or commit financially until you have had a chance to do some research and consider all available options given your particular situation.
The following are the most important points of consideration that you should consider when deciding on a countertop in no particular order.
When choosing a countertop, you must first take a step back and assess the whole of your kitchen or bath, and from there, the rest of your home. Do not think of it in terms of just a new countertop. Think of the macro outlook of your entire house and how your countertop will reflect it.
Cost is a very important factor when buying a countertop.
If you don’t invest enough money, you will likely end up with an unsatisfactory final product.
On the other hand, buying the most expensive countertop simply because you feel that the price makes it the best by default is also a flawed logic.
It is possible to purchase a beautiful and elegant countertop at a low and affordable price, provided that you follow the other purchasing guidelines outlined in the following sections of this portion of the article.
Oftentimes, individuals update their countertops simultaneously as they renovate the rest of their kitchen or bathroom as a whole. This means that countertops are not their only expense. There is a limited amount of money that they can reasonably allocate to the countertop before it begins to take away from other uses. This is why we want to provide our readers with the most bang for their buck products and not materials that are expensive merely for the sake of it.
Another very important consideration to make when choosing the perfect countertop is its overall durability.
The toughness and durability of a countertop will determine how long it lasts and how much regular use it can tolerate without showing signs of wear.
Countertops are used on a daily basis for many different purposes. This is why longevity is so important.
When you install your countertop, you want it to last a very long time and remain in pristine condition.
The appearance is arguably the most important factor in choosing a countertop.
A countertop that matches with the theme and color scheme of the rest of the room and house as a whole will help to accentuate the decor of your kitchen or bathroom and can liven the area.
On the contrary, if the countertop does not match the room stylistically, it will detract and disturb the natural balance of the home’s design.
Seek help and opinions from knowledgeable experts if you are unsure how to tell the difference, and check out this article by The Spruce, which outlines how to choose a countertop color.
Many countertop manufacturers offer samples for free. These can be very useful for getting a sense of how the countertop will match the rest of the home, which can sometimes be difficult to visualize without a physical reference.
Before committing, seek out as many opinions as possible and take advantage of any samples that may be offered.
The shape of your countertop is all too often overlooked, but the importance of finding the appropriately shaped countertop must not be understated.
Countertops come in every different shape and size imaginable.
Some are thick, while others are thin. Some have rounded edges, while others have squared and rounded corners. Some countertops will have more overhang than others, almost as if they are forming a ledge.
The shape of your countertop will also have to correspond with the shape of any sinks, taps, or hoses that may be installed underneath them. If your countertop is not the right shape and buries, even partially, a sink or other amenity underneath it, then that countertop is no good and will need to be cut, reshaped, or replaced entirely.
Different Types of Countertop Materials
Now that we have covered the different factorial considerations that one must consider when beginning to shop for a countertop for their kitchen or bath, we may now begin looking at the different types of countertops available i.e., which materials there are to choose from.
Countertop Contact Paper
For those who have never seen or heard of countertop contact paper, it is simply a roll of self-adhesive fake countertop.
Countertop contact paper is the cheapest option available in terms of countertops. However, it can still provide a very nice outward appearance and is also available in various textures.
It is easy to work with and install, and to the untrained eye, it is very difficult to tell the difference between contact paper and a genuine countertop.
If you are interested in exploring this route but are unsure where to begin, consider checking out this grey marble countertop paper by LivelyNine for a reference. You may come to find that it is exactly what you are looking for.
Countertop contact paper receives overwhelmingly positive views from satisfied customers who are just looking for a very cheap and quick way to add a little bit more appeal to their kitchen or bathroom.
Most of the negative reviews seem to be from people who did not properly install it and wound up with warping or bubbling.
Make sure you have read and understood all application instructions on the product before installing it so you may avoid any mistakes that will render the product worthless.
Marble countertops are incredibly expensive, and they are notoriously susceptible to scratches, gouges, chips, and cracks.
While marble counters’ appearance is very beautiful, they require a lot of upkeep and maintenance and are not necessarily family-friendly. Marble is not a good option for those who may have young children using the counter in a less than respectful manner, or even just for those who are on the go a lot and don’t have the energy to devote to the regular maintenance.
Marble countertops are much more of a showpiece than an all-purpose counter for everyday use.
Granite, like marble, is very expensive.
However, the good thing about granite is that it is much more tough and durable than the latter.
Granite countertops provide a great look and fashion but are also suitable for everyday use.
On the other hand, granite also requires a fair bit of regular maintenance and upkeep to retain its prestige.
Most people purchase granite for the look, but you do not need genuine granite to achieve this look. Today, imitation materials are becoming so much like the real thing that many have become practically indistinguishable. This is great because it allows everyone to have a chance at bringing their home to life.
Concrete is becoming more and more popular due to its affordability, its toughness, its easiness to work with, and its unmatched ability to be customized by way of adding marbles, stained glass, and other designs, the limits of which only your imagination knows.
Concrete is extremely heavy, practically indestructible, and unique.
The outward appearance of concrete countertops is not a match for some of the other materials on this list, such as marble or quartz, but it looks nice, and it performs well.
Concrete countertops are not overly versatile because they do not conform stylistically to most settings and rooms, but they can, in theory, be used for both a kitchen and bathroom.
One of the more common uses of concrete is the making of backsplashes to go above the countertops.
Stainless steel is a very different option than the others discussed here, but it may be ideal in certain situations.
Stainless steel countertops are not cheap, but they are not the most expensive on the market either. They are relatively affordable and provide some unique advantages that none of the others do.
Stainless steel, for starters, is great for cooks and chefs. It is easy to sanitize, making it great for food preparations.
They are somewhat durable but are also susceptible to scratches if not properly maintained. The scratches could, in turn, act as bacterial hotspots. This is why it takes a fair bit of conscientiousness to work with stainless steel countertops.
Appearance-wise they are not the most attractive and more suitable for a commercial or industrial-type kitchen design. But if that is the look you are going for, this may be your best option.
Ceramic tile countertops are countertops made up of individual pieces of tile, arranged according to a particular design, with whatever color and textural appearance you choose.
The customizability of ceramic tile is infinite. The pieces may be square, triangular, hexagonal, rectangular, and the pieces themselves can be dull, shiny, rough, smooth, etc.
Ceramic tiling is very similar to tiling a floor. You arrange the pieces as you want and grout them. While it does take some knowledge and expertise to install ceramic countertops without making any mistakes, the process is not overly difficult if you have prepared well.
For more information on ceramic tile countertop installation, check out this article by the DIY Network.
Watching YouTube videos of ceramic tile design ideas can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing and generate some new ideas.
You may end up coming up with a design that is one of a kind and unique to your home alone.
Ceramic tile counters are probably the most fun in that respect.
If you have decided to go this route, you will require a ceramic tile cutter to shape your pieces. This Hychika Handheld Ceramic Tile Saw is a great product for doing just that. There is no need to overpay for a heavy-duty cutter. This one is compact, electric, simple to use, will do everything you need it to, and more.
Now we come to the solid surface countertop, the most enticing of all options on this list relative to its price.
Solid surface countertops are fabricated from materials such as wood, particleboard, and various metals. However, the exterior layer is textured and styled to mimic any type of countertop that you wish. The outermost layer of solid surface countertops is typically made from laminate or polyester resin, although many different types are available.
Solid surface counters are affordable, they look nice, they’re incredibly durable, they are more customizable than any other option, and they’re perfect for heavy, everyday use.
Butchers Block Countertops
Butcher block is a general term used to refer to countertops that are solid wood.
Butcher’s block surfaces differ in that some are unfinished, meaning unsealed and untreated, while others are finished with oil coatings and the like.
These offer some distinct advantages and disadvantages that should be carefully understood and considered if you think of going this route.
First and foremost, butcher’s block surfaces are not suitable for bathrooms. The wood appearance does not match stylistically with any bathroom, save for a very few rare exceptions.
They are, however, very well suited to many kitchens, especially those with an old-fashioned log cabin type of wooden theme.
Butcher block counters are incredibly durable as they are just pure wood and are very convenient for food preparations. They are more or less just a giant cutting board.
Aesthetically butcher block counters are a hit or miss. Some will appreciate their bare simplicity, while others may desire more eye-catching looks that are only available with more color and design.
Lastly, we have quartz.
Quartz is a manufactured stone countertop, meaning that unlike granite which is designed by nature, quartz is human-made.
For this reason, quartz is slightly cheaper but still considered to be high-end and fairly expensive.
However, quartz is still very elegant, and it is durable and requires very little maintenance.
For those who have some money at their disposal, quartz could be a great option to look into for both bath and kitchen.
The Difference Between Kitchen and Bath Relative To Design Options
At this point in the article, we have now outlined in great detail, first, the things to consider and generally keep in mind when beginning to search for a countertop to meet your bath or kitchen needs; and second, all of the different materials available for countertops, what they have to offer, their price, maintenance, and the overall look.
The final point of consideration we must briefly touch on is the difference between a kitchen and a bathroom countertop.
Kitchen and bath countertops will perform a slightly different function which we will now describe.
Kitchen counters get a lot of regular use for things like food preparation. They are also commonly used to store dishes, utensils, decorative fixtures, such as flower vases, and appliances, like toaster ovens and coffee makers.
Durability, cleanliness, and maintenance will be the most important elements of a kitchen counter.
Their appearance is secondary to their sanitariness and physical longevity.
Bathroom countertops are less demanding of toughness, physical strength, and maintenance. The main purpose of a bath countertop is aesthetic appearance and its outward presentation.
Bathroom countertops will not be required to perform as many tasks as that of a kitchen counter, and for that reason, they usually require less upkeep.
When it comes to bathroom countertops, prior experience and knowledge in the field of interior decorating will be vital to selecting the best option to suit your needs.
By now, you, the reader, should be well acquainted with the different types of countertop materials, the considerations that go into planning your purchase, and how the difference between kitchen or bath factors into the overall context of your choice.
At this point, you will have a very good idea of what it is you are going for, and we may now begin to recommend specific options.
Keep in mind that these recommendations are geared towards those who do not have a big budget at their disposal but still want to make the best of what they have and are looking for the best cost to benefit ratio. This list is not aimed at those with unlimited funds to allocate to their kitchen and bath countertop, who are looking to find the best countertops available, cost notwithstanding.
Without further adieu, we give you our top 7 picks for the best cheap and affordable countertops for your kitchen and bath.
Solid Surface Countertop in Poplar
This solid surface countertop, measuring 48” x 25” x 1.34” offers everything you could ever want in a kitchen or bathroom countertop at an affordable, low price.
The materials used for this countertop are chipboard with a polyester resin surface, which is beige, brown, and grey.
The color scheme makes it versatile and suitable for almost all homes.
Furthermore, this solid surface countertop in poplar is also adequate for commercial and industrial usage as it is extremely durable and requires very low maintenance efforts.
This solid surface countertop is sealed, so it resists bacteria and molds very well.
It is also very easy for anyone to install and goes in seamlessly when finished.
If you are looking for a long-term option that is cheap and looks good, you need not look any further than this.
Hampton Bay Laminate Countertop
This exquisite laminate countertop measures 96” x 25.5” x ¾”, so it is very sizable and covers a lot of surface area.
The unique thing about this countertop is that it has a 3” backsplash that adds a different element. On the other hand, the backsplash also limits this countertop to use only when up against a wall. For this reason, it is not suitable for floating islands and detached sinks.
This product is available in over a dozen different colors and designs, so there is an option for any room, and anyone can find a perfect design match with the Hampton Bay laminate countertop.
Hampton Bay also offers a 1-year limited warranty on this product, proving that they stand by their product’s quality and integrity.
If you are looking for a cheap countertop that comes ready to install, this is the one for you.
Unfinished Hevea Butcher Block Countertop
Butcher block countertops are not intended for bathrooms, but for certain kitchens, they are ideal.
Butcher block countertops are solid wood. Some are finished with stains or laminate, while others, such as this one, are unfinished, providing a rustic and vintage look.
The drawback to unfinished butcher block counters is that they are difficult to clean and maintain as they absorb spills and liquids.
They do, however, work incredibly well for food preparations, and best of all, they are inexpensive.
Butcher block counters are very durable because they are essentially just a piece of wood.
The Unfinished Hevea counter is 98” x 25” x 1.5”, which is pretty standard dimensionally. It is also available in 4 feet and 6 feet options.
Butcher block counters are very easy to modify, and they are beautiful in their design simplicity.
SÄLJAN Laminate Countertop
Next, we have another laminate countertop making this list, but this one has a very different black mineral design, which makes it very desirable for bathrooms and kitchens with dark themes and styles.
This particular countertop is available in either 74” or 98”, and has a 1 ½” thickness.
SÄLJAN’s laminate countertops are so durable and long-lasting that IKEA offers a 25-year limited warranty on them! Provided that nothing unexpected happens, this may very well be the last countertop you ever need to purchase.
Ekbacken Laminate Countertop
This laminate countertop is very different from the others as far as its texture is concerned.
First of all, this Ekbacken laminate countertop is entirely matte black, giving it a very strong but simple postmodern look.
The real uniqueness lies in its soft, velvet-like texture that is fingerprint resistant and soft to the touch. This makes it very dull and flat-looking, as opposed to most countertops, which prefer to project a shiny and glossy finish.
The price is very affordable, and the beauty is unmistakable.
This countertop requires only a minimal effort to maintain and will last as long as your home does.
It is equally suitable for a kitchen or a bathroom, and for that reason, its versatility is highly regarded.
John Boos Blended Cherry Countertop
This cherrywood countertop is an oil-finished butcher’s block and measures 18” x 25” x 1.5” in width, length, and thickness. It also comes in 30″ x 25″.
This countertop is elegantly handcrafted in the USA and guarantees the utmost quality.
The oil finish allows this cherry countertop to resist water, mold, and moisture that could damage or compromise the surface.
The price is relatively affordable, and the appearance is perfect for any wood-style home or kitchen.
The only drawback is that, again, like the unfinished Hevea, this countertop is not suited for bathroom usage and is exclusively geared toward kitchens.
SÄLJAN White Stone Effect Laminate
Last but certainly not least, another laminate countertop from the SALJAN brand.
SALJAN is known for providing the absolute best quality for the price. From a cost-benefit perspective, they may just be the best countertop manufacturer in the industry.
This white stone effect is bright and brings out the life in your kitchen or bathroom.
The design is subtle but powerful at the same time, and maintaining this surface is practically effortless. All that is required is routine wiping and washing to clean up grease and food stains.
SALJAN products are specially designed to outlast all other competitors. You simply cannot go wrong with their countertops.
In this article, we wanted to provide our readers with a list of the top 7 most affordable countertop options for kitchen and bath.
The best options for those looking to save money without compromising quality are laminate, butcher block, and solid surface polyester resin.
SALJAN, Ekbacken, and Hampton Bay have the best countertops for the price.
Always choose an option that is durable enough to last, easy to clean, sanitize, maintain, and easy to install.
Never purchase before you have done the homework, and careful planning required to make the right choice for you.