There are only so many ways to cover up that spot on your counter where you dropped the smoking hot skillet. Or the gouge left behind when someone got a bit too aggressive when carving up the turkey.
The good news is that giving your beat-up, stained or damaged countertop a new look can be affordable -- even easy. Many countertop specialists offer ways to restore, repair and renew your existing countertops for a fraction of the cost of replacement.
Bruce Long, owner of highly rated Trademark Surfaces in Indianapolis, which produces, repairs and renews solid surface countertops, says most repair and renewal jobs can cost as little as $200 to $600. The company uses state-of-the-art, dust-free technology to refinish the surface back to a like-new appearance.
“A lot of solid surface countertops that were built in the early 1980s are still installed today. We can renew that surface back to new,” Long says. “If a countertop is 20 years old and has quite a few chips or gouges done to it over those 20 years, all of those can be repaired. Some typical examples of repair or damage would be some exposure to extreme heat causing a crack failure. A solid surface sink can be damaged by something falling from a great distance, breaking the sink. The sink can be removed and replaced and reintegrated into the countertop.”
Because solid surface countertops – which are made of an acrylic polymer and are seamless – are so durable, Long often gets requests to remove them in favor of new countertops, refinish them, and relocate them to a new area in the home.
“When people decide to change from solid surface, it’s usually because of the color,” Long says. “The countertops will typically always outlast the cabinetry. When someone remodels a kitchen, we find a solid surface always has a place to be recycled or reinstalled in a new location. We get calls often for that, where someone is going to salvage their counters and would like it installed in the basement or want to give them to a friend. So, we relocate solid surface tops from time to time.”
Another popular product that offers a complete countertop makeover is called Avantstone. This composite surface material can be applied with customized edging over an existing laminate, solid surface or tile countertop. Homeowners can choose from a variety of colors and looks, ranging from a glossy finish that has the appearance of granite, to a satin finish that looks more like seamless solid surface.
“It goes on in a liquid form and then cures over 48 hours,” says Adam Werner of highly rated Indiana Resurfacing in Indianapolis. “It takes a full day, usually, for the installation and can be used 48 hours later. The sink can stay in place. You don’t have to worry about pulling out the cabinetry and all that stuff. Obviously, the biggest selling point is the cost. Granite countertops can cost $4,000. What I do would typically be about $1,200 for the same area. It’s usually about half of what (solid surface countertops) would cost and it can even be less than laminate countertops. The advantage over laminate is it doesn’t have seams, so it prevents moisture from getting into any of those areas.”
The surface is heat and chemical resistant and scratches and chips can be easily repaired. A typical repair takes less than an hour and can range in price anywhere from $45 to $95, Werner says.
“It comes with a five-year warranty against lifting, or peeling, anything like that,” Werner says. “You can expect to get 10 to 15 years out of it with no problems, if you take care of it.”
Editor's note: This article was originally published in September of 2012.