Like most things, countertops may get damaged or worn out over time. Knife marks and scratches as well as cracks and burns may leave your countertop marred and undesirable to look at, let alone use. For most people, their first instinct in such a situation would be to replace the countertop but countertop replacement isn’t always the most practical solution.
Countertop resurfacing is almost like countertop replacement in that there are many options to choose from however, you get to save a lot of money when you just resurface your countertops.
The A-Z of countertop resurfacing
Countertop resurfacing is the process of coating an old countertop with a new surface to restore its appearance. It can be done by either applying a liquid substance to create an entirely new surface material or gluing a new laminate layer over the countertop. Countertop resurfacing can be done by professionals but it is quite possible to do it yourself using laminate sheets, DIY resurfacing kits or special epoxies.
Countertop resurfacing materials
While there is a variety of countertop materials available in the market, some are better than others when it comes to resurfacing. It is easier to resurface countertops using faux stone, laminate, cultured marble and some types of glass. However, tiled countertops are slightly difficult to resurface because you have to first remove all the tile material and sand the surface. Alternatively you can first coat the countertop with special epoxy in thin layers.
There are various types of professional resurfacing services depending on the type of countertop. It is important to note that professional resurfacing companies typically do not use chemical-based resurfacers to fix countertops that have a porous or natural stone surface. It is therefore critical to ask professional resurfacers about the type of resurfacing that they offer and ensure they do what is best for your countertop. Note that DIY resurfacing kits also come with specific requirements included in the packaging to help you pick the best product for resurfacing your granite countertops, quartz countertops or bathroom countertops.
Countertop resurfacing options
You can get your countertops resurfaced by professionals or choose to do it yourself using a variety of methods. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages which you would be wise to consider before you make a choice. Click here to learn more.
Professional countertop resurfacing
Professional resurfacing typically involves the use of special chemicals to stick the new surface to the old countertop surface. Professionals will first clean the surface thoroughly to eliminate grease and other unwanted residues. Any scratches, cracks and chips will then be filled before any of the real work begins to avoid possibility of similar damage. The new chemicals are then bonded to the countertop using a special bonding agent.
The bonding process differs from company to company. Some use proprietary bonding agents which are somewhat friendly to the original surface. Others use an acid-etching process that is often harsh on the countertop surface. Whatever the case, the chemicals used by professional countertop resurfacing companies often emit very strong odors so the space where the work is being done must be properly ventilated for the safety of anyone around.
Professional countertop resurfacing surfaces typically take 2-4 days based on the method or materials used. Stone-like surfaces take longer to dry completely because many layers of product is used to achieve the stone-like look. On the other hand, random flecks and solid-colored surfaces are typically done within two days.
DIY countertop resurfacing
Resurfacing granite countertops on your own is quite possible just as is resurfacing quartz countertops. You can follow the same procedure to resurface bathroom countertops. First, you will need to measure your countertop and establish the exact amount of material you require. You will have several options to choose from but whichever option you choose will include the most crucial step; cleaning and degreasing the surface. This step ensures that the new finish lasts as long as possible.
You can use epoxy to give your countertops a whole new look. First you will clean the surface and skim coat the surface if porous. The greatest advantage of epoxy is that you can achieve a high-end look without measuring or cutting anything. Furthermore, epoxy can be used to cover many types of countertop materials. On the other hand, epoxy can be difficult to apply evenly as it is just like paint. It therefore requires extra keenness to ensure the coating is level as well as thorough. It also works better in specific temperatures and may take as long as 30 days to cure completely.
Epoxy top-coat kits
These epoxy kits are more difficult to use particularly the ones that contain decorative stone chips. These require more labor and take longer to finish. The biggest pro of epoxy top-coat kits is that they produce a great end result. However, they require two people to apply and may take at least a week to cure.
This can be done on either smooth surfaces or old laminate surfaces. Chipped areas are filled with laminate then the surface is sanded and dusted. The laminate is cut slightly larger than the surface. A thin layer of contact cement is then applied on the countertop and on the bottom surface of the laminate. Dowels are used to align the new laminate to the existing countertop and then removed to install the new countertop in place. The advantage of relaminating is that laminate sheets are fairly affordable and come in various types. They are also easy to cut and apply. On the other hand, they cannot be used to resurface curved edges.
Non-epoxy liquid kits
These offer similar results as professional resurfacing except they are better as they produce minimal odor. They are perfect for resurfacing countertops to look like granite because some contain minerals and real stone. Their main advantage is that they are stain and heat resistant. The kits are convenient because they contain all the required materials. Besides, the countertop will be ready to use as soon as 24 hours and the leftover non-epoxy liquid can be saved and used. The greatest disadvantage of these kits is that one often has to use a primer on porous surfaces such as wood. One must also fill any flaws on the surface before resurfacing to ensure a smooth finish.
All these options are great but some require more work than others just as some are more durable than others.