Kitchen Countertop Ideas (Incredible Cheap Solid Materials)

Kitchen Countertop Ideas – The kitchen countertop is one of the kitchen elements that require design touch because of its significant function. The kitchen tabletop serves to facilitate cooking and prep activities. Therefore, it needs a functional and durable design. 

These days, there are various design choices and finishes that you can apply to your kitchen countertop. The material that you can apply in your “Do It Yourself” session, even the one that can drain your wallet, all of them are applicable. You only need to adjust to your budget. 

In the following article, we have some must-read tricks and tips that you need to know before renovating your kitchen countertop.

Read also: Kitchen Hood Ideas

What is Kitchen Countertop?

What is kitchen countertop?

The kitchen countertop is a work surface in food preparation areas that installed upon and supported by cabinets. The surface is designed with ergonomic standards in order to make its users feel comfortable to do their activities in the kitchen. A kitchen countertop can be made of various materials depends on functionality, durability, and aesthetics. It may also have built-in appliances or other items depends on the user’s intended application.

Benefits of Having Kitchen Countertops

Benefits of having kitchen countertops

A countertop is the most essential part of the kitchen. It contains most of the kitchen’s space. It can help you to have the best experience while doing activities in the kitchen by its practical function. Also may help you to keep your kitchen condition at its best. Therefore, it needs to be well designed with the best quality of material so that it could be long-lasting and heavy-duty resisted.

Kitchen Countertops Best Layout

The most important thing that needs to be well-planned is the kitchen counter arrangements. The kitchen layout determines the comfort quality of the kitchen. You need to make time to plan and arrange your kitchen according to your workflow and habits while doing activities in the kitchen. Here are several kitchen countertop layouts that you could duplicate in your kitchen design:

1. Doorway Design

Kitchen countertops best layout

The open floor plan was boomed in the 1940s and still remains fashionable for decades. Open floor plan is when kitchen, living room, and dining room became one big space. The kitchen is no longer exists behind closed doors. However, some kitchens still use doors or entrance.

If you are the kind of person who prefers to employ doors in the kitchen, you need to make sure that they should not block the kitchen appliances or vice-versa. There should be a clearance in the doorway entries, which is 32 inches in order to not causing any damage to both doors and the appliances. So that you could use both of them conveniently.

3. The Perfect Triangle Design

Kitchen countertops best layout

There are three work areas in the kitchen, which are storage area, preparation area, and cooking area which symbolized with refrigerator, sink, and stove consecutively. Cooking is an activity that requires moves between these three areas with a pan full of hot liquids. Therefore, those three areas should be formed as a perfect triangle by not exceeding 26 feet of the total distance of each other legs.

3. Traffic Management

Kitchen countertops best layout

One of the most crucial kitchen elements that need to be well-designed is the aisle. There are two kinds of aisles, work aisles, and walkway aisles.  Work aisles are corridors to access storage area, preparation area, and cooking area. The minimum width of the work corridors should be 42 inches for a single-cook kitchen and 48 inches for a multiple-cook kitchen. Meanwhile, the walkway aisles are the transition area between the kitchen and the other room of the house, and it has nothing to do with cooking activities. These aisles should not interfere with the kitchen triangle and have a minimum width of 36 inches.

4. The Ideal Countertops

Kitchen countertops best layout

There are specific standards that should be applied in order to make the ideal kitchen countertops. The length of counters should be at least just over 13 feet, except for small galley, or L-shaped kitchen’s owner might not be able to build this much countertop space. The edges of the kitchen countertop should be rounded or clipped to prevents cracking and bruises. The area from the backsplash to the edge of the counter should be around 24 to 25 inches. While the space between tables and the undersides of wall cabinets should be over 15 inches. That is the recommended dimension based on ergonomic standards of kitchen design.

5. Sinks, Stoves and Landing Spaces

Kitchen countertops best layout

There are no rules about how many sinks that you want to install in your kitchen. It depends on your needs and preferences, whether you wish to install single-, double- even triple-basin. However, three factors need to be considered before installing sink and all of its features such as:

  • Placement: According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Guidelines, sink has to be installed across from the cooking areas and refrigerator.
  • Counter Landing Spaces: The sink needs to have a minimum of 24 inches of landing spaces on one side, and just over 18 inches of landing area on the other side, to rest cookware or food items.
  • Preparation Area: It is highly recommended to have just over 36 inches of a continuous countertop right next to the sink in order to accommodate cooking preparation activities.

In order to make a safety kitchen, we need to concern about the dimension of landing spaces and vertical space above the cooking appliances. We need to spare a minimum of 12 inches of landing space on one side of the stove and 15 inches on the other side. Those landing spaces are used to place the hot pot while cooking. Ovens also have a minimum of 15 inches of landing area beside it. But, because of most people locate ovens under the stoves, this landing space is unnecessary. It is also required to have at least 24 inches of vertical space between the stove and vent hood. If the upper surface is cabinets, please make it to 30 inches of clearance between them. It will help you to create a more safety kitchen.

Kitchen Countertops Prices

Kitchen countertops serve a surface for preparing food and storage. Countertops should be functional yet decorative to enhance your kitchen design. Various materials can be used to make counters, so we just need to adjust it to our personal taste, needs, and budget. The latter one is the factor that we need to plan wisely before renovating our kitchen countertops. 

The average kitchen countertop in the US costs approximately $100 per square feet. The cost may vary on selected materials and installation fees; however, estimate a higher range is more considered.

How to Make Cheap Countertops

How to make cheap countertops

There are two ways to push down the budget to make cheap countertops. First, you can choose using affordable materials. Materials commonly used because of their affordability are tile, laminate, and epoxy. Those three materials not only cheap but also can achieve a luxurious touch in your kitchen. Second, you have two options whether hiring a professional or install it yourself. Hiring a professional may costs you more than DIY, but you also need to consider technical issues while installing it alone. It can costs you more than you expected.

Read also: Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas

Kitchen Countertop Ideas on a Budget

You don’t have to bury your dream about having a beautiful kitchen countertop because of limited budget. There is no such thing as compromising aesthetics in design. This guide informs you how to design a luxurious kitchen for less.

1. Ceramic and Stone Tile

kitchen countertop ideas on a budget

Ceramic tile provides us with various colors, patterns, and textures at affordable prices. It only costs around $5 to $30 per square foot. But, using the tile as a kitchen countertop also has disadvantages. It is hard to clean up the mess after cooking because the gap between tiles allows food to be stuck in it. So, it requires sealing and maintenance regularly. However, using tiles as countertops is the right choice if you want to have an artistic kitchen without draining out your wallet.

2. Laminate

kitchen countertop ideas on a budget

Laminate countertops only cost you around $25 per square foot. They also come in different kinds of patterns, such as stone, marble, and wood grains. They can upgrade your kitchen countertop looks to be like stone or wood at a lower price.

3. Epoxy

kitchen countertop ideas on a budget

Colored epoxy is the cheapest choice. It only costs $3 to $10 per square foot without compromising aesthetics sides. It can imitate solid surface or stone, even metallic finish.

DIY Kitchen Countertop Ideas

Besides using cheaper option materials, you can consider DIY method to reduce your kitchen countertop redesign costs. You should consider using these three DIY countertop materials in your kitchen.

Blackboard Countertops

diy kitchen countertop ideas

Blackboard as countertops is kinda hype now. You can see it in restaurants and cafes around the town. It is worth to try using blackboard as your counters to bring a new atmosphere to your kitchen.

Pennies Countertops

diy kitchen countertop ideas

If you are willing to be crafty, you can make countertops by using coins. Arrange your valuable coins collection in the counters and cover it with ultra-clear epoxy. Brace yourself to be the best countertops owner.

Wine Cork Countertops

diy kitchen countertop ideas

If you collect wine, from now on, don’t throw away your wine cork. Because you can make countertops by recycling it. Cork is a durable material with natural color. It will go well with your kitchen decor.

Kitchen Countertop Organization Ideas

After choosing the best material and know-how to install it, you need to make sure that your countertop is tidy and well-organized. You need to make sure every item has a place. Below are several routes to display your regularly used items and keep them neat.

Install a spice rack

kitchen countertop organization ideas

Install a spice rack that helps you to locate spices faster when you are cooking.

Utilize mug hooks

kitchen countertop organization ideas
Source: Jen Woodhouse

Hang up your favorite mugs to keep the landing space available by installing mug hooks on the backsplash.

Make a Shelf

kitchen countertop organization ideas
Source: Simon Scarboro

By making a shelf for your coffee and sugar can make your counter looks tidy.

Private Cafe

kitchen countertop organization ideas

Design your own cafe by creating a specific space for your valuable coffee maker and coffee beans.

Magnetize Cooking Utensils

kitchen countertop organization ideas

Utilize a magnetic strip on the back-splash to hold your knives to keep them out from your beloved kids.

Small Kitchen Countertop Ideas

For those of you who don’t have a large and spacious kitchen, don’t worry, you still can have your dream kitchen countertop. Here are several inspirations about how to apply kitchen countertop in a small kitchen.

Hardwood and Marble Countertops

small kitchen countertop ideas
Source: Scott & Scott Architects

Every corner of this house is utilized as the pottery display. All of the rooms are designed with an open plan concept, including its small kitchen. The small kitchen uses two kinds of material for the countertops, which are light-colored hardwoods and white marble. These two look merely beautiful.

Concrete Countertops

small kitchen countertop ideas
Source: Fernando Stankuns

This apartment only has a small space for the kitchen in order to maximize the living area. The tiny kitchen countertops are built from concrete, which is match with the floor. So minimalist and simple.

All-Gray Solid Surface Countertops

small kitchen countertop ideas
Source: Vertebrae Architecture

This single wall kitchen uses solid-surface countertop. The all-grey countertop is so small so that it only has one small sink, a stove, and three tiny landing spaces beside them.

Kitchen Countertop Storage Ideas

We can’t separate kitchen countertop with the cabinets because they are not only functioning as storage but also playing a big role as structure of the counters. The following paragraph is several ideas about how to optimize your kitchen tabletop storage.

Dining Ware Shelves

kitchen countertop storage ideas
Source: Thomas Davies Kitchens

Creating open shelves for your eating utensils is always a good idea to utilize the available space below kitchen island countertop.

Wine Rack

kitchen countertop storage ideas
Source: Woodford Architecture and Interiors

Use the available room under the counters as wine rack. It is the best space-saving idea.

Cooking Ware Shelves

kitchen countertop storage ideas
Source: Trevor Brown Architect

Providing lots of storage in the kitchen will be very useful. Try making spacious open shelves under the counters to place your cooking ware.

Kitchen Island Countertop Ideas

Kitchen island plays a significant role in attracting people to come to the kitchen. So it needs a special touch, especially for its countertop. Here are several ideas that might inspire you.

Slab of Hardwood

kitchen island countertop ideas

Try to apply hardwood as your counters because wood never goes out of style.

Cantilever Countertops

kitchen island countertop ideas
Source: atelier riri

Countertops often supported by under cabinets. However, it is not impossible to create a cantilever concrete countertops in your kitchen.

All-White Solid Surface Countertops

kitchen island countertop ideas
Source: Charles Lanteigne

If you still have a lot of space, try this U-shaped kitchen island. The all-white kitchen island countertops will be the focal point of your spacious kitchen.

Kitchen Countertop Materials

There are many types of countertop material. Five of them below are commonly used in residential kitchens. Let’s learn more about each type before making your own decision.

1. Granite

kitchen countertop materials
Source: David Papazian

Granite is a natural stone that can make your kitchen looks luxurious, so do the price. If you have an unlimited budget, you can consider using this. Because it is not only aesthetical but also practical.

2. Marble

kitchen countertop materials
Source: Home Bunch

Marble also a natural stone that commonly used as kitchen countertops. It is really expensive, so not many people use it for whole kitchen countertops. Its elegant look can be the focal point in your kitchen by using it on kitchen island.

3. Quartz

kitchen countertop materials

Quartz is an engineered stone that has 93 percent quartz particles and other minerals, which shaped into boards and banded with resins. It provides many colors than granite and resistant from both scratching and staining.

4. Solid-Surface Material

kitchen countertop materials

Solid-surface is a blend of acrylic and resins that are pressed into various shapes. It is an excellent choice because of its quality can mimic granite but for a more reasonable price.

5. Wood

kitchen countertop materials
Source: Apartment Therapy

Wood countertops always can bring a natural and warm look. It is available in a lot of colors and finishes. The most favorite wood countertop is maple and oak.

Kitchen Countertop Ideas with Oak Cabinets

Oak is the primadonna of hardwood. Many people prefer to use it because of its durability and beautiful texture. Here are three must-read ideas of kitchen countertop with oak storage.

Rustic Oak

kitchen countertop ideas with oak cabinets

Oak always successful spread a rustic vibe just like it did in this kitchen. The lighter color of solid-surface contrasts with the oak cabinets below it bring in the balance in this room.

One-sided Oak Cabinets

kitchen countertop ideas with oak cabinets
Source: Hamilton King

The osprey white quartz countertop supported by matte-white plywood cabinets look complete with the wall-height oak cabinets on one side. Simply beautiful!

Black, White, and Oak

kitchen countertop ideas with oak cabinets
Source: Henrybuilt

Black and white are neutral colors that harmoniously blend with any colors, including oak. The oak used in cabinets not only make well-suited with matte-black counters but also brings warmness in this kitchen.

Kitchen Countertop Ideas with Pictures

Read also: Kitchen Rugs


The kitchen countertop is important because it contains most of the kitchen’s space. It helps you to make the best of your kitchen activities. Therefore, it needs to be well designed by arranging the perfect layout and using the best materials. So, your kitchen worktops could be long-lasting, low maintenance, and user-friendly.

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