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Old 08-26-2010, 07:52 AM
 
400 posts, read 751,516 times
Reputation: 187
Default cheap kitchen countertop?

Hi, I am replacing my lower-level cabinets and countertop. The original countertop and cabinets are peeling and swelling and look seriously bad; the company that made them is out of business. (I bought condo 'as is' for less money)

I am buying 4 cabinets, 200 each for $800.

I wanted to buy a laminate countertop at Lowes, for 68 dollars each side (it is galley kitchen) and have handy-man/contractor cut it down and cap it.

I have two contractors interested in the job but both balk at the idea of cutting the countertop. It's not 'the best way'. They want me to have someone come out and custom make it. (although they will cut it if I insist.)

Do I need to spend the money on this?
This condo probably wouldn't sell for 50,000 in this climate, I spent 67,000 for it in 2004; I want to put as little money in as possible while still doing a decent job. Labor estimate is 650.00. I want to spend no more than 1600.

Any other ideas on how to fix up the kitchen while not spending too much on a cheap condo? That I might need to rent out? I am saving for a house.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 5,209,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen59 View Post
I have two contractors interested in the job but both balk at the idea of cutting the countertop. It's not 'the best way'. They want me to have someone come out and custom make it. (although they will cut it if I insist.)
Sounds like someone who's NOT confident of their work. The typical post-formed laminated countertop is essentially 3/4" particle board with a lip and backsplash pre-glued on, then a finish laminate applied over it. Painter's tape on the cut-line (to prevent tear-out) and a fine tooth finishing blade on a circular saw and jigsaw is all that's really necessary.

That said, IMHO Ikea is actually a better value for laminate countertops, as the end strips are included and since it's a full 1-1/2" thick throughout, you don't have to space it out with furring strips to clear the top drawers (an issue with some cabinets). The 4" backsplash is NOT a part of their countertop, however; whether that's a pro or con is for you to decide.

IKEA | Kitchen | Countertops | PRÄGEL | Countertop
IKEA | Kitchen | Countertops
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:28 AM
 
10,653 posts, read 6,248,196 times
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I'd have lowes or home depot install them, not a "mr fix it" type that sounds like they are not very skilled in the work. I had home depot install an entire kitchen and it turned out great.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:42 AM
 
400 posts, read 751,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TempesT68 View Post
I'd have lowes or home depot install them, not a "mr fix it" type that sounds like they are not very skilled in the work. I had home depot install an entire kitchen and it turned out great.
The job is too small for Home Depot; they will not do it. I'll ask at Lowes.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,350 posts, read 10,057,078 times
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As Narcake said. It's not difficult if done correctly and time taken to prep the countertop to cut it. Tape the cut line and use a fine tooth blade.
Look and see if there is not a company in your area that will cut the counter top for you. Sometimes they will take the Lowe's countertop and cut it to your specifications. That will take the pressure off the contractor. It sounds like the contractor is not confident to cut the top without damaging it.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,192 posts, read 19,286,022 times
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I have cut my own laminate countertops. If you have someone who is not comfortable cutting one down then they are not the right person for the job. Seriously, all you need is a *** saw.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:34 PM
 
400 posts, read 751,516 times
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Originally Posted by Racelady88 View Post
I have cut my own laminate countertops. If you have someone who is not comfortable cutting one down then they are not the right person for the job. Seriously, all you need is a *** saw.
They don't cost that much. Maybe I will try to cut it myself.

I'm finding it tough to get a handyman to return my call. I guess my job is too small.

Right now at Home Depot, there is a 10 foot black countertop on clearance for 17.95. I need two five foot pieces. Actually, there are several of these on sale. (I am not sure I could find the exact right color end piece kit, but it is black. I hope that statement made sense, I am new at this.)

I just read on ehow how to cut it and put it on. I suppose I could try. It can't possibly look worse than what is there now. You say you have done this?

Last edited by Karen59; 08-26-2010 at 02:09 PM..
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:35 PM
 
400 posts, read 751,516 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by TempesT68 View Post
I'd have lowes or home depot install them, not a "mr fix it" type that sounds like they are not very skilled in the work. I had home depot install an entire kitchen and it turned out great.
Lowes says they can do it. They will charge $75 for the cost estimate. They have no minimum, however.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:37 PM
 
400 posts, read 751,516 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narfcake View Post
Sounds like someone who's NOT confident of their work. The typical post-formed laminated countertop is essentially 3/4" particle board with a lip and backsplash pre-glued on, then a finish laminate applied over it. Painter's tape on the cut-line (to prevent tear-out) and a fine tooth finishing blade on a circular saw and jigsaw is all that's really necessary.

That said, IMHO Ikea is actually a better value for laminate countertops, as the end strips are included and since it's a full 1-1/2" thick throughout, you don't have to space it out with furring strips to clear the top drawers (an issue with some cabinets). The 4" backsplash is NOT a part of their countertop, however; whether that's a pro or con is for you to decide.

IKEA | Kitchen | Countertops | PRÄGEL | Countertop
IKEA | Kitchen | Countertops
Okay, I'll check out IKEA. Maybe I'll get a better price on the cabinets there, if they sell them.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,899 posts, read 3,220,737 times
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If you were in Jacksonville I'd do it for less than the $75 that Lowes wants. lol

Seriously, handymen and contractors that won't call back on small jobs irritate me to no end. The small jobs are the ones that put food on my table, not the big ones. For that matter, I tend to shy away from jobs that will tie me up for more than a week at a stretch, most of the time. It's great to see that big payout, but I'd lose more money in the long run from having to turn down jobs for that week. Most people that call a handyman want him tomorrow, not sometime next week.

As for the contractors that are hesitant about cutting the countertop, I'd definitely find someone else. It really isn't that difficult to do, and there are enough tutorial videos online that anyone with the slightest bit of skill can do it. The funny part of the whole thing is them telling you this isn't the proper way to do it. This application is exactly what these preformed laminate countertops are sold for.
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