What is Countertop Resurfacing?
Kitchen countertop resurfacing involves applying a new finish and protective topcoat to your existing countertop. Most jobs can be completed in a single day, although you might have to wait a day or two before you can use your new counters.
The finish product that’s applied during resurfacing is an extremely hard and durable substance that resists physical damage and extreme temperatures. Essentially veneers, these finishes are available in many colors and patterns, including engineered stone and imitation stone. Some companies even offer recycled glass and glass mosaic products.
Most types of synthetic countertops (including laminate, solid surfaces like Corian, tile, and cultured stone) can be refinished (if you have granite or other real stone countertops there is a different process to restore them). The shape of your countertop is also not a problem and in fact, the edge shape can even be changed as part of resurfacing. Any nicks, scratches, dents, and cuts on your existing countertop will be filled in and covered over with a beautiful new finish that should last for years.
Resurfacing has become a popular option during the economic downturn as homeowners seek ways to complete projects on a smaller budget, and the process also accords with growing concerns about the environment. Rather than your structurally sound but outdated countertop ending up in a landfill, why not simply apply a new finish to it?
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The Countertop Resurfacing Process
Your current countertop needs to be prepared to receive the new surface. This involves either sanding or chemical etching to rough up the surface. A rough surface makes adhesion easier and stronger.
Following preparation, an adhesive is brushed and rolled on all surfaces receiving the new finish. After that, the finish is applied and appropriate time is allowed for the adhesive to dry. Once dry, fine, light sanding is performed to remove any imperfections and ensure that the counter is completely level.
The final stage of the process is to apply the topcoat, usually a type of catalyzed polymer material (catalyzed polymers are capable of withstanding temperatures in excess of 500 degrees). Several layers of this protective coating should be applied for maximum durability. When the final coat is dry (which, again, could take up to 48 hours) your new countertop is ready for use.
Kitchen Countertop Resurfacing Costs
Please note that actual costs may vary widely depending on the condition of your current countertop (an overly abused countertop will require additional preparation, resulting in higher labor costs).
- Expect a typical 40 square foot countertop to cost $1,000 to $1,500 to resurface. Compare this to the cost of a new kitchen countertop, which averages $50 per square foot installed (or $2,000 for the same 40 square foot counter area).
- A fairly new countertop surface needing little preparation may cost as little as $700-$800 to resurface.
- Most companies offer a limited warranty with their product. Make sure you understand the terms of the warranty before installation begins.