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hazard0us 05-13-2009 08:42 AM

Custom Bathroom Countertops needed - cheap!
Folks, our 1979 house has pretty ghastly orange-brown countertops in the bathrooms. (kitchen is like a "cream" color... not so bad) We want to replace them with something more modern, probably white since the bathroom has a lot of other white items e.g. shower tiling, and we don't have a lot of money.

It seemed like an easy trip down to Lowe's to get countertops. We would take the existing sink and faucets out, and move them to the new countertops. They are old, too, but they match the shower hardware, which we don't want to spend money on.

However, neither Lowe's nor Home Depot have countertops that fit, they're all 36" or 48" wide. Our current countertops, which are the originals built into the house when it was constructed, are 41" and 47" wide. This is pretty awkward.

Is it OK to buy a larger countertop and "chop" it? I mean, is that normal practice? Or... is there a way to get laminate countertops made to size?

All the "custom" countertop companies seem to want to deal in stone/granite, etc., and all we want is laminate.

Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks -H

handyguys 05-15-2009 09:57 AM

Hmmm - You could make some tile counter tops yourself for not much money. Figure maybe (off the top of my head) $100 for materials for each. You can get tile for about $1 per sq ft on sale + backer + thinset + tools. You may be able to use your existing counter top as a base or you may need to make a new base. Add another $100 if you cant find someone to borrow a tile saw from.

Since you said laminate I assume you have a 'drop in' sink and you could re-use it.

things will get more expensive if you get all the fancy tiles with bullnose edges and stuff. On a restricted budget they are not absolutely required with many kinds of tiles.

heck - you could even do 12" squares of granite for not a lot of money (maybe $80-$100 in tile plus the other stuff)

Good luck

hazard0us 05-18-2009 09:35 AM

Thank you handyguys, good idea on the tile. Yes, existing sink+faucets would carry over, hopefully. The existing laminate countertop has a rounded edge at the front which wouldn't work well with tiles, but we could probably get a cheap base on which to put the tiles, right?

If we still go with new laminate countertops, would it be a sin to saw the ends off 48" countertops? In the case of the 41" master bathroom countertop it could be sawed at both ends since it's in an alcove and the edges aren't seen, they go to the walls. I just re-examined our 46" guest bathroom countertop, and the sinkhole is exactly 24" from the exposed end but 22" from the wall end! It looks to me like they started with a 48" countertop and sawed it.

handyguys 05-18-2009 09:55 AM

Great question about cutting a 48" - no, no sin at all. They sell matching edge laminate to you to cover the edge if it will be exposed. If the backsplash is formed into the top then it can be a little tricky to cut but not too bad.

If you tile you will need to square up the edge. You can use backer board screwed to the existing laminate or even use plywood. Your pre-fab unit cut to size would certainly be easiest.

Take some before and after pics! I want to see what you start with and what it looks like finished.

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