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New countertops can make a huge difference in the look and functionality of a kitchen. Before making such a big purchase, however, it’s important to determine which material best suits your budget and lifestyle. 

Although natural stone countertops made from granite or marble slabs offer a striking look, these pricey materials can quickly eat up a large portion of your kitchen remodel budget. 

Thankfully, with the wide range of affordable countertop options available today, a stylish look doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Laminate Countertops

One of the best types of discount laminate countertop materials is laminate.

It is possible to purchase expensive laminate counter materials—premium, high-definition laminate is gorgeous and high-end, with high prices to match. But on the whole, you’ll find that laminate is cost-effective.

One reason is that laminate countertops are made of thin sheets of laminate material glued on top of MDF (medium-density fiberboard). So, the majority of the countertop material is inexpensive. You’re only paying for the thin top and side layers.

Not only that but countless local shops can fabricate laminate countertops.

Ceramic Tile Countertops

Ceramic tile has long been a favorite choice for homeowners intent on doing it themselves and having a nice-looking countertop as a result. Ceramic is vastly cheaper even than granite tile. Add some bullnoses, corners, and a backsplash, and you’ve got an attractive product. 

Seams are the problem with ceramic tile counters, though. Many home buyers who are avid cooks tend to look down on ceramic tile counters because they are more difficult to wipe down. Plus, if you need a perfectly smooth surface for food prep work, you won’t get it with ceramic tile. You’ll need to use a cutting board.

Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface: that’s the industry term for materials like Corian and Silestone. Of all of the expensive counters, this is the one where you have the best chance of finding a cheap one. 

In years past, Corian was the only brand of solid surface. So, solid surface was expensive. But once manufacturer DuPont’s patent expired, manufacturers rushed in to make solid surface countertops. With this competition, prices began to lower.

As with laminate, those solid surface vanity tops that come bundled with vanity units can be rather cost-effective.

Solid surface countertops come in hundreds of styles. They are easy to fabricate. The surface is hard, much like quartz countertops. One of the more unique features of solid surface is that it can be easily resurfaced. Scratches and minor nicks can be sanded down with an oscillating sander and fine-grit sandpaper. The homeowner can do this; no need to call in a fabricator.