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vwarren0788

Mismatched Kitchen Counter-tops

6 years ago

I am wondering to what extent could someone do mismatched counter-tops and it look horrible. I have a family member who works for a counter company. We can't afford to do a big kitchen remodel, but we really want to update our kitchen. I was hoping we could paint our counter-tops and find a clear coat or epoxy that could withstand the abuse we put on our counter-tops that we could do ourselves and wasn't horribly costly. Apparently no one thinks that is a good idea or no one has encountered that before. So, I am now onto the idea of mismatched counter-tops. The only thing is, that will probably be side by side mismatched. We will be at the mercy of their scrap pile, so I don't have my hopes up that we will find something or find something in a timely manor. I really don't care if my counter-tops are the same color right next to each other. I am running as far away from tacky as I can possibly get, but again, I don't know if this will even work out.


Has anyone had different counter-tops unlike the pictures google gives. I don't know if I am explaining this correctly. But what I am trying to do is find counter-tops that will fit, but may need to be different colors side by side. Hoping to colors will be similar. Painting the kitchen walls a light grey and the cabinets a cream white. So I am thinking different shades between white and black.

Comments (35)

  • 6 years ago

    Umm. This doesn't sound like one of the better ideas I've heard, but maybe I'm not envisioning it correctly. Could you give us a quick layout of what your kitchen looks like?

  • 6 years ago

    Side by side? Like on the same run of counter? Many people have done the perimeter in one color & the island in another.

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  • 6 years ago

    If you had an island and perimeter counters were different that would be fine to do different counter materials, but it sounds like you want to do something side by side that is not the same stone if I am understanding correctly? You do not want to do this. You're better off doing a less expensive uniform counter top like Formica. http://www.formica.com/en/us - Good Luck!

  • 6 years ago

    I would not combine similar colors of granite next to each other. Could you possible do a wood/granite mix if the size of the remnant piece isn't large enough? That would look intentional, not like you ran out of material.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'd get Ikea laminate counters.

  • 6 years ago

    Ask about local distributors and then call them to see if they have clearance slabs. My counters and backsplash will be mismatched but I got each slab for $200 full size. One is quartzite and the wholesale price is $8000.

    You also need to factor in the fabrication and install cost. My fabrication for island was the same cost as my slab ie $4000 each.

  • 6 years ago

    I agree with others that this seems like a bad idea. Depending on how large your island (or perimeter counters) are, perhaps you could fine a single remnant large enough to do one or the other in granite, then do Ikea butcher block for the other? There are some good diy tutorials on how to seal it to make it more water and stain resistant.

    alterbstrly, if you want to look of granite, what about doing large scale (all matching) granite tiles? That should be a similar look for much lower cost.

  • 6 years ago

    What counters do you have right now? If they are laminate, you can re-laminate them.

  • 6 years ago
    Maybe try to find more than one silestone remnants in the same color. There is very little difference between slabs so they should match.
  • 6 years ago

    Painting the counter tops was my first idea, but everyone and most reviews say they last about 6 months to a year before they start chipping. I was also asking for recommendations on a top coat that would last longer than this or one that isn't included in the paint kit. I don't want to buy the kit every 6 months to put another layer or top coat on or I would like to find a higher quality sealant. I feel like there has to be something out there and I know zero about that topic.

  • 6 years ago

    I used something called EZ faux granite more than 4 years ago in a rental kitchen. It's still going strong and looks actually pretty nice.

    It was a super easy DIY job.

    I bought it on EBay for less than the regular price. They also have marble lookalike.

    Valerie DeVries thanked nosoccermom
  • 6 years ago

    What are your current counters made of??

  • 6 years ago

    Have you looked at the pre-fab laminate counters at Lowes? A 10 ft run of Ouro Romano is $153 (white, cream gray and black granite-look ). There are smaller pieces also so you can get what you need and DIY this for not a huge expense.

  • 6 years ago

    So, given the situation where you have these counters available to you, I think how it looks will depend upon the layout of your kitchen.

    For example, I have soapstone (saved for years!) on one side and on the opposing side, maple butcherblocks I made myself. (Another option for you - it's not hard.)

    If you were talking a peninsula or a long run with different chunks?
    Maybe something with a regular pattern. Dark on either side of the sink with lighter on the outside? The peninsula in one color and the main run another?

    I don't frankly think mix and match has to be bad.
    It's all in how you do it!

    Oh - and that Rustoleum counter product is proving to be extremely durable. Perhaps just get new countertops to the pattern you like and if you get tired of it? Give that a try.

    Valerie DeVries thanked CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
  • PRO
    6 years ago

    My neighbor across the street had her Formica countertops painted about 16 years ago. Three owners later (two with children), they are still just fine. And this is in the world's smallest kitchen so those few countertops get lots of wear.

  • 6 years ago

    I have laminate counter tops.


    @anglophilla, what type of paint did they use??


    @CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a I am thinking exactly that. No island or peninsula. My kitchen is a mix between an L shape and a galley. You could call it U shape, but my stove, fridge and two small countertop portions is separated by our back door and a horribly placed hobbit sized water closet. I want to spend as little as possible because we plan on removing this and extending the kitchen where that is located. Meaning a whole kitchen remodel. But for now, we are a one income family and probably wont be able to do that for another 2 or 3 years after my husband finishes school and we get back to normal.



    Thanks again everyone for all your help. If we go with counter top scrap, and it looks good, i will post a picture for ya!

  • 6 years ago

    I admit my head went wild, picturing a checkerboard, then pieces cut like puzzle pieces. But, squares or stripes would be the most logical. Perhaps the bottom of the "u" could be one color and the sides another. Or, make that butcherblock Really, gluing, clamping and screwing is all it takes! The counters sound like they're small pieces, so you can do a lot. Shading dark to light, whatever.

    Free is a 4-letter F word, but when it's all you have to work with? Free is great. Most people here have more discretionary income than I. Sure, maybe not a lot, but when you got nuttin' a little is more. That said, so many love the "unfitted" look, yet still have to make things match. Very few actually take the time to invest in pieces that create the wonderful eclectic look of a collected kitchen. You really can't buy it; it must be acquired! Run with it. This is an opportunity to try stuff to see if you actually like it. If you're going to remodel down the road? Go for it. If you really care about what others thing, tell 'em you're experimenting with different finishes before you invest (insert some crazy $ figure here) in your new kitchen.

    But, I'd make sure the joins are perfect. If it's as seamless as possible, it could look ok. But really. What's 2-3 years? I had Gawd-awful plywood for almost 5. Now THAT is not a look I want again. So counters of any sort are just that: counters.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Or you could, I don’t know... re-laminate your existing counters.

    Laminate counters are made of a substrate, often mdf, and a thin sheet of plastic “laminate” glued onto the substrate. Of these two components, the substrate costs much more to fabricate than the laminate does to apply, and the good news is, you can re-laminate your existing counters over your old substrate.

    A sheet of 30” x 120” Formica laminate in Fog Matte gray costs $41.25 from Home Depot. From your counter guy, it could be half that cost. I’m sure he’d be able to give you glue for free. You can ask him to laminate over your current substrate or you can diy this as well - google it, check out the videos on YouTube or below. It is a much better idea than any of your proposed alternatives.

    In terms of bringing value to your home, you would do better to do nothing, than to install mismatched tops.

  • 6 years ago

    Have you looked at prefab countertops? You might be able to find something within your budget.

  • 6 years ago

    It's always easy to make suggestions that include the word "just." I get the impression that unless they're within the "free" budget, they're not solutions the OP can do at the moment. The question was how to make what she has access to look good.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    CEF, you are so energetic, it is always fun to read your posts. I’m not sure who you’re talking about though.

    Other than yours, only two posts use the word “just;” one uses it in place of the word “only” and the other in the phrase “just fine.” The way I read her posts, the OP is looking for an inexpensive solution to a problem. I’m sure all input is welcomed. Whether it will work for her or not, only she can say.

    Valerie DeVries thanked eam44
  • 6 years ago

    So true. I simply see, so often, that when one doesn't have much of a budget, it's often replacement that is offered vs. working with something they have or have access to.

    I did choose to use that 4-letter F word on purpose, though, given those counter remnants are ... FREE.

    My energy is limited these days. I'm off for a few days, though, so you all watch out. Even today, I moved a pocket door to another pocket, then hung 3 more. I put hardware and drawer fronts on an apothecary cabinet. (Boy are those just stupid as far as usable space. But they look cool!) That said, I'm actually, really, cooking something. Some pot of junk from the freezer, to which I'll add jambalaya seasonings and call it a day. It's all .... FREE because I have it in the freezer! yeah!

    Do I digress? uh, um. yes. Sorry.

    Valerie DeVries thanked CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
  • 6 years ago

    Doesn’t silestone have a product that is a shell that goes over existing laminate countertops?

  • 6 years ago

    So, I am now onto the idea of mismatched counter-tops. The only thing
    is, that will probably be side by side mismatched. We will be at the
    mercy of their scrap pile

    That could be fun. And if your current tops are falling apart, probably a good idea.

    I would stick to one color family that goes with the existing floors and cabinets - perhaps all rusty, all cream, or all greys. If you can find a dramatic veined chunk, slap it in the middle with plain blending pieces on either side.

    And if anyone says anything, smile and say "thanks, we thought it added a dramatic touch".

    Valerie DeVries thanked User
  • 6 years ago

    We used tile. I'll bet you'll be able to find enough of the same type to "tile" it ;^)

    we cut pieces so that the placement looked intentional not just covering as much as we could. Good hunting!

  • 6 years ago

    heatheron40, I just LOVE your counters. Awesome bin pulls, too.

  • 6 years ago

    Even if you can get remanent material free, are they going to do the install free too? Labor can be more than half the cost of countertops.

  • 6 years ago

    heatheron40, I cringe a bit at grout on a countertop, but your counters really look beautiful. And I should add - I generally abhor cup pulls - but those are incredibly cool looking. Nicely done!

  • 6 years ago

    Well the OP seems to have gone. Perhaps she came up with another option.

  • PRO
    6 years ago

    Simple laminate countertops are very cost conscious and come in an amazing amount of colors and patterns - I would compare the price of that to whatever remnant+fabrication of stone tops would be....If you post some pictures, we may be able to help you further based on your layout!

  • 6 years ago

    Two large sections of different stones seamed together seems like something that would look rather “accidental”, or messy/awkward ... but, thinking outside the box, if the stone slab remnants, and the labor is FREE (or close to it)... seaming together a crazy striped countertop, from even slices of complimentary or contrasting stone remnants could be really cool (in a unique, custom, creative, daring way), particularly if all the stripes (slices, pieces, etc ) are of exactly the same equal width, so the overall effect is very intentional (say, all 12” wide slices)?

  • 6 years ago

    Modern grout makes the tiling possible. MIL has been here over 1 and half years, making/spilling coffee in that area everyday and no stains! Sounds crazy, I know. I had 2 kids in college and didn't want to spend the $$$ on counters. Very budget friendly and DIYable.

  • PRO
    6 years ago

    I would suggest going with different materials. For example, you can combine granite and butcher block, that would look great.

  • 6 years ago

    Heatheron40, very nice.

    I asked a question about doing a tile countertop in our guest cabin recently as I feel like the look would complement the cabin aesthetic. Also I’m dying to learn to tile and thought it would be a fun place to start as it’s not an everyday space and I could take my time. Most of the responses were against. Basically stating the grout would make me crazy. The guy at the said what you’re saying I think, he said that modern grouts are more resistant to staining and such, and also to go with a tinted grout of some sort.

    I love your use of pattern to give it interest and intention!

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