Easy counter replacement?

What is the easiest way that I could replace my kitchen counters? I want something that I could do myself; in other words, a one-person job. I have plenty of tools and a pretty good brain. The only thing I don't have is a helper. Oh, and money to pay someone to do the work for me.
The counters currently have the original coverings -- formica, I think.
I actually saw someone on one of those HGTV shows use peel-and-stick tile on a countertop. That would be great, but it seems to me that (1) stuff would leak down between the tiles and loosen them and (2) there's always a chance that they could be somewhat toxic with regards to food coming in contact with the tiles. Ya know -- okay to walk on but not good for food?
Any help?
TIA,
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail) ~~~~~~
"I reserve the absolute right to be smarter today than I was yesterday." -Adlai Stevenson ************************************************* http://www.eckhardt.net/suzanne / ************************************************* Due to the receipt of unmanagable amounts of SPAM, I have had to add an extra letter to my e-mail address. Remove the "x" to contact me directly.
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Suzie-Q wrote:

IMO, the easiest is tile. If the laminate is in good condition you should be able to tile over it.
-- dadiOH ________________________
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dadiOH wrote:

Ceramic tile?
The laminate is in horrible shape. That's why I need to replace it. I will have to remove it before I put anything else down.
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail) ~~~~~~
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Suzie-Q wrote:

Right. _________________________
Easier to just junk the entire top and put on a new one.
-- dadiOH ________________________
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dadiOH wrote:

I've considered that, but don't know if I could handle all the special cutting I'd have to do to make the tiles fit around the sink, etc. Also, aren't ceramic tiles expensive?
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail) ~~~~~~
"I reserve the absolute right to be smarter today than I was yesterday." -Adlai Stevenson ************************************************* http://www.eckhardt.net/suzanne / ************************************************* Due to the receipt of unmanagable amounts of SPAM, I have had to add an extra letter to my e-mail address. Remove the "x" to contact me directly.
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Suzie-Q wrote:

Ummm, regardless of the finish surface, it isn't cut *around* the sink. The sink is removed, surface applied and the sink replaced *on top* of the finish surface. Normally, the only cuts one has to make in tile are straight ones.
Tiles can be expensive...or not. Some are considerably less per square foot than laminate.
-- dadiOH ________________________
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What is wrong with the counters now? If the laminate is coming off, or the particle board substrate is swelling from water around the sink, etc., putting peel-and-stick over what you have is not a good idea.
Also: vinyl tile is very soft and easily cut. It is the last thing I would want for a countertop. However, it is cheap and easy, and it won't make it harder to rip out the counter later and do it right. I don't know how you would deal with the edges, however. I can't imagine a good way to cover the edges that won't just come loose in 3 months.

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donald girod wrote:

Old, dry, cracked, worn, cut, scratched, faded. The substrate seeps to be in adequate condition to take a new surface.

8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail) ~~~~~~
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...
If it is totally flat and solidly attached, you can sand the existing surface to eliminate any old soap scum and shine and attach a new laminate. You would need to remove the sink first and then replace it. Not too hard.
If it were my home, I would tend to want to replace the entire top. I don't like doing all that work only to find that the existing surface was not in as good a shape as I thought. I also love some of the new solid surface materials and little by little everything in my home is getting switched over.
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* Remove the formica (use an iron to generate heat to soften the mastic on the underside) * Rough cut replacement counter top to fit. * Re-apply new mastic as recommended by the manufacturer) * Lay new countertop, and trim.....

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(snip)
Ease up, Ken. I don't think the main idea was to get free technical expertise from the pro; it was to find out what a pro install would cost, to compare it with a (non-expert) DIY job. If she has a 'vanilla' kitchen with no strange features, the pro may be able to shop-fabricate a whole new counter cheap enough that a DIY gluedown simply isn't worth the hassle. Before I asked for a site visit for an exact estimate, I <would> draw the kitchen out on graph paper, and maybe take a few digital or Polaroid snaps, and go to their showroom for a ballpark estimate. I grew up in the business, and went with my father on site visits to hold the other end of the tape at a very young age. Doing estimates is part of the cost of doing business. Sometimes you get the job, sometines you don't. I do agree that you shouldn't request onsite estimates unless you will really be giving them a shot at the work, but a little competition never hurt anyone. DIY is just another competitor.
aem sends...
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On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 20:47:33 GMT, "ameijers"

Ahhhhh... you're probably right, I did over-react. Although my reading of the original post was that the OP was looking for any easy DIY solution and in that context, seeking out "a few estimates" was disrespectful of the trades.
Your idea of a sketch and some pictures taken to a kitchen shop is a good one.
As to the solutions proposed ... I think a postformed top from a box store (if if's an L, pay the extra 20 bucks to have the fabricator do the the mitre cut) or tile (as much as I dislike tile countertops) is her best answer.
The tools for either installation are cheap to rent.
Ken

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