Need suggestions for frugal DIY kitchen countertops

I am in the process of refurbishing my kitchen. I recently refaced the cabinets and now I am in the processing of replacing our current laminate countertop. As a recent retiree, I am doing all of this work myself. I am no expert in this work, but I am very handy. In the past two years, I have replaced our ceiling sheetrock and refinished all of our hardwood floors.
My first choice for a countertop of reasonable cost was a postform countertop. However, I have found that these tops come in a standard 25" width. Unfortunately, my countertops are about 23.5" in width. I was told that if I want to stick to this option, I would have to cut off the 4" backsplash or the waterfall front of the postform top. I don't like either option. Are there other kinds of countertops that I should be considering.... or, is this the best for the price??
Al Kondo
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That depth sounds like the standard postformed counterton for bathroom cabinets.

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Just use laminate sheets and glue them down, trim with a router and laminate trim bit. Moderate skills req'd. You can optionally use ceramic tiles for the backsplash and/or wood trim (oak) for the front edges. I have used 2'x4' 'handy panels' to do a whole bathroom for $8 (2 sheets)
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You should seriously consider some kind of tile. It's not $8, but it'll last a whole lot longer (think heat and sharps), and look a whole lot better. Ceramic at somewhere near $2/sf, and you can get decent plain colors of granite for maybe $7/sf. Rent a wet saw for a day.
JSH
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wrote

look for closeouts of granite tiles. i bought about 200 sqft of 12" granite tiles for my kitchen at $1/ft.
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concrete. tile (ceramic, granite). butcher-block.
if you're a diy, there's lots of other options besides laminate, imho, a lot better.
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

I've seen it done and it looks great. You can even add a color. Not much more "DYI" than that!
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A couple of things for you to consider. Most of the post formed countertops sold at Lowes and Home Depot are 24" countertops. I suggest you go to one of those place and measure for yourself and not trust what you are told. The front edge has a lip that drops below the actual bottom of the counter. By design those can be installed two different ways. You can add a shim board to the top of the cabinets everywhere except the front edge to allow for deeper cabinets or you can let in hang over by about an inch or even a little more for shallower cabinets. Go look at them and measure for yourself.
The other thing is that in a tight situation you can remove about a half inch of depth by cutting off the built up lip at the top of the splash. This was not easy but I have done. Again you will see what I mean if you go measure for yourself.
You can also build your own counter using HD particle board and gluing on your own laminate. This will always cost more than the post-formed guys at HD or Lowes.
If none of this solves your problem, 3/4" plywood, hardibacker and tile or granite built on site is your next best option.
Colbyt
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On 11/18/2004 8:12 PM US(ET), Colbyt took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Wrong! They are 25-1/4" inches overall in depth. The bull nose extends beyond the front of a 24" cabinet by 1-1/4". You have to cover the cabinet top with 1/2" plywood, or just use 1/2" spacers on the top edges of the cabinet, or else the bullnose will sit too low and you couldn't open the top drawers. The optional color coded end covers come with 1/2" spacers for the sides of the cabinet, but you have to make your own 1/2" spacers for the front and back edges.

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the standard is 25 inches...this allows a stanard one inch overhang on a standard 24 inch deep base cabinet...

this is called "buildup"...most top fab shops(which is where your local lowes contracts to buy "custom tops"(meaning anything other than blanks) use two inch wide by 1/2 or 3/4 (dependingon manufacturer) for build up(which yields a top that is 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inches thick)...you can install the top without buildup and without interference with drawers or doors if you do not have full overlay doors/drawers.....

those spacers are just to make the end solid for the cap...the top edge of the backsplash usually measures 3/8-1/2 inch(again depending on manufacturer) used for "scribing" the top to fit your wall(unfortunately there are virtually no straight walls)....
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Wrong! Countetops come already built-up and need no 1/2" plywood or spacers front and back.
Unless of course you order them that way, since you can order any size and any construction you want.
Jeff
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a standard postformed top purchased at a boxstore, off the shelf will indeed need buildup unless you want it to lap over the front of the cabinets....if you order one made to order it will come with build up installed.....the topshop that the boxstore buys from (local shop) will "build" the top for install.....
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On Thu, 18 Nov 2004 16:23:26 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hal-pc.org (Al Kondo) wrote:

Order one in whatever size you wish. Custom made is only moderately more expensive than the off-the-shelf ones and less work.
Jeff
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http://www.techstone.ca/do_it_e.html
This is a coating that can go on existing counter tops. I've seen it done and it looks AMAZING. From all accounts it also works and holds up amazingly well. We're going to be doing it on our countertops when we redo the kitchen later this winter.
Stevie Z

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