Re-covering kitchen worktops

Hello all,
I had a fairly good search in Google Groups and couldn't see this as a previously discussed topic here, so I hope the question is not too naive.
I have what seems like acres of dark-brown kitchen worktop in a fitted kitchen - the covering is plastic of some type, patterned to look like dark hardwood blocks. It nicely matches the dark-stained wooden kitchen cabinets.
I'd like to brighten the kitchen up somewhat, and painting the cabinets is easy - but is it possible to re-cover the worktop? I'm reluctant to replace the worktop right now, as it will be a pig of a job - the kitchen's walls are not square, they've been tiled to the level of the worktop, and it seems pretty much structurally essential to the lower cabinets.
Is there something like a hard-wearing form of sticky-back plastic (suitable for kitchens) that I could simply glue over the existing worktop? If so, where can I find it - there doesn't seem to be anything like it in the 'sheds'. It would need to be flexible enough to 'roll-over' the chamfered front edge of the worktop, otherwise I'm sure it would lift in no time flat.
Many thanks,
Sid
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You CAN still get Fablon and lookalikes - try decorators' merchants - but it's not all that durable for a kitchen surface. Also, when you have to lift it, it can leave deposits of adhesive. It might do the job for a few months as long as you protect it from hot and sharp objects. I'll be interested in others' suggestions.
I agree with you about the dark brown - why do people do it? Any dark colour in a kitchen is awful, it sucks out the light.
Mary

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of the worktop I don't think anything that flexible would be tough enough. You could chop off the round edge, face the rest with Formica, then put back a shaped timber front edge using biscuits. If its all straight runs I suppose you might be able to get a stainless steel supplier to form a suitable edge on thin sheet, which you could glue on?
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Dont even think about it. The surest way to totally trash your worktop.
Try light coloured objects and mats instead. You can always make a big mat out of vinyl lino if its that awful.
Regards, NT
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but
lift
months
in
I agree that it's not ideal but it wouldn't trash the worktop any more - in fact not as much - as formica or tiles.
Mary
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wrote in message> > > You CAN still get Fablon and lookalikes - try decorators' merchants -

On the contrary, it would wreck it good and proper. Sticky coverings have 2 major failings: firstly they are not in any sense durable, and will soon become a real eyesore. Secondly they leave adhesive all over the remaining surface thats near impossible to remove, captures lots of dirt, and oozes out all the places where the covering has been damaged. Stick on coverings were popular once, but time has proven them to be the worst option available.
Formica does work, had it once, its acceptable if not great. Tiles are I would think the better option here, and replacing the worktop probably the best. And if the OP has neither time nor money I would even consider a vinyl mat.
Regards, NT
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"S. Endon-Lee" wrote:

Hi Sid, you might think about using sheets of Formica - you'd need to attach a strip of timber to the front of your existing worktop, though.
===============# = is Formica @@@@@@@@@@@@@@## # is new timber moulding @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@# @ is existing "worktop". @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#
You use impact adhesive with this stuff, so you must be very careful to set up the Formica dead right before you glue it on, you don't get two chances!
You'd need to make up a moulding (router?) or even machine off the "nose" of the counter if possible, then attach the moulding to the existing top, leaving a rebate suitable to take the Formica. The Formica could then be loose-fitted, trimmed, and then the top and Formica glued before sticking the Formica on.
This would give you a hygenic and very hard-wearing surface. I'd be chary of painting your units - this looks OK on the TV, in all those "house" programmes, but IRL it can look *awful*. Most of the TV "just cut up a bit of MDF to make ???? Oh! Doesn't it look lovely!" things look like crap on set, too!
J.B.
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Wow!
thanks to everybody for their replies.
I'm really surprised there isn't a product matching what I'm after. My father's kitchen worktop seems to be covered in a 2-3 mm thick layer which curves over the front edge, and is extremely hardwearing - he demonstrates using it as a cutting board with no apparent effect on the surface, so I assumed you could just buy rolls of the stuff, if you knew what to ask for.
I've experienced Formica before - unless the product has changed in substance and only retained the name, I wouldn't be keen on it. In my limited experience it 'lifted' easily, cracked, scratched, and if broken left sharp jagged bits. Possibly it was installed improperly, but this was in three different kitchens. Your experiences may vary.
Thanks for the suggestions - I didn't think of tiling or a wood veneer. Of all of them, I like the wood veneer idea the best.
Best Regards,
Sid
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Do you like tiles? Fit a wood trim to the front of the work tops, proud of the top surface, then tile the top surface.
Phil
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=================You might consider a wood veneer. It would solve the problem of the bull-nosed front edge. Whether it would be durable enough for your purpose is up to you to decide. Use contact adhesive (Evostik) to fix.
Cic.
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S. Endon-Lee wrote:

Don't do it. Nothing you can do will look good /and/ last more than a couple of weeks. Nothing. Honest.
Three choices: live with it, replace the worktops or tile the worktops in situ.
--
Grunff

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But remember that tiles are unforgiving, drop ceramic or glass on it and it doesn't have much chance.
Mary

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Mary Fisher wrote:

Oh I fully agree - I don't like them as kitchen worktops at all - I like my kitchen worktop like my TV room floor - laminate :-) (I wonder if AH is reading?)
But I think it's probably the only way to end up with a good looking hard wearing worktop while still using the one already there.
--
Grunff

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it
LOL!
You must remember that tiling would raise the eight and for some stumpy people like me it can make a big difference.
Mary

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' course I am. All I can say is that in the almost three years since the worktops have been granite and the floor slate, the rate of breakages has not increased and is very small.
Careful is not an adjective that I'd apply to either of the kids either. I can think of a few others, but they are not repeatable in polite company like Mary's.
I've dropped glasses and cups on the previous laminate worktop and the granite ones. Sometimes they break, sometimes not. The granite, and I don't see tiles differently, are not an automatic death sentence to glassware or crockery any more from what I've seen than laminate.
The slate is no worse than anything else that you might use in a kitchen - except perhaps carpet, but I don't know of anybody with carpet in a kitchen - that strikes me as being as revolting as carpet in a bathroom.

.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

The house we bought in 1997 had dark brown carpet tiles in the kitchen, and pinkish carpet in the bathroom. The laundry room was covered with offcuts from the livingroom carpet
Those were the first things we changed.
Sheila
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Andy Hall wrote:

I gotta say, the slate floor is something we're probably going to do towards the end of this year. Nice thick chuncky slates just look sooo nice as a kitchen floor.
--
Grunff

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Yes they do.
If you fancy lighter colours there is some nice Cornish stuff. It didn't suit our setup but there is some nice stuff.
One word of warning that this is not a DIY job if you want to get an excellent result. There is a variation in thickness of the tiles, and sorting and bedding them to produce an even floor is tricky. It is also very hard work because the tiles are heavy.
My recommendation (and TNP said similarly recently), is to budget for a professional to do it, recommended by the supplier.
.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

Yeah, I've seen this discussed in a couple of threads. Goes against the grain a bit! Get someone in?? It's not really the cost, but the principle. I'll have to think about this one.
--
Grunff

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Well, I am not one for feeling that I can't tackle something and like to feel in a position to do so, even if I then elect for time or other reasons not to do so.
Here's the issue with this one though.
- I went for 600x400 slates for kitchen, conservatory and some other areas - approximately 60-70 sqm in all. Having the larger tile sizes, vs. 300x300 makes them look a lot better and the spaces that they are in larger. These tiles are heavy in this size and need to be held at arm's length to lay.
- If you buy a slate that is calibrated on both sides - i.e. flat and constant thickness, then it is not so hard to even out the floor. The types that are cleaved on one side (the upper) and that have a more natural appearance, vary in thickness by up to 6mm. You have to account for that in the laying and bedding and sorting thicknesses by area without ending up with too uniform colours in one area. This involves a lot of moving round of the slates.
- This is not a job that will be repeated in a hurry and there is no real scope for learning as you go because you will have wasted material over quite a large area before it becomes obvious that there is a problem. It is *very* noticable when a floor is done badly. The material is not so cheap that one would want to waste too much of it - 25-30/m^2 is typical.
- The guys that did ours took about 8 man days on it.
When I stacked that lot up and considered that the supplier and fitters own any problems, it really didn't make sense to DIY it. I watched what they were doing on a couple of the days and have an appreciation of what is involved, but still wouldn't take it on.
.andy
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