White countertops have been on the hot list for awhile now, especially in the realm of high-end kitchens.
People are mad-loving on carrara marble, white(ish) granite choices, and the white flavors of manufactured quartz counters such as Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cambria. White counters make kitchens look brighter, cleaner, and more open so it’s no surprise their popularity is… wait for it… white hot.
If you happen to be someone who likes to take pictures of your food or other creations, white counters also have the added benefit of making your close up photos look amazing… not surprisingly a very important factor in the selection process in my bloggy house. The photo above, which is part of a Homemade Bath Salt tutorial on EverythingEtsy.com, was taken on my mom’s white granite.
But here’s three things all of the above white counters have in common: $ $ $ None of them are cheap. An average kitchen might run between $3ooo and $5000 for these options, depending on how much counter surface is involved.
Normally, I’m not very deterred by the high cost of house-materials-stuff because I can usually do it myself and save buku dinero. Unfortunately granite, marble, and quartz aren’t really the most “DIY Friendly” materials out there. Even getting your paws on some of the raw materials can be challenging, and the stuff is hard to cut, hard to polish, and hard to move around. You really need a pro “granite guy”.
That got me to wondering what high end white counter surfaces might be more DIY friendly… and I found quite a few great options. Here’s my favorites:
White Concrete Counters
I really love the look of concrete counters. They bring out the arteest in me and my mind just starts to wander with the possibilities.
Simple plain white counters aren’t hard to make and can certainly be done by an experienced DIY’er. If you’re not into all that, there are concrete countertop professionals in every major market area. Just a quick search on Google Maps away most of the time.
I first laid eyes on a bit of white concrete counter with seashells in it maybe ten years ago and truth be told, I’ve never really gotten over it. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico in the seashell capital of the USA, I’m thinking there must be a place in my house for something like this:
Glass or Marble Tile Counters
Tile counters are a great choice for DIY kitchen or bathroom remodels because they are really pretty easy to make, they don’t cost much to build, and you can do them right in-place which means you don’t need a separate shop or garage area to work in.
Modern sealers can really keep the grout lines looking nice, but the age-old complaint about the uneven surface of a tile counter could be an issue with certain types of tile.
If you want a fairly smooth surface, you can use flat tiles like marble, granite, or some porcelain tiles and very tight grout joints. If you do this, however, it’s ultra-important that your underlying surface be extremely flat. Even the slightest inconsistency can create a rough protruding edge when there is no grout joint.
Tile counters overall are surprisingly rare… but they are a great choice for a nice counter that can save some money and you can do yourself.
White-Washed Wood Counters
I’m very partial to wood in pretty much any situation where it is an option. I prefer paneling over drywall. I prefer wood floors over other options. I have a wood deck outside and a wooden tiki bar where I do my grilling. I like wood.
But can a countertop really be made of wood? I went looking for some good examples and I found a few that I liked, although none are really quite as “white” of a finish as I would go with. It’s just a matter of more stain or paint. Since it all gets covered with a clear sealer you can really do any color you want.
You can use a good finish to make wood pretty waterproof, like if you’re doing a wooden boat, but I’m still not convinced it can work in a kitchen where food prep and cutting will be done.
But for a bathroom I think it wood be great. 🙂
What are your thoughts?
Do you feel like countertops are just one of those things it’s worth splurging on? So you say go for the good stuff?
Or do you like the idea of trying something unconventional, either to be different, or save a few bucks, or both?
What countertop idea suits you the best?
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