20 Ideas for Kitchen Counter Updates

Looking to upgrade your kitchen countertops? Whether you’re doing a total kitchen remodel or are just improving the worktops themselves, installing new counters can completely transform the look of your kitchen. Check out these 20 renovation ideas for your kitchen countertops!

Use a Countertop Trash Chute

Kitchen countertop trash chute near a sink. Photo by Instagram user @kimballmodern.

Photo via @kimballmodern

Make composting, throwing away trash, or recycling easy by installing a waste bin directly in your countertop. This addition is an extremely practical way to improve your kitchen countertops because it makes clean-up after cooking faster and easier. Ordering counters with this hole already cut out is easiest, but you can do it yourself by boring a hole into the countertop surface. By implementing a countertop waste chute, you can not only hide trash, but also save floor space, which is always important if you have a small kitchen!

Mount Built-In Cutting Boards

Kitchen countertop with built-in cutting board. Photo by Instagram user @gontermanconstruction.

Photo via @gontermanconstruction

If you spend a lot of time cooking, replacing part of your countertop with a cutting board is a great kitchen renovation idea that’ll instantly improve your counters. Integrated cutting boards sit flush with your worktop to be easily accessible while prepping food. They’re made of a different material—usually wood—that can be wiped clean with the rest of the surface. And the only upkeep required for this simple kitchen update is the regular application of cutting board oil to prevent the wood from cracking or splintering.

Slap Fresh Paint onto Your Countertops

Kitchen with freshly painted cabinets and countertops. Photo by Instagram user @thematiffbungalow.

Photo via @thematiffbungalow

Want to improve your countertops without completely redoing them? Painting your counters is a simple way to give your kitchen a quick makeover. Not only can countertop paint cover stains and scratches, but it’s also highly customizable since you can choose the exact shade, color, and finish to pull off your dream kitchen makeover! Most hardware stores sell countertop paint kits that include primer, paint, and topcoat, so you can easily complete this home improvement project solo. Paint may chip periodically, so expect some periodic touchups.

Apply Patterned Contact Paper

Kitchen with contact paper countertops and cabinets. Photo by Instagram user @el_massey.

Photo via @el_massey

Also used to refresh kitchen cabinets, covering your counter with contact paper is another easy kitchen makeover idea. Whether you’re using marble-patterned contact paper or peel-and-stick tile tattoos, many types of contact paper mimic the look of natural stone or wood without carrying the same weight and price tag! Applying contact paper over your existing kitchen countertops is simple and can be easily reversed by using heat, which makes it a great temporary kitchen remodel for renters. It can also protect the counters underneath from damage for a short time, but because contact paper isn’t very resilient, you’ll need to replace it periodically when you see the corners start to peel or curl.

Pour Epoxy Countertops

A kitchen with epoxy countertops with a copper patina. Photo by Instagram user @countertopepoxy.

Photo via @countertopepoxy

Want to try a DIY kitchen countertop project? Epoxy resin is an inexpensive and unique material that has become increasingly popular among remodelers—especially for kitchen floors and countertops. The process involves pouring the epoxy mix over the existing countertops, smoothing the surface, and removing drips and bubbles. By using epoxy to improve your countertops, there are countless colors and styles you can achieve, including a faux natural stone or marble look.

Extend Counter Space with an Island

Large kitchen with an island. Photo by Instagram user @theshakerworkshop.

Photo via @theshakerworkshop

Have large family gatherings and minimal room to prepare your feast? Consider remodeling your kitchen with an island in the center! This can be a more costly kitchen renovation but will pay off in terms of the amount of workspace it offers, especially if you add cabinets under your island. If you entertain often, you can even use this additional counter space as a buffet-style serving area during holiday parties or extra seating for bigger get-togethers. Or if you’re not ready to commit to a permanent kitchen island, consider a rolling kitchen cart for extra prep space!

Create Seamless Waterfall Counters

Kitchen with Copacabana stone waterfall countertops. Photo by Instagram user @fionabatemaninteriors.

Photo via @fionabatemaninteriors

Why limit your gorgeous new counters to the surface of your cabinets? Instead, continue your countertop down to the floor to create waterfall counters. This kitchen renovation idea goes especially well with Minimalist and Modern home design. Waterfall cabinets, in addition to adding visual appeal, also protect the base of your cabinets and make it easier to install hidden storage beneath your countertops.

Get Funky with Terrazzo

Kitchen interior with blue cabinets and terrazzo countertops. Photo by Instagram user @diespeker.co.

Photo via @diespeker.co

Terrazzo is an affordable, distinctive countertop option that mixes recycled pieces of quartz, marble, and other materials. This mosaic countertop option would look amazing in homes with a bold design scheme, like those with a boho aesthetic. You can also cut costs by installing this countertop as a DIY project. Terrazzo countertops are also durable and heat-resistant, but can be difficult to repair if damaged. To keep them in good shape, you’ll need to keep them clean and sealed with resin.

Add Recycled Glass Counters

Kitchen countertop made out of recycled glass. Photo by Instagram user @sheffield_sustainable_kitchens.

Photo via @sheffield_sustainable_kitchens

Eco-conscious kitchen remodelers will love the sustainability of recycled glass countertops. Redoing your kitchen counters with recycled glass creates a look similar to granite, while also providing a scratch-resistant worktop for all your cooking and baking needs. But glass countertops can be damaged with heavy use, making them best for casual chefs looking to reduce their carbon footprint. If the mosaic look doesn’t suit your taste, opt for recycled glass tiles, instead!

Stay on Budget with Laminate Counters

Kitchen interior with white laminate countertops. Photo by Instagram user @arboritehpl.

Photo via @arboritehpl

Inexpensive, easy to install, and highly customizable with other DIY projects like painting or contact paper, laminate countertops are an affordable option for kitchen renovations. One of the best benefits of laminate countertops is that you can create the look of everything—from marble to wood—without spending as much money on those materials. This means you can fit them into almost any home aesthetic. While laminate countertops are low maintenance, they do require regular cleaning and may not last as long as other, more expensive countertops.

Give Granite Countertops a Try

Kitchen interior with granite countertops and white cabinets. Photo by Instagram user @donovanphotography.

Photo via @donovanphotography

Both beautiful and durable, granite is an attractive option when you’re remodeling your kitchen worktops. Granite is resistant to heat, moisture, chipping, and scratching, which is ideal for those who like to cook at home and want a surface that can withstand some wear and tear. Granite countertops are also quite affordable and can even add resale value to your kitchen. Additionally, this popular kitchen counter material comes in a variety of colors, so you can easily match them to several home decorating styles!

Install Soapstone Countertops

Kitchen interior with soapstone countertops and white cabinets. Photo by Instagram user @tp.remodeling.

Photo via @tp.remodeling

As a natural stone countertop option, soapstone is sustainable, heat and stain-resistant, and visually appealing. Soapstone is available in a range of neutral hues and is easier to install compared to other natural stone countertops, which makes it perfect for your own DIY countertop project! Plus, the compact, non-porous surface makes them highly sanitary and easier to wipe up. While soapstone countertops are low maintenance, experts do recommend applying a mineral oil treatment to deepen and even out the natural darkening process of soapstone.

Test Out Porcelain Countertops

Kitchen with Calacatta Paonazzo porcelain countertops. Photo by Instagram user @seabrightlane.

Photo via @seabrightlane

If you have wiggle room in your budget and want a light, bright kitchen upgrade, porcelain countertops may be the way to go. Porcelain countertops are beautiful, heat-resistant, and easy to clean. Despite being lighter and thinner than other countertop materials, porcelain is stronger than granite. These countertops offer a shiny, glazed look similar to marble and can be recycled at the end of their lifetime, which makes them a green choice for an eco-friendly kitchen!

Use Quartz Countertops & Overlays

White and beige kitchen with quartz countertops. Photo by Instagram user @alphacountertops.

Photo via @alphacountertops

Made with crushed quartz crystals and pigment, quartz countertops are a man-made option that offer many of the same perks as natural stone counters. Despite their slightly higher price tag, benefits like high durability and low maintenance make quartz countertops a worthwhile investment. These kitchen countertops are sensitive to high heat, though, so it’s important to keep hot dishes off the counters unless you use a hot pad.

Update to Marble Countertops

Large kitchen interior with marble countertops and backsplash. Photo by Instagram user @supremestone_inc.

Photo via @supremestone_inc

Love to bake? Naturally cool-to-the-touch, marble countertops are great for bakers due to their heat resistance. Marble is a natural stone, so it can stand up to a fair amount of use, but it’s still a good idea to seal professionally installed countertops. To help prevent stains and scratches on this high-end countertop material, be sure to use a cutting board and to clean regularly with a pH-neutral cleaning solution and microfiber cloth. This will help maintain your marble countertop’s unique, luminous appearance—which pairs best with gold kitchen decor and a luxurious home aesthetic!

Opt for Stainless Steel Countertops

Kitchen with white cabinets and stainless steel countertops and appliances. Photo by Instagram user @arete_renovators.

Photo via @arete_renovators

If you cook often and don’t mind spending a little extra money, stainless steel should definitely be on your radar during your kitchen remodel project. Loved by professional chefs for their high durability, stainless steel countertops are heat-resistant and stain-resistant. Another benefit of redoing your kitchen countertops to stainless steel is their sleek, modern look. They also tend to develop an attractive patina with frequent use, which can bring a lot of character to your kitchen.

Try Other Metal Countertop Options

Kitchen with copper countertop and brick wall. Photo by Instagram user @jillandco.interiors.

Photo via @jillandco.interiors

There are many other metal countertop options available beyond stainless steel. Zinc and pewter look similar to stainless steel, but with a slightly homier feel. Copper and bronze offer rustic or pastoral aesthetics that can benefit a cottagecore-style home. However, these materials are somewhat expensive and can be prone to damage, so they’re best used for renovators who care more for form rather than function.

Consider Concrete Counters

Kitchen interior with concrete countertops and waterfall island. Photo by Instagram user @daveandjennymarrs.

Photo via @daveandjennymarrs

Perhaps the biggest draw of concrete countertops is that they’re completely customizable in terms of height, color, embeds, edge shape, and other features. This is good for those interested in a higher level of control over their kitchen makeover. In addition to fitting many aesthetics, concrete kitchen counters also have practical benefits like high durability. Although an investment, concrete kitchen counters can last for years with the proper maintenance—which includes regular sealing and waxing to protect the surface.

Go Eco-Friendly with Bamboo Countertops

Close-up of bamboo kitchen countertops. Photo by Instagram user @zoria.bamboo.

Photo via @zoria.bamboo

Environmentally friendly due to how quickly it grows, bamboo is a long-lasting and attractive option to improve your kitchen countertops. Like wooden countertops, bamboo has natural anti-bacterial properties and is easily refinished if damaged. Bamboo countertops also come in many pattern styles with different colors and wood grain appearances, so you can customize them to fit with the rest of your kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, for example, vertical bamboo can make it appear larger! Just make sure to regularly clean bamboo worktops with warm, soapy water, before using essential oil to keep your bamboo countertops in good shape.

Get Practical with Butcher Block Counters

Kitchen interior with butcher block countertops and two-toned cabinets. Photo by Instagram user @rebeccaannehome.

Photo via @rebeccaannehome

Wooden countertops, also called butcher block countertops, offer a unique aesthetic that works amazing with folky aesthetics like Modern Farmhouse. Wooden counters have natural antibacterial properties, so they’re easier to clean than other countertop materials, and can sustain chips and scratches even if they’re not sealed. But unlike other hard-surface kitchen countertops, repairing wooden counters is often as simple as gently sanding and re-oiling the surface or using wood putty to fill in larger cracks. Butcher block kitchen counters are available at multiple price points, depending on the thickness and type of wood, so this can be a fantastic alternative to more expensive countertop materials.

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Need somewhere to store your kitchen appliances, cookware, or other items while you renovate your countertops? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout the U.S. to help with your storage needs. Find self storage near you today!

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