Granite countertops and a marble backsplash may be a part of your fantasy kitchen, but natural stone can break a budget before renovations even begin. Thanks to new laminate technologies and formulas, there are plenty of affordable alternatives designed to give you the look of stone without the crippling costs. Take a look at these five kitchen design ideas and think about what would best suit your own cooking space.
1. Marble Magic
The classic white-and-grey smoky pattern of marble has been attracting designers and architects since antiquity. But since we’re not Roman emperors with massive hordes of conquest gold, having stacks of natural marble in our kitchens is likely out of the question. Instead, turn to lookalike laminate as a cost-effective option, which repels liquid and looks good doing it. While marble typically ranges from $50 to $150 per square foot, similarly patterned laminate costs around $28 per square foot.
2. Counter Offer
From falling fruit bowls to wayward chef’s knives to red-wine spills, kitchen countertops need to stand up to everyday wear and tear. Natural granite can chip and stain, making a hefty investment null and void with one wrong cooking move. If you’re looking for durability and frugality, opt for 180fx® by Formica Group, a hidden-seamed laminate that comes in 29 true-to-scale granite patterns. See if your guests can tell the difference – and don’t think twice about successfully wiping away those red-wine rings at the end of the night.
3. Beautiful Backsplash
Laminates have come a long way from the tangerine, avocado or mustard-yellow backsplashes that littered kitchens across Canada in the 1970s. If a sleek, modern natural-stone backsplash is calling your name but the price tag is way out of the reno budget, take some time and research laminate-sheet options as a stone alternative. Starting at $20 per square foot, there are finishes, colours and textures to satisfy every taste these days — without a single garish colour in sight.
4. Granite Statement
A granite-topped kitchen island has become the must-have on every home-renovator’s lips — and for good reason. They provide extra space for meal prep, an informal dining area and another block of cabinets for much-needed storage. But while they do all of this, granite doesn’t come cheap (think anywhere from $45 to $200 per square foot). For a countertop material with all the design punch without any of the outrageous costs, Formica’s 180fx® true-to-scale granite-patterned laminate fits the bill nicely — and starts at $28 per square foot.
5. Turn the Table
Decals are another way to get that natural stone look in the kitchen without having to heave a hunk of rock through the front door. Covering a tired tabletop with a marble or travertine-patterned laminate decal gives this hardworking kitchen hub a much-needed facelift. Tip: Make sure the surface of the table has been cleaned and lightly sanded so the adhesive surface holds how it’s supposed to.
Now that you’ve seen how cost-conscious laminate can be used in the kitchen to give it the look of budget-breaking natural stone, which idea do you think would suit your own kitchen redesign?
Images courtesy of Formica®