Home & Garden

3 Stylish, Less Expensive Kitchen Countertops

An expensive countertop can make a kitchen look predictable. We have the solution.

Chris Greenawalt's Trespa Countertop - Kate McElweeCHEAP + CHIC | If you were looking for a countertop material your design-loving friends would swoon over, would you pick granite, Caesarstone, another composite quartz, or marble from Carrara in Italy? These are luxurious and high-priced, but an expensive countertop doesn’t make a kitchen more interesting and could even make it look predictable. On the other hand, using an inexpensive countertop material in a creative way never looks cheap—only clever.

Right now our three favourite reasonably priced countertop materials ripe for inventive applications are Trespa, IKEA butcher block and glacier white Corian.

3 Well-Priced Kitchen Countertops

Trespa, shown above, is a composite flat panel material typically used in commercial settings as a cladding on both the inside and outside of buildings, or as worktops in science laboratories, so you know it’s tough. It can cost as little as $9.50 a square foot, one of the reasons architecture graduate Chris Greenwalt used Trespa Athlon for the countertop in the kitchen he designed for his family in Charlestown, Massachusetts, where he runs the design firm Bunker Workshop. He also chose it because it comes in sheets large enough to cover a sweeping six-by-10-foot island without a seam. Check out Chris Greenwalt and Bunker Workshop at www.bunkerworkshop.com See Trespa at www.trespa.com

Kitchen Counter IKEA Butcher BlockIKEA butcher block is just $249 for an solid oak countertop 96 inches long and 25 inches deep, which makes it ripe for hacking—as Suzanne Dimma, editor of Canadian House & Home, and Arriz Hassam, her husband and principal at 3rd UNCLE design in Toronto, did at their getaway cottage in Haliburton, Ontario. As you can see from the image of the nearly completed space, they fastened two eight-foot lengths of countertop together to create an island with 32 square feet of work surface. More butcher block was used for the sides of the unit, giving them a contemporary waterfall edge. Organic, modern and inexpensive: brilliant! Read Suzanne Dimma’s editors blog at www.canadianhouseandhome.com Peruse IKEA butcher block at www.ikea.ca Check out 3rd UNCLE Design at www.3rduncle.com

Corian, at up to $99 a square foot, is not the cheapest countertop material around, but if you covet a solid surface material, you might want to check out “glacier white.” At $59 a square foot, this classic colour (a warmish, diffuse white), is the least expensive Corian countertop and one of the most sought after by sophisticated designers. The best thing about Corian is that no matter how you torture it (within reason), it can be restored to its original condition; plus you can create any size or configuration worktop you want without a single unsightly seam. Some people dismiss white Corian, imagining horrific permanent stains. I have this countertop in my kitchen, and I can tell you that whatever stain agent I’ve left overnight has been magically rubbed away with Vim. —C. Rule

See Corian glacier white at www.dupont.com

Photos: Greenwalt kitchen, Kate McElwee; Dimma/Hassam kitchen, courtesy Canadian House & Home; Corian kitchen, courtesy Dupont Corian.

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  • Reply Ron November 22, 2010 at 7:31 am

    The butcher block also comes in 39 3/4″ pieces as well. We used it for our kitchen, finished with a polymerized Tung oil from Lee Valley. That gave it a very tough and durable finished after 2 sealer coats and 7 medium finish coats.

    Rent a worm-drive circular saw to cut it cleanly and easily.

  • Reply Dale Furniture March 19, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I really liked your blog article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  • Reply Kitchen Countertops Toronto October 17, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Thanks for writing blog on such a important topic. This blog will help people to take better care of their home & kitchen.

  • Reply Linda October 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm


    A wonderful article that has resulted in many RFI’s. Thank you!

    I am your Trespa rep. Please contact me and I will help you design your kitchen counter.


    Linda Fogazzi

    ATS-Business Development-TRESPA

  • Reply bunny prints December 12, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Found this exact content here as well- not sure who snagged from who http://ehomedesignideas.com/kitchen/more-option-than-inexpensive-kitchen-countertop-173.html

    • Reply carolannrule December 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

      Hi there,
      This does not look like the exact content to us, though they do mention Trespa like we first did three years ago. —eds

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