Do you want a stainless work surface but don’t want to pay the high prices that are associated with it? If so, you’re like a lot of people out there that are exploring their do-it-yourself options to save a ton of money.
Really, you can save more than half of what you would have to pay at a retail kitchen renovation shop by exploring these DIY options.
Why does it cost so much at kitchen stores?
When you’re out looking at your options for your kitchen you’ll often find that it will cost as much or even more than granite. The reason behind this is the metal needs to be custom molded to fit around the plywood backing. There are a lot more customization efforts that need to be put into fabricating a metal countertop than any other type.
DIY - it’s actually quite simple
In order to break things down and simplify the process, here are the basic steps that you’ll need to follow to fabricate your own steel countertop on a budget:
Make a plywood template
Get some plywood and make a template of the kitchen worktop that you’re working with. Make sure that you use exact measurements and place the template on the counter to make sure that it fits. The measurements need to be precise so take your time with this step. It is the basic building block of the whole process.
Contact fabrication companies
Start getting in touch with metal fabrication companies that work with metal until you find a place that offers good quality service at a reasonable price. This shop will bend and cut the material and make it fit perfectly around your plywood template.
Install the countertop
The plywood will be attached to the custom piece and then the fabricated steel plate will be added on top of it. Then it’s just a matter of adding in your sink and sealing the seams.
This is really a cheaper and lower quality option that you have to save money. I do recommend a thicker hardwood backing instead of plywood. Hiring a contractor to make one for you would be a prudent step.
Your fabrication options
Integrated sink - Instead of adding your sink at the final stage of the process you can also take it into the fabricator and have it integrated right into the counter. When this is done correctly, it’s hard to even tell where the countertop stops and the sink starts. It seems to be one complete unit and looks absolutely amazing!
Edges and thickness - The standard thickness for a stainless steel counter is 1.5” but you can look at your other options. Edge profiles include square, bull-nosed, angled back and marine no-drip options.
You have a number of different finishes to choose from:
It is possible to take on this type of do-it-yourself project and choose your own fabrication options according to your personal preference and your kitchen style.
When you do it this way as a DIY project you can save thousands of dollars in the process. With some smart thinking and the willingness to look for the right fabricator that will work with you, you can turn a $4000 stainless steel counter top into one that only costs $500 - $700 in total.
How about over existing laminate countertop?
moosh It’d be better to replace the whole kitchen… Danielle Why replace the whole kitchen? Laminate counter decks are about 3/4″, take off the stupid 4″ molded backsplash with a multitool, if you have a bullnose chop it with a circular saw and replace with 3/4″ trim and that would create a solid from to overlay steel on, would it not?
Can stainless steel kitchen tops be placed over granite?
Scott J Interesting question. I don’t see why not as granite would provide the underlying structure. But that’s a question you’ll have to ask a fabricator as I don’t know for sure.
Updated: October 23, 2016