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The Art of Replacing Your Countertop without Replacing the Cabinets

Replacing Your Countertop

Yes!  One of the questions we get most frequently relates to new countertops and all-new cabinetry. 

A full kitchen remodel would involve pulling out the cabinets and building new cabinetry - possibly in a new floorplan and layout design. However, many smart kitchen transformations have been done with new countertops alone.

If you like your cabinets and have no reason to remove them, you can absolutely build a fresh countertop to fit atop your existing cabinet design. The trick is to ensure your cabinets and counter look beautiful together and that your cabinets can take the weight.


When to Keep or Rebuild Your Kitchen Cabinets

There are two common ways to build cabinets. One is pressed particle board and the other is carved hardwood. Particleboard can, sometimes, become water damaged and crumble over time.

Hardwood and dry composite boards are very sturdy and can last for years while the water-damaged boards can become weak.

So check your cabinets before changing the countertop! If you have hardwood cabinets, they'll last many more years in good service. If you have composite board cabinets, ensure there is no water damage old or new to affirm the cabinets are in good, sturdy condition.


Designing a New Counter for Your Cabinetry

If you're keeping the cabinets, let them set the stage. Design your new countertop around the layout and usage already defined by your cabinet design. Create countertops that are large enough to span the width and extend into your ideal carved overhang.

Use your cabinet shapes and carving style to guide your choice in a countertop. In color, however, let your design take the lead. Cabinets can be altered more easily than stone.


Refinish Cabinets to Transform the Look

Refinish your cabinets. A great kitchen redesign often involves an all-new color palette. What will make your choice of countertop really pop? What colors should your cabinets be for your ideal kitchen design?

Existing cabinets are easy to restain, repaint, and/or refinish. Once they are sealed and complete, they will once again be a beautiful and prominently colorful part of your kitchen.

Cabinets are highly visible and have a powerful accent on your countertop surface. Choose a beautiful gray theme or a warm blend of browns and golds. You can even remove your cabinet doors to refinish them separately and hang them back with stylish new drawer pulls and handles.


Minor Cabinet Renovations

You can even make some changes to your cabinetry before you install the new countertop. You can cut an apron for a farmhouse sink, for example, or change some of your shelving into drawers.

With the counter off and the top open, you have the perfect opportunity to make minor renovations to your existing cabinets without a full-scale cabinetry reinstall.


How Countertops Can Change Existing Cabinets

Alternately, you can use your countertops to transform the use and function of the existing cabinet design. For example, your countertop might extend with a foot or hinge over the side or over a gap in the cabinetry. This extends your work-surface line but creates an under-space for a wheelchair or overeager pets. Your countertop can have embedded or hidden features, or it can re-define where appliances will sit.


There are many interesting and beautiful ways to combine a new countertop with your existing cabinets. Keep your cabinets, refinish the wood, and install a countertop that knocks the socks off your old design. Wow, visitors and guests with your choice of countertop stone and your ingenious approach to upcycling the cabinetry in your own kitchen renovations. 

Contact us today to dive into your kitchen renovation plans, with or without new cabinetry.

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