Upgrading counters from tile. Anyone try this?


I am upgrading some counters from tile (yuk) to perhaps a formica or something smooth. I was all set to demo the counters when someone told me not to. I guess there is a company that will lay a new counter over the old one (think it is called refacing or resurfacing) and it will be cheaper.

Anyone do this?


Its probably doable, a lot will depend on how thick the tile / thick set is, how it will throw off tolerances for the cabs and back splash. Backsplash usually goes on after the counter top, are you planning to redo the back splash too? How are the tiles going to effect the levelness and plumbness of the new counter top?

I’d ask to see some work they’ve done and check out how it looks first hand if you can.

Yea, I was concerned about leveling and such myself. They basically just build the counter as an overlay and drop it on. They secure it with something like glue I think.

Seemed kind of cheap to me. Perhaps something I would do on a cheap home where expectations are not super high.

I was leaning towards putting in a formica countertop. Granite and Corian are a bit pricey.


A whole, new formica countertop is very cost efficient…I’d just go that route.

I’ve heard of different stuff like what you were describing, but have never found that any of it really checks out as a viable option. Again - comparing to a new formica countertop. If you were comparing to the more expensive options…

Get a sledge hammer and start tearing out the old, icky tile!!! I LOVE doing demolition projects like that!!! >:( Good therapy while thinking of all the ways tenants have ever messed with me!

Karla in Amarillo

So they are going to lay new wood or backer board over the tile, level it, then lay tile? Depending on how thick this ends up, will it effect anything else? Does the stove adjust up enough to be level? What about the sink and faucets? It may all be just fine, just trying to think of ‘what ifs’ to throw at you.


Yea that was my concern too. If the counter is already at the same level as say the stove and you slap on this new counter that is say 1 inch or so higher, how will that look? Messed up.

If they put a board under it, add more height.

I just thought I would ask to see if I was wrong. Looks like I am not :smiley:

I’m with the guys here – I just did new counters in a house too – formica is CHEAP. I pulled out old ORANGE formica counters (yes, the 70’s) and replaced with white – the entire cost was $200 for a gorgeous new kitchen (after I killed myself getting the orange and blue wallpaper down, repaired the walls, and painted the cabinets). I wouldn’t go over the tile myself, it will sit too high and look terrible, plus you may have to go custom to get it just right.

I’ve had formica counters made and it wasn’t that bad – ask the manufacturer you are dealing with. I just replaced a broken, piece of junk, faux marble bathroom counter for $89 in formica. The alternatives were in the $600 range – it really depends upon where your market is IMHO.

My two cents.

Silestone <3

lol only $55 sq/ft =/

I have rehabbed a couple house and done a few counter tops. Never heard of going over top of an existing counter; they are easy to take out and amt of prep work to get ready to install new ones is not that much.

Lastly, the height will be wrong and it will be obvious.

Gut and put in new ones. If you are in the top of local market, consider upgrading from Formica. I did that on a place I rehabbed and sold last year. It had a big brand new kitchen and Corian counter tops made it look awesome. (however, it was one of the highest priced house in that areas last year). It cost an extra $3k to do it, but on the $375k house, it was worth it.

Yea, I have one kitchen to upgrade that has to be granite or Corian.

Formica would be better than tile (which this one kitchen has) IMHO. I so hate tile counters. Just looks cheap and dated to me. Smooth surfaces are better.

Home Depot has standard length, premolded formica counter tops complete with the backsplash. They come in a variety of colors. You just need to cut the hole for the sink (use a saber saw or a router). If you need a length different from what they have, htey will cut one off on the panel saw in the store. I did one in a condo in Va. and it came out great!


Me too! And came out great! Plus that house just flooded in all this Georgia rain – the counters still look great LOL!

Now the carpet, a whole different deal :-X


Bummer on the flood Tami…do you have flood insurance? I think about 80% of the homes in this area are in the flood plain (it’s Louisiana, the whole freakin’ state is a flood plain…I think the highest elevation in the state is about 4 feet above sea level!