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It is inevitable that countertops may fade over time. This is more likely to happen if they have not been taken care of properly and were left to fade from overuse or damage. When the time comes to deal with your old countertops, there are a couple of options a homeowner should be aware of, so they do not feel stuck with a useless lump of material.
When Is It Time
It can be difficult to determine when your countertops are too old. Being too old is a broad term which is very subjective to the individual. Countertops could be considered old if a homeowner describes them as:
· Damaged: Countertops with medium to heavy amounts of cracking, chipping, or scratches could be considered old and outdated. Small cracks or scratches can be repaired, but not enough to warrant them being considered old if they can be easily fixed.
· Worn Out: Countertops will fade over time from active use. The healthy sheen from the polish can fade, the stone itself can look etched, and the colors will look bland and muted compared to what it once was. Sealers could have trouble adhering to the countertop where it does not protect it anymore. Worn out countertops do not hold that special and bright shine they used to.
· Compatibility: Countertops that do not fit with your current living situation could be considered functionally incompatible and old. The countertops do not need to be damaged or faded for a homeowner to realize that their current countertop is not capable of providing the necessary space and support they need for their home. For instance, changing from a slate countertop to a granite countertop will serve more purposes with design and durability.
· Upgrading: Depending on the material the original countertop is made of, homeowners may want to upgrade their countertop to something that fits their preferences better. This does not mean the original countertop is old, damaged, or outdated, but the homeowner wants to upgrade from what is currently there to something perhaps stronger and requires less maintenance. It is common for homeowners to upgrade countertops when moving into a new domicile.
· Outdated: Sometimes a countertop just feels and looks outdated to some people. It is a subjective choice where the countertop can be perfectly fine and healthy, but the style is no longer exciting to see, and the homeowner wants a change.
If any of these seem familiar or if you are having any of these thoughts with your countertops, then it might be time to consider changing or upgrading your countertop.
Options For Old Countertops
The first step was to understand why and when countertops would need to be changed. With that settled, we can discuss what you can do with these old countertops, so they do not go to waste.
Upcycling means taking an item (in this case your old countertops) and turning it into something else of higher value. Upcycling can be done with nearly anything and it is an effective way to breathe new life in an old object.
Upcycling old countertops can be repurposed in other rooms of the house.
· Decorative Tile: broken down countertop pieces could be turned into decorative tiles which can be designed around the house like the bathroom, kitchen, dining room, floors, or craft room.
· Garden Stones: the old countertop pieces can be embedded into the ground or layered in a garden to add more texture and visual appeal with the greenery. Stone steps or a miniature rock garden broken down from the old countertop material are visually and mentally wonderful
· Surround Stone: countertop material can be repurposed as fireplace or hot tub surround, depending on the type of stone or material’s specifications. Granite, quartzite, and marble are excellent for these locations, but quartz, slate, and soapstone are not.
· Mantel Pieces: just by itself, a piece of stone can look beautiful on a shelf as a centerpiece. It can serve as a reminder of what used to be while you embrace your future countertop.
· Coasters: breaking down the old countertop for coaster stands will give it a new purpose while still serving the old. It can hold your drinks or hot objects in the kitchen while protecting your new countertop material.
· Coffee Tables: remake the old countertop into a coffee table or small table where guests can sit for a board game night.
· Shelves: upgrade other areas of your home with open shelves made from your old countertop material. Depending on the material used, make sure you have adequate support to balance the weight.
· Cutting Boards: Typically, you should not cut directly on your countertop, but now that you are getting a new one, turn the old countertop into a cutting board to protect your new one. Most stones are hard enough to withstand a few nicks from a typical kitchen knife that you should be able to cut properly without damaging your blade or your new board.
For those who are environmentally friendly and want to reduce the amount of waste in landfills, recycling is an excellent option for your old countertops.
After removing the old countertop material, you can transport it to a recycling plant where they can convert it to something else. Depending on the material, it can be repurposed into other materials, objects, or picked up by someone else interested in refurbishing it.
Take note that some recycling centers may charge you for depositing your old countertops at their facility. Check with your local recycling center or others in the area to see if they have a drop-off charge or days where it is free for drop off.
Depending on the condition of the old countertops, refinish them and make them look new again. If the current countertops are in good condition and just look faded, then they can be easily repaired and touched up to look brand new with some effort.
Contact the company where you obtained your countertops or ask a specialist to discuss the type of countertop you have and how you can revitalize it with a refinishing and polishing kit.
Donating old countertops is a kind and charitable way of relieving yourself of the old material while still providing something valuable to others.
Consider donating them to friends or relatives who are looking to have their homes updated with a nice countertop. They could have the countertop material upcycled where it can be turned into a lovely coffee table, coaster set, martini rocks, or any number of home décor options.
Some charity organizations are open to accepting countertop material, depending on the condition it is in. They may use the material for low-income homes and families that need upgrading or have it upscaled into objects to benefit those in need.
Donations are mutually beneficial as they are benefiting the person with new material to use, and you can have it as a tax deduction for that year.
If you are not interested in asking around to give them away, why not sell it? Selling your old countertop online is a fantastic way of getting people specifically interested in what you have and willing to take it for a price.
Stone countertops like granite and marble have a high market value, especially if they are in good condition. Finding a healthy piece of stone at an inexpensive price is very tantalizing for those who work with stone.
· Artists will purchase stone and reshape it to create new pieces which they can later sell.
· Builders may purchase it and reuse it for construction material.
· Stone companies may take it to refurbish and sell it to other prospective homeowners.
As you can see, there are plenty of options you can choose from regarding what to do with your old countertops. Look online to see if anyone wants to buy them, donate them to those who need material for construction help, or recycle them into something new for yourself. The only question next to answer is what type of countertop do you want to replace it with?