Friday, July 17, 2015

Cheap countertop

I built this cabinet when I first set up the Rolling Steel Tent two years ago. I've been using the top as my general purpose work surface. It's just painted. Grime and stains soak in, the paint wears off. So I decided to cover it with something.

I went searching for a scrap of laminate or maybe some other countertop material. I found a huge roll of laminate at ReStore, but they didn't want to cut off a hunk for me. That's reasonable. Meanwhile, a new sheet at a home improvement store was almost $100. No way.

Tile, maybe? No, because all the angles on the top are slightly off square. Besides, I really really hate grout.

Melamine? Dry marker board? Mmmm, maybe, but still kind of pricey.

Then it hit me. Vinyl flooring tiles! Only 89¢ each. Easy to cut, self-adhesive, perfect. And to get fancy, I'd trim the edges with aluminum.

Since the vinyl tiles didn't go all that well with the color of the cabinet, I repainted it with an ever-so-slightly different tone. That made the former artist in me happier.

Next up: a little catch-all bin mounted to the steel bulkhead. It will also give the far edge of the countertop a finished look.


  1. And if you get tired of the tiles or they start to show age - rip them up and put down new ones.

  2. Looks really nice !

  3. I started to say something about all the crud that will get caught in that aluminum angle then I heard my mother saying, "If you can't say something nice...", so I'll just say looks like you did an excellent install. :)

    1. Yeah, that's one of the drawbacks. I guess I'll need to be extra tidy and clean. On the other hand, fewer things will slide off the cabinet when I go around corners.