How to Fix Your Kitchen Countertops

  • 01 of 04

    How to Repair Granite Countertops

    kitchen island with granite countertop
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    Fill in with pulverized stone and buff smooth.

    Materials

    Restorer-grade granite patch kit, such as PRG, Inc.'s Chip & Fill Kit.

    Procedure

    1. Mix the dry stone until the correct shade is achieved.
    2. Add liquid binders to the dry stone, mix, and add a catalyst.
    3. Press the mix into the granite area in need of repair.
    4. Razor off the excess and buff down with fine-grit paper.

    How Good Is the Repair?

    So-so. With natural slab granite counters, literally every piece of granite is different, so an exact match is impossible. With engineered granite, you'll find more consistency and thus the repairs will more closely match.

    The trick is to use the restorer-grade granite repair kits because you're mixing actual stone dust with binding agents. For DIY granite repairs, it takes patience, experience, and a good eye. However, with the large investment to install a granite countertop, it may be worth calling in a professional if it is in your budget.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    How to Repair Laminate Countertops

    kitchen with laminate countertops
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    Fill in the imperfection with a material designed especially for the purpose of repairing laminate counters. This material bonds mechanically to the laminate's substrate. The substrate is that dark, flaky-looking material below the wear layer.

    Materials

    SeamFil or similar.

    Procedure

    1. Clean the crack or gouge with a special solvent.
    2. Press the repair material into the crack/gouge ​with a smooth putty knife.
    3. Remove excess repair material with the special solvent.

    How Good Is the Repair?

    Fair.  Repairing laminate countertops is the worst of all. In fact, the difficulty of laminate repairs is one of the reasons why some homeowners shy away from purchasing this type of countertop material.

    Matching color is hard. Even though manufacturers like SeamFil provide color charts, this is dependent on you knowing the laminate counter's color in the first place.

    Both Formica and Wilsonart are well-known brands of laminate countertops. But you're in for a difficult repair. Black & Decker's Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair sums it up perfectly, when they say, "Laminates are durable and stain resistant, but unfortunately, their surfaces are usually impossible to repair." I tend to agree.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    How to Repair Ceramic Tile Countertop

    close-up of tile countertop with food
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    Replace the damaged tile. Or have a professional company fill the imperfection and then refinish the counter. But if you're imagining yourself filling in the tile crack with an off-the-shelf repair kit and having it look decent, this simply will not happen.

    Materials

    In the first instance, you replace the damaged ceramic tile with a new one. The cost of materials is negligible. In the second instance, the company makes a repair with filler, and then essentially paints over the entire countertop to cover both the repair and the good tile.

    DIY Procedure

    1. Excise damaged tile, being careful not to disturb surrounding tile.
    2. Carefully clean out every last chunk of mortar and broken tile from the area.
    3. Adhere new ceramic tile.
    4. Regrout the tile.

    Professional Procedure

    1. The company fills in the crack, gouge, nick, etc.
    2. The company thoroughly cleans down the counters.
    3. The company refinishes the entire counter surface, including grout.

    How Good Is the Repair?

    With one-for-one tile replacement, it's nearly perfect. The trick is to have a steady hand--or to hire a professional tile installer. With refinishing, the repair is hidden underneath the new layer of paint. The downside: grout gets painted over, too.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    How to Repair Solid Surface (Corian) Countertops

    solid surface countertop kitchen island
    David Papazian/Getty Images

    Corian and other solid surface counters are amazingly easy to fix. Sand/buff out or call in a certified technician.

    Materials

    Fine grit sandpaper. Some homeowners report success with the abrasive side of kitchen scrubbers, such as ScotchBrite.

    Procedure

    1. Begin by lightly buffing down the scratches with fine grit sandpaper.
    2. Increase grit as needed (remember, lower numbers on sandpaper grit mean that it is more abrasive).

    How Good Is the Repair?

    If you have scratches in your solid surface, you're in for a pleasant surprise: they stand out well and the repair looks quite good in the end.

    For anything more major than sandable scratches, call in a technician certified for that particular solid surface product.