IKEA Countertops Are the Secret to Designing Your Dream Kitchen on a Budget

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Anyone embarking on a kitchen remodel or redesign knows all too well the stressful process of creating a dream cook space, and the time involved in painstakingly selecting all of its components. When it comes to items that directly influence the overall look and feel of a kitchen, countertops rank pretty high on the list. Because they're multi-functional — providing meal-prep surface, as well as serving as a tabletop, and perhaps an impromptu desk area if you have an island or peninsula with seating — it's important to consider your lifestyle and how you'll be using your counters before you select the material. Do you clean as you cook and wipe spills as they occur? Wood or laminate could be right for you. If you cook often and consider cutting boards and hot pads optional, you need a durable work surface like quartz.

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There really is no end to kitchen countertop ideas and materials: Unfortunately, there's usually an end to everyone's budget, and choices are often dictated by cost. IKEA, long a stalwart in the affordable, yet attractive, home goods arena has a vast supply of countertop options to suit your taste and aesthetic at prices that won't make you cry. Don't believe us? Scroll on to see for yourself.

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Quartz IKEA Countertop

Quartz has long been a beloved kitchen countertop material and for good reason; it's engineered, making it considerably lower maintenance and more durable — think heat-, scratch-, and stain-resistant — than naturally occurring stone such as marble and granite. And, because it's manufactured, it's available in a wider range of colors that complement an array of interior design styles from contemporary to rustic.

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Although quartz is less costly than other stone, it's by no means considered a budget-friendly choice. At $44 - $77 per square foot including installation, IKEA's Kasker quartz line is their priciest countertop option, but is more affordable than the average of $55 - $80 that it can cost when purchased elsewhere.

It's also customizable. You read that right ... customizable, in a variety of neutral colors from white to black; many look remarkably similar to marble. And the good news doesn't stop there; it's available in five edge styles including straight and beveled, and two thicknesses.

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Pros

  • Completely customizable so it will fit your space perfectly.
  • Highly durable.
  • Variety of colors and edge-detail available.
  • Price includes installation.

Cons

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  • More costly than other countertop lines.
  • Can have visible seams where pieces join.
  • Are heavy and require sturdy cabinets that can bare their load.

1. Embrace all-white.

It doesn't matter if you favor a modern aesthetic or are looking to create farmhouse vibes, all-white kitchens are our go-t0 for bright and welcoming spaces that never go out of style. Bit and Bauble creates a timeless cottage-inspired cookery using many of IKEA's off-the-shelf products including cabinets and quartz countertops.

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Get the look: IKEA Kasker Quartz Countertop in Pure White, $69 per square foot

2. More white.

This clean and fresh kitchen was a DIY project that Niki and her husband chronicled on her blog Little House of Stones using floor-to-ceiling IKEA products. The tone-on-tone mosaic tile backsplash and mineral-effect quartz countertops infuse a modern note to Shaker-style cabinet fronts. Gray vinyl plank flooring and wood accents add warmth.

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Get the look: IKEA Kasker Quartz Countertop in White Mineral/Glitter Effect, $61 per square foot

Laminate IKEA Countertop

With a bit of care, laminate countertops can be an attractive and long-lasting part of a kitchen. In addition to being the lightest and most affordable IKEA countertop idea, spills are easily wiped up with just soap and warm water — making them an ideal choice for families or those prone to spills. Laminate is considerably softer than stone, so it isn't scratch- or heat-resistant. If you can't be bothered with oven mitts, trivets, or cutting boards, laminate probably isn't for you.

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IKEA's Ekbacken line of laminate counters comes in seven colors, including a marble-effect, and two lengths. They can be purchased and brought home on the same day, but you're on your own for trimming and installing them.

Pros

  • Lightweight, making them suitable on top of most cabinets.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Range of color choices.
  • Easy to clean.

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Cons

  • Considered a soft countertop and requires care.
  • Not heat or scratch-resistant.

3. Go minimal.

Create a contemporary look with flat-front cabinetry, black IKEA countertops, and integrated appliances as seen in this pared-down kitchen idea by Huis Jeboom Jelief out of the Netherlands. A blush-hued accent wall adds subtle color and woven accents infuse a dash of texture.

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Get the look: IKEA Ekbacken Countertop in Black Stone Effect, $79 - $99

4. Make like marble.

Get the look of marble for a fraction of the cost with marble-inspired laminate. Kerstin Redning creates a sophisticated kitchen with old world appeal using a combination of soothing colors and elegant accessories.

Get the look: IKEA Eckbacken Countertop in White Marble Effect, $79

Wood IKEA Countertop

Wood countertops impart warmth and charm, and are quite versatile: They're a natural fit if you're looking to achieve a rustic undertone, or the farmhouse look that has folks pinning country-living ideas like mad, but work equally well in midcentury modern or traditional interiors. Wood plays nice with virtually all other surfaces and finishes, so if you love the look of mixing countertop materials (perhaps wood on the island and marble or quartz on the perimeter), wood is for you. However, it does require ongoing maintenance, including regular sealing with an oil treatment to protect the material from spills — which must be wiped up right away to prevent warping and discoloration. Surface scratches can be sanded out.

IKEA offers pre-cut wood countertops comprised of solid wood-covered veneer in a variety of finishes. Using a top layer of wood (as opposed to solid wood) on particleboard is resource-efficient, making these an environmentally sound choice. They come in 74" or 98" lengths depending on the line, can be purchased off-the-shelf, and then trimmed to accommodate your counter size. And bonus, this IKEA countertop starts at $179.

Pros

  • Environmentally responsible.
  • Versatile aesthetic.
  • Good price point.

Cons

  • Requires ongoing maintenance.
  • Spills can't be neglected.
  • Not as durable as other materials.

5. Go for farmhouse vibes.

Ground a neutral kitchen with slate floors and add contrast with oil rubbed bronze hardware and dark grout. Ruth van den Broek went with a wood IKEA countertop which makes the space feel warm and inviting.

Get the look: IKEA Karlby Countertop in Walnut, $189 - $249

6. Stick to the classics.

Find inspiration in the classics and stick to no-fail combinations like this wood IKEA countertop idea, subway tile, and white cabinetry. Daina Baer selected stainless appliances and nickel hardware, both enduring choices to complete the light and bright space.

Get the look: IKEA Karlby Countertop in Walnut, $189 - $249

7. Pair wood with black.

Pair wood counters with black cabinets for a masculine cookery with a soft side. This temporary kitchenette designed by Athena Calderone makes up for its lack of space with thoughtful accessories and greenery. The absence of a backsplash is a cost-saving measure that keeps the look simplified.

Get the look: IKEA Karlby Countertop in Walnut, $189 - $249

8. Mix your materials.

Don't be afraid to use more than one IKEA countertop material. Straight-edge, all-white quartz feels anything but cold with a wood-topped island seen in this neutral cook space on Farm House on Boone. Dark grout, baskets of veggies, and plenty of wood accents make this space feel like a genuine country kitchen.

Get the look: IKEA Kasker Quartz Countertop in White Mineral Effect Ocean Foam, $53 per square foot

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