A Fast, No-Mess, Low-Budget, Kitchen Makeover and Review of Quartz Kitchen Counter Overlays

Updated on September 27, 2018
Glenis Rix profile image

Glen thinks there are more interesting things to spend time on than cleaning. A quick wipe over makes her quartz overlays sparkle like new.

The result
The result | Source

Minimum Mess Fixes for a Shabby Kitchen

My black laminate kitchen counters were fourteen years old and beginning to look a little shabby. On the positive side, the tiling still looked good and I wanted to retain it. An added problem was that my washing machine piping had sprung a leak which went undiscovered until I was literally squelching on the engineered flooring. Needless to say, the flooring needed to be taken up and replaced. I needed a fast kitchen makeover! I couldn't face the mess and disruption of having the worktops and tiles ripped out and replaced, and the skirting boards lifted to replace the flooring with like-for-like. So I decided that the best, least messy, option would be quartz worktop overlays and sheet floorings. An internet search identified several specialist providers of quartz overlay worktops and I had three of them come to the house to quote. I was lucky to find a new business start up, which quoted the best price. Here's how my kitchen received a facelift within the space of a few hours.

Quartz Kitchen Counter Overlays

I love my quartz overlays and was astonished by how quickly they were installed. My old worktops were overlaid with a 7 millimetre made-to-measure quartz counter, which was glued into place.The fitters were in the house for less than one day, and most of that time was spent waiting for a gas fitter to come along to disconnect and later reconnect my gas hob.

Cost of Thin Q Overlays

My overlays cost £1628, which included the Franke sink and taps,and the fee for a gas fitter to disconnect and reconnect the gas hob, which it was necessary to remove before installing the worktops. (September 2016)

Franke sink, easily cleaned with washing up liquid. and Franke taps
Franke sink, easily cleaned with washing up liquid. and Franke taps | Source
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Click thumbnail to view full-size
The worktop extension with an 18 inch dishwasher below
The worktop extension with an 18 inch dishwasher below
The worktop extension with an 18 inch dishwasher below | Source
My old sink was removed first
My old sink was removed first | Source
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It wasn't necessary to remove any tiles. The overlay is only 7 mm thick and sealed to the tiles.
It wasn't necessary to remove any tiles. The overlay is only 7 mm thick and sealed to the tiles. | Source

Worktop Extension for Quartz Overlay

I wanted to create more work space so asked for an extension of the counter. The dishwasher was to be slid underneath the extension and an end panel added. It wasn't a problem. A sub-frame was attached to the end of my existing worktop and an end panel attached. There was just enough space to slide a narrow dishwasher underneath the extension. Bosch was my preferred manufacturer, as the reputation of the company is excellent and I have purchased other white goods from them in the past. Luckily, they have an 18 inch dishwasher, which has proved more than adequate in my small household. After two years of daily use I have experienced no problems with it and generally use it on the short 29 minute program, which saves on energy consumption.

The gas hob, electric oven and dishwasher were disconnected and pulled out
The gas hob, electric oven and dishwasher were disconnected and pulled out | Source
The overlay was laid on top of the worktops so that accurate measurements for cut-outs could be made
The overlay was laid on top of the worktops so that accurate measurements for cut-outs could be made | Source
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Cross-Line Walls with Lining Paper for a Professional Finish to Wallpapering

I painted the kitchen and made a feature wall in the eating area before having any other work carried out. I learned how to cross line the walls before hanging the wallpaper. It was well worth the time and effort involved in cross lining, because the finished job looked far more professional than it would otherwise have appeared.

The wallpaper is Laura Ashley 'Geraniums'.

Source

Tip: Paint the Walls Before Having Flooring Fitted

Whenever practical, paint the walls and woodwork before having flooring laid. Unless you are the most careful of DIY enthusiasts, with a steady hand or a willingness to mask everything meticulously, some paint will inevitably find its way onto the floor. If you are as clumsy as I am, a pot of paint may even be accidentally overturned.

Equipment to Make Stripping Wallpaper Easier

My essential wallpaper stripping equipment - steam stripper, wallpaper scorer
My essential wallpaper stripping equipment - steam stripper, wallpaper scorer | Source
This is what happened to my landing carpet recently!
This is what happened to my landing carpet recently! | Source

Vinyl Flooring: A Quick and Durable Solution for the Kitchen

I was able to make new flooring my next priority because I was aware that opting for quartz overlays on the worktop would involve minimum dust and disruption. (If I had I chosen to have the worktops ripped out and replaced then the flooring would have been the final job).

I would have loved a new engineered wood floor but that would have involved removing skirting boards that had only recently been fixed - and repainting or

perhaps even replacing them afterwards. After thinking long and hard I opted for high-end sheet vinyl in a reasonably realistic oak finish.

  • Cheaper than engineered wood
  • Quick to install with minimum mess and no repainting of skirting boards
  • Easy to clean
  • Totally waterproof

I chose Lifestyle Floors Titan vinyl It's 4.50mm thick, has a 0.35mm wear layer and is slip resistant. It carries a 15-year guarantee and costs £17.99 per sq.m. (2016 price.)

I removed the cupboard plinths before the fitter arrived and he completed the job in less than one hour.

Titan Range in Stately Oak
Titan Range in Stately Oak | Source

Replacing Worn Cupboard Plinths

I purchased new plinths online from a DIY store and they were delivered the following day. In the meantime I contacted a joiner who had done work for me in the past and he was able to come along and fit them.

Cost of Cream Gloss-Finish Plinths

£22 for 2600 mm x 140 mm. Three lengths + fixing clips + labour = £141 (Sept. 2016 prices).

Making the Most of Limited Space in a Small Home

I had numerous books scattered around my small home. It was time to gather them all together in one place. I purchased this oak and oak veneer bookcase from Marks and Spencer and assembled it one Saturday evening.

My dining kitchen now doubles as a study area and the small bedroom that was used as an office has reverted to a guest bedroom

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What is Quartz?

Quartz is the most abundant mineral in the earth's crust.

Quartz slabs that are used for worktops are manufactured goods containing polymers and resins. The composition of the slabs makes them extremely hard and durable.

To learn more, read Quartz vs. Granite Countertops—A Geologist's Perspective.

Advantages of Quartz Worktop Overlays

  • It's not necessary to rip out the existing worktops
  • Tiling is not damaged and does not need to be replaced
  • Installed within a couple of hours
  • Very little dust and no redecorating necessary
  • Quartz is extremely hard and difficult to chip
  • In the unlikely event that there is a chip it can be repaired
  • Non porous,stain resistant and hygienic
  • Can be wiped down with water to which a little washing up liquid has been added
  • More cost-effective than replacing laminated counter with a solid granite or stone worktop
  • Lighter than solid granite of stone so it's unnecessary to brace cupboards.

See How Quartz Worktops are Engineered and Fitted

'Perfect Fit' Blinds

Perfect fit blinds were the finishing touch to the French doors in my kitchen dining area
Perfect fit blinds were the finishing touch to the French doors in my kitchen dining area | Source

Total Budget For Quick Kitchen Makeover

Item
 
Thin Q overlays inc.labour
£1275
Franke Sink
£203
Taps
£78
Bosch Dishwasher
£319
Vinyl Flooring inc. fitting
£400
Plinths & fixing clips
£75
Gas Fitter/plumber
£120
Joiner
£60
Electrician
£50
Perfect Fit blinds
£248
Paint and wallpaper
£75
Self-assembly bookcase (half price)
£199
Total Cost
£3102

Your Opinion of Quartz Worktop Overlays

What are your views on quartz overlays

See results

Two-Year Update on my Quartz Counter Overlays

Two years after installation the worktops are as good as new. They are extremely easy to clean, needing only a quick wipe down with a solution of washing up liquid. I couldn't be more pleased with this renovation on a limited budget.

Questions & Answers

  • Can quartz worktops go over tile?

    I checked my supplier’s website, and it states that quartz worktops can cover any work surface, provided that the surface is sound.

© 2016 GlenR

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