You have an old, scratched-up countertop and it’s time for a kitchen renovation. You’ve chosen out a new beautiful slab and you’re working with your stone fabricator on your brand new kitchen design. Now it’s time to rip out your old countertop so that your cabinets can be refinished or rebuilt to support your new beautiful stone counter.
But once that old stone is pulled out of your kitchen, what happens next? Where does the old countertop go, and what happens to it? Even if the color, style, and worn-out finish wasn’t with your new design, it’s still perfectly good granite or marble. It’s still valuable stone with a lot of potential. It’s only natural that your desire to avoid waste has you asking the question of what happens to your old countertops after they are removed.
The answer is: anything you want. Countertops are often hauled away for your convenience and then reused in other building and manufacturing projects. But if you’d rather, you can commission your old counter slabs to be refinished into brand new pieces, upcycled into your home, sold, or even given away to friends.
That old countertop is yours to decide what to do with. And you have some great options.
Old Countertops Can Be Reused in New Projects
You’re absolutely right, your countertops still have value and removed countertops are often reused in new projects, whether by the homeowner or a later team who buys the remnant for the purpose. There are many ways that old countertops can be reused because the stone has value. The stone can be refinished, recut, and made into smaller granite or marble pieces after it’s been a countertop in your home.
Of course, this also means you can choose to have your old countertops refinished, recut, and made into smaller granite or marble pieces for your home brother projects if the style of stone doesn’t fit with your current design vision.
Removing Countertops Intact or In Pieces
The first thing to know about reusing granite or marble countertops is that it is difficult to remove a counter without cracking it. Very special care is taken in cutting the slab and transporting a new countertop to your home. It is installed carefully onto the cabinet structure. But detaching and lifting a countertop away from the cabinetry is another task entirely.
It’s best not to expect 100% pristine slabs when your old countertop is removed. It may crack in one or more places, creating pieces of stone remnant instead of whole counter-sized slabs. The most common result of removing a countertop is large remnant pieces and a few small shards. This is especially common because most homeowners are not worried about what happens to their previous countertop with new beautiful stone coming in.
Refinish Old Countertop Pieces into Newly Sealed Stone
The next interesting fact is that those scratches and stains on your old countertop are not permanent. One alternative to new countertops is to have your counters sanded and refinished. You can do the same after the old slab is removed. By grinding down and re-polishing the top layer of stone, all surface-layer flaws can be removed. Resealing the stone protects it again for a year or more from moisture and further surface damage.
What this means for reusing your countertop is that those stone pieces can be as beautiful again as the day the original counters were installed. Any project where you choose to use a remnant doesn’t have to look old, it will gleam like the beautiful natural stone it is.
Upcycling Your Old Countertops Into New Home Projects
So what can you do with countertop remnants from your old counter, after your new countertops are installed? Really, there are dozens of potential projects for creative and inspired homeowners. You can top furniture, decorate small spaces in your home, and use the polished pieces of marble or granite for any number of crafts. Here are some of our favorite and the most popular ways to re-use your old countertop pieces
End Tables and Coffee Tables
Smaller pieces of granite make beautiful table inlays and tabletops, especially for the small tables in your home. Make a pair of matching end tables or bedside tables that look like a beautiful set together. Or design a custom coffee table that is sure to wow your guests with the weight of polished natural stone. An inlay sets granite into the top of a wood-framed table, while a stone top is an entire rectangle of granite or marble set on top of a table stand.
Your mantelpiece is a place of honor in the home and deserves a beautiful piece of stone to top it. Mantlepieces are also quite small and only require a strip of stone to transform the look and feel of the fireplace and hearth in your family room. This could be the ideal way to make new use of truly beautiful stone.
Half-Walls and Bar Tops
Many homes have half-walls in spaces round the kitchen, entryway, or stairs. A strip or small mosaic of remnant stone can make an incredible topper for these once-plain details of your home design.
Small Bathroom Countertops
If an entire section of counter was removed without a crack, you can fully re-use it in a smaller bathroom remodel. Replace your old bathroom counter with a piece of the beautiful stone that used to be in your kitchen to reinvent both spaces with a single project.
Whether you have many small pieces of stone remnant or choose to shatter one of your larger pieces, you can use it to make a mosaic. Unleash your artistic side or invite one of your most inspired friends to craft you a mosaic using the natural color and grain of your previous slab of granite or marble. This is a beautiful way to make use of stone that might otherwise be lost.
You can also transform your garden with beautiful stone. This is a great solution if your interior color scheme no longer matches the previous countertop, but you still love the stone on its own. Use pieces of your old countertop as gorgeous stepping stones that gleam in the sun or line a flower bed with paving stones made from your previous counter stone.
Selling Your Old Countertops as Granite Remnant
Not sure what to do with your old countertop but don’t want to see it go to waste? You can choose to sell it instead. Granite and marble will always have value and if you don’t personally want to upcycle your granite, someone else will. Sell it to an artist, a friend, or a builder who is inspired by your pieces to make something new out of each refinished section that is removed from your kitchen.
When you install a beautiful new stone countertop, your old countertop won’t go to waste. There are so many projects you can use the stone for in your home or up-cycle the remnants to someone else’s projects as smaller pieces of natural countertop stone. Contact us today to talk about the possibilities of finishing, precutting, and reusing your old countertop after the new counters are installed. We look forward to working with you on a creative and sustainable kitchen remodel.