Budget-Savvy Kitchen Island Countertop Ideas Most People Don’t Know About

kitchen island countertop ideas on a budget // Butcher Block Countertops // The Best Kitchen Island Countertop Ideas // tantrumsandtools.com

Are you wondering about kitchen island countertop ideas on a budget?

If you’ve started searching for a new countertop, this may seem like an oxymoron because, well, countertops are so ridiculously expensive. Finding the right countertop at the right price seemed almost impossible when I did my kitchen remodel. I was pretty discouraging, to be honest.

After seeing all the beautiful kitchens on Pinterest and social media, I had my heart set on a specific look. But unfortunately, it turns out that look costs a lot of money, and I was on a tight budget. But, with a bit of thinking outside the box, I found affordable kitchen countertops that provided the modern farmhouse look I wanted but didn’t break the bank. 

Don’t just take it from me; check out these kitchen counter top ideas for yourself!

Here are the best kitchen island countertop ideas on a budget.


Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.


New Countertops

Shopping for new countertops is an exciting yet daunting task. Every time I’ve remodeled and need new kitchen countertops, I find myself excited, overwhelmed, and disappointed, to finally happy with the type of countertop I end up with.

White kitchen cabinets were what I was working with in both of my kitchen remodels, so just about any color would work for the countertop color. I had my heart set on marble, the matte finish, the slight shimmer, and the gorgeous veining; I just loved it all! Unfortunately, my budget and the practicality of such porous natural stone countertops made marble countertops a hard no for me.

Finding budget-friendly options was the next step in my kitchen countertop journey. I started by learning more about the different countertop materials and researching cheap alternatives for diy kitchen island countertops. The following is a list of the pros, cons, and reasons one may or may not work for your kitchen countertops. Plus, here are some ideas on how to make the more expensive countertops of your dreams a reality!

The Best Kitchen Island Countertop Ideas

Finding the best kitchen countertops also takes knowing what is most important about your counters.

  • Is it most important to you how your countertops look and flow together with your kitchen design?
  • Do you want to be able to put a hot pot onto the counter and not worry about it totally destroying the surface?
  • Do you have that friend that always spills their red wine?

Depending how you answered these questions will greatly influence which countertops are the best choice for you. Budget also has a big impact on what countertops you will choose from since there are some cheap countertop ideas and then there are some very expensive materials.

The size of your kitchen impacts your countertop budget since their cost is determined by square foot. If you’re working with small spaces, then your budget goes further since you have less square footage to cover versus a large kitchen island which will cost you more to cover the area. You should also stay away from a waterfall kitchen island if you’re looking to stay on a small budget.

Another idea for a small kitchen island countertop is to shop around your local stone sources to see if they have a remnant piece of stone that fits your space. A remnant is a piece of a slab left over from another project; it is the portion that the person cut off to create the slab into the size to fit the original project’s dimensions. These leftover pieces are sold for a much lower price since they are residual and often wasted. Using a remnant piece is a budget-friendly way to incorporate natural stone into your kitchen at a fraction of the cost.

Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block wood countertops ended up being my top choice for my kitchen island countertop for two reasons. First, the very affordable price Home Depot had available for their in-stock butcher block island pieces. Second, the wood counters warmth added to my white kitchen.

Butcher block counters are the perfect surface for food preparation, but consider yourself warned; not all butcher block countertops are created equal in cost. Depending on the type of wood you decide on will significantly impact how cheap the countertop is. 

To keep things affordable, consider a beech wood slab. It is a popular choice because of its moderate durability for the price. Higher-end woods like maple, walnut, cherry, and teak will cost you much more, so stay away if budget concerns you because even though it is a butcher block, these woods can sometimes cost more than natural stones.

>> Take a look at my butcher block island countertop in this post!

Laminate Countertops

kitchen island countertop ideas on a budget // pros and cons of laminate Countertops
// The Best Kitchen Island Countertop Ideas // tantrumsandtools.com

My second favorite budget-friendly kitchen countertop is laminate. Yep, you read that right! Laminate counters have come a long way over the last few years, and honestly, I love the designs and finishes sooo much more than other more expensive counters like granite and even some of the quartz options. 

The laminate I went with in my kitchen design had a similar look to a natural stone but at a fraction of the cost. It was a soft white with subtle veining which had the look of stone, and it also had a matte finish which totally sold me. This type of countertop is incredibly budget friendly and ultimately, I decided that if I couldn’t have the marble I truly wanted, then what was the point in paying thousands for granite or quartz, when I didn’t love these options and I did like the laminate ones.

Laminate countertops are a great way to update your kitchen counters without breaking the bank so if you’re saving up for a major renovation then these could buy you some time. Or in my care, they helped me achieve the kitchen design I was going for and saved me money so I could also complete the very long list of other projects I wanted to complete in my total home renovation.

DIY Countertops Cheap

DIY project anyone? Using a paint kit or epoxy to update old countertops is a great option if you’re existing countertops are in good shape, but you want a different color. There are many different kits available which are designed specifically for this task and there are also plenty of diy tutorials available on how to paint your countertops.

Concrete countertops are another diy project that you could attempt to create a gorgeous kitchen island countertop. Try using an accent like a concrete countertop as your island to make a statement and save you money by not having to purchase a slab for the island. This technique also avoids any seems since you are pouring the concrete in place, right on the island countertop space.

With either of these diy countertop techniques, be sure to do your research before diving in because remember, the goal is to stay on budget, so the last thing you need is to have a major diy fail and have to re-do your entire kitchen island countertop. With a little patience, and the right knowledge, you can create the most beautiful budget friendly island countertops.

Stainless Steel Countertops

Using stainless steel in your kitchen space may be an affordable option, but they this industrial look may not be for everyone. The sleek, gray color may be a bit modern for some, but if you can incorporate stainless steel into your kitchen interior design then these are a great choice. Their simple design, durability, and large amount of food preparation space these countertops provide make these the perfect countertops if you’re looking for kitchen island countertop ideas on a budget.

Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface countertops such as Corian counters are another budget friendly countertop idea that work well on an island. The material which these counters are made from are very durable and are more affordable than most other kitchen countertops. They come in a variety of colors so finding something to match your kitchen design should not be a problem at all. This type of countertop is a great choice if you are looking for a bright color, because as I mentioned, the options are endless for these types of counters.

The only downfall to solid surface countertops in my opinion, is the back lip which is attached to the countertop. This piece provides a seamless look from the countertop into the backsplash, and it prevents any drips from sneaking back behind the countertop and wall, it also removes the need to caulk the seam where the backsplash meets the countertop.

Kitchen Island Countertop Ideas on a Budget: Tile Countertops

The most budget-friendly way to create an island countertop is to use tiles. If you lay these close together, using a small grout line, you will make the effect of a slab at a fraction of the cost. 

The downside to tile countertops is that the grout can be hard to keep clean, so steer away from a light grout color. This way, if the grout becomes stained, it will show less.

  • Porcelain tile is a popular choice because it is not porous and doesn’t hold bacteria or stains.
  • Granite tile is another great choice; using tiles will cost at least less than half of a granite slab.
  • Ceramic tiles are the best choice if you want to add a lot of color to your kitchen since this type of tile comes in the widest variety of sizes, colors, and designs. 

Most Expensive Island Countertop Options

The most expensive kitchen island countertops are a slab of natural materials, and the thickness will impact the total cost of your countertops. Quartz countertops, granite, and marble countertops have pros and cons; deciding between them will depend on personal preference. 

All these options are heat resistant, but each has a varied amount of work to maintain the surface, with quartz being the lowest maintenance, granite being the next easiest, and marble being the hardest to maintain.

Granite countertops have the most distinct look out of these three options. Since marble’s significant downfall is its porousness, causing it to stain easily, quartz is your best option since it comes in the most similar patterns to marble. 


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furniture flipping // diy projects // home renovations // modern farmhouse decorating ideas