Affordable Stainless Steel Countertops; DIY

Is it possible to get brand new, durable and modern looking counters for your kitchen without spending the kind of money that granite, quartz, and butcherblock demand? If you’re willing to do some work yourself, then it is and the answer is sheet metal: namely stainless steel countertops, however, you could probably do copper or zinc instead if you prefer that look.

Stainless Steel Countertop tutorial #DIY

Submitted by The Home Project

stainless steel countertops

My husband and I were busy remodeling our kitchen and needed to consider the various options to replace the old Formica counters. We love a good project, so it didn’t hurt that we could do some of the work ourselves. The possible materials we were considering included granite tile (larger tiles that would also match our floor) and butcher block.

old counters

DIY Stainless Steel Countertops

However, soon enough, we came to think of stainless steel and figured it would be pretty awesome to have that for counters.  Home Depot quoted us $150/square foot which would have ended up costing about $3000 for our tiny 20 square feet counter. While not a fortune, it was certainly more than we wanted to spend on counters.

However after a little shopping around we contacted our local sheet metal shop and we received much better news.   If we did the installation and measurements ourselves then the sheet metal shop would charge us $400 (about $20/square foot) for the material and fitting.

We loved this idea and got to work. OK, so how did we do this?   Well, first of all we had to make a plywood model of our counter. We removed the sink and cut the plywood to fit our counter. We also cut a hole out for the sink and then brought it to the shop.

zStanless Steel Counters (2)
At the shop they bent and cut a 20 gauge piece of stainless steel and made it fit the plywood perfectly. Next we got all the pieces home and started assembling. First we put some liquid nails right on our old laminate counters and then fit the plywood on top. To make sure it was properly secure, we also put in a few screws for good measure. Next, we put some more liquid nails on top of the plywood and carefully fitted the stainless steel piece on top.

zStanless Steel Counters (3a)
And that’s basically it. Easy enough, right! We put some weights and clamps on the counter, and let everything set overnight, and the next day we got to working on installing our new stainless steel sink.

zStanless Steel Counters (3)

All in all, this was a pretty easy project that didn’t take that long and the result is fabulous! Stainless steel counters are super easy to keep clean and you don’t have to be as careful as with other materials: nothing stains, water spots don’t leave lasting marks, and you can put hot pans right on it. Perfect in other words!

zStanless Steel Counters (3b)

zStanless Steel Counters (4)

For anybody out there who wants new stainless steel countertops and is willing to do some work yourself, I would say go for it! To go this route ended up being so much cheaper than many other materials around, and stainless steel is just perfect for counters anyway!  If you want to see some more about the project check it out here.

If you like this project check out this beautiful copper counter top tutorial

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. Hi,
    I’m a big fan of your kitchen remodel!!! I would like to do it on my own counter tops. Did you use food grade stainless steel like the one used in restaurants? I wanted to ask how much did you have to pay for fabricatingthe steel. Thank you for your input, 🙂

  2. Hi, I am thinking of doing this in my kitchen. Is it possible to glue down the stainless steel to the old formica so I don’t have to remove the formica or make the counter much higher than it already is? I’m 4’11″and the counters are high enough! Would I need to do any extra prepping to the formica surface?

  3. What a lucky find this DIY project with stainless steel is! It seemed awesome when we first found our house to have a kitchen with nearly 60 sq. ft. of counter space…until I contemplated remodeling. And by “remodeling” I mean replacing the cheap crap laminate that was originally installed when the house was built in 1998 (the “we” has become a “me” and I have a tight budget). I need something that I can a) do myself…been a pro at gluing since kindergarten, b) is cost effective, c) will look fabulous and not so “cookie cutter”. This will be a great feature to live with and a great selling feature in a few years! Thanks!

  4. One thing to consider we have welded sinks directly to the stainless for a fully integrated counter and sink. No more rotten wet moldy counters.

  5. love your kitchen!! was wondering who the manufacturer of the kitchen sink is – would love to add that to our kitchen remodel also. is the sink welded or just the standard drop in on top of the stainless – thanks so much for the inspiration – wife and i are going to attempt this ourselves.

    1. Hi Jeff,
      This post is from a guest, so I can’t tell you much about the sink. But you can click over to their blog (linked toward the top of the post) and ask there. Thanks!

  6. This was very helpful! Thank you!! Do you think it could cover right over and existing laminate counter slab? Great finished asthetic!

  7. Hi there, it’s a few years since you posted this make over, but I was wondering how this could be done if your counter is L-shaped?

  8. I like it! It is good to see someone is trying something different than tile or laminates. It probably would be much more expensive having the shop bend in a backsplash into it. That would eliminate the need for caulk to join the backsplash to the counter.

    Also, I do wonder if there would be a better adhesive than Liquid Nails? My concern would be if you put something really hot on it, the glue would soften, and with the expanding metal cause it to warp or pull loose. I had a shower liner glued on with Liquid Nails do that with the heat of the shower water, and now it needs to be redone.

    Thank you, you answered a question about I had about how thick of stainless to use.

  9. Hi the counter looks great but you really over simplified the whole process. Many special tools are used and getting custom cut size metal is very hard to find and has added cost. It is extremely sharp and the corners take much work.