Having a good quality countertop is important in your RV because this is where you prepare most of your food in the kitchen, and it is also where you eat as it can double into a dining table for you. There is a wide range of materials available in the market, each with a different set of people claiming the best results from these materials. Choosing the best countertop for your camper might be overwhelming but as long as you know what to look for, you are good.
Stainless steel is undeniably the best material since it is lightweight, cheaper, durable, and it can give your RV a more modern and sophisticated outlook. It is also very easy to disinfect and clean, and is the most sanitary option for countertops.
In this article, we will discuss the different materials and finishes that you can use to renovate or overhaul the look of your countertop, ranging from cheaper options like peel-and-stick and epoxy to more expensive ones like natural stone and laminate countertops. We will also discuss the factors you must consider in choosing for the best countertop material for your RV. Lastly, I will also share my personal recommendations based on all the options discussed in this article.
Choosing The Best Countertop Material For Your RV
There are plenty of choices on the market when it comes to RV countertops, and picking one can be overwhelming. So, before going out and buying your countertop for your rig, you need to make sure that you keep these factors in mind.
The Weight: The Key to Your RV Build
Weight is one of the factors in choosing the countertop perfect for your RV. You have to choose a countertop made from lighter materials if you want to put it in your RV. If you still insist on using countertops made from heavier materials, it will have an effect on the efficiency of your vehicle.
Just like how people tend to slow down while carrying heavy bags, especially if they are walking or running, RVs would run slower than the usual if you install a countertop that is made from heavy materials. Choose a lighter material and not only you are able to enhance the look of your countertop but it will not also affect the speed and efficiency of your van.
Check If The Countertop is Durable
It goes without saying that you need to choose a countertop material that is durable and will stand the test of time in your RV. Unlike its residential counterparts, RV countertops undergo a lot of movement, thanks to the motion of your RV.
Simply put, your countertop inside your RV is more prone to breakage and eventual damage than your regular kitchen countertop at home because it moves a lot. It can get more damage because it experiences more impact thanks to the banging, scratching, heating, and chopping inside your vehicle.
Add to that the fact that your vehicle is most of the time, if not always in motion, and your RV countertop will break faster. Choose a material for your countertop that can stand the bumps of the road for a long time and you will find yourself comfortable with your chosen material.
Aside from that, your countertop should withstand heat since you will be placing hot pots and other hot things on your countertop when you are cooking.
Countertop Warranty: Very Important Factor to Consider
It can be a real pain in the neck if you keep on replacing and changing your countertops. Here is some good news for you: some countertops come under warranty, meaning you can have them replaced without any extra cost in case they break or get damaged because of constant wear and tear.
Choosing a countertop material with warranty can really come in handy, and is also a good investment in the future. You can compare it to your insurance since they will be paying for it and you will not be charged with anything just to change your damaged countertop. If your countertop gets broken, contact the dealer and arrange for a replacement as soon as possible.
Budget: Choose a Countertop Material that Will Not Break the Bank
You also have to consider the cost of the countertop material and the installation as well. As much as we want a luxurious looking countertop like what we usually see in lifestyle television programs, in reality, we have to spend a lot of money just to achieve that look. You will also have to spend more money on the upkeep and maintenance so you must also think of the expenses in the long run.
If you have a lot of money to spend, then it is not a problem. It is better to have a countertop from a realistic and practical approach that looks neat and presentable but will not necessarily break your budget.
Think of the expenses that you will be spending for the installation of your countertop. Ask yourself if you are going to do it yourself or pay a professional to get it done. Doing it by yourself is not a problem if you have the skills and capabilities to do it yourself.
Otherwise, opt for a professional installation since it might cost you more if you try doing it by yourself and in the end, you’ll never be able to achieve your desired result.
Presentable Countertop: It Should Make Your Kitchen Stand Out
Aesthetics is one tricky factor in choosing the perfect RV countertop since not everyone has the same beauty standards. Not everyone agrees that a certain material for countertops is universally beautiful since it is all based on your tastes.
The point here is that using quality materials that are consistent with the current trends in home decorating and interior design may help increase the value of your van or at least maintain the value and not decrease it.
Choosing an uncommon material for your camper might be a problem should you want to sell your RV in the future, because if this countertop will just add up to their expenses just for upkeep or maintenance, they might as well want to change it into something more durable, practical, and stylish at the same time.
Different RV Countertop Ideas And Materials For Everyone
There are different materials and ideas that you can use for your camper countertops. Here are some of the frequently used materials, along with their advantages and disadvantages, as well as other relevant information such as price, weight, quality, and other factors.
Granite: The Top Pick For Many Campers
If you have a lot of money to spend on the replacement of your damaged countertops, it is better to switch to granite. Most RVs come with countertops that are made of synthetic materials such as polyester carpeting, ceramic, laminate, and vinyl tiles.
While they have their own merits and advantages, they are still not the best material for your RV if you are prioritizing the durability of your countertops. Having a sturdy countertop is important as this is where you prepare most of your food and it can also double as a small dining table for you, depending on the needs of the residents of the RV.
Most campers choose granite because it gives a luxurious aesthetic to their vehicles. It upgrades the entire look of your RV just because it looks more polished and elegant compared to other materials available on the market. It is also much easier to install on your countertops as it does not require intricate processes to be installed.
Granite can be used not only for your RV countertop but also on the flooring but experts recommend it more on the countertops since compared to the flooring of an RV, it would be able to hold more and it would be less prone to cracking. Installation costs around $50 to $100+ per square foot, excluding the installation costs.
Peel-and-Stick Countertops: Great For Those On A Budget
This is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to enhance the look of your RV countertop/ Covering them with faux marble, granite, or wood grain peel-and-stick countertop is a cheap option for giving your countertops a renewed life. It is also available in a wide variety of colors and styles, perfect for all campers.
Beginners can do this job if they are detail-oriented enough and it can take them a few hours to finish the process. Installing is relatively easy as no special tools or skills are needed to install these but having a keen eye is much appreciated.
Its advantages include: no significant weight added that can hinder the efficiency of your vehicle, cheap and affordable, and you can do it by yourself. On the other hand, disadvantages include durability and the constant need to replace it since it is not a permanent option for your countertop change.
The overall quality will be based on how you have applied it, but you can just change it into something else if it does not appeal to you in the slightest or if you have a change of mind. Installation costs around $10 to $30 and you can buy them online or at Walmart and other supermarkets.
Restoring by Re-Laminating The RV Countertops
If you choose to change your countertop using this method, you must have at least a grasp on the tools and skills that you have to use since you will be using specialized tools for cutting and clamping the countertop material. You will also have to buy adhesive and laminate sheets as well.
Laminate sheets cost around $50 as the cheapest one but you need to keep your eyes peeled for sale discounts in your hardware store. Replacing the countertops with new laminate ones would be much easier for you in general. Also, it might not cost much more if you are using it for your RV, which counts as a small space.
This allows you to restore the original look of your camper if you are into sentimental values and related items. Unlike peel-and-stick countertops, these can take a lot of time and they can be more prone to scratching and staining. However, once you took care of it properly, it will last longer and the quality will be the same as when you bought your RV the first time.
Laminate Countertops For A Sleeker Finish
This is one of the cheapest materials for replacing your countertop. Formica is lightweight and it also looks presentable enough. Installing this is also simple if you have the tools needed for this task and you don’t have to buy specialized or expensive tools for this project either.
This requires moderate to advanced skills so this is not good for beginners. Laminate countertops cost around $79 to $400 depending on the brand and quality, and this does not add more weight to your RV either. However, this can be more prone to scratching and staining so you should take care of this one properly.
Enlisting Professional Help For Resurfacing
If you really have a countertop that is in desperate need of replacement, in terms of aesthetics, call the professionals in your area and have it listed for resurfacing. This technique is recommended for campers who want to change or update how their RV countertop looks, such as the color of the countertop.
This technique calls for applying a durable, permanent finish to existing countertops, be it laminate or solid surface. This might cost more as it depends on the area; if you live in areas with expensive living standards, expect prices higher than the average and vice versa but it will be much less compared to having your countertops replaced thoroughly with new countertops.
The quality is guaranteed to last longer than any other materials and installation may take a few days because, after a few hours of coating the countertop, you will also have to give it time to dry. It is not advised for you to do it yourself, so please do us a favor and hire a professional for this job.
Using A DIY Countertop Resurfacing Kit
This is an inexpensive alternative to professional countertop resurfacing. You have to buy a kit with the various paints and epoxies needed. Such kits cost around $30-$150 depending on the brand. This one is also perfect for beginners and fans doing renovations and overhauls by themselves.
It does not add any weight to your countertop and the quality is good enough but not as luxurious as you might expect. This is still a cheap option so do not expect a luxuriously elegant finished product.
Personally, this is a technique to recommend to older RVs without having to do a total and complete renovation. Alternatively, if you are still out of money to buy resurfacing kits, you can just do it yourself by using a mix of acrylic paints covered with Minwax Polycrylic.
Epoxy Countertops: Cheap, User-Friendly, And Highly Durable
Epoxy is one very valuable material if you are into RVs and home maintenance. It can be used for more than just creating a faux marble look that is all the rage among interior design enthusiasts nowadays. It is also used to create a clear, durable, and glossy layer over whatever countertop surface you choose.
Epoxy costs under $100 so it is one of the best choices for those who are into doing home improvement projects. Beginners can do this task as the space is smaller but you must have a lot of time in doing this since it requires you to be involved with this task. It adds a moderate amount of weight to your countertop but is not too heavy to make your RV move slower.
One of its advantages is the high level of durability for a fraction of the cost. Quality-wise, it is an acquired taste since not everyone might like this kind of countertop finish for their RV but if you have simple dreams and aspirations in terms of aesthetics, this one might be the one for you.
Faux Concrete Countertops For Your Modern Aesthetic
As mentioned a while ago, you need to choose a countertop that can be carried over for a long time in terms of aesthetics, or at least be current in your choices. Concrete countertops are very popular right now but putting real concrete, which can be heavy and very solid when hardened, would be too heavy to be carried by most campers.
The speed and overall efficiency of your RV might be compromised and we are not into that one bit. This technique calls for spreading thin layers of cement directly onto the existing countertops. It is still surprisingly lightweight since you just added thin layers to your countertop. This project costs under $100 and does not require specialized tools or skills.
Even beginners can do this but not the very basic beginners; some related experience will not hurt. It also requires you to be very involved in terms of the time and effort required, so if you want to do this, make sure that you will not be busy doing things other than this project. You can also mix peel-and-stick countertop finishes for this one as it would add to or enhance the level of creativity and overall aesthetic of the countertop.
Ceramic Tile Countertops For Added Durability
Tiles can be used in the RV even if they look fragile at first glance. Having a tile countertop might be more or less difficult than any other project involving tiles because you have to cut the tile to fit the size and then apply some adhesive to the tile to make it stay on the surface and finally fill the gaps with grout.
For this project, however, you may use a small tile cutter and you can ask your hardware store for tile grout and adhesive recommendations. It is highly recommended to use flexible grout for tile projects in RVs. These ceramic tiles cost between $50 to $150 depending on square footage; the bigger, the more expensive.
Beginners and those with intermediate skills can do this project as it is just putting tiles on the RV just like what we usually do in our houses. You have to be invested a little bit in doing this since it requires more than one specific task. You have to watch the weight, though, as tiles might add a moderate amount of weight to your RV.
If you are dead set on doing this, please calculate the weight before buying materials to see if your RV can handle the added weight in the future. It is a classic choice for countertops, be it at home or in the RV so you won’t go wrong with this.
Wood or Faux Wood Plank Flooring Countertop For A Touch Of Nature
You can use plank flooring to overhaul the countertop surface of your RV, especially if you have a lot of leftovers from your flooring projects at home. You can combine peel-and-stick vinyl flooring and wood planks into making your countertop surface more presentable than ever.
Wooden plank flooring can cost about a dollar per square foot and even beginners can do this project. This one is very easy to do, and it does not contribute a lot of weight to your RV once finished. However, keep in mind that this is still made of wood so it would be more prone to scratches and decay if not taken care of properly.
Natural Stone Countertops For Guaranteed Luxury And Stability
These can be very heavy for your RV if you do not calculate correctly but some newer models use stone countertops and they still work just fine. Materials available include granite, marble, or engineered quartz. This will definitely up the ante for your RV’s overall aesthetic.
Should you be selling your camper in the future, these countertop materials can definitely increase the value if you take care of them properly. This gives off a luxurious, expensive, and elegant vibe all throughout your RV and makes a lot of difference.
As these were expensive materials, costing from within $50-$100+ plus the installation fees, you have to prepare a lot of money for this. This also requires moderate to advanced skill levels, so contact a professional to make this happen. Durability and quality are very much guaranteed and it adds up to thirteen pounds per square foot, depending on how thick the countertop is and the density of it as well.
Corian Countertops As The Material Of Choice
This material is the prime choice used by RV manufacturers in most of the high-end and expensive RVs. This is used because it can be as luxurious and as durable as granite or quartz without having to spend tons of money for installation and materials.
This can be considered a cheap alternative to granite or quartz countertops. It is recommended that a professional install this on your RV since it requires moderate to advanced skills.
It also costs cheaper compared to natural stone countertops, with each slab costing around $40-$60, installation costs excluded. This is very durable and luxurious indeed while adding two to four pounds per square foot.
Stainless Steel Countertops For More Durability And Sleek Aesthetic
Using stainless steel countertops for your RV can be a very good choice too as it can really make your countertop look beautiful and eye-catching. It is also lightweight and very durable, and out of all the materials, this one is the most sanitary choice, especially during these times when cleanliness is now the top priority for campers and RV owners.
It contributes a nice modern aesthetic, making everything look like it is futuristic and sophisticated. Stainless steel countertops cost around $50 per square foot, shipping fees excluded. It also adds one to two pounds per square foot and requires moderate skill levels to be installed.
Personal Recommendations For RV Countertops
You might feel intimidated upon seeing the different options you can use for your RV countertops. Worry not because I will be sharing my personal recommendations based on my experiences as a seasoned RV camper.
Choose A Material That Is Easy To Maintain
We still have to think of practicality at the end of the day so we have to choose a material that will not cost us a lot to maintain in the future. Materials like stainless steel and Corian are relatively easy to maintain and the cleaning products do not cost a lot rather than natural stone countertops which require a specialized set of cleaning products for maintenance.
We should choose a material that is also easy to use without having to worry too much about the breaking and damage every time we use it, especially if the RV is moving. Choose a material that will not require you to change every now and then because those small expenses can be pooled into bigger amounts and you will see how much money you wasted just to maintain something temporary.
Choose A Material That Is Very Sanitary And Easy To Clean
Remember that the coronavirus pandemic is still not over, so we must put our guards up at all times, especially if we are traveling. The CDC requires every household and vehicle to be cleaned and disinfected at all times to prevent the spread of the virus.
Using a stainless steel countertop, just like what hospitals have been using, would help you keep the spread of the virus at bay. Materials such as tile and natural stone can harbor germs much longer, so prioritize your safety and choose a material that is easy to clean and disinfect.
You can disinfect the countertop using hot water and some disinfectant with at least 70% alcohol and stainless steel will not react negatively to it.
Choose Durability Over Aesthetics And Design
It is much more important to have a durable countertop rather than an aesthetically pleasing countertop. If your countertop is rotten and damaged from the inside, there is no way you can salvage it with just a simple DIY as the damage will eventually show up.
Choose materials that can last the test of time, and the wear and tear from constant use. Maintaining your countertop in a proper way would help enhance the look of your countertop so do your best to take care of your RV countertop for it to last longer without looking too haggard. Broken and damaged countertops can lower the value of your RV especially if you are planning to sell it in the future.
There are a lot of available materials for your RV countertops, each having its own pros and cons in using for your campers. From the standard ones such as tile, wood, and even natural stone, to current ones such as peel-and-stick, Formica, and laminate, there are a lot of materials everyone can use for their RVs. Depending on their preferences, people must remember that durability, health, and safety should be your top priorities in choosing the best countertop for your RVs.