Here, near-black soapstone replaced dingy white laminate. Because it cuts and shapes with woodworking tools, the only cost was for the stone—$24 a square foot from M. Teixeira Soapstone, which also sells a DIY tool kit at soapstones.com
. For the backsplash, the homeowner chose easy-to-clean solid surfacing milled like beadboard from Swanstone
. One 3x8 sheet cost $556 and went up with a jigsaw and construction adhesive. Completing the makeover are a new stainless-steel undermount sink from Elkay
and pull-down faucet from Grohe
See more DIY countertops and backsplashes, and the fixtures that complement them in this gallery.