What's a Renter-Friendly Way to Update Countertops?

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Q: I live in the most temporary of all temporary situations — student housing. Six strangers in a 3-bedroom apartment.

Those of us who will be in the space for at least a year or longer are trying to find renter-friendly ways to spruce the place up.

We're painting, wallpapering, even putting temporary backsplashes and stone tiles in all the perfect places.

The bane of my existence, however, is the hideous countertop that stretches the length of our small kitchen. This countertop has been abused by so many renters before us, I can't tell what material it is anymore. It's got cuts, gouges, pieces torn completely. It's beyond repair and needs to be replaced.

Thus my question: Is there a renter-friendly way to update countertops? Or is this an issue I should press the property manager about attending to? I practically live in my kitchen and it is borderline painful to look at this counter.

Sent by Melody

Editor: Readers, do you have any ideas on how to update countertops in a rental?

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(Image credits: Faith Durand)