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Laminate Countertops: A Comprehensive Guide

January 19, 2022
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When remodeling the kitchen, some homeowners prefer laminate countertops because of their affordability and versatility. The countertops are available in many beautiful colours, from wood looks to stone finishes. 

However, homeowners looking for a countertop material that’s long-lasting, durable, and low maintenance, should choose quartz. A premium quartz countertop from a reputable brand like Caesarstone is a long-term investment.  

 
While laminate is an economical choice at the time of purchase, homeowners may find the wear and tear over the years will lead to further time and money spend on upkeep, repairs, and replacements.

Before buying a laminate countertop, it is advisable to research its pros and cons. This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of laminate countertops. 

What Are Laminate Countertops Made From? 

Laminate kitchen countertops are made from a combination of plastic and paper, manufactured into a thin layer. The layer formed is then coloured or made into textured designs and laminated to chipboard. 

Laminate is often chosen because of its flexibility. These countertops can be used in many spaces like the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. The countertops are also available in various shapes with different corner shapes.  

Consider Colour When Buying 

Although laminate countertops are fairly durable, some minor damage like scratches and scuffs are inevitable and can happen at any time. When buying countertops, it is vital to consider the colour because these scratches will be visible in some shades and less so in other colours.  

While laminate is reasonably durable, it’s not nearly as durable as other countertop materials like quartz. Premium quartz countertops, such as those sold by Caesarstone, are the hardest stone countertops and are also heat- and stain-resistant.  

Be sure to evaluate the colour options of the countertops available before buying. Take two or three samples of the laminate colour and pattern available to try out in the space. Test for heat and stain resistance by placing hot pots and pouring a little liquid or sauce that stains onto the countertop sample. These samples are available from laminate countertop manufacturers.  

Choose a Matte Finish for the Countertops 

The two choices of surface finish are matte and glossy. Homeowners are advised against polished finishes because they show scratches and wear out fast. Go with the matte finish but be sure to test the countertop first. However, if you are looking for a glossy countertop option that is durable, a material like quartz is scratch-resistant and sure to look beautiful for years to come. 

Another noticeable thing with matte finishes is the coarser surface, which is attractive and textural. However, this type of matte finish will need thorough cleaning, especially if the countertop is a light colour.  

Consider Laminate Countertop Prices 

Sticking to a budget is a key consideration when buying laminate countertops. It might not be crucial for some homeowners, however. A laminate countertop costs about $10 to $40 per square foot, but the prices vary with factors like style and shape.  

It’s easy to fall for manufacturers offering low prices. What sounds like a great deal at the time might not be in the long term, and could lead to purchasing low-quality countertops that aren’t made to last.  

4033 Rugged Concrete

How Much Maintenance Do They Need? 

Some countertop materials require a lot of maintenance. This can be expensive to keep up with. Before buying, look at the expenses that could be incurred to maintain these tops.  

Choose countertop surfaces that are difficult to stain and easy to clean. For example, premium quartz countertops, like those supplied by Caesarstone, are non-porous and stain-resistant, reducing the time, effort and cost of maintenance.  

Choose An Edge Option 

Plastic laminate countertops are available in different styles that are characterized by edges. The different edges also influence prices and the countertop’s overall appearance.  

Although there are many edge options, when buying, avoid sharp edges and wood edges. Sharp edges can lead to injuries and wood absorbs moisture and can rot.   

Pros Of Laminate Kitchen Countertops 

Here are the advantages of installing laminate kitchen countertops. 

  1. Beautiful and Sleek 

Laminate kitchen tops are available in a range of colours, patterns and designs that can completely change the look of your kitchen. The laminate designs are also available in looks that resemble stone countertops like granite and quartz. However, it is important to note that while a laminate countertop can resemble a material like quartz, it does not have the other features that make quartz a top-quality countertop product, such as its durability.  

  1. Easy To Maintain 

Laminate kitchen counters can be cleaned using soap and water or a basic cleaning solution. Use non-abrasive cleaners when cleaning to protect the seal from being scratched. Non-abrasive cleaners also ensure the colour of the surface is maintained.  

  1. Affordable 

When remodeling the kitchen, laminate is the go-to material for most homeowners because of the affordable prices.  

  1. Resistant To Stains 

Buying non-porous and stain-resistant kitchen laminate countertops will reduce the chances of dealing with stubborn stains.  

  1. Available In Many Styles and Colours 

Laminate countertops come in many styles, patterns and colour options. When choosing, ensure the selected colours match with the rest of the kitchen. Also, buy from a known brand to ensure the countertops will last for years.  

  1. Great For DIY Installation 

DIY countertop installation is a great way to reduce expenses. Kitchen laminate countertops are a good choice for a DIY project, since they are lightweight and easy to install.  

6611 Himalyan Moon

Cons of Laminate Kitchen Tops 

Here are a few drawbacks of laminate countertops. 

  1. It Can Be Destroyed by Heat 

Although some kitchen counters like quartz are heat-resistant, others are not. Placing hot kettles and pots on the kitchen counter can leave permanent burn marks. Also, it is advisable to use heat mats or trivets when placing down hot appliances or cookware to reduce the chances of melting the surface.  

  1. Visible Seams 

Installing two pieces of laminate next to each other leaves noticeable seams. The only way to avoid the visibility of the seams is by joining the laminates in less visible angles.

  1. Doesn’t Add to Home Value 

Unlike quartz and marble that are considered a valuable upgrade when selling the home, laminate countertops are mostly unnoticeable. They won’t raise the home’s sale value.  

  1. Hard To Repair 

Laminate countertops are prone to water damage. They cannot be opened up for repair because if water reaches the plywood, it will swell and start warping. Most homeowners do not consider repairs because they are expensive and time-consuming.  

  1. Prone To Damage 

A small scratch can cause significant damage that is not repairable. The kitchen counters are also prone to dents and will age poorly if not taken good care of.  

For homeowners who want a kitchen countertop that’s beautiful and won’t have them worrying about damage and repair, a premium material like Caesarstone quartz is worth the initial investment, as it will stay beautiful for many years. Caesarstone quartz comes in a variety of styles from a traditional look like 6611 Himalayan Moon to a sleek, modern look like 5111 Statuario Nuvo.