Countertops made of laminates have come a long way since the old days when
there were just a few pastel color choices. Today there are almost endless choices of
color and patterns. You can even get laminate patterns that look like granite, marble
and even hardwood. Not only is laminate the most affordable of countertop material,
it will give your kitchen or bathroom a very fashionable look regardless of your
interior design scheme. Whether you prefer traditional or contemporary or
something in between, there is a laminate color, pattern or texture that will make a
distinct impression on your guests.
What is Laminate?
There are two primary manufacturers of laminate material including Wilsonart and
Formica. Essentially, laminate is made by saturating sheets of decorative and core
papers with resins. The material is then pressed under very high heat which fuses
the layers into very durable sheets. We invite you to visit the Wilsonart and Formica
websites to read more about their unique manufacturing processes and view the
wide range of choices. They also list approved laminate contractor installers in
locations throughout the country. Wilsonart and Formica also feature photo galleries
that will give you some great design ideas.
Advantages of Laminate Countertops.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of laminate is its affordability. Laminate is highly
resistant to wear and impact. It is also non-porous and does not need to be sealed
like stone counters. They are easy to clean with soap and warm water using a
non-abrasive soft cloth. Tough stains can be removed with a mixture of baking
soda and a mild household cleaning liquid. Let the "paste" sit on the stain for
about 30 minutes and then swipe with a nylon bristle brush.
Disadvantages of Laminate.
Laminate is not resistant to heat. Placing hot pans and pots directly on the surface
will permanently scorch laminate. They are not cut-proof either. Always use a cutting board.
Installation of Laminate Tops.
Although laminate counter tops are more suited for the do-it-yourself homeowner
versus natural stone or ceramic tile, it does require experience and skill. The average
cost is $30 to $55 per square foot which usually includes material and labor. Cost
depends upon the quality of material and incorporated design elements. The cost
typically does not include removal of the old countertop, building and installing base
cabinets or associated plumbing requirements.
Click here to choose an installation contractor in the Phoenix AZ area. A creative Phoenix interior designer can assist with advice and selection of colors and patterns.