Laminate Countertops

dark laminate countertop on white cabinetsLaminate countertops remain a very popular option for many kitchens and bathrooms because they are affordable and come in the widest possible range of colors and patterns.  These kitchen and bathroom countertops offer excellent versatility and value.

What Are Laminate Countertops?

These are often called plastic laminate because the surfaces are plastic.  Laminate countertops contain a  hard particle board core with layers of plastic laminate bonded over the top of it.  The plastic laminate is tough and fairly durable. The kitchen and bathroom countertops come in the widest variety of colors and patterns of any type of countertop.  Many are made to mimic the look of more expensive surfaces like marble or granite.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: Laminate bathroom and kitchen countertops are made with higher quality than ever before.  The process has been refined to make them more durable.  They also remain one of the most affordable types of countertops available with prices far below those for granite, quartz, tile, etc. Costs are $20-$50 per square foot. Laminates come in the widest selection too, with a large palette of colors, hundreds of patterns and designs, and now, textured surfaces too.  For cleanup, there’s nothing easier than laminate countertops.  The surface is solid, without pores, so a soapy washcloth or sponge is usually all that is needed.  Laminate seams can be hidden more easily than most countertop seams.

Weaknesses: Laminate countertops can be more easily scratched than most surfaces so it is best to do any cutting in the kitchen on a cutting board. Laminate is not as heat resistant as other surfaces so hot pans should not be placed on laminate countertops.  In the bathroom, if you use hot hair tools, avoid setting them down hot on your laminate bathroom countertops. If the laminate surface is scratched, burned or chipped, it is very difficult to repair.  While there are many attractive laminate colors and patterns, some may still want the natural beauty that more expensive countertop materials such as granite or wood provide.

Who Should Consider Laminate Countertops?

Laminate countertops are one of the best choices for those with a limited budget, a position most homeowners are in.  They offer attractive finishes in a range of colors sure to match your décor and they do so at very affordable prices.  Laminate bathroom and kitchen countertops are easy to clean and don’t harbor harmful germs like porous surfaces do.  They are great for kids’ bathrooms where they can be quickly sanitized with a disinfectant wipe.  Because of the color selection, affordability and versatility, laminate surfaces are also popular for offices, laundry areas, workshops and other locations. Most importantly, you should find the right kitchen countertop that suits your individual needs, and laminate is a good choice for those with a family that includes small children.

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