Now universally adored for their versatility, laminate countertops were considered a breakthrough when they started engaging attention during the 50s. Equally adept for rebuilding or establishing new kitchen countertops, today laminates are considered the most fashionable and affordable countertop choice. In this discussion, we help you understand why laminate countertops can be a sensible choice. We also present a small list of turn-offs that might want to make you reconsider your decision.
Pros of Laminate Countertops
Ease of Availability!
The preference for laminates has translated into an increased demand resulting in nearly every hardware supplies or kitchen supplies store stocking these. Equally easy to find in the walk-in and online store format, laminates are easy to explore and buy, no matter how specific you are about the texture, print or color.
Affordability: Humbling its Contemporaries!
For most homeowners laminate are a very cost-efficient choice. Laminate countertops present a significant price advantage because they are:
- Much cheaper than natural surfaces like stones or woods
- Easier to transport and install
- Easier to repair/replace/rework
- Cheaper to maintain
- Easier to mix & match for refurbishing the kitchen
Less than a Lifetime of Durability
Industry experts suggest that durability works in favor of laminates as long as you are not comparing them with granite or premium hardwoods. The years of resilient performance that laminates offer is extremely impressive for their pricing. Now being manufactured to be more thermally and chemically resistant, new-age laminates are more durable than their earlier avatars.
The Truly ‘Global’ Countertop!
With laminate countertops comes the advantage of an unarguably impressive kitchen ambience. The reason lies in the wide range of colors and designs on offer. The early days of laminates looking like poor cousins of the real deal countertops like marble or wood are long gone. While other countertop materials have seen their index of popularity dip and rise, laminates continue to surge as a popular choice.
Keeping Things Simple: Ease of Installation!
If you are keen on DIY countertops, laminate countertops make a wise choice. Their installation is hassle-free and can be attempted even by the first timers DIY enthusiasts. You can also get very creative with the designing, particularly the color combinations. From beveled, bull-nose, ogee, and eased—you will find all countertop edge options in laminates.
The No-fuss Countertop Choice: Ease of Cleaning!
Ease of maintenance is critical among everyday use surfaces like kitchen countertops. Laminates have an inherently moisture repellent surface. Most laminates don’t allow grime or dust to gain a foothold. You can easily clean these countertops using basic supplies like water and vinegar or mild household cleaning agents. No need to buy harsh chemicals that can be potentially hazardous to the food prep area too.
In the current scenario, laminate countertops are your best bet if you want to explore an entire world of colors and patterns. The choices also vary immensely across the price range. From laminates that perfectly mimic metal finishing to those that intentionally use small pit-like formations to look like natural stones, barriers for countertop choices have been breached. Some common countertop laminate options include:
- High pressure laminates
- Drop-in or post-formed laminates
- Thickness-based graded laminates
- Color-through or solid core laminates
- Matte, glossy or marbled texture laminates
Cons of Laminate Countertops
We don’t have a lot of negative things to say about laminate countertops. Overall, they present a very sensible choice. However, some typical laminate drawbacks might force you to think hard:
Tough but Not Undefeatable
Because of the layered structure that impacts and bonds multi-layered materials using resins, laminates are not as impermeable as natural countertop choices. You don’t want to take chance with hot utensils or matchsticks. You need to maintain a few precautions like not cutting or peeling directly on a laminated countertop.
Easy to Clean as long as you are CAREFUL!
Though cleaning laminate laptops does not require special materials, it definitely requires caution.
- Abrasive cleaning can induce scratches
- Signs of damage are not easy to repair/conceal
Not So Impressive: Laminates Don’t Age that Well!
As compared to marbles, stainless steel, butcher block, soapstone or concrete countertops, laminate surfaces perhaps age the least impressively. Everyday kitchen traffic does take a toll on their presentation. Issues like permanent staining are very likely.
Concluding Thoughts on Laminate Kitchen Countertops
Laminates are a rational selection if you prefer an easy to customize ambience in the kitchen—ideal for DIY or time-bound remodeling kitchen projects. The platter of laminate countertop designs is only expanding with each passing day. If you like refurbishing the kitchen every few years, laminates are perhaps the most time-savvy and budget-friendly option. Just ensure you spend some time in assessing how laminates fit into your kitchen usage and maintenance patterns.