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By : Candice Sabrina

Laminate countertops are the most popular countertops on the market today. Laminate is made up of several layers of synthetic material, including Kraft paper that is used in making paper bags. Laminate is such a versatile material that it is used for much more than countertops. Bowling alleys have replaced wood for laminate. Boat interiors are lined with laminate.

Laminate countertops come in more colors, patterns and finishes than any other type of countertop. No matter how unique your decor is you can find laminate countertops to match. From reds to blues to blacks, there is a laminate countertop for everyone. If you desire the look of granite, stone or hardwood, there is a laminate countertop that can satisfy you. You will particularly love laminate countertops if you do a lot of entertaining. The cleanup and maintenance of this surface is foolproof.

Laminate countertops are easy to clean but don't use abrasives. Any type of mild soap and a paper towel or dish cloth should do the trick. If you have a tough stain, you can use baking soda and a mild household cleaning. Swipe the area with a nylon bristle brush. You can use bleach, but using too much bleach can discolor your laminate countertops. Laminate countertops are nonporous and do not need to be sealed like stone countertops.

Unfortunately, if laminate countertops are damaged, they are difficult to repair. This is because the material is layered. These layers can also break apart if exposed to hot items or hot water. You should never place a hot pot, pan or other item directly on a laminate countertop. Make sure you place a pot holder or trivet between the countertop and surface. Laminate countertops are susceptible to cuts so if you are cutting vegetables, use a cutting board. If you do cut the laminate, it cannot be repaired and you will have to replace it.

Since the layers of laminate are made of Kraft paper, you may see dark lines at the edges. To avoid this, install the countertops from wall to wall. You can also trim laminate countertops with a wood or steel to hide the dark lines. When laminate countertops are edged properly, it is hard to tell them from higher priced stone countertops.

Laminate countertops are the most inexpensive type of countertop on the market today. The cost is between $5 and $30 per square foot at most retail outlets. You can also save on labor costs because laminate countertops are easier to install and take less time. Many homeowners install laminate countertops themselves.

Most local home improvement stores sell laminate countertops and can provide samples. Laminate countertops have also become a popular exhibit at home shows. Vendors will demonstrate how easy they are to clean and how durable they are. They will compare the look of laminate countertops to more expensive stone and solid surface countertops. If you want to research you purchase before you go to the store or home show, You can search online for laminate countertops.

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