If you want to buy a laminate countertop, here are a few issues to bear in mind.
An Old Favorite
Laminate countertops have been around for 50 years, and their growing popularity can be explained by developments in technology which has resulted in a variety of choices of finish. While the new designs are amazing, older laminates that have survived for decades are in demand from do-it-yourself enthusiasts who want a retro theme for their home.
As long as you look after your laminate countertop, the surface has an advantage over natural products like hardwood and stone because its protective covering means that it will look the same for years. Wood and stone will weather with time and use, and their appearance will change. With laminate, you know what to expect.
Measure the kitchen cabinets thoroughly before buying a laminate countertop. Don’t forget to allow for an “overhang” over the drawers.
If the rest of your kitchen is designed around traditional natural themes, then buy a laminate countertop that resembles hardwood or stone. Marble and granite imitations are particularly realistic.
On the other hand, if you have a modern kitchen, plastic effect laminates can give clean lines and a really fresh look. Seek advice from designers at hardware stores and look at display models with life sized mock ups. Otherwise it can be difficult to envisage what a whole kitchen will look like using a little sample.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a laminate countertop over choosing a natural surface is the cost. Laminate is mass produced using inexpensive materials, so the product can be as much as 90% cheaper than natural surfaces.
Do not neglect the finishing details for your countertop. Fitting a backsplash in a co-ordinating color can give a really professional finish to your kitchen. Pay attention to joins in the laminate too. Also, pay attention to the edges of the countertop. “Sharp” edges may show wear quickly, so choose rounded or beveled sides that look better for longer.
It is the cutting stage of installing a laminate countertop that is the tricky part. Check your manufacturer’s warranty: you may find that it is invalidated if the product is not installed properly, which would leave you with a poorly installed countertop that is not covered for any further damage. This may be a job that is best left to a professional.