If you’re like most people that we see in our showroom looking to update their kitchens and bathrooms, you are likely overwhelmed by the amount of choice that’s out there.

The first thing that we always tell our clients is to choose a material that makes sense for your budget and your lifestyle. Durability, cost, maintenance, and your future plans are all items that should be considered.

In each post of this series, we’ll discuss the basics of each surface and the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision when going to purchase new counters. Today, we’re talking about laminate!

Laminate (Formica, Arborite, Wilsonart, Pionite etc)

Laminate is without a doubt one of the most popular surfaces due to its affordability. You might know it as one of the brand names above but aside from some very technical differences they are similar as far as the end user is concerned.

How it’s made

Sheets of thin paper are soaked in resin and baked with the actual coloured layer that you see somewhere in the middle with many clear layers on top. This makes up the surface itself that is then glued to either plywood, MDF, or particle board to finish off the counter. It’s then ready to install on your cabinets!

Benefits

As mentioned earlier, affordability is the reason that many homeowners and builders alike opt for laminate countertops. Secondly, there is a lot of selection with laminate, not only in colour but in texture, finish, and edge profile as well.

Drawbacks

Durability is one of the key reasons people move from laminate to solid surfaces such as granite and quartz. For example, a laminate with a gloss finish will show cut marks and scuffs over time. It will also melt and show burn marks if a hot pot or pan is placed directly on it. Once that kind of damage is done there’s no nice way to patch laminate so you’re looking at replacing your counter. Most laminate counters are also built with seams. Depending on the size and location (near a sink for example) these seams can be prone to water infiltration.

To sum it all up

Laminate countertops are fantastic products that have certainly come a long way over the years. They are cost effective for those on a budget and come with many colour options. Just keep in mind that if you have a young family that are often rough on your kitchen, that laminate will begin to show its age much more quickly than a solid surface. If you need some advice on what type of countertop you should be looking at, just give us a call at 604-304-4161. We’d be happy to have you drop by our showroom in Richmond or come pay a free visit to your home for a consultation.

Next time, we’ll be discussing quartz counters! Keep an eye on the blog or like our Facebook page for updates.