Laminate is a combination of several materials: resin-treated heavy papers, a colored or patterned paper, and a melamine plastic top layer. These are then heated for bonding and glued to particleboard to provide a solid slab.
Why Use Laminate For Your Countertop?
Laminates are popular for many reasons. Cost is economical compared to other products such as natural stone. Durability is challenged by comparison, but its many good features make it one of the most requested choices for millions of homeowners. In many cases, laminate tops can be installed by do-it-yourselfers. Color choices range in the hundreds along with patterns that can mimic wood, stone, fabric, and metals. In an upward trend, laminates have for many years been developed in a number of chic and trendy designs.
Maintenance of Laminate Countertops
While laminate tops will remain attractive for many years, some care must be taken. Cuts and chips cannot be repaired or covered. The surface is sensitive to abrasives. Seams, if not sealed properly and regularly, will be subject to water leakage. If the particleboard substrate is damaged, it will buckle, and it's nonreplaceable.
Different Laminates and Color Countertop Options
A host of manufacturers offer different types of laminates and color options. Fabrication processes will vary. On many countertops, only the top layer is colored or patterned. For better scratch and scuff camouflage, look for products that offer multiple layers of color-matched resin paper (sometimes referred to as color-core). However, it is less durable than other laminates. Surfaces can also be textured to imitate slate and other natural materials. Laminates come in matte and gloss finishes. Matte surfaces are more resistant to abuse. Post-formed countertops are those that are fabricated in one piece. These are solid from backsplash to edge, which eliminates the need for caulking and sealing at junctures. They are easy to keep clean and will not have the disadvantage of raised or grit-accumulating seams. A no-drip edge option features a raised lip. Other edging choices include triple- or double-cove, double or single roll bar, and square deck (flat-lay). Custom square edge laminates eliminate seaming and have several edge options.
Selections and Customization of Laminate Countertops
Most home improvement stores offer a selection of laminate products. These may be limited in colors and sizes. Custom ordering is often the best solution to meet color, size, and d��cor requirements. Laminate grades will vary: horizontal is the high-performer, post-formed tops use a slightly thinner grade, and vertical grade is often applied to backsplashes.