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Laminate Countertops

Laminate is the most commonly chosen material for countertops because it is inexpensive, easy to install and maintain, and available in a wide range of colors. In recent years, however, laminate has lost much of its popularity to more aspirational countertop materials such as granite or soapstone. As a result, companies that manufacture laminate have introduced new lines of premium laminate materials that have a more upscale look.

If you are thinking of buying a luxury laminate countertop, consider the following:

  • Laminate is made by using heat to bond plastic coated paper to particleboard. Luxury laminates are produced by using stronger and thicker coatings made with aluminum oxide or special shiny inks. Textured laminates can convincingly resemble various kinds of stone. Shiny laminates can be made to look like gold, silver, copper, or bronze. Laminates that have a pearlized finish are also being produced, as are custom printed designs that incorporate individual art work. Laminates with a retro look are also being manufactured.
  • Luxury laminates are still generally less expensive than other types of countertop materials.
  • Because they are plastic, laminates are easier to damage than other countertops. Cutting directly on their surface will scratch them, and a hot pot will scorch them. They may also chip or peel. However, the plastic surfaces is easy to keep clean by wiping them with a damp cloth and an occasional scrubbing with a mild detergent.

Finally, laminates, unlike natural stone countertops, do not need to be sealed, thus making them easier to maintain over time.

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