Laminate countertops are chosen by many people for their functionality and looks, but before you choose this material for your kitchen countertop, whether it is Wilsonart or Formica, you should fully understand the differences between these, and your options compared to granite or marble and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
A comparison of the relative pros and cons of different countertop materials available today is a helpful way of evaluating the practical uses of each for your kitchen in deciding which material is best for you.
Laminate is the most popular material for kitchen countertops throughout the Western worlds, including the USA and Europe. The reason for the popularity includes the sever reasons including the following.
Firstly, laminates like Formica are often the first materials that people think of in terms of kitche countertops. They do not recognize granite, marble or hardwood is a viable options for their kitchen. Secondly, most people think that these options are too expensive. It is true that natural materials do cost more. If cost is the most important factor then laminates are the way to go for you. Before you choose for sure, lets dig into the nitty gritty - the inside info on laminate countertops.
A definition of 'laminates' is usefull at this point. Think of a material like plywood a good example. Plywood is made up of a number of different layers that are laminated - or glued together to form one sheet.
This analogy applies to Formica laminate countertops too. Formica is a melamine formaldehyde thermoset resin that is cured with heat and then laminating with a sub-straight like pressed wood. It forms a durable resin than is used as a laminate in many applications, including kitchen countertops. Formica is a trade marked example of a laminate material. Other manufacturers of these types of materials include Pionite and Wilsonart to name just two others. And hardwood flooring lamiates are available from companies like Mannington.
The finishes available these days are amazing to say the least. You can get patterns that replicate slate, granite, hardwood, and even marble. Even the texture is realistically replicated in these products. Photographic processes are used to replicated the intricate patterns and textures of these natural stone products.
Laminate countertops make a quick, inexpensive kitchen face lift a snap. It is a durable surface that with proper care, it can last 20 years before needing to be replaced. It does come with some drawbacks though - it can be damaged by hot cooking pans, or persistent moisture exposure. If your kitchen remodeling budget has no room for real stone, then the laminate products are the next best thing.