Countertops are essential elements of a modular kitchen. It’s where all the meal prepping and cooking happens and therefore needs to be durable. Opt for solid colour laminate countertops or glitter laminate countertops as a practical and cheaper alternative.
Kitchen countertops are probably one of those components that bear the brunt of cooking, isn’t it? Right from chopping to slicing to other heavy cooking activities, they have a whole lot to deal with on an everyday basis. Seen as a popular option in the 1950s, laminate countertops are also installed in many high-end homes today owing to its design variety, affordability and DIY feasibility.
What Are Laminate Countertops And How Much Do They Cost?
Laminate countertops are made up of laminate sheets. They’re further made up by bonding layers of thin plastic sheets to kraft paper or particleboard (wood) using a strong adhesive and resin. When installed professionally, they lend a luxurious vibe to your kitchen space.
Plastic laminate sheets for countertops are sold by the square foot since they’re pre-made and pre-boxed. The cost of a laminate sheet lies in the range of Rs. 600-1500 per square feet and the premium versions can go up to Rs. 2950 per square feet. as well. However, if you’re installing an entire countertop unit, the average cost will be around Rs. 50000.
The price of a laminate countertop will also vary based on the way it is being used and installation charges (if you’re hiring a pro!):
(1) DIY countertop using raw laminate
(2) Prefabricated post-formed laminate countertops
(3) Custom-built countertop. You can buy these HD and HP countertops from top laminate brands such as Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite, Centuryply, Lamin-Art and a few more.
Now that you’ve got an overview of laminate countertops, let’s deep dive into the pros and cons, popular designs and manufacturer brands. We also know you wouldn’t mind getting bonus tips and tricks because who doesn’t love a Lil extra!
Pros And Cons Of Laminate Countertops
Laminate countertops enjoy advantages such as:
- It’s suitable for DIY installation as well, something which only a few materials offer
- It lasts longer (up to 10 years) if taken care of properly and is cost-efficient.
- It’s the most affordable countertop materials that can mimic the look of stone, wood, granite, etc
- It increases the appearance of visual depth thanks to 3D high-dimensional quality laminates
- It’s non-porous and easy to maintain (Beware: Don’t overdo the water part though!)
- It’s versatile and available in a wide variety of styles, designs and colours
- Its designs are more uniform and regular since they’re printed and glued to the particleboard
- It’s easier and faster to install owing to its lightweight
- It’s easily replaceable at low-costs in case the piece gets damaged
- It’s available in pre-cut lengths or can be cut-on-site for a personalised project. (No wait time, yay!)
- Its decorative edges give it a flawless and completely finished look. You can also choose from full-wrap edges, seamless edges and more
- It’s also available with an integral backsplash
- It’s wear-resistant and easier to clean
- It’s stain-resistant
However, laminate countertops also have certain limitations:
- It’s prone to water damage and scratches (owing to its melamine resin properties)
- The scratches become more evident in dark colours.
- It can melt or burn if exposed to extreme heat
- It can delaminate from the edges over a period of time, so just keep a check on it once in a while
- It can get damaged with sharp objects like knives
- It does not add to the resale value of the house, unlike their marble and quartz counterparts
- It can fade gradually when exposed to sunlight or UV light for longer periods
Want To Have A Sneak Peek Of The Most Popular Designs? Well, here they are.
Laminate countertops are available in unlimited varieties, ranging from solid colours to glitter textures to printed patterns. They can also mimic the appearance of rusted metal, leather, and stainless steel. Hop around some interior design material shops and you’ll get an idea!
The most popular types of laminate countertops in the market are: Black | Solid Grey | Yellow | Jet Sequoia | White | White Marble | Wood | Wood Grain | Granite | Quartz | Stone | Concrete | Straight Edge | Waterfall Edge | L-Shaped
As White As Snow
This white laminate countertop graces the kitchen as it’s a striking contrast to the light grey cabinets. It instantly adds a relaxing and spacious feel to the room.
For Coffee Lovers
Doesn’t this colour remind you of a hot cuppa coffee? This light brown-shaded laminate countertop gives your kitchen an earthy and rich character and speaks of simplicity at its best.
The Classic Rustic Countertop
Bring in a touch of warmth and tradition into your kitchen with this faux-wood laminate countertop. It perfectly blends in with the white walls and adds sleekness and practicality to the kitchen’s overall design.
A Stylish Grey Laminate Countertop
Make a bold statement with this L-shaped solid grey laminate countertop. It adds some visual drama and character to the open kitchen space. The simple hardwood floor coupled with the well-organized surfaces lends minimalism to the interiors.
A Few Bonus Tips And Tricks
A few common concerns bug every homeowner. We’ve listed down some solutions for them:
How To Clean Sticky Laminate Countertops
To clean sticky substances like honey, tea or coffee (and the like), use all-natural cleaning solutions. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to three tablespoons of warm water to make a paste and let it sit on the countertop for a few minutes. Wipe it off with a microfiber cloth/sponge/paper towel instead of a scrub brush to avoid any scratches. You can also use a water-vinegar mixture or mild dish soap-water mixture as an alternative. For tougher stains, use paint thinner, acetone, or denatured alcohol with a white cloth only.
Measuring Dimensions Before Installing Kitchen countertops?
While measuring for laminate countertops, it’s essential to take the cabinet depth, backsplash height, countertop length, and the levelness of the walls into account. Also, note the locations of your stove, sink, and refrigerator for quick reference when arranging for the precut laminate sheets. Consult a professional if you need help here.
Can You Use Epoxy Resin?
Yes, absolutely. Epoxy coatings are an inexpensive way to make your existing laminate countertops look new and attractive again
Follow these steps:
(1) Remove the old finish by using 80-grit sandpaper
(2) Softly brush off the extra dust and residue
(3) Apply an adhesion promoter or primer to the laminate countertop with a sponge roller
(4) Once it’s dry, apply the epoxy resin coating using a quality natural brush
(5) Do a second round and also smoothen out bumps before the epoxy cures
(6) Give finishing touches and protection to the fully-cured surface by applying a polyurethane topcoat
What’s the best spray adhesive for laminate countertops?
You can use 3M Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive for your laminate countertops as it’s directly applicable, dries really fast, gives an extremely strong bond and is easy to dispose of as well.
Can you paint existing laminate countertops?
Yes. That’s the major advantage of laminate over other countertop materials. It requires just four steps:
- Prepare the surface using an appropriate grit sand sandpaper and clean off the residue
- Coat with a primer solution and wait for eight hours.
- Paint the surface with your chosen colours in the style/pattern that you want and let it dry.
- Apply a top coat after a light sanding and let it dry for a few more hours.
Can we use acidic cleaners like bleach on laminate countertops?
Never. Acidic cleaners like bleach. Strong acids and tile cleaners can permanently destroy the resin and dull the colour of the surface.
Lastly, some useful tips to help you make an informed decision
- Hire a professional or DIY after a careful analysis of the complexity of the project, the kind of tools and know-how that will be required to do a quality job
- Choose your colours and finish carefully since darker solid colours and glossy finishes show more cut marks and scratches than lighter colors and finishes
- When you’re out shopping for the perfect laminate countertop designs, always try to look at full laminate countertop mockups rather than just a sample piece
That’s all there is, my friend! Hope this blog post has provided you with adequate information to opt for laminate countertops in your next kitchen makeover? So, go ahead and make the right choice as per your needs and preferences. Good Luck!