Kitchen remodelling is pricey as it is. Sometimes, compromises have to be made and less expensive products used. Sometimes, projects have to be done in stages and temporary solutions have to be introduced, like installing a cheap countertop for a couple of years until the new budget will pay for the planned quartz. Or, sometimes the project simply requires functionality and decent look, nothing more. We all know that the trendy countertops can take a bulldog’s bite out of the budget. Buying a slab when the wallet is thin, or when it is not really needed, is like throwing the money into the wind. For all those who want their budget to survive till the end of the project choosing a plastic laminate countertop may be very helpful.
When it comes to a price, plastic laminate countertops are unbeatable. Starting at $30 per sq foot installed compared with $60 and up per sq foot for granite, and $70 and up per sq foot for quartz, the laminate wins. Although laminate can’t stand a match with granite or quartz counters in other areas of competition such as heat resistance, durability, longevity, the natural look, edge options, and other factors, still, the laminate is remarkably durable in its own right, easy to care for, and offers a wide spectrum of colours and textures to choose from.
The laminate countertops have been on the market for a long time. Throughout the 1950s and up to 1990s laminate had enjoyed being the king on the countertop market. In the 1990s the throne went to natural stones, mainly granite. Later, solid surface materials and quartz joined the granite’s popularity.
Now, however, the old cheap plastic laminate is back, and gaining popularity once again. But this time, Wilsonart®, one of the forefront manufacturers of the laminate countertops, brings to the market a new line called High Definition® laminates. This HD® technology transfers photographed patterns onto the plastic laminate in crisp colours and high resolution. Formica, another leader of the laminate countertop industry, has also come up with a technology called 180fx™ series, which allows recreating true-to-scale big format patterns of real stone slabs on the laminate.
With a myriad colour and texture choices available to the consumer, some of which convincingly mimic other materials, the plastic laminate has become a chameleon, ready to blend into any design scheme. No wonder they find their way into all kinds of kitchens, both large and small, but are especially welcomed in projects where the budget is tight.