Posts Tagged 'laminate countertops'

Selecting Countertop Materials

A wide selection of countertop materials is available to choose from, each with its own benefits and limitations. The following is a summary of the countertop options available for your kitchen or bath.

Granite Countertop on Island

Granite – Created from nature and formed by man, granite has fast become a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops with a timeless appeal. Granite is an elegant and beautiful material that has a wide range of colors, patterns and finishes to choose from. It is an extremely hard material that can withstand heat and scratches. A sealer must be applied to granite on an annual basis to protect it from staining, as it is porous and can stain without this protection. Also, the seams in a granite countertop are visible. Most granite is polished prior to fabrication, giving it a shiny finish. “Honed” granite is also available, providing a more subtle matte finish.

Corian Solid Surface Countertop

Solid Surfaces – Developed by DuPont over 40 years ago, Corian was one of the first solid surfaces created specifically for countertop applications. Today, a number of manufacturers make a comparable nonporous surface, which will not stain and is completely renewable. One of the best attributes of a solid surface countertop is the fact that there are no visible seams and integral sinks are also available. With over 100 colors to choose from, all solid surfaces are accompanied by a manufacturer’s warranty.

Cambria Quartz Kitchen Countertop

Quartz Surfaces – One of the newest countertop materials available, quartz surfaces have entered the market within the past decade. This surface is a blend of natural and man-made materials that, like granite, can be fabricated with either a polished or honed finish. Cambria, HanStone, and LG Viatera are a few quartz surface options.

Engineered Stone – Considered a “care-free surface,” Engineered Stone is an extremely  durable material that is resistant to scratches, chips and stains, as well as being heat-resistant and easy to maintain. With many colors to choose from, you can count on consistency of color throughout your project, though a visible seam will be required when bonding slabs together. Most offer a ten year warranty on the product.

Marble Countertop on Kitchen Island

Marble – A beautiful natural material with a wide range of colors to choose from, marble offers some unusual  patterns and veining. However, since marble tends to be significantly more porous that granite, it is more likely to stain.

Laminates – Laminates offer an extraordinarily wide range of colors and patterns to choose from. This affordable countertop choice is being made much stronger and more durable than years ago. It is recommended that you do not place hot objects directly on a laminate countertop or cut directly on the surface, as damage may occur. A laminate surface is non-porous and therefore resistant to bacteria and stains, requiring only soap and water for easy cleaning. Laminates today offer a wide range of design options, some of which don’t look like laminate at all. Wilsonart HD countertops are a great example of this.

Formica Laminate Countertop

Other countertop options offered at Kitchen Views include wood in a variety of species and a variety of recycled countertop materials.

Click here to see more about the countertops offered by Kitchen Views.

Bob Russo: Planning Time for Your Countertops

Allowing time to get your countertop order in line can be as important as your cabinets. Once you order your cabinetry, you have a good idea as to when they are to arrive. All too often, customers wait too long to start looking or thinking about counters, assuming that they are in a warehouse, basically ready to go, or can be gotten very quickly. In some cases, this may be true; but for the most part, tops need selection, templating and installation.

Laminate tops (Formica is one trade name) can be ordered ahead of time in some cases and trimmed on site. As for the bulk of items used on countertops (Corian, granite or other stones, quartz, or tile), these materials need selection and maybe ordering time. You may not always see what you like on the first go-around. Once selections are made, locking them in is important (or you may lose them), either with a deposit or payment in full.

Now that you have selected your countertop type, you need to plan the install. To fit countertops correctly, you should have a template done (other than laminate tops, most will insist on this being done). All of the cabinets do not need to be installed, just the base cabinets of any items the countertops will be sitting on.

From the time the tops get templated, you will need about 7 to 10 working days before they come back to install. This is why it is important to keep everyone in the loop. If you do not keep your countertop fabricator up to date on job progress, they may not have a day open for you when you need or want  them. This could cost you time and money.

So keep in mind, the more prep you do ahead of time, the smoother your job will go.

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St. Newton, MA 02461
Phone: 617-244-8020

Melissa Moniz: Laminate Countertop Options

Everyone remembers their grandparents’ countertop, the avocado green or the lovely bright orange that would scorch your eyes when you first walked into the kitchen.  Laminate has come a long way thankfully; the colors offered now can range from retro to ultra modern or can mimic the most popular granite colors available.

There are a number of laminate manufacturers out there and while one does not make a better constructed laminate than the other, their color options vary. Unfortunately, these tops can be damaged by knives or extreme heat, but by using a cutting board or hot pad, it will be protected and stay beautiful for years to come. The main drawback to this material is the necessity of seams depending on the length and style.

The two types of laminate tops are generally referred to as post form or custom. The post form is made by a machine that fuses the color to a substrate panel beneath it which produces a round front with an attached backsplash.  This style with always have a diagonal seam at each corner because the machines have not learned how to turn corners yet. The custom top is physically cut by a person who then attaches the color to the substrate. The largest available laminate piece is 5 x 12 so if your top fits in that dimension your custom top will not need a seam.

Since laminate can mimic the popular granite colors and pattern, you will get the look you want for less. Laminate can also be a great option to stretch your remodeling budget, and get the quality cabinets that will last. You could choose to install laminate now and upgrade to granite or quartz later as your budget allows.

You can learn more about the many different laminate countertop options from both Formica’s ( and Wilsonart’s Laminate and HD Laminate ( websites. Your Kitchen Views designer will help you to identify what countertop type and style is best for your kitchen.

Melissa Moniz
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd, New Bedford, MA

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