Laminate countertops, most commonly referred to as “Formica” countertops, are a staple in countertop surfacing. The original laminate countertop surface called “Micarta” was transformed by the Formica Corporation and re-named “Formica” or “Formerly Micarta.” This created a brand name that stuck in the consumer’s mind – the same brand recognition as the “Kleenex,” which has become a common household term for any facial tissue, not just the Kleenex brand.
Today there are several manufacturers of plastic laminate, or “high-pressure laminate” (HPL). The most well-known brands (all carried by Bath, Kitchen and Tile Center), include Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite and Nevamar. High-pressure laminate, used for laminate countertops, is considered one of the most durable decorative surface materials. It is available with special performance properties including chemical, fire and wear resistance. Special grades of laminate can be used to manufacture “post-formed” laminate countertops, which are curved around edges by application of heat and restraint. In addition to laminate countertops, HPL is commonly used for tabletops, furniture, cabinetry, case goods and flooring.
Laminate Countertops: Versatile, Affordable & Durable
Laminate countertops come in perhaps the industry’s largest selection of styles and colors. There are hundreds of choices from solids and patterns to wood grains. A variety of finish options are available including standard matte, high gloss, leather and sparkle. Recent technology has brought on the development of high-definition laminates, which replicate the appearance of real granite and marble. Both Formica and Wilsonart offer a wide selection of new high-definition laminates.
Laminate countertops come with a variety of choices for edge profiles. Originally, the only option for these counters was a square or “self-edge” version. Technology and manufacturing techniques have now allowed for the introduction of upgraded edge choices, including beveled, bull-nosed and a variety of post-formed edges. These edges greatly increase the appearance of the tops, especially when using the high-definition color choices. Upgraded edges typically add to the overall cost of laminate countertops, but even still, these tops are a fraction of the cost of solid surface and stone materials.
Laminate countertops remain the most economical choice of countertop surfaces. A fraction of the cost of solid surface and stone materials, a laminate top can last for many years if cared for properly. Very durable and difficult to scratch if kept dry and free from high heat, the surface should perform well under normal everyday use. However, it is important to be aware that standard laminate warranties do not exceed one year, and even though the product is highly durable, it is only as good as the glue that is holding it to the desired substrate material.
Laminate Countertops in Delaware
Bath, Kitchen and Tile Center manufacturers all types of laminate countertops at our Newark manufacturing facility. We also provide complete turnkey services, including templating, demo of existing countertops, plumbing and installation. For nearly 50 years, we have been meeting homeowners’ countertop needs in Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Eastern Maryland.
If you are interested in a laminate countertop, please contact one of our showrooms for a complimentary consultation and estimate!