Are your kitchen countertops showing the wear and tear of years of hard service? It may be that you’d love to replace them, but are afraid that new countertops would be a budget buster that you can’t afford right now. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case if you use a budget-friendly material that’s had a resurgence in popularity: laminate.
Laminate has come a long way since its use in the kitchens of the 1950s. Today’s laminate simulates the look of granite, natural fibers, concrete and bamboo, to name just a few, without the pricey pay out that you’d have for the real materials.
It’s important, however, to use the right type of laminate for your countertops. Let’s look at the three types:
1. High-pressure laminate (HPL)
2. Low-pressure laminate (LPL)
3. Thermoplastic laminate
Of the three types of laminate, HPL thick grade is the one that you want to use for countertops. This type of laminate is tough; it stands up to stains, water, scratching, cracking and fading. All of that, plus it looks high-end besides.
The pricing on laminates is very budget friendly. For example, to install a real granite countertop, prices generally start in the $60 per sq. ft. range and go up from there. To purchase a granite-look laminate countertop, the price is as low as $2.64 per sq. ft. To purchase a true concrete countertop, prices start at about $100 per sq. ft. A concrete look-a-like laminate can be purchased starting at about $20 per sq. ft. A real bamboo countertop starts at $45 per sq. ft. and goes up from there. A bamboo-look laminate countertop will run you about $10.80 per sq. ft. Contact your local home remodeling expert to see all your options on laminate countertops. You’ll be amazed at the choice of colors and patterns.
With today’s laminate, you also have several choices on the edging. Edges can be wrapped with metal, wood or can be factory manufactured to have a seamless edge. As a matter of fact, it’s possible to have a completely seamless laminate countertop—something that you can’t do with granite.
Another new innovation that’s available with laminate countertops are undermount sinks. While you’ll have to pay more for them (about $600), undermount sinks will eliminate one of the banes of laminate sinks of yesteryear: drop-in sinks. Drop-in sinks have a dirt-catching lip on them, which can be difficult to keep clean.
If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of laminate countertops, here are a few manufacturers to check out. Contact your kitchen remodeling expert for help in locating and installing a laminate countertop.
Overall, laminate countertops will give you’re a beautiful, durable countertop at a budget price. Check out some samples to find the design that will create the look you’re after for your kitchen.