Laminate Countertop Review

Here's my laminate countertop review which includes a run down of the properties and pros and cons of laminate countertops.  We'll also look at whether or not a laminate countertop is right for your home.

This review is based on my research, talking to suppliers, and my own experiences with laminate countertops.

This page is part of the countertop designs series.

Laminate countertop properties

This laminate countertop reivew wouldn't be complete without going into the properties of laminate in more detail...

Formica is an example of a laminate countertop.

Aesthetic choice - Laminate countertops are the most common and usually the most affordable. Laminate material is made of paper blended with resins and fused to particleboard.  In the past, it hasn't always had a reputation as stylish, but that's changing.  The latest designs on the market mimic the sheen of stone, or the look of butcher block and other pricier surfaces.

Seams -  Manufacturers of laminate countertops make seam fillers specifically to fill in the gaps in between seams.  These fillers are available in a wide variety of colors to match your countertop.  Another option is to install a plastic or metal strip over the seam.  My choice would be to use the seam filler.

Stain resistance - Laminate countertops require little maintenance and do not require annual sealing.  Generally the material is non porous so it will not absorb dirt or stain.  Having said that leaving red wine on white laminate may well cause a stain if left long enough.

Heat resistance - Since laminate is in part plastic it is not resistant to heat. Hot objects could leave a burning mark.

Scratch resistance - Laminate countertops will scratch if cuts are made directly onto the surface.  The scratches also show more than with other materials as only the top layer carries the color and pattern.

Cleanliness - One nice thing about laminate, though, is that it is actually quite easy to clean!  It can be cleaned with a whole range of products from simple soap and water to vinegar to bleach.

Cost - Laminate is inexpensive and usually costs a lot less than most other materials. It's about $10 to $40 a square foot installed. 

Laminate countertop pros and cons

Laminate countertop pros

  • Laminate countertops are the most affordable
  • There's a huge range of colors and patterns available.
  • Solid surface with no pores which makes a laminate countertop hygenic and easy to clean.

Laminate countertop cons

  • Although the durability of laminate has improved it's not nearly as heat and scratch resistant as other materials.  If the surface is damaged, it's difficult to repair.
  • Laminate is sold in standard size slabs so it's hard to avoid having a few seams in your laminate countertop.

Laminate Countertop Review - My experiences with a laminate countertop

I grew up with a laminate kitchen and one pancake day didn't I go and put the hot frying pan down on the counter beside the cooktop and left behind a big round burn mark.  That mark was there for several years before the kitchen was redone!

I'm a fan of laminate in general though.  For the cost the range of looks you can get makes it a winner if you're on a budget.

Is a laminate countertop right for your home?

We'll finish off this lamninate countertop review by going over some questions you can ask yourself before deciding whether or not this countertop is right for your home.

Laminate countertop is the choice for the budget concious and there's no end of looks available.  If you're going to go down the laminate route I recommend buying some glass heat maps to keep on the kitchen surfact in strategic spots on a permanent basis so that you've always got somewhere that a hot pot can go.

So that concludes my laminate countertop review.  I hope you've found it useful.  See below for more countertop material reviews.

More Counterop Design

Countertop materials