An incredible number of homeowners prefer to purchase laminated worktops for their kitchens. Such popularity is easily explained by the affordable cost of products, unpretentiousness to care, resistance to stress and a large choice of colors and patterns.
We collected all the necessary information on laminated kitchen countertops. Read and decide if you are suitable for artificial material for the design of the work area.
Base: Plastic laminated worktops consist of the finest plywood or particle board, covered from the outside with a high pressure laminate (HPL). This coating, in turn, consists of three layers, connected together by high temperature and pressure. Among manufacturers of plastic for working surfaces, Formica, Wilsonart and Nevamar are the most popular.
Special conditions: due to the fact that the plastic is very thin, its edges are prone to damage, therefore it is necessary to take precautionary measures, among which:
- profiled edge: the laminate is produced with already bevelled edges of S-shaped (depending on the manufacturer, the profiles can vary);
- edge of the strip: sufficiently dense stickers are designed to protect the cuts of the countertop. They are made of PVC and can last very long;
- metal edge: fastened to the edge of the table or island cover, perfectly suited to stylish kitchen furniture in the spirit of 1950-ies;
- open plywood: as shown in the photo below, some modern designs show a thin laminate veneer, connected with high-quality plywood, which does not need special treatment.
Advantages: low cost and a wealth of choice of appearance, quality of coverage and color scheme. Laminated countertops are staggering with a number of shades – from eggplant to amber, from maple to marble; Textures – from the shiny surface to the grainy.
Disadvantages: keep cutting boards always at hand, because knives can cause damage. Also, stands are needed for hot dishes, since the material does not withstand high temperatures (maximum 65 degrees Celsius).
Care of furniture: as in most cases, a wet enough rag or sponge and a mild detergent for normal cleaning. Avoid bleaching agents, as their use can lead to discoloration of the surface. The top layer is strong enough and does not require sealing. Will serve faithfully for a long time.
Safety: laminated materials for furniture production require a very modest amount of natural raw materials (although they include the use of resins based on petroleum products).
Some manufacturers, such as Formica and Wilsonart, can boast certification from environmental committees, which indicates that the product contributes to improving indoor air quality.
Photos courtesy of Formica Group, BAAN design and Fougeron Architecture FAIA.
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