The 3478 Dolce Macchiato is one of the most popular 180®fx models by Formica Group laminates. Image via Formica Group.
What comes to mind when you think of buying or remodeling a house? “Saving money” is probably not one of the first things on the list—no matter how you approach it, these processes are expensive—but if you do your research and make smart decisions, there are plenty of savings to be had.
According to a study from the National Association of Home Builders, 25 percent of first-time home buyers stated that they would be unlikely to buy a home with laminate countertops. But, with a little education, they might change their tune. If your position on countertop materials is as immoveable as granite and natural stone, take a look at some of these facts on laminate—they might surprise you!
Obviously, the biggest argument for choosing laminate countertops is that they are much more affordable than their natural stone counterparts. Just how much more affordable, you ask? For an average kitchen with 30 linear feet of countertops, laminate would cost around $1500, while granite would run in the neighborhood of $4500. That’s no small potatoes. If you’re remodeling a dated kitchen, or updating in anticipation of selling, be sure to put laminate on your radar.
Not only are laminate countertops more affordable than granite and marble, but since they are made from layers of paper and resin, they are much more eco-friendly. For example, Formica Group mandates the use of wood fibers from sustainable forests and works with paper suppliers to provide materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
In the past, laminate countertops got a bad rap because they looked like poor reproductions of other materials like wood and stone. These reproductions consisted of one 18 in. pattern repeated over and over. With all the advancements that have been made in photographic technology, laminates come in a huge variety of eye-pleasing designs that mimic earthly stone slabs, butcher block wood, and much more.
This is not your grandmother’s laminate! Product pictured is Formica’s 3422 Crema Mascarello 180®fx by Formica Group. Image via Formica Group.
Another major gripe that consumers have had with laminate countertops in the past is the dark line that ran along the edge. With laminate countertop manufacturers offering decorative edges like rounded bullnose and S-shaped ogee, this is another moot point.
According to durability tests performed by Consumer Reports in 2014, laminates excelled at resisting stains, impact and heat, and withstood abrasive pads nicely. They were also found to be very easy to clean and easy to install.
Kitchens are not the only rooms that work with laminates. These attractive and affordable surfaces are perfect for other rooms in your home like bathrooms, bars, and laundry rooms, and with all the patterns available, you’re sure to find the right look for your tastes.
Sarah Kellner is a writer for The Home Depot. With a background in art and design, she writes on a wide variety of home improvement and real estate topics. To find the laminate countertops mentioned in this article, visit homedepot.com