Read Part 3 of this series
The perfect choice for affordable and durable countertops with an enormous style range that can last many years when well cared for.
Attributes of laminate
- Budget friendly
- Available in a wide spectrum of colors
- Available in patterns to suit a wide range of tastes and interiors. Look for ones that emulate stone, wood, bamboo, concrete, retro, leather etc.
- Available in beveled edge, bullnose edge, ogee edge, etc.
- They are relatively environmentally friendly. Laminate countertops are made of several layers, most of which are paper. The top layer is a protective melamine resin layer. Some manufacturers use waste material and recycled paper in their laminates.
- The 3 largest laminate manufacturers are Formica (check out their deco metal with real and solid metal, writable magnetic and non-magnetic surfaces, and deco leather with recycled leather veneer), Wilsonart (with an unbelievable selection of laminate finish options, and built-in antimicrobial properties), and Pionite.
- Some laminates resist heat, staining, and impact as well as countertops that are made from much more expensive materials
- It’s available in textured finishes that look and feel like stone and wood
- It’s easy to put a wood or contrasting edge (see above image) on it, making it more accessible
- It’s warmer and softer than stone making it easier on dishware or pots that are accidentally dropped on it
- Doesn’t require any special care like sealing or waxing
- Look for Canadian laminate manufacturer Arborite
Things to know about laminate
- Scratches are not repairable like they can be with other materials
- It won’t add value to your home when it comes time to sell
- Can be damaged by hot pots
- Approximately ¼ the price of stone and ranging from $26-$36 per linear foot with a standard eased edge.
Recycled Glass Countertops
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly product with qualities similar to engineered stone, with the added bonus of sparkle and glamour. This may be the one for you.
Attributes of recycled glass
- Recycled glass countertops used to be made with concrete but are now made more often with a resin formula. They contain about ¾ glass and ¼ binder material
- Relatively environmentally friendly as they contain many sources of recycled glass. Note: They may also contain non-recycled glass
- Scratch and heat resistant up to 300 degrees F
- The resin types are non-porous and easy to maintain with a damp cloth and mild cleanser. They don’t require sealing or waxing
- The concrete types are porous and require regular sealing to protect the concrete from etching and staining by acidic products such as lemons and wine
- Each slab is unique and eye catching. The glass has a translucent quality to it and is quite intriguing to look at from the side
Things to know about recycled glass
- A limited color range, but because of the wide selection of colored glass chips within them, they are easy to coordinate with many palettes
- Wipe up spills immediately, especially if they contain acidic ingredients
- Not heat proof from hot pots or pans being placed directly on them
- Be aware of the slab sizes from different manufacturers as that can affect the cost and the number of seams you end up with
- Prices starting at $105 per sq ft installed TIP: The complexity of the job, number of seams, corners and the style of the edge profile will impact countertop costs too
- Standard eased edge is the standard edge profile
- Consider fluting beside your sink. This is where the fabricator creates channels in the countertop similar to a built-in drain-board