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The pros and cons of laminate kitchen cabinets, countertops

When you are remodeling and making changes to your kitchen cabinets, countertops are usually another major consideration. One of the more affordable choices for cabinets--and countertops, in particular--is laminate. Laminate countertops are made of layers of compressed paper and plastic sheeting that is then bonded to a backing of fiberboard, particleboard or plywood. The resulting material is both attractive and economical.

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Pros of laminate countertops

  1. Low cost. Laminate countertops are probably the most affordable countertop option.
  2. Large choice of color and styles. Laminate countertops are available in a large variety of patterns or can be made to mimic the appearance of other countertop materials.
  3. Low maintenance. Laminate countertops are stain resistant, easy to clean, and shed water well. The same goes for cabinets.

Cons of laminate cabinets, countertops

  1. Easily scratched. A laminate countertop should not be used as a cutting surface as knives or other sharp objects can easily damage the material. For best results always use a separate cutting board and protect laminate countertops from sharp utensils.
  2. Can be damaged by heat. Laminate countertops are susceptible to damage from hot pans or utensils. For this reason you should always place hot items on a trivet or other protective surface instead of directly on the countertops.
  3. Susceptible to wear and chipping. Laminate cabinet doors, cabinets, countertops and other laminate surfaces can chip or wear with normal use. Some brands may be damaged by certain cleaning products and in extreme cases the layers can delaminate. Always check the manufacture's information to see what cleaning products are safe for your brand of laminate.

The wide variety of laminate countertop styles, colors, and options makes it easy to match your countertops to any kitchen cabinets, whether your cabinets are from Armstrong, KraftMaid, MasterBrand or some other manufacturer.

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