Ray has been with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets since 1986, after receiving his diploma in Business Administration from Canadore College. He began managing the countertop department, but soon transferred into Kitchen Design. Ray has worked with many award winning builders throughout his career. Some 30 years later, Ray still enjoys his job.
Laminate – They Don't Make It Like They Used To!
If you are in the market for new countertops, you may find the list of choices daunting! There’s a good chance you’ve had a look at the latest in granite or quartz countertops. As tempting as these countertops are, you may find that laminate countertops can be a very appealing choice. Especially if your budget is at stake, you may want to consider laminate countertops.
Laminate has been around for more than fifty years, however, through the 80s and 90s, laminate went through a rough patch. It was considered to be a low quality, thin-looking, countertop choice. Laminate has come a long way since then, and the major manufacturers (Wilsonart, Arborite, Pionite, and Nevamar) have had to become much more innovative to retain market share.
Today’s laminates are much more durable. Many of these manufacturers treat the laminate surface with aluminum oxide that gives the countertop a remarkable resistance to staining and scratching. This is a major improvement from days past. Although not 100% scratch and heat resistant, a cutting board or trivet is recommended (and leave the cigarette in the ash tray!). Laminate countertops can be used in a variety of areas in the home, from the kitchen, to bathrooms, to laundry rooms, to the shop, office, and garage.
There are literally hundreds of colours, designs, and patterns to choose from. With the huge improvement in photographic technology, the visual quality of the laminates are amazing. The solid colours look more vibrant, the wood has a more natural appearance, and the granite has a true-to-scale look. Presently, laminate countertops offer a variety of textures and edge profiles. There are “through-colour” laminates which eliminate the black lines that were quite visible with the older laminate countertops. If there is a colour that you have in mind for a countertop, there is a very good chance you will find it in laminate. There are colours to complement both light and dark traditional wood, painted kitchens, and even the ultra-modern contemporary look. Laminate is non-porous and therefore very hygienic. It is ideal for both residential and commercial use. Laminate can be cut and fabricated to just about any shape you desire. Since most manufacturers have small sample chips available to take home, this makes it much easier for you to make the proper choice in selecting your countertop.
Laminate countertops are easy to clean and maintain; just use hot water and a damp cloth or sponge with a non-abrasive household cleaner and you are done. With proper care, these laminate countertops can last up to twenty years.
You will find laminate countertops a much more affordable option compared to stone and solid surfaces, without sacrificing style and durability. You can get more traction out of your budget by choosing a laminate countertop and putting the money you saved towards custom cabinetry or higher end appliances.