When choosing countertops for a new home or a kitchen or bath remodel, consumers should understand the differences between laminate and solid surface options. At Steve's Flooring & Design in Morris, designers are available to help customers choose the countertops that will work best in their home.
"Laminate countertops are made from layers of plastic that are bonded to a dense particleboard to create a countertop," explained Steve Meyer, owner of Steve's Flooring & Design. "They come in a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns that range from marble, leather and woodgrained looks. Wilsonart, Formica and Pionite are three of the popular brands we carry."
Laminate will last for many years with the right care, but can be easily scratched. "Don't use laminate counters as cutting boards," added Meyer. "Avoid placing hot items on laminate counters, as a hot pan can create a scorch mark." With laminate, durability is sacrificed for affordability. It's easy to clean, but can't be repaired or resealed if scratched. Drop-in or special undermounted sinks are required. Also, special considerations should be taken as to the placement of seams in a laminate countertop. Laminate tops are available in standard widths or in custom sizes.
Solid surface countertops, which include recognizable names like Corian, HiMacs, Living Stone, Staron, Meganite, Wilsonart and Swanstone, are available in hundreds of colors and visual patterns, according to Meyer. "We offer solid colors in addition to countertops with sparkling, marbleized, and granite effects," he said. "These countertops are non-porous, so bacteria and moisture can't penetrate the surface."
However, hot pans should not be set directly on a solid surface countertop either, as prolonged or extreme heat may cause yellowing. Hairline scratches can be rubbed out with an ultra fine Scotch Brite pad; deep scratches and even cracks can usually be repaired by a professional. As with laminate, solid surface should not be used as a cutting board. "One great aspect of solid surface countertops is that solid surface sinks can be integrated into them with no gaps," said Meyer. Another advantage is that mitre and butt joints in a solid surface countertop do not show as much as on all other types of countertops. A third difference in solid surface countertops is that they are available with coved backsplashes which makes them easier to clean, especially behind the sink faucet. "We offer both undermount and integral style sinks for the solid surface tops."
For more information, please contact:
Steve's Flooring & Design
717 Liberty St.
Morris, IL 60450