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Various types of countertop materials are suitable for the kitchen and bathroom, but few are used as often as laminate countertop varieties. A laminate countertop consists of a wooden or particle board base with a plastic covering glued over it. This plastic material is laminated in order to help make it more durable, though as compared to other countertop materials, laminate is not exceptionally durable or long lasting. Abrasive scrubs can scratch it or wear it down, and hot pots or pans can burn the countertop, leading to irreparable damage.
Of all the countertop materials, a laminate countertop is by far the least expensive option. It is fairly easy to install as well, since the laminate covering is simply glued to the substrate material. It is vital that the plastic is glued down flat so bubbling does not occur, thereby leading to damage to the countertop. Various countertop shapes can be made easily with laminate materials, and once installed, laminate is very easy to maintain. Abrasive cleaners should not be used on this material, however, as scratching or wearing can occur fairly easily. Excess exposure to water can also lead to damage to the laminate countertop. If particle board is used as the substrate, the countertop can become damaged with various impacts, especially if the laminate peels back and exposes the base.
It is possible to purchase a laminate countertop in a variety of colors or designs, some of which mimic real materials such as marble or granite. Other tints or colors are possible as well, many of which do not mimic natural materials. This means the decor of the kitchen or bathroom can be altered easily, but the wide array of designs means the countertop can go out of style after a few years. Fortunately, it is easy and fairly inexpensive to replace as compared to other countertop materials.
The edges of the laminate countertop can come in a few different shapes and styles, many of which help eliminate sharp edges that can be hazardous for small children or for elderly adults. The edges are often rounded to facilitate easy cleaning and to prevent injuries. In some cases, the edges of the counter may be a different color from the rest of the counter, not only to add a bit of aesthetic appeal, but also to help the edge stand out enough so users will not walk into the edges.
If all of the kitchen countertop options are carefully selected, you will have a very elegant, stylish and fitting countertop for your home.