Today’s laminates offer affordability, easy installation, and customization through color, style, and edge design. Formed from layers of decorative and kraft papers saturated with melamine resin and bonded together under pressure, no regular maintenance is required. Laminates are sensitive to heat and harsh cleaning chemicals, and are vulnerable to scratching.
The latest styles provide the look of natural stone, minus the upkeep and price tag.
Boasting the utmost in durability, solid surfacing is solid throughout its entire thickness, made from acrylic, polyester, or a combination of the two ( both heavy-duty plastics). It is non-porous, stain resistant, and easy to clean and repair (scratches can be buffed out). With a seamless appearance, the material can be cut and formed to create shapes and curves, custom drain boards and trivets.
Check out the latest in the more than 100 color palette from DuPont Corian.
The stone so many have come to love is an igneous rock with a holocrystalline structure. That means that the crystals that make up the stone don’t fully develop; instead, they grow into each other. This unique interlocking crystal structure makes granite extremely durable and gives it the grainy look for which it was named.
You’ll ruin your knife before you damage your granite countertop if you decide to chop up a carrot on its surface. Granite lets you enjoy your kitchen or bathroom without the worry of damage.
Since it is made up of many different types of crystals, the color of granite varies quite a bit depending on the crystal that makes up the majority of a given piece of stone. The most common colors include white, gray, black, pink, and orange. Occasionally greens, browns, and blues make an appearance as well.
With so many colors to choose from, it is easy to select granite that will fit in with your kitchen or bathroom design and yet remain timeless.
Made from one of the hardest minerals on earth, quartz countertops are arguably the most durable option for kitchens. They’re also some of the most eye-catching. They come in a wide variety of colors, including fire-engine red and apple green, as well as earthy browns, blacks, and creams, with sparkles and veining for the look of granite or marble. But unlike natural-stone slabs, which are mined, these slabs are engineered in a factory. Their primary ingredient is ground quartz (about 94 percent), combined with polyester resins to bind it and pigments to give it color. For some designs, small amounts of recycled glass or metallic flecks are added to the mix. The resins also help make these counters stain and scratch resistant—and nonporous, so they never need to be sealed. Compare that with granite, the reigning king of high-end countertops, which typically requires a new protective top coat at least once a year.
In the past, the biggest knock against quartz was that it lacked the patterns and color variations you get with natural stone. But that’s a moot point now, with all the manufacturers offering multihued slabs with enough flecks, swirls, and random patterning to make them almost indistinguishable from the real thing. They were once available only with a polished finish; now you can get one with a honed, sandblasted, or embossed treatment. So if it’s the look of matte limestone, textured slate, or glossy granite that you want, there’s a quartz countertop for you.