Sure, we all cringe a bit picturing grandma's olive green and silver-flecked Formica countertops (along with matching olive green refrigerator and stove, of course). But today's laminate countertops provide all of the positives that grandma loved with some new benefits that you're certain to appreciate.
Laminate countertops come in an amazing array of colors and patterns. Do you want the look of wood? Laminate can do that. Do you want the appearance of granite? Laminate can do that. Do you want zebra stripes on your countertop? That seems a bit excessive, although laminate could do that if you truly wanted it to. Most homeowners don't get quite that extreme but it's nice to know that whatever your kitchen countertop ideas, you can probably pull them off. Whether you want something very natural-looking or a crazy pattern to match your playful design style, laminate can deliver the goods.
The need to keep your countertops clean will be directly in your face every single day. You won't need expensive, specialized cleaners to wipe up your laminate countertop after small spills or after making a big, messy dinner. Just use soap and water, general kitchen cleaners, or even bleach for those really tough jobs. Scouring with powdered cleansers and steel wool might scratch the surface and you should always use a cutting board to avoid cuts. But for the most part, laminate will be perfect for busy families who use and abuse their kitchens regularly.
In today's economy, price can make or break your ability to implement your kitchen countertop ideas. Many families just can't afford to invest the kind of money necessary to put in a granite, concrete, or butcher block countertops even if they'd like to. Choosing laminate instead can save you thousands of dollars and even open up the possibility of a remodel where none existed. Although nearly all homeowners should have their countertop installed professionally, the savings may still be significant. Laminate typically runs about $5 to $30 per square foot, while granite can cost from $45 to $100 for the same coverage.
So the question of the hour is this: are high-end countertops really worth it to you? The answer might be yes, and if so, that's great news. If that answer is no, that's great news, too. You can celebrate the fact that you'll still be able to choose a beautiful, durable countertop that will transform the look of your kitchen. Whatever your budget or design style, look closely at laminate countertops.
About the author: Natalie Morris is a freelance writer who loves to learn and ask questions. Her favorite home improvement activities include gardening, organizing, and painting large expanses of wall while her husband does the trim work. Natalie holds a bachelor's degree in English from Arizona State University.