Tackling a renovation or remodeling project can be overwhelming, and it can seem like the decisions are endless. Choosing a countertop is one of the big decisions you’ll have to make, and this decision isn’t an easy one. With a large number of materials to choose from-granite, stainless steel, quartz, laminate-to an endless array of colors and patterns, this can be a decision that you obsess over. So, let’s break down one of your options: quartz vs laminate.
Quartz vs. Laminate Countertops Comparison
When deciding on a kitchen countertop, comparing different materials is essential to making sure you’re choosing something that complements your kitchen design, supports your lifestyle, and fits within your budget.
Both quartz and laminate countertops are low maintenance options as neither requires sealing or refinishing. To keep them clean, you simply wipe them down with water and a mild soap.
When it comes to maintenance, the difference between quartz and laminate comes down to keeping it stain and scratch-free. While laminate countertops look great, they are prone to stains, so wiping up spills immediately is essential. They are also easily scratched or gouged with ordinary kitchen knives, and they can’t be refinished to get rid of the scratches.
The durability of quartz is unparalleled. The composition of finely ground quartz is naturally resistant to stains, scratches and heat, but not to get confused with it being impervious to the three.
Laminate is fairly stain and heat-resistant, but it will stain or burn if spills aren’t wiped up or a hot pan is left on it for a longer length of time. The main issue is that it is not scratch- resistant. And any scratches that are made will be there for the life of the countertop.
The superior durability of quartz makes it the easy choice for a busy kitchen.
Laminate countertops are created by layering paper or plastic sheets onto a kraft paper or particle board backing. These layers are then bonded with resin under high heat. The layer of decorative paper that creates a countertop design can be anything, so it can easily mimic other countertop materials such as granite, marble, wood or concrete.
Because quartz countertops are engineered, they can vary widely in color and pattern, but quartz is still able to mimic other countertop materials. This means you can choose a quartz countertop that looks like granite or concrete but with the increased durability and stain- resistance of quartz. Colors can range from bright white to very dark colors, making them perfect for a wide variety of design aesthetics.
As with anything, you get what you pay for when making the choice between quartz or laminate. The price difference between these two countertop materials is pretty significant.
The price of a quartz countertop can be more than double the price of laminate countertops. That’s a big difference, and when the price is factored in, laminate is a great option for the kitchen remodeler on a budget.
However, spending a little more for a quartz countertop will mean that you can rest easy, knowing that your countertops will look beautiful for years to come, free of stains and scratches.
Fabrication and Installation
Because of what laminate is manufactured from and how it is manufactured, laminate is lighter than its quartz counterpart. This gives the buyer the option to self install, but choosing professional installation is always the recommended option.
To install quartz, you will need the help of a professional, but the added cost of professional installation is offset but the durability and longevity of the material. Quartz countertops are manufactured by mixing 90% finely ground quartz with 10% resin and polymers. Countertops are then cut to size from a large slab of quartz using a template of the countertop.
Quartz vs. Laminate: Making the Right Choice
Because both countertop options can be engineered to look like a wide variety of other countertops, you’re likely to find a style that fits well with your kitchen design, regardless of which one you go with. Making the right choice when deciding between quartz vs, laminate really comes down to your lifestyle and budget.
Laminate is a budget-friendly option that can look really great and complete the look of your kitchen. However, you’ll have to be a little more careful and vigilant if you want it to last.
Quartz is more durable than laminate, and that quality is reflected in the price. If you have kids, if you like to cook, or if you entertain frequently, quartz is the hands down choice if it fits within your budget.