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When shopping for new kitchen countertops, you’ll find that granite, laminate, and quartz are the most popular choices. For commercial projects such as resale real estate, renovation and decoration are important prerequisites in order to sell at a good price.
One of the most important things to consider when remodeling a kitchen area is the type of countertops you will be using. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, the top job for renovations is a kitchen remodel.
Laminate worktops are composed of plastic fused with kraft paper or particle board. As with other laminated surfaces, such as those used for tables and guitars, the aim is to create an appearance reminiscent of more expensive, stronger materials. The structural part is a thick piece of MDF chipboard, which you can’t see because it’s covered with a thin layer of laminate.
Laminate overlays are made from layers of images, and laminate countertops can mimic materials like wood and marble. This image layer is very similar to wood or stone – or just a solid color or pattern – with a clear wear layer to protect everything underneath.
Laminate coverings are often referred to as plastic, but they are not. Laminates are mainly made of multiple layers of kraft paper and synthetic resins.
Quartz countertops are a mixture of materials, primarily minerals. They are made of 90% or more stone particles, such as marble, quartz, and other stone types. The minerals are mixed with resins, colorants and fillers (totalling about 7% of the material content), then heated and compressed to form a very hard, durable board. Quartz countertop thickness is the same, and it is a uniform material.
Although many people think of quartz as a natural material, it is actually a man-made stone. It is made by mixing natural rock and mineral particles together with resins, polymers and pigments to form slabs.
The sparkle you often find on quartz countertops is usually created by adding small pieces of glass or metal, as well as rock particles. So while most of the panels are made from natural materials, the final product is largely man-made.
|Laminate Countertops||Quartz Countertops|
|Color and Design||There are tons of color and design options and they can resemble quartz, granite, marble or anything else from modern to classic.||Available in a variety of colors and styles, and because it’s engineered stone, every inch of the countertop will present a beautiful, unified look.|
|Antifouling||Dirt and moisture won’t penetrate the laminate’s non-porous surface, so stains are less likely.||It is durable and highly stain resistant, and neither requires sealing like natural stone.|
Small scratches can be repaired with the specified resin paint, but deeper scratches and chips cannot be repaired.
|Quartz is non-porous and it resists bacteria, just clean your quartz countertop with soap and water.|
|Wear Resistance||The uppermost wear layer of laminate is prone to buckling and has long been its weak point.||Quartz is highly wear-resistant under normal conditions.|
|Installation||The simple installation procedure makes laminate countertops a popular do-it-yourself project.||Quartz counters are almost always professionally installed. It can be difficult for homeowners to acquire the skills required for installation.|
|Service Life||Laminate has the shortest lifespan compared to other popular countertop materials.||Quartz can last a lifetime with your kitchen. It’s an investment in the beauty, function and value of your home.|
|Cost||From $8 to $20 per square foot.||$95 per square foot, but more economical quartz is $50 to $75 per square foot.|
|Resale Value||Little to no resale value. In fact, it could be a hindrance when you sell your home.||Beautiful stone countertops can add a lot of value to your home to help you get more out of your property when it’s ready to sell.|
Conclusion: If you are looking for a stone-like look for countertops for your commercial project, quartz countertops may be the best choice because of their natural stone depth and grain structure.
However, higher quality laminates can be less expensive to give the realistic appearance of quartzite and have more unique crystalline characteristics. If you’re looking for a wider range of color options, laminate countertops are especially colorful, while quartz countertops are relatively limited.
If the intent is to replicate the appearance of depth in natural stone, quartz will undoubtedly win. No matter how expensive laminate is, it will never be able to replicate the visual depth of quartz because it is not physically deep.
The unique veining and crystalline structure found in marble and travertine shows up better in laminate than in quartz. High-quality laminates allow rolling textures around the edge of the countertop, as if showing a cross-section of natural stone.
Quartz has a limited range of solid colors and a wider range of speckled colors. Laminate comes in a wider range of solid colors, from soft whites to vibrant oranges and rich grays and blacks.
White quartz countertops are one of the best quartz countertops for modern style. While quartz can come in a variety of colors, white quartzite is available in a variety of textured designs.
GEORGESTONE™ is designed to imitate marble countertops in order to make the texture of white quartz countertops more natural and vivid. Mostly a white base color with black and gray stripes and textures.
Simple, elegant and timeless, Gold Filament White Quartz and Snowflake White Quartz combine all the practicality of quartz and are an excellent choice for kitchen or quartz bathroom countertops.
Conclusion: While both laminate and quartz countertops differ in appearance, when it comes to durability, quartz has proven to be more resistant to heat. Under normal conditions, quartz has proven to be particularly resistant to abrasion, making it popular among cooks in the kitchen.
Quartz countertops are extremely durable. They’re resistant to scratches, stains, and chips—the three biggest threats to countertop surfaces. Countertops are also heat resistant, at least as long as heat is not applied directly to the quartz. This is where laminate countertops stand out, surviving even below 500 degree.
Quartz is highly resistant to abrasion under normal conditions, and the uppermost wear layer of laminate has long been its weak point. This can be a problem since sharp objects such as knives are prominent in the kitchen.
Laminate countertops are fragile. Plumbing issues require immediate attention, leaving them unattended for long periods of time can lead to warping.
Engineered quartz countertops like GEORGESTONE™ can meet the demands of a busy kitchen. It’s also nearly impossible to scratch or dent, so dropped objects, knives, or regular use won’t damage it.
Prolonged exposure to relatively low temperatures, even as low as 150F, can damage both materials, laminate and quartz countertops.
Placing a hot, dry pan on either surface could burn it. Thermal damage to quartz is difficult to repair. Burnt or charred laminate cannot be repaired.
Both materials, laminate and quartz countertops, are generally durable and highly stain-resistant, and neither requires sealing like natural stone. One of the main attractions of house quartz as a home material is that it is virtually indestructible.
Since it’s engineered rather than extracted from the earth, it’s non-porous, meaning it’s extremely difficult for anything to get to the surface. Therefore, it is highly resistant to stains and is also a hygienic material for food preparation.
Conclusion: Laminate is the clear price winner, with laminate countertops ranging from $8 to $20 per square foot. The price of quartz countertops is $95 per square foot, but more economical quartz countertops cost $50 to $75 per square foot.
Quartz countertops cost between $2,000 and $3,900 to install in an average kitchen, while laminate can cost around $1,600.
Made of plastic and particle board or kraft paper, laminate countertops can cost between $25 and $35 per square foot for the material alone. If you want custom edging, it will cost about $5 per foot.
Installation costs will depend on factors such as whether you need to remove and dispose of the old countertop. In general, expect to pay at least $30 per hour for installation that will take no longer than 1 day.
Remember, this is money you will never see again because laminate countertops will not add resale value to your home!
Quartz can range in price from an affordable $40 per square foot material to a mid-range $50 material and the best $80-100 and up.
Even more moderately priced quartz countertops will serve you better and add more resale value to your home than laminate.
As long as you get it from a quality manufacturer like GEORGESTONE™, you’ll have a surface that will last a lifetime. In addition to material costs, installation costs approximately $70 per hour.
Any laminate that attempts to close the quality gap between quartz and laminate must also be installed professionally.
But for handy homeowners, laminate is an easy-to-use material that can be cut and polished using standard woodworking tools.
If you have the skills for the job, it can be very cost-effective to make a laminate countertop yourself. While you’ll have fewer options, it’s also possible to buy laminate pre-attached to MDF, complete with hemming or edge banding.
Nearly all quartz counters and most quality laminate counters are professionally installed. It can be difficult for homeowners to acquire the skills required to manufacture and install quartz countertops.
Even with skill, it’s a heavy material that may require more than one person to lift it, and possibly some specialized tools. If you need to cut lumber, it is highly recommended that you get a professional to do the job.
Likewise, if you are inexperienced or not confident in your DIY abilities, you should definitely consider hiring a contractor to do the installation. Yes, there is an upfront cost to this. But by outsourcing this work, you will have added peace of mind that no damage will be done, thus avoiding any more expensive repair bills.
Of course, installation costs will vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the edge treatment you choose, and whether any leveling is required before adding the counter.
The gap between quartz and laminate countertops has been narrowing. Premium laminates are racing to catch up to quartz’s broad customer acceptance and market share. Homeowners who once might have flocked to quartz may now find themselves revisiting laminate counters, too.
While quartz countertops may add more value to a home than laminate countertops and they are more durable, laminate countertops are less expensive to install and have other characteristics that work in their favor.
Laminate and quartz countertops each have their own characteristics. So in the end it comes down to preference and design choice.
Laminate can come in a variety of colors, but quartz is surprisingly durable. Laminate is very heat resistant, but quartz has a beautiful stone quality.
Go with your instincts and your business project is likely to be a hit in the market.
Are you interested in upgrading your laminate countertops to GEORGESTONE™ Quartz? Get in touch with our team to find out how quartz countertops can upgrade your home.