Choosing Countertops: Laminate
Budget-friendly laminate sheds its dowdy reputation thanks to new, stylish prints and patterns.
By: Alice Daniel
Once considered dowdy by designers, laminate has come a long way and is one of the best options for the budget conscious buyer. "I think it's a great product. There are some beautiful styles out now; you can't even tell they're laminate," says designer Jennifer Gilmer, of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. in Chevy Chase, Md. Known by its brand names – including Formica, Wilsonart and Nevamar — you can even install laminate yourself.
Scratches tend to be more visible with dark colors. If you love a rich color, find a pattern that will help disguise scratches. The boomerang style looks great in a retro kitchen.
Rinse after cleaning to avoid soap rings. Laminate is susceptible to heat and standing water. No sealing is required.
$25-$60/lin. ft., installed.
Choosing Countertops: Manufactured Quartz
Low-maintenance and lovely, quartz countertops suit a variety of design styles.
Choosing Countertops: Natural Stone
Natural stone is a classic choice for kitchen countertops, but it does require maintenance.
Choosing Countertops: Stainless Steel
The clean, attractive look of stainless steel works in both traditional and contemporary kitchens.
Choosing Countertops: Concrete
Concrete's organic look suits both modern and rustic kitchens.
Tips for Choosing the Right Countertop
There are many more options for countertops than laminate. Here are some tips on how to choose a countertop that's right for you.
How to Paint Laminate Kitchen Countertops
Do you want to remodel your kitchen, but can't afford natural stone countertops? Consider using paint to get the high-end look of granite.
How to Repair and Refinish Laminate Countertops
Learn how to repair scratches, gouges and chips; plus get the lowdown on paints and refinishing kits made to transform old countertops.
Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertops
Searching for the perfect surface doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some pointers about the most popular countertop materials.
Choosing Countertops with Confidence
Designer Heidi Karpa helps you determine your design profile so you can choose countertops with confidence.
Guide to Selecting Bathroom Countertops
Bathroom surfaces don't have to be as buff as the ones in the kitchen, so you can focus more on style and design.
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