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Laminate Vs Quartz Countertops: Best Comparison

[BLOG] Published: 2022-01-29 - Updated: 2022-05-18

Laminate Vs Quartz Countertops

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Laminate Vs Quartz Countertops Laminate Countertops Quartz Countertops Laminate and Quartz Countertop Comparison

Laminate Vs Quartz Countertops: Best Comparison 

Taking on a restoration or remodeling project can be intimidating, and the choices often seem unlimited. One of the most important decisions you'll have to make is which countertop to use and it's not an easy one. There are so many materials to select from, such as granite, stainless steel, quartz, and laminate. You will also find a limitless assortment of colors and designs, which can be difficult to choose from.

Figure 1: A granite laminate countertop installed on an oak kitchen cabinet.

Comparing different materials when choosing a kitchen countertop is very important. This will ensure that you choose something that suits your kitchen design, supports your lifestyle, and works with your budget. Let's compare some of the two most common choices: quartz vs laminate.

Laminate Countertops

Laminated counters are wood worktops made up of two materials sandwiched together. A thick slab of MDF particle board serves as the structural component, which is hidden behind a thin laminate sheet. A clear wear layer protects everything underneath the laminate covering. It is made out of an image layer that closely duplicates wood or stone or just solid colors or patterns.

Laminate cabinets are very common in kitchens. You will also find a high-quality laminate that can also be utilized for countertops. Laminate counters can be personalized in any style you like, providing you with a wide range of aesthetic alternatives to choose from.

Overall, laminated counters are less expensive than quartz counters. The downside to this is that they aren't as sturdy or long-lasting in the kitchen. (The L.E Smith Company, 2020)

ProTip Takeaway. Although the laminate covering is frequently referred to as plastic, this is not the case. Laminate is made out of kraft paper layers and synthetic resins.

 

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are made up of a variety of materials, the majority of which are minerals. They are made up of at least 90% stone particles, such as marble, quartz, and other forms of stone. The minerals are heated and crushed with resin, colorants, and fillers (totaling around 7% of the material's content). These are turned into highly hard, durable slabs.

Figure 2: A close up display showing quartz countertop

Quartz is currently the most popular premium countertop material on the market. These countertops are pricey, but they have a lot of benefits that make people want to acquire them. (Hyundai L & C. 2021)

ProTip Takeaway. The quartz countertop material is homogenous, meaning that it is the same thickness throughout.

Laminate and Quartz Countertop Comparison 

Each material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, which homeowners should consider when picking between the two. Let's take a look at the breakdown below:

Laminate Countertops

Quartz Countertops

Cheap and easy to install

Expensive. Needs a pro to install

Easy to redecorate and change the surface

Low maintenance – very little maintenance required

Resists scratch and burns quite well

Consistent printed colors and patterns

Inconsistent patterns

Not Stain-resistant

Non-porous material (water and stain resistant)

Not heat resistant: Is affected by heat from pots and pans 

Heat resistant: Resists heat from pots and pans

Hard to repair small damage

Hard to repair

Not super durable

Durable. Lasts for decades if cared for properly

 

Cost

For the material alone, laminate countertops cost between $25 and $35 per square foot. Quartz will cost $40 per square foot for entry-level materials, $50 to $75 for mid-tier, and $80 to $100 for the best of the best.

The installation will cost you around $70 per hour, in addition to material prices. Overall, putting quartz in the average kitchen will cost between $2,000 and $3,900. Laminate on the other hand will cost roughly $1,600 to install.

Even a more reasonably priced quartz countertop will outperform laminate and provide more resale value to your home. You'll have a surface that lasts a lifetime if you acquire it from a reputable manufacturer.

Appearance

Quartz countertops may appear to be the best choice if you want your project's countertops to have a natural stone-like appearance. This is because it has a depth and richness of natural stone and veining structure. Quartz does not have layers of plastic in its structure, which results in a much more uniform appearance that does not show through at the edges.

Marble and travertine have a very unique veining and crystalline structure. This structure is better reflected in laminate than in quartz. The veins in premium laminates might roll over the edge of the countertop, resembling a cross-section of natural stone.

Figure 3: A modern, open kitchen.

A higher-quality laminate can mimic the authentic stone-like appearance of quartz at a lower cost. It can also be designed to have a more prominent crystalline characteristic. If you want a wider range of color options, laminate countertops are more colorful than quartz countertops. (Choice Home Remodeling, 2020)

ProTip Takeaway. The thickness of a countertop is determined by the material used. Quartz and stone countertops are typically 2-3 cm (about an inch) thick, whereas laminate countertops are typically 1 1/2 inch thick.

Maintenance

Quartz and laminate counters are low-maintenance because they don't need to be sealed or refinished. Simply wipe them down with water and a light soap to keep them clean.

The difference between quartz and laminate in terms of care comes down to stain and scratch resistance. Laminate counters just like solid surface countertops are attractive. 

They are also prone to staining so spills must be cleaned up every time they occur. They are also not scratch-resistant. They can also be scratched or gouged with regular kitchen knives, and the scratches cannot be removed with refinishing.

Maintaining your new Quartz countertops is simple, especially with their scratch-resistant surface. We recommend cleaning your stone surfaces with a stone countertop cleaner (or mild soap and water). Ammonia-based cleaners should be avoided. (Kitchen Infinity, 2020)

Heat Resistance

Both materials can be destroyed by relatively low temperatures, even as low as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat does not go well especially with laminate countertops. When a hot pan is placed on a laminate countertop, it leaves a mark. The countertop can be damaged by even a few seconds of exposure to a hot pan or pot.

Granite and quartz are far more heat resistant than marble, with granite being the most so. To safeguard your counters, you should still use heating pads and prevent direct heat, although the risk is much lower than with laminate.

ProTip Takeaway. Heat damage to quartz is difficult to repair, and laminate that has been scorched or singed cannot be repaired.

Home Resale Value

Quartz and granite countertops are more quality countertops and are also more expensive than laminate. Many homeowners like these superior materials since by using them your home's value will almost certainly rise.

If you're going to spend money on enhancing the value of your home, these are the two areas where you'll get the most bang for your dollars. When it comes time to sell, you should expect to regain a large portion of your investment, though the exact amount will vary.

Though they may appear to be pricey, laminate countertops are not resalable and do not provide a decent return on investment. These counters are not for you if you want to sell your home quickly and receive a decent return on your investment. These counters are much better than nothing if you need to add a kitchen for a sale.

Fabrication And Installation

Laminate is lighter than quartz because of the materials used and the manufacturing process used. The buyer can choose to install it themselves, however, expert installation is usually suggested.

If you have the necessary expertise in installing your home's laminate countertop can be cost-effective. You'll have fewer options where you will only buy laminate that's already bonded to the MDF and has rolled edges or edge banding.

Quartz requires professional installation that’s for sure. This will increase the cost which is balanced by the material's durability and longevity. 

Quartz countertops are made from a combination of 90% finely powdered quartz and 10% resin and polymers. After that, a template of the countertop is used to cut a huge slab of quartz to size. (The Spruce, 2021)

All these countertop options may be manufactured to seem like a wide range of different worktops. Regardless of which one you choose, you're certain to find a style that complements your kitchen design. When picking between quartz and laminate, your lifestyle and money are the most important factors to consider.

Laminate is a low-cost alternative that can look fantastic and help to complete the aesthetic of your kitchen. If you want it to last, you'll have to be a little more cautious and diligent.

Quartz is more durable than laminate, and its higher cost reflects this. If you have children, enjoy cooking, or entertain frequently, quartz is the clear winner if it matches your needs.

Are You Ready to Choose the Right Countertop

Whether you're just starting to plan your kitchen or getting price quotes, Smart Remodeling LLC is here for you. We are the best kitchen remodelers in Houston, Texas and you can visit us at any time. 

We take pleasure in our unmatched services and products as one of the best countertops installers in Houston. Our cutting-edge technology and concepts ensure that you receive the safest and latest countertops in your home. Get in touch with us today!!

 

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