It appears that laminate is experiencing a renaissance!
First things first, what actually is laminate? Essentially, it’s coated paper. No, really! Laminate is a surface material made from paper, coated in a layer of plastic or other protective finish. The result is a versatile, hard-wearing and flexible substrate that can be used for various interior applications. In the case of benchtops, the laminate surface is adhered to a board such as particleboard or MDF.
The colours available are extensive and quite beautiful. Laminate can also be bent around soft curves — showing just how versatile this material is when used creatively. It’s widely available, easy for most cabinetmakers to install, and gives you maximum bang for your buck.
Laminates are available in a huge variety of colours and designs — including solid colours, wood grains and imitation stone. Remember, laminate is made from coated paper, so, when you’re looking at a woodgrain laminate, this is not real timber, but a surface that is printed/designed to look just like timber.
Laminates are hardwearing, budget-friendly, but not invincible. Avoid putting hot pots directly on laminate surfaces, and keep an eye on joins, especially near sinks. Not all laminates are created equal!