Laminate Vs Quartz worktops: Handy guide to help you decide

Laminate Worktops Vs Quartz Worktops: Helping you decide

silestone quartz veined

Laminate Vs Quartz worktops. Which one is better? There was a time when laminate worktops used to have poor visuals and could easily wear down. However, the past huge gap between quartz and laminate worktops is narrowing the time has come now, where people have started comparing the two to understand which one is better. Premium laminates are rapidly catching up to quartz’s wide customer acceptance and market share.  People who used to prefer quartz worktops earlier now find themselves considering laminate worktops.

Often prospective worktop buyers are caught confused between choices of material when ordering their new worktop. Arlington Worktops would like to make the decision making easier with this comparison article. Here are the pros and cons of laminate worktops and quartz worktops based on feedback from our customers in United Kingdom and our experience. (Read more comparisons of work-surfaces here)

Quartz Laminate
Pricing Much Higher than Laminate Best Laminates cost as much as low range Quartz.
Color Options Large range of coloured textures available.
Fewer options in Solid colour like White & Black.
Large range of bright solid colours available. Natural patterns and depth in the block is below par.
Warmth Quartz countertops feel colder than Laminate but lesser than Granite. Relatively warmer than Quartz.
Maintenance / Upkeep Quartz is fairly low maintenance. Polishing may be required every year. Scratches and chips easily, even with a kitchen knife. But cleaning is fairly easy.
Looks They call it Engineered Stone and high in quality natural stones. Possible choice for upscale kitchens. High quality and costly laminate options in textured patterns may look like Quartz to some extent.
Resistance Fairly more heat, moisture and chemical resistant. It may retain the stains of hard water, chemicals if it accumulates for a longer period. Resistance to chemicals and fluids is very good. But resistance to heat and physical damages is below par. Resists stains but not stain proof by any means.
Noise Quartz is noisy by composition. Creates similar sounds like heavy glass or granite does. Laminate absorbs most of the sound. Lesser damage to items dropped onto worktops.

To begin with, let’s start with the basics and get to know the two better.  You may like to skip the content if your knowledge of them is already good. Know more about various other worktop materials here.

What is Laminate?  The core of a Laminate worktop is a thick slab of particleboard. Obviously you never get to see because it is covered with a sheet of laminate.  Laminate is a composition of resins and Kraft paper. Even though you may have heard references to laminate as “plastic,” it is definitely not plastic.

What is Quartz?  Quartz worktops are not pure Quartz; rather a melange of materials similar to it.  This a mixture of hard materials like marble, mirrors, glass, quartz, etc bound tightly together by binding resins.  That is why quartz worktops are often referred to as cultured stone or engineered stone and that is a more apt name for the material.

Laminate Worktops Vs. Quartz worktops

Physical looks

  • Color Options:  Laminate worktops available in the UK offer a hundreds of solid colour options as well as graphical patterns and prints. They can easily mimic  stones (like marble, travertine, slate) organic material (like cork, wood & leather) and even paper and fabric.
    Quartz worktops lack the depth of colour, but the consistency in patterns is unmatched, even by granite. You should never have a problem finding the same stone for renovation or expansion.
  • Depth of Stone:  Quartz options are the closest you can get to Natural stone. High-end laminates intended at replicating the appearance of stone are becoming more realistic with time.  But it does not look like laminates will match quartz’s visual depth any time soon, because laminates physically have little depth.

Cost of Laminate worktops Vs Quartz worktops

Traditionally, laminate has been the preference for those depending on affordable worktop material and installation.  As a quick comparison a premium laminate worktop in the UK will cost nearly the same as a low-end quartz countertop.

In the United Kingdom we see quartz costs about 50 GBP to 90 GBP per linear foot, on the other hand laminate costs 20 GBP to 40 GBP per linear foot including installation. You can get the in-stock laminate slabs for as low as 250 GBP for a full L-shaped kitchen counter, each leg measuring 10 foot long.

Durability

Based on our own experience, customer feedback and as per independent testing services test and rate worktop materials for their durability like ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and FIRA (the furniture industry research association) UK, here are some observations on the durability of quartz and laminate materials.

Laminate layer of a work-surface scratches and chips easily, even with a kitchen knife. Normally your salesman would say laminate slabs will last as long as the quartz slabs but we know most people would not want a blemished worktop in their house very long. Your best option to deal with this situation is to buy a textured or natural stone patterned dark coloured laminate slab. This hides cuts and bruises better. Quartz resists physical challenges better than Laminates.

Both materials are almost similarly heat resistant. They can withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees for short duration. They can withstand heat but not flame. Resin and laminate will stain permanently or crack / deform if a pan is pulled onto the worktop directly from the flames and left there for 5 minutes.
Quartz is better resistant to chemicals than Laminates in most cases. Both are easy to clean with household surface cleaners. But harsh chemicals like bleaches should be avoided.

Installation Advantage.

Majority of laminate counters of quality and almost all quartz counters are professionally installed. It is virtually difficult for people to develop the skill set needed to fabricate and install quartz countertops.
However some off-the-shelf laminate slabs may be installed onto existing counters with some effort by home owners without any professional help. But again if you end up doing it wrong, you end up spending more than you thought you could save.

Top brands for Quartz worktops in UK

 

 

References :
https://www.fira.co.uk

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