Laminate Beyond the Kitchen and Bath

Laminate's look and possibilities have changed through out the years and provide an elegant option for any area of your home. They are an affordable way to give your kitchen an update, without breaking the bank. Available in a seemingly endless array of colors, you can truly make your kitchen your own with laminate tops. Laminate countertops have a large number of edging features. You can decorate your tops with a beveled edge, ribbon edges, wood, or solid surface, along with numerous other edging options to create a unique touch. Additionally laminate is available in different textures, styles and colors to meet anyone taste.

Other places you may use laminate in your home...

•    Craft/hobby rooms
•    Garages
•    Children's Rooms
•    Libraries
•    Family rooms
•    Cabinets, tables, bookshelves
•    Snack bars
•    Showers
•    Bathroom Dividers
•    Workstations

Laminate has long been popular because of the wide array of design options including rounded custom edges on tables and countertops. Because laminate is resistant to minor bumps and bruises, and cleans up with mild soap and water, it's a cost-effective choice on walls and doors, shelves, workspaces, workshops, office, and multiple areas through out your house.

Many homes across the nation have a laminate countertop in their home.
One of the best properties of a laminate top is that the top is non-porous. This makes the your countertop stain resistant because spills are unable to penetrate the surface, create mold or allow bacteria to grow. Because the surface of the countertop is non-porous, it is also very easy to clean as dirt and spills can be wiped from the surface of the countertop using nothing more than a damp, soft cloth.


Laminate offers a variety of custom edge treatments.
Laminate has a lot of style, especially when it comes to countertop edges. Verns can show you a wide range of them—from simple postform to beveled laminate, to wood, to various inlays—at a wide range of prices! It doesn’t take much to make the countertop look elegant.
The variety of styles and the mix of materials that can be used to edge laminate countertops is what gives laminate a real advantage over other countertop materials. Edge treatments make laminate almost indistinguishable from natural and man-made stones. They also let you push the decorative envelope by using wood and solid surfacing-separately or in combination-to countertops and edges with stunning visual effects.

The Basic Edges

The most familiar laminate edge treatment is the "self-edge" or straight edge". This classic edge option is very popular for reception desks or any home office. With the ease of maintaince, this simple edge is always a great option for looks and your wallet.

Because laminate is pliable when heated, it can be easily wrapped around forms to created rounded shapes. This process is called post-forming and it's used to fabricate one-piece countertops incorporating an edge treatment and, sometimes, a backsplash. The most common post-formed edges are the waterfall and the bull nose.
Post-formed tops can have a cove backsplash, or made without a backsplash for a more contemporary look where you can add tile or alternative material.
The waterfall, as the name implies, is rounded on the top – the laminate “falls” over the top to the front edge. The laminate doesn't wrap around, so the overhang is unfinished on the bottom side.
Bullnose edges are fully rounded edges in which the laminate wraps back under the countertop. A variation on the bullnose, called the “double wrap” or "double roundover” has a softened square effect.

Decorative Edges bring out laminate's true potential. There are standard beveled edges and full-front edge molding in which wood or solid surface creates a decorative contrast with the laminate countertop. These are great options for that custom look.
Standard beveled edges are an easy way to give your laminate counter the look of stone. The transition from the front edge to the counter's top appears seamless. For a decorative variation on this theme, choose a contrasting laminate color for the beveled strip.
Full front edge molding provides an almost limitless range of options to express your personality. Both wood and solid surface can be used to create effects. Wood edges can be stained to match your cabinets for an even more elegant look.  Solid surface edge is the right choice if you want to add a splash of bright or contrasting color or pattern. The choice is yours!

  Acrylic Bevel Edge

Laminate Wood Bevel Edge

Wood Bevel Edge

Acrylic Ribbon Bevel Edge

This company has a long history in the surfacing business, and has become synonymous with high- quality counters and kitchen surfaces. Call their customer service hotline at 1-800-433-3222 to order samples.

With over 100 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Formica has become a by-word for surfacing needs. Call their contact center at 1-800-FORMICA (367-6422) to learn more.

Cleaning & Maintenance of Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are cheaper than stone, and for their price, are relatively durable. Damage to laminate countertops is usually caused by misuse or inadequate maintenance. Here is a quick list of what to do, and what not to do, when cleaning a laminate countertop.

Basic cleaning tips

Usually, cleaning a laminate countertop is as simple as wiping it down with a wet cloth or rag, spraying it with a little disinfectant or household cleanser, and wiping it off with a dry cloth.

Both rags should be made of a nonabrasive material to keep from scratching your laminate countertop. Scratches can ruin the countertop's finish and allow moisture to penetrate, opening it to mold and mildew growth, bacteria, and discoloration.

Cleansers should be free of harsh chemicals such as alkalines or acids. Both have an unstable pH, which can wear off a fiberglass laminate. Stronger varieties can even melt it away completely. When selecting cleaning chemicals for your laminate countertop, choose one with a pH of 7, or something close. This is the basic pH of pure water, and is completely neutral.

Some owners like to rinse their countertops. While this causes no direct damage, it is best to keep the moisture at a minimum. Make sure the water does not get into the seams, which is where bacteria tend to grow and where damage usually starts. Moisture can also seep into the backsplash, causing it to rot. Use a spray rather than a wet cloth, so you can easily control the amount and direction of the water.

Cleaning tips for special surface finishes

Laminate countertops come in a wide variety of finishes and coating designs, each with specific needs and maintenance requirements. Laminate countertops with sculpted or irregular surfaces should be cleaned with a brush to remove bits of dirt and small particles from the depressed or elongated areas. Laminate countertops finished with extra gloss require a regular wipe with a mild glass cleaner to keep their finish intact.

What not to do

Never use your laminate countertop as a work table or cutting board. While laminate is water and shock resistant, it is not scratchproof. Use a separate chopping board, and avoid pounding or hammering too hard on a laminate surface.

Never place hot objects, such as hot pans, sizzling dishes, hair driers, and curling irons, directly on your laminate countertop. Place hot pans and dishes on trivets or insulated heating pads to protect your countertop's finish. Hot hair driers and curling irons also should be kept away from laminate countertops in bathrooms. Get a rack or holder to hang on your wall instead.

Never use abrasive cleaning tools, such as pumice stone or steel wool, to scrub off stains on your laminate countertop. These will scrape off your countertop's finish and leave ugly marks. Also, avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals to clean your countertop. Hydrochloric acid (commonly used to clean bathroom and swimming pool tiles) can melt the countertop very quickly.

In order to keep the laminate countertop looking new, any spills, dirt, or food residue should be cleaned from the surface of the countertop as quickly as possible.  Harsh cleaning chemicals are not needed to clean the surface of the countertop properly and abrasive scrubbing tools will only mar the surface of the countertop.  A simple solution of soap and water should be enough to remove even the most stubborn items from the surface of the countertop.

Laminate countertop surfaces are not heat resistant and placing anything hot on the surface of the countertop can cause severe damage to the countertop.  This property of laminate countertops is the one that many homeowners do not think of and is often the cause of the countertop having to be replaced due to extensive damage.  A hot pot or pan should never be placed on the surface of a laminate countertop without some sort of protective item, such as a pot holder or dish towel, placed between the surface of the countertop and the hot item.

There are a number of different items that can damage a laminate countertop because they are susceptible to scratches, nicks, cracks, burns, and breakage.  Laminate countertops are not made from the strongest materials, resulting in the inexpensive cost of the materials, so caution must be used when performing normal chores and activities on the countertop.  Homeowners are advised to avoid cutting food directly on the countertop surface, dropping heavy items on the countertop, or placing sharp objects on the countertop as each of these actions can damage a laminate countertop beyond repair. 
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