There are many very good brands available, such as Laminex, Duropal, Polytec, Wilsonart, Halifax Vogel, Formica, to name some of the best known.
Most of the best quality laminates are around 1mm thick, and have the capability of being “postformed” or rolled on the edge with a very tight radius. Currently, the two best are probably:
Duropal’s 3mm radius, Quadra profile with a range of 9 colors
Laminex® Squareform® benchtops with a range of 20 colours
Both of these products, while not the only ones we recommend, are at the cutting edge of modern laminate technology and well worth your serious consideration.
Laminates can be had with rolled edges as described above, but these benchtops do have their limitations. They have to be made in straight lines. You can’t roll an edge around a corner, so the minute you require curves, you are best to look at “ABS” edging. This is a modern version of the “old fashioned” square edge your mum or Nana, used to have on her benchtop in the 60’s & 70‘s. These can be used to create any free flowing shape you wish.
The range of edging colors has not yet really caught up with the range of laminates, but there are more than enough to satisfy most people.
Also keep in mind every time you turn a corner with laminate you will require a visible joint.
- Huge range of colours, textures, woodgrains and styles
- Is installed with the cabinets…….no waiting as with stone
- Kitchen is operational at least 2 weeks faster
- Can’t be so easily shaped
- No fancy edge profiling
- At risk of water damage
- Can be scratched, stained marked more easily than stone.
- Very difficult to remove scratches & stains.
- Doesn’t help resale in the same way stone does.
Overall, when the budget is tight it’s a great choice and can give a good WOW factor without the WOW cost.