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August 14, 2019

Common Questions About the Durability of Plastic Laminate Countertops 


plastic laminate countertopsLaminate countertops have been around for many years and have become somewhat of a kitchen standard due to their affordability.  However, when debating between this material and other options for the kitchen, one of the topics that invariably comes to mind is how durable plastic laminate countertops are.  Can they hold up against the wear and tear of everyday use, or do they rapidly become damaged, making a more long-lasting material a better investment?  The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the durability of plastic laminate countertops.  Let them help you to decide whether this material will suit your own home improvement needs, or whether the installation of another option will be more  appropriate.

How resistant to scratching are plastic laminate countertops?

Plastic laminate countertops are made out of a material that is ready to face many of the bumps and scrapes that are typical of the regular use of a kitchen surface.  That said, very sharp objects, such as knives, should not be used directly on their surface.  As with virtually every other kind of kitchen counter, it is recommended that you use a butcher block or cutting board between sharp objects and the surface of plastic laminate countertops.   The main risk these counters face while they are being properly used and maintained is from chipping around the edges as they are bashed and bumped against over time.  

How strong are plastic laminate countertops?

Plastic laminate countertops are actually quite strong.  Ruling out chipping from being struck on the edges, the surfaces themselves can last a lifetime when they have been properly maintained.

How moisture resistant are plastic laminate countertops?

Plastic laminate countertops score a moisture resistance rating of about 6/10.  The main issue is not from a small amount of moisture on the surface – such as after it has been wiped down with a damp cloth, or from a spill that has been promptly cleaned – but is instead in the pooling of water that can occur near the edges of the surface which can dissolve the binders of the materials, such as the resins and glues.  By wiping up spills and absorbing any pooled moisture, you can ensure that your plastic laminate countertops will last a great deal longer.

How heat resistant are plastic laminate countertops?

Plastic laminate countertops have a moderate resistance to heat, but it is recommended that trivets, potholders, or another kind of protecting pad be used between the surface of the counters and any hot pots or pans.  Plastic laminate countertops can typically withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  Anything above that could cause considerable surface damage.

How easy are plastic laminate countertops to maintain?

The maintenance of plastic laminate countertops is exceptionally simple.  They never need to be treated or sealed and most stains can usually be removed with mild soap and water on a sponge or rag.  Harsh abrasive cleanser products, scrub pads, and steel wool will cause discoloration to the surface of the counter and should be avoided.  For difficult stains, simply use baking soda and water.

As you can see, plastic laminate countertops have a good durability level, especially considering their relatively inexpensive cost.  As long as certain very simple precautions are taken, they can last a long as any of the other parts of a home improvement renovation in your kitchen.

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