In response to customers wanting the look of granite and quartz, laminate manufacturers have developed new styles that closely emulate the colour and pattern. One manufacturer has actually produced their patterns from digital photos for slate, marble, granite and quartz.
Laminates are an inexpensive way to get the timeless look of stone. This is an important consideration as tastes change and as much as homebuyers look for granite and quartz, they may not be willing to pay a higher price for a kitchen that has it. In smaller, entry-level homes, the cost may be disproportionate to the home cost.
Not only is laminate a significantly lower cost material than stone it is much easier to install. Before measuring and ordering up the material, the cabinets need to be fully installed, after which production typically requires 2-3 weeks. That’s a long time to be without a work area in your kitchen. With laminates, the pieces can be produced ahead of time and after cabinets get installed, final measurements taken and the countertops trimmed as required.
- Stone patterns emulate both colour and texture, which can range from the subtle to the dramatic. Look for combinations that work with cabinets and wall colour.
- Stone looks are great for hiding marks and general wear-and-tear.
- The laminate finish ranges from gloss, typical of marbles and granite to duller finishes to simulate the sheen of slate and other rugged stones.