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Stone countertops today occupy center stage in the remodeling industry, but during the 1950's, Formica was the countertop of choice. Formica countertops may not be the novelty that they once were, and new synthetics such as solid surface provide better performance. Nevertheless, a combination of durability, easy maintenance, customization, and affordable pricing still make Formica one of the most popular countertop materials in the country.
What is Formica?
Formica, actually a type of laminate, has a core made from recycled wood pulp, paper, and synthetic polymer resin. The part of the countertop that you can see is also made from paper. Actually, it's a type of high-grade print paper, which is why Formica countertops are so customizable. Any pattern - from solid colors to stone imitations - can be printed on the paper with a high degree of fidelity.
The printer paper receives a resin coating and after that, the decorative layer and the core are pressed together and heated in a special machine. The heat allows the resins to spread and bond together, resulting in a single, hard, compressed final unit.
When installed, a Formica countertop is attached to the substrate with contact cement and the excess is trimmed off.
Formica countertops offer homeowners the following benefits:
- Formica can simulate the look of other, more expensive countertops such as granite, marble, and quartz at a fraction of the price.
- It is one of the only countertops to incorporate a seamless backsplash that protects walls and cabinets from spills and water damage.
- In addition to providing hundreds of design options, Formica allows you to further customize your kitchen or bathroom countertop with different edge profiles, including decorative bevel and ogee edging as well as a practical no-drip profile.
- Formica is non-porous, so harmful bacteria won't imbed in the countertop and spread to your food preparation areas. The material resists stains and spills and cleans up easily with soap and water. A wear-resistant topcoat holds up well to scratches and abrasions.
- With Formica countertops, repairs can be completed in just a few hours. By applying a special filler, sanding the countertop, and spraying on a new topcoat, you have what amounts to a brand new counter. Far cheaper than countertop replacement, refinishing is yet another way Formica can save you money.
Formica Countertop Costs
- Formica countertops cost, on average, $15 to $25 per square foot installed, although some countertop varieties can reach as high as $45 per square foot installed. For an average 2ft x 8ft Formica section, expect to pay $240 to $640. For an entire kitchen with 30 square feet of counter space, you're looking at a total estimated cost of $450 to $1,200.
- Actual costs might be slightly higher or lower depending on your location, the materials selected, your kitchen dimensions and layout, and other factors.
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