Explore the pros and cons of countertop options.
Plastic Laminates

This versatile material is probably the most widely used countertop material.


Laminates: versatile, inexpensive and
low-maintenance -- definitely something
to consider.

  • Inexpensive
  • Low-maintenance; easy soap-and-water cleanup
  • Resists grease and stains
  • Available in many colors, patterns, and textures as well as prefabricated lengths with built-in backsplash


  • Susceptible to damage from sharp knives and hot pans
  • Dark lines (the laminate's underlayer) may show at edges (non-solid-color types)
  • Damaged areas difficult to repair

Other considerations:

  • To keep laminate countertops looking new longer, reserve them for less-used areas of your kitchen where they'll get less wear and tear.
  • Locate any seams at corners. The stresses at unbroken corners can lead to cracking.
  • Plan to spend $15 to $60 per running foot, installed.

Continued on page 2:  Ceramic Tile