Today's laminate options offer enhanced performance and look more realistic than ever. With new products from Wilsonart, you can now integrate your sink into your countertop. Decorative edges, such as this beveled treatment, provide more ways to individualize your countertop.
Pro: Laminate countertops can cost much less than granite while mimicking the look. Plus, laminate is nonporous, so there's no need for sealing and resealing.
Con: Though new technology has made laminate more wear-resistant, it's not as durable as stone.
With a small amount of natural granite added during production, engineered composites successfully mimic the look of real stone. Colorants can be added to provide veining, and integrated sinks and backsplashes allow you to customize the look in either matching or contrasting colors.
Pro: Engineered composites look like stone while incorporating the additional benefits of custom shaping, design, and color.
Con: Although most engineered composites cost less than high-quality slab granite, they're more expensive than laminate.
Manufactured from plastic resin composites and available in a variety of colors and patterns, solid surfacing is designed to mimic stone. Countless color and pattern options and the ability to add integrated sinks and a wide variety of edge details give solid-surfacing great design flexibility. Staron solid-surfacing is nonporous, making it highly hygienic and stain and impact-resistant. It's available in many colors and can be formed into almost any shape or size with nearly imperceptible seams.
Pro: Because solid-surfacing can be shaped more easily than natural stone, it is a great choice for counters with curves or odd angles.
Con: Solid-surfacing is more expensive than laminate, and, because it's manufactured from composites, you don't get the same natural veining that you get with actual granite.
Granite-like sheets from Granite Transformations can help you save money by avoiding the time and inconvenience associated with demolition and installation of ordinary slab granite. The sheets are custom-built to fit over your existing laminate countertops and engineered to resist heat, cold, scratches, stains, and more. These surfaces are made by mixing stone with a specially formulated polymer that is cast into lightweight slabs. The slabs are then custom-cut and installed directly over existing countertops. Old countertops can be re-covered in a fraction of the time it would take to replace them.
Pro: With no demolition necessary, the installation process takes as little as one day and eliminates the mess and inconvenience caused by conventional countertop installations.
Con: If you're building a new kitchen or planning a full-fledged remodel that will involve tearing out your existing countertops and cabinetry, Granite Transformations might not save you money.