Since the majority of people have stressful lives, turning to food to find solace is not a distant possibility. And what did some people say about “if you can’t stand the heat, move out of the kitchen”? Burned-out people say go in there…and stay!
And when sometimes good food is not enough, the stylish looking kitchen might complete the trick.
Laminate countertops are made from layers of plastic that are bonded to particleboard to create a solid countertop surface. They are produced in a highly mechanized and automated system where one machine feeds the particleboard, another one applies the adhesive to the side of the board and another to the side of the plastic sheet. The result is a clean and finished surface so nice but would not hurt your wallet.
Average Cost of Laminate Countertops
The National average of laminate countertops prices for 30 square feet laminate countertops is $600 – $1200 or $20-$40 per square foot.
Low-grade materials are $450-$550 or $15-$18 per square foot and $1250-$1600 or $40-$50 for high quality.
Lamination becomes expensive when there are a lot of corners, beveled edges, or you have an exceptional taste for design. The color is hardly a factor, but the type of finish, quality, and durability of the top protective layer will certainly affect the price.
Difference Between Low-Cost and Expensive Laminate?
Like all other materials, low- and high-cost laminates differ regarding quality. High-cost products have sophisticated finishing compared to low-end. The latter also comes in great variety of colors, texture and they often come with a built-in backsplash or the upright surface, often made of tile, behind a kitchen counter, sink, or stove, that protects the wall from damage from splatter due to kitchen and sink activities.
Cost of Installation of Laminate Countertop
Installers usually charge $30 – $40 per hour and can complete a project in a day (8 labor hours) or $240-$320 for labor charge for the actual installation. But expect some additional cost for other “clocked activities” relevant to the preparation.
What is Included?
The cost to install laminate countertops if you hire a full-service installation according to Homewyse would include:
- Mobilization and demobilization of materials and equipment to be used
- Cost to prepare the worksite, including costs to protect existing structures
- Job cleanup and debris removal after completion of the project. Make sure it is specified in the contract. If not, expect additional charge for this endeavor
- Labor charges. Usually, an installation contract contains minimum hours in which to complete the project. Whether or not you met the minimum hours, you have to pay the whole labor cost. When they exceeded the minimum time for just reasons, you need to pay the extra hours rendered
- Setup time including all other time consumed in the preparation of the work location. Clock usually starts ticking upon mobilization.
Why Laminate Countertops?
Laminate countertops can parallel or mimic other expensive kinds in terms of appearance. It can be used in a variety of spaces at home like kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or in your office such as a substitute for your conventional desk, can be a shop table or as storage where you can put your printer, scanner, copier or even books.
It is very lightweight that it can be easily be cut, shaped and installed even by yourself and would not necessarily need the service of professional installers. It also does not require any special chemicals to clean. If you want to see different scenery every once in a while, you can change it to your desired style without totally hurting your budget since you do not need to replace the whole countertop. So basically it is very cost efficient, unlike the heavy stone countertops.
Unlike the more durable materials, laminate countertops will have to be replaced more often compared to say, marble or granite. But if properly taken care of, the laminate can last for 20 or 30 years. To keep its excellent appearance and durability, never use it as a cutting or chopping board, do not set hot pots or pans on it, and clean it only with laminate-friendly cleanser.
Cost Compared to Other Commonly Used Materials:
Listed below are average the costs per 30 linear feet:
- Laminate – $1,575.00
- Ceramic Tile – $1,850.00
- Recycled Glass- $2,040.00
- Solid Surface – $3,690.00
- Granite Slab – $4,440.00
- Marble – $4,620.00
- Concrete – $5,310.00
Do It Yourself Estimate
Installing your own laminate countertop may not be as easy as 1,2,3 to some people as it requires a lot of patience. It also entails a lot of measuring and a bit of care. But you should be able to finish the project in one or two days depending on your pace.
Laminating your countertop will save you around $350-$500 if you do it yourself rather than hiring a professional installer. Expect the additional cost of $230-$450 for laminate sheet, plywood, adhesive, medium density fibreboard (MDF) and other materials for making 35-40 foot counter if you start from scratch. There are available prefabricated laminates that cost around $50 – $200 per section that comes in 4-foot, 8-foot and corner sections to save time.
Additions to The Above Quotes
Adding backsplash would be $200-$400 per 10 square feet.
- Endcaps or the separate piece of finished material that covers the unfinished edges of the countertop cost $15-$25
- Installation of the sink will add $150 on average.
- Most Laminate countertops are prefabricated and are ready to be installed when they arrive at your doorstep. But if you prefer them to be cut on site to make sure it fits perfectly, you will be charged with up to 30% of the cost.
- You can save on discounts if you install the countertops while remodeling the entire kitchen.
- Removal and disposal of old countertops would be around $500-$800. Removal alone usually costs $100-$150 only.
Classification By Brands
Laminate countertops prices for various brands in the market are as follows:
• FORMICA has its hey days of being a household name in the field of laminates. Its countertops have a semblance of granite, marble, grain and wood. It is easy to clean, durable and has different designs you can choose from. Cost ranges from $210 to $250 per 6 sq.ft.
• VT INDUSTRIES offers easy to install, durable laminates that resemble the look and feel of granite, stone and solid surface $90-$140 per 6 sq.ft.
• BELANGER has been making countertops since 1965 and has grown to become the leader in the postformed decorative laminate countertop industry. They create easy care and low maintenance laminate products $60-$90 per 6 square feet.
• WILSONART is known for creating stone-like designs and an environment-friendly production. They create a scratch and moisture resistance making them five times durable than other laminates. $160 per 6 sq.ft.
• VT DIMENSIONS offers the luxurious stone look, solid surface, and easy care laminate – $40-$110 per 6 sq.ft.
Other Brands to Consider
PIONITE has an extensive range of style and colors, but one of their most recognizable styles is the “Leatherlam” that, as its name suggests, has a genuine leather design.
- CENTURYPLY is known for its fire resistant and heavy duty plastic laminate in variety of patterns and colors
- NEVAMAR features exclusive Armored Protection (ARP®) that resists wear and keeps laminates looking new longer
- ARBORITE has the unique distinction of using 22% post consumer waste as recycled content and does not contain formaldehyde, a compound more popularly known as being widely used for embalming.
- LAMIN-ART is best known for using banana fibers in the production of its layers which is environment-friendly.
You can check out their website for quotations.
As always, you can have your laminate countertops custom-made when your desired specifications are not readily available. The cost will be calculated in the same manner as regular laminate countertop installations with additional charges for extra work done. Latest technologies allow minimization of cuts and almost invisible seams that are not achievable using hand tools alone.