Plastic and wood counters

Plastic and wood counters are still good to use in your kitchen remodel. Here are some very nice excerpts from Sam Clark’s book Remodeling Your Kitchen so you can learn more about it.

“Almost anything that can be fabricated into a flat surface has been used by someone for a kitchen counter. The ideal countertop would be water resistant, stain-proof, or just into abrasion, easy to clean, and easy to repair.

You’d also be able to cut on it without damaging it. Unfortunately, no single material offers all these properties. Therefore it sometimes makes sense to have different types of conures and different work centers. Not that long ago, most counters were made with plastic laminates, such as formika, but in recent years much more expensive materials have become popular. Solid surface counters, granite, and stainless steel are beautiful and have some practical advantages, but they can add thousands to your project cost.

Though perhaps not quite as fashionable as that used to be, well detailed laminate counters can look great and last a long time in a very moderate cost. Modern laminates consists of several layers of craft paper, which imparts color and pattern, and a tough melamine top layer, all bonded together under heat and pressure. Plastic laminates are available in hundreds of colors and patterns. The laminate used on countertops is about 1/16 in. Thick and is usually bonded to 3/4 inch thick high-density particle board, built up at the edges to achieve the desired counter thickness. At one time, almost all laminate counters had limited at the front engine Splash. Now a wood Edge at the front and a wood or tile Splash are common and, to me, more attractive.

You can make your own laminate counters, but counter shops or lumber yards can make up your counters for you at moderate cost, using your Dimensions or full-scale templates. Wood counters are still my favorite for many applications. Commercial Butcher Block counters are widely available in Maple or Oak, while a cabinet Shopkin custom build a plank top. We’ve made tops and insects in many Hardwoods, including cherry, oak, Ash, and Beach. Softwood such as Pine are not Tough Enough and are too porous these counters won’t stay new looking. Instead they’ll develop a good honest partner. Any oil finish is subject to staining, but food stain such as beet juice will usually go away on their own. On the other hand, iron pots, tin cans, or carbon steel knives, if they’re left on a wet counter, can leave a black Iron stain that can be removed only by scraping down the wood. When the finished look shabby to you, it can be scrubbed down or scraped, left to dry, then refinished.

Counters that will not be chopped on can be finished with an oil-based satin polyurethane or traditional varnish. Such a counter will have to be treated with some care; it won’t be as tough as a laminate or stone top, and hot pots should be placed on it. It can’t take abrasive cleaners, either. But with proper care, a varnished wood countertop is relatively durable and will remain beautiful for years. Treat it like you would a wood floor, renewing the finish on it every few years. Sandy original finish likely to get a good bond.”
Call 734-404-7744 for more information about the entire kitchen remodel process.