Q. What is laminate, how is it fabricated into countertops? 

A. The best known brand name of laminate is FORMICA brand laminate, however, at Contour Counter Top we also source Arborite, Nevamar, Wilsonart and Pionite brand laminates. Laminates have been around for the better part of 35 years now, and consist of several layers of heated and compressed paper with melamine resin. The top layer is what we see as the color or pattern that becomes your countertop. Today's variety of laminate patterns and colors number in the hundreds and even thousands between our five brands offered. 

Q. What customization techniques exist for laminate countertops? 

A. The most popular type of customization for laminate counters is to implement a custom edge treatment. These edge treatments can either be the addition of a decorative wood edge that can be stained to compliment the chosen cabinetry, or a decorative laminate edge. The most popular type of decorative laminate edge is a beveled edge, using the same color on all three surfaces. Another option is solid surface edges available in multiple colors and profiles. 

Q. What is the cost impact of adding custom edges to laminate countertops? 

A. The cost impact in most cases for the average kitchen might fall within the $200-$400 range, depending on the lineal footage of edge treatment required. 

Q. Do solid surface materials offer greater durability than laminates? 

A. Yes. Solid surface materials offer a vastly different degree of durability and have more user friendly maintenance practices. Most solid surface products come with warranty periods that average 10 years in duration. 

Q. Any other features that are considered desirable of solid surface? 

A. A huge selling feature has been the ability to utilize integral sinks. Integral sinks are made of the same material as the counter surface, are available in solid colors, and are fused in place beneath the surface material creating the appearance of being molded into the countertop. This option eliminates the typical sink rim that protrudes up above the deck of the countertop, and makes for easier usage and cleanup.