Kitchen counters need to be made from a material that suits your cooking needs. But with so many kitchen countertop materials on the market, it can be hard to choose the right material for you.
Solid surfaces (aka “Corian”) and laminate are two of the most popular countertop materials on the market, along with engineered and natural stone surfaces like granite, quartz, and marble.
But who wins when we pit solid surface vs laminate for kitchen counters?
Let’s find out!
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Laminate vs Solid Surface Countertops Comparison Chart
What is the difference between laminate and Corian® solid surface countertops?
These materials may appear very similar at first glance. They actually have quite distinct differences however. We’ll explain exactly what the composition is for both counters.
What is Solid Surface Countertop?
A solid surface countertop is an engineered material made from quartz dust mixed in with various resins, polymers, and pigments depending on the design.
Solid surface countertops can come in many different colors and patterns – you can make them resemble natural stone surfaces like granite and marble.
Solid surface countertops are sometimes called “Corian” countertops. Corian is a type of Solid Surface countertop material created by a company called DuPont in the 1960s, one of the big brand names of solid kitchen counters.
As a result, you may hear generic solid surface countertops referred to as “Corian” despite no association with DuPont.
Solid surface countertops are unique for their ability to be molded to different shapes and sizes, often featuring a dazzling array of twirls, swirls, and curves that wooden or natural stone countertops like granite can’t recreate.
What is a Laminate Countertop?
Laminate counters have a wooden core which is wrapped in several sheets of thin plastic-like veneer – the “laminate”. These plastic laminate sheets comes in various patterns and colors that can be printed especially according to your kitchen design and needs.
The wooden core of plastic laminate countertops is normally a cheaper pressed wood such as MDF or particleboard – they’re not particularly strong counter surfaces when compared to natural stone like granite or marble.
Nonetheless, plastic laminate countertops are very cheap and easy to clean, so they continue to be popular in many kitchens around the country.
It’s also pretty easy to change the design of plastic laminate for counters, so they may be good if you like to change kitchen decor often.
Free Countertop Chart
We Compared Marble, Granite, Laminate, Solid Surface and Quartz Countertops!
Solid Surface Vs. Laminate Pros and Cons
So, what is the best countertop for your money – solid surface countertop or laminated counters?
Solid Surface Countertops
- Very consistent with no seams
- Various patterns and colors available
- Flexible curves, twirls, and swirls possible
- Can resemble natural stone like granite
- Non-porous surface
- Can be used with an undermount sink
- SCRATCHES EASILY
- BURNED QUITE EASILY (212°F)
- PRICEY ($40 to $150 per sq ft)
If you’re looking for a counter that has a very consistent design with no visible seams, then solid surface countertops may be for you. You can buy these counters in many different colors and designs, all of which can be created to be literally seamless for a perfect finish.
Solid surfaces countertops are also good if you’re looking to create a unique kitchen design with flexible curves and swirls.
Although these counters scratch easily, most scratches on solid surfaces countertops can be buffed out no problem. Nonetheless, these counters are expensive ($40 – $150 per sq ft) and they burn fairly easily despite their high price, only withstanding temperatures up to 212°F (100°C).
That’s not very hot by kitchen standards!
- Pretty stain resistant
- Consistent patterns
- Can resemble surfaces like granite & marble
- Cheap ($10 to $30 per sq ft)
- No seams if installed professionally
- Easy to change when remodeling
- NOT VERY DURABLE
- NOT HEAT RESISTANT (150°F)
- CAN LOOK CHEAP
If you’re looking for a cheap kitchen counter, laminate countertops are perfect for you. These are one of the cheapest kitchen counters you can find, costing just $10 to $30 per sq ft.
They’re also perfect for changing designs often – you can easily swap them out for another laminate design. You can view countertop material options here for more inspiration.
When it comes to solid surfaces vs laminate, laminate is terrible for heat resistance. It can only handle temperatures of up to 150°F (65°C) so you definitely need a butcher block if you use many hot pots and pans.
Also remember that laminated counters are very easy to accidentally cut with knives, so it’s not ideal if you do a lot of chopping.