Laminate vs Granite Countertops
In terms of kitchen countertop choices, granite and laminate countertops are very, very different.
Granite is a natural stone that is quarried out of the ground and then cut and polished to size, whereas laminate for counters is usually cheaper pressed woods coated in countertop laminates sheets (thin plastic-like veneers) that are printed according to your design.
Because of their different origins, granite and laminate countertops have very different properties in terms of heat and scratch resistance, stain resistance, aesthetic, and price.
Here we look at Granite vs Laminate Countertops in detail to see which one is best for your home!
Granite vs Laminate Countertop Comparison Chart
Free Countertop Chart
We Compared Marble, Granite, Laminate, Solid Surface and Quartz Countertops!
Pros and Cons of Granite and Laminate Counters
So, when it comes to granite vs laminate, which one fares better?
Here are the main upsides and downsides to these two countertop materials:
- Available in basically any color/pattern
- Can be seamless if professionally installed
- Cheap ($10 to $30 per square foot)
- Easy to swap out for a new look
- Can be made to look similar to granite, quartz countertops etc.
- NOT VERY DURABLE
- NOT VERY RESISTANT TO HEAT (only up to 150°F)
- CAN AGE BADLY
- LITTLE RESALE VALUE
Laminate is cheap, even if you're going for the brand name Formica countertops. If you're looking to get a new kitchen on a budget, then a laminate countertop is probably best for you. Laminates for countertops come in many different colors, prints, and styles (including imitation granite) so their designs are very versatile for a wide range of kitchens.
If you get laminated countertops installed professionally, they can be made to look seamless, which is great for larger kitchens. Because laminated countertops are made with plastic-like laminate sheets, it's also easy to replace them with new ones when you're looking to remodel your kitchen and change things up.
However, the cheapness of this countertop material has its downsides.
Laminate is not one of the best countertop options if you do a lot of cutting, slicing, and cooking with hot pans. The laminate sheets will be easily cut by knives, and the inner wooden core is not particularly robust when compared to granite countertops. Laminate can also only handle temperatures of 150°F (65°C) and adds little value to your home.
- Naturally unique colors and patterns
- Very durable and scratch-resistant
- Very heat-resistant (up to 1200°F)
- Great for the home's resale value
- Timeless look
- Lasts for decades with the right maintenance
- Can be extended up as a backsplash
- STAINS IF NOT SEALED REGULARLY
- MAY HAVE SEAMS IN LARGER KITCHENS
- LIMITED COLORS AND PATTERNS
- EXPENSIVE ($50 to $100+ per square foot)
Granite is literally taken out of the ground, so the specific patterns, colors, and veining details are specific to each unique granite slab. While there are many different types of granite you can buy, they will never be exactly uniform with each other because they come from natural stone.
However, these natural stone countertops are VERY durable. A granite countertop will not scratch easily, and it can handle temperatures of up to 1200°F (648°C), so it's perfect for if you use a lot of hot pans and baking trays in your kitchen. Granite countertops don't require a Butcher Block – they can handle the heat of pans and baking trays.
Granite countertops also have a timeless look – you'll find them in both modern and traditional kitchen designs, making granite countertops one of the most popular kitchen countertops of all time. They're also a great selling point when you're thinking about your home's resale value on the market.
However, granite is pretty expensive to buy.
Furthermore, granite countertop surfaces need regular sealing in order to remain stain-resistant – this is a maintenance process performed once every 1-5 years where the natural pores of the granite stone are “sealed” with a sealer fluid to make the kitchen countertop surface more impervious to stains.
Is granite better than laminate?
Yes, granite is better than laminate.
Granite has a higher heat resistance than laminated counters, it's much stronger than laminated counters, and it become resistant to stains too if you seal it and maintain it regularly. Granite also adds more value to your home and fits it with a wide range of both classic and modern kitchen styles.
However, it costs a lot more than laminated counters do.
Are laminate countertops cheaper than granite?
Yes, laminate countertops are much cheaper than granite.
Laminated countertops cost around $10 – $30 per square foot on average, while granite countertops cost $50 – $100 per square foot on average.
If you're going for high-end granite countertops made from rare slabs of the natural stone, you could pay upwards of $200 to $300 per square foot.
Can laminate countertops look like granite?
Yes, laminate countertops can look like quartz, granite, solid surface, and many other kitchen countertops with the right print.
It's quite common to get laminated countertop designs that are meant to imitate other countertops materials. However, they will never look as good as the real thing.