Home maintenance tips for your laminate countertops

new-home-countertop-kitchen-bathAlthough laminate countertops were all the rage during the 1960s and 1970s, today laminate countertops are more popular than ever.

Laminate is an affordable option that is easy to maintain, durable and available in lots of colors, designs and shapes.  Some natural looking colors and patterns of laminates are made to resemble granite, slate and other types of stone – at a fraction of the cost.

Some natural-looking laminate countertops feature rich veins that look like minerals running through the design.

When it comes to the edging of your countertops, laminate countertops offer more choices than other materials.  It comes in a wide range of rolled edges, as well as beveled.  And, only laminate can be formed into a seamless cove backsplash to keep all those nasty spills from going behind the cabinets.

As with everything else in a home, laminate countertops require proper care and maintenance to keep them looking and performing their best.  Countertops are made to be used, but by following a few guidelines, the impact of that use can be kept to a minimum.

Most laminate countertops are low maintenance and only require cleaning to keep them looking their best.  Since laminate countertops are non porous, they are bacteria resistant.  Dirt and bacteria can become trapped in the seams, but not in the product itself.  Laminate countertops can be easily cleaned using a soft cloth with water and a mild soap or detergent solution.  Be sure to completely rinse off any soap residue that may be on the surface.  Failure to rinse after cleaning can cause damage; even if a small amount of cleaning solution remains on the surface. A dry residue may be invisible; however, moisture from cups or drinks can reactivate it, and result in permanently etched scars or stains over time.  Dry the countertop after washing to prevent water from pooling.  Prolonged exposure of the laminate surface to bleach will cause discoloration. In addition, using strong chemical cleaners or abrasive scouring pads on the surface is not recommended because they can harm the finish of the countertop causing scratching and blemishes on the surface.

Stained areas can be treated with a baking soda paste. Mix a 3:1 ratio of baking soda and water. Spread over the stain. Let sit 3-5 minutes before wiping away.  Don’t scrub the countertop because, although it’s a mild abrasive, the baking soda can damage the finish of the countertop.  Hair, textile and food dyes can cause permanent stains. If dye should happen to spill, wipe it up immediately with dishwashing detergent or an all-purpose cleaner.  Drain cleaners containing lye will permanently damage the laminate surface. If you spill a drain cleaner, wipe it up immediately and rinse several times with water.

Laminate is made to be burn and scratch resistant, but this does not mean they are burn or scratch proof.   To preserve the look and finish of your laminate countertop, hot objects should never be placed directly on the surface. Always use a trivet or an insulated hot pad to protect your countertop from heat in excess of 275° F.   A one-time slip for a short duration is tolerable at temperatures less than 275° F, but prolonged exposure to heat can cause laminate to separate from the substrate material to which it is bonded or melt the laminate itself.  A scorch mark will appear if you set a hot pan on your countertop.  A general rule of thumb is if it is too hot to set on your hand, then it’s probably too hot to sit directly on a laminate countertop.

Laminate is a strong material, but it can be cut with a knife. Knife cuts can go through the color layer, exposing the brown underlayment. These types of cuts cannot be repaired, so do not use the countertop as a cutting board.

In conclusion, laminate countertops are affordable and durable, not impervious.  By following these guidelines, a laminate countertop will provide years of satisfaction with very little discoloration, fading or marring of the surface.  They are a great choice and value for today’s homeowner.

These tips were meant to provide general information and are worded based on our personal experiences combined with online research. We always recommend calling a licensed, trained professional for specifics including warranty information, code requirements, precise instructional information, etc.  Since we are a new home builder, some products, materials and processes may change over time and may vary in the different locations we build new homes.  

Please refer to your new home warranty paperwork included in your homeowner orientation packet for more information. More home improvement tips can be found here.

Adams Homes is one of the largest privately-held new home builders in the southeast.  Adams Homes has built more than 35,000 new homes since 1991 and builds in seven states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

Discover all Adams Homes communities, model homes and homes for sale anytime on our website, https://www.adamshomes.com/.  While you’re there, explore our mortgage calculator and obtain financing information. 


One thought on “Home maintenance tips for your laminate countertops

  1. Thank you for the help. My wife and I are remodeling our kitchen and are trying to decide on new countertops. I had not realized that laminate is made to be scratch resistant. Is laminate one of the most durable options for the price?

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