Kitchen Countertops / September 29, 2018 / Alfred Johnson.
Engineered quartz is the style chameleon of countertops. Whether you love modern or traditional, apple green or ecru, honed or polished, flecked or patterned, quartz’s myriad options will have you covered. Engineered quartz is also easy to maintain, nontoxic and nonallergenic — there’s not much to dislike about this stunning man-made material.
The basics: Plastic laminate countertops consist of a wafer-thin finish adhered to a plywood or particleboard substrate. That thin finish is a high-pressure laminate (HPL); it’s made of three layers of material bonded together by high heat and pressure: a clear melamine top for protection, a decorative layer and a backing made of phenolic resin-coated kraft paper. Well-known laminate manufacturers include Formica, Wilsonart and Nevamar.
Disadvantages: Keep your cutting boards handy, as knives can wreak havoc on the melamine finish. And trivets should be used with hot pans, as the lamination is heat resistant to just 150 degrees.
The basics: Engineered quartz is a man-made product formed from roughly 90 to 95 percent ground quartz and 5 to 10 percent resins and pigments. Commonly found brands include Caesarstone, Silestone, Zodiaq, Cambria, Technistone, HanStone and Q. Several manufacturers have upward of 40 options, like colors from bright red to earthy linen and patterns from crocodile to concrete.
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