Kitchen Countertops / September 26, 2018 / Alfred Johnson
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.
Bamboo’s best green feature is that it’s a rapidly renewable resource, plus it’s naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods. Teragren, one of the best-known producers, offers an FSC-certified product called FSC-Pure. Be aware, though, that almost all commercial bamboo comes from China, so a lot of energy goes into transporting the product to the United States.
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