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Plastic Laminate is the most popular countertop material. It’s inexpensive, relatively easy to install, and available in a vast array of colors and patterns. Plastic laminate resists stains, water, and mild abrasion very well, but it can be chipped or scratched by sharp knives, and it is not resistant to hot temperature. When it becomes damaged, there is no repair option available except replacement.
More expensive color-through, or solid-core, laminates are similar to conventional laminate. The color of such is solid all the way through and there are no unsightly edges at the joints. In addition to solid colors, there are laminates that offer the look of stone, leather, or wood as well patterns and visual textures. They make minor scratches and spots unnoticeable.
Plastic laminate comes in various grades. The cheapest won’t last long. To get your money’s worth, select the highest quality, which won’t easily chip and stays looking good longer.
To keep it clean, use a mild detergent and damp sponge.
Selected 2009 Cost vs. Value Report Statistics - Average Nationwide Return on Investment:
Deck addition -- 80.6%
Major kitchen remodel -- 72.1%
Bathroom remodel -- 71.0%
New roof -- 60.5%
Family room addition -- 65.3%
Master suite addition -- 65.2%
Source: 2009 Cost vs. Value Report, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2010).