Oakland Laminate Counters

by Jon Nunan

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When picking out the counter material for a kitchen or bathroom remodel, your decision should take into account several factors. Looks, performance, and durability are certainly worth considering, but for many homeowners, the biggest consideration is price. In Oakland, laminate counters are far and away the least expensive option on the market. When you add their low price to the wide array of appearances they are available in and their surprisingly solid performance under normal kitchen and bath conditions, it is easy to see why installing laminate counters in Oakland is an option that many homeowners find very appealing.

Benefits of Oakland Laminate Countertops
While there's no denying that there are several other counter materials that are generally viewed as 'better' (natural stone counters like granite and marble instantly come to mind), there are several reasons other than price that make convincing arguments for installing laminate counters. Oakland homeowners with a taste for flair or luxury will probably not find what they are looking for in laminate, but for Bay Area residents who just want a good counter that performs far better than its price might imply, there are a few things laminate counters offer that you might not be aware of.

Though not as flashy as granite or quartz, laminate countertops are actually superior in some ways. They are extremely low-maintenance; when compared to natural stone counters that must be sealed and resealed to protect them from permanent stains, laminate requires far less upkeep. Though it is easier to put a hole in a laminate counter than it is a natural stone one, laminate won't crack under sudden impact in the same way as stone (stone is difficult to crack under normal circumstances, but can be irreparably damaged by an acute impact; this is of particular concern on the West Coast during an earthquake or tremor). Oakland laminate countertops are also available in a far wider variety of styles and colors than any other counter material on the market.

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Drawbacks of Oakland Laminate Counters
Since they aren't as strong as other counter options, laminate will have a few downfalls that aren't present in a more expensive material. Laminate counters, especially those that are light colored and have a shiny finish, are not well suited to knife-work. Though they are easier to scratch than other counters, using a cutting board and opting for a darker, less glossy finish can do wonders in preserving the surface of laminate counters. Oakland residents should also avoid placing very hot objects directly on their laminate counters as they are susceptible to heat damage.

Prices of Oakland Laminate Countertops
Both in initial installation and in repair, laminate counters are far less expensive than any other option available. For example, in Oakland laminate counters are likely to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 to install, while we've seen natural stone counters in Oakland go for as much as $10,000! When it comes to repairs, the national average for laminate counters is just under $400, while natural stone counter repairs average over $500, if they can be repaired at all. The fact is that when damage is done to a stone slab, many times the only option you have is replacement. Though there are certainly more durable countertop options for homeowners in Oakland, laminate countertops are inexpensive enough that they can generally be replaced (sometimes multiple times) before they reach the initial cost of a solid surface or natural stone counter installation!

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.