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How Much Does It Cost To Install Laminate Countertops

Typical Range: $792 - $1,623

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Laminate Countertops Price

Homeowners report that the average laminate countertop installation costs $1,180, or between $795 and $1,620 total. They price at around $55 per square foot before installation.

Home improvement stores sell prefabricated 4-foot, 8-foot and corner sections for around $50 to $200 each. The price depends on factors such as manufacturer, color and style. Formica is a brand of laminate countertop available for an average of $25 per square foot but can reach as high as $40 per square foot.

Though they have the same sleek, clean and modern appearance, laminate countertops are not plastic. In fact, laminate is eco-friendly! It’s composed of several paper layers covered with a protective melamine resin top layer. These countertops are light, cheap and easy to work with. And they’re more durable than the ones found in your grandmother’s kitchen!

Laminate Countertop Prices vs. Other Materials

Laminate is the least expensive option for your kitchen. To compare it to the cost of recycled glass, granite and other commonly used materials, let’s look at an average kitchen with 30 feet of countertop.

Countertop Cost Comparison
MaterialAvg. Price for 30 linear feet, installed
Laminate$1,575
Ceramic Tile$1,850
Recycled Glass$2,040
Solid Surface$3,690
Granite Slab$4,440
Carrera Marble$4,620
Concrete$5,310

If cared for properly, this inexpensive material can last for 20 or 30 years. To avoid paying the cost to repair your countertop, don’t use it as a cutting board, don’t set hot pots or pans on it, and clean it with a non-abrasive cleanser.

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Laminate Pricing Per Sheet/Section

Laminate sheets cost from $100 to $300 for a 60 by 144-inch section. Each countertop has a supportive substrate made of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Plywood ranges from $6 to $20 for a 4 -by-8-foot sheet, and MDF is $15 to $45 per 4-by-8-foot sheet.

Buy the laminate itself in sheets longer and wider than your substrate. Be sure you have enough to wrap around the edges.

Plywood vs. MDF Countertop Substrate Pricing Per Sheet

MaterialCostSize
Plywood$6 - $114x8 foot panel, ¾ thick
MDF$324x8 foot panel, ¾ thick

Plywood Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Strong materialHidden flaws possible
Stable supportMay not adhere to laminate
Water and boil proofIf more than one section, must cut grain to match

Advantages and Disadvantages of MDF

ProsCons
Smooth feelMay not hold up to extreme temperatures
Consistent appearance
Can cut grain in any way

For the best of both worlds, layer the substrate with plywood on the bottom for good, strong support and MDF on top for a smooth surface. As long as you build it up to about 1 ½ inches, you will have a good surface to apply the laminate.

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Formica Countertop Costs

Formica countertops are $30 to $40 per square foot,installed. Cost can vary depending on which line of material you choose from your home, and whether you choose to DIY or have the countertops professionally installed.

Long known for their boomerang patterns of the 1950’s and 60’s, these surfaces now look like granite, wood and other textures. They’re cheaper than real granite, wood and marble surfaces, and some say Formica counters are better than the real thing. They have two top-selling lines that many people request:

  • 180FX is a marble pattern and comes in larger sections than traditional laminates.
  • PremiumFX is available in five premium finishes.

Customers can also choose to upgrade to Formica IdealEdge for premium edges like ogee and bullnose. This will increase the price.

Formica Prices Per Square Foot

Formica runs between $15 and $40 per square foot of materials. You can expect to spend about $25 per square foot on average. However, premium edges like Formica IdealEdge and premium finishes like Crystal and Natural Grain can increase the price of materials.

Cost to Install or Replace Formica Countertops

Expect to pay $30 to $40 per hour for professional installation, or $30 to $40 per square foot. If you plan to have a professional remove and dispose of old countertops, expect to add $500 to $800 to the total cost of your project.

Formica vs. Granite Costs

Formica materials are about $25 per square foot but can cost as much as $40 per square foot. Granite is more expensive, at between $40 and $60 per square foot. The cost to install granite is also higher because the slabs are heavier and nearly impossible to DIY.

Other Manufacturers and Styles

There are a few other major brands when it comes to laminate countertops.

Pionite:

  • Residential laminates that come in a wide array of styles and colors, as well as specialty and custom designs.
  • One of their most interesting styles is “Leatherlam”, a style with a sheet of genuine leather as its design surface.
  • Other styles include Abstracts, Solids, Wood and Stone -- each line with its own distinct look.

WilsonArt:

  • Known for attention to detail in creating stone-like designs.
  • Leader in environmentally-sustainable production.
  • WilsonArt’s HD line offers dramatic designs and textures combined with a finish that is five times as durable as other laminates.

Patterns, colors and edge styles vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some industry standards such as beveled, bullnose and ogee edges remain the same. Samples are cheap if not free, so get as many as catch your eye and see which fits best with your design plan.

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Pros and Cons of Laminate

ProsCons
Laminate is inexpensive and attractive.Cuts and scratches easily when faced with sharp implements.
Wide variety of textures and colors allow it to be capable of mimicking even the most expensive stone.At risk for damage from hot pots or pans.
Doesn’t require any special chemicals to clean.Will turn dull if not cleaned and maintained.
Generally durable for everyday use.Will not add value if you’re looking to sell your house.
Easy to change the style instead of replacing the whole countertop.

Laminate consists of several layers not counting the substrate. These are:

  • Melamine backing: glued to the substrate.
  • Core: a pressed layer saturated in resin.
  • Kraft paper: a resin-saturated layer providing the smoothness or texture of the decorative layer.
  • Print film: the decorative layer that has the pattern on it.
  • Melamine wear layer: the topmost clear layer that protects the countertop.

DIY Laminate Countertops

Installing a laminate countertop is a moderate DIY job. It requires a bit of care and effort and a lot of measuring, but the good news is that if you take it easy, you should be able to do it in about a day or two. 

But if you’re nervous, hire a local laminate countertop installer to get the job done right.

Materials: $50 to $200 per section

Home improvement stores sell prefabricated sections of laminate countertop for about $50 to $200. They usually come in 4-foot, 8-footand corner sections. The price depends on factors such as manufacturer, color and style. Installing this yourself can save you around $1,000.

Supplemental materials: $30 to $60 total

  • Silicone glue
  • Drill
  • Pencil to mark with
  • Straight edge
  • Mounting screws

The delivery is the only part of this project that you can't do yourself. Any countertop can break if transported incorrectly, so leave it up to the professionals. The cost of the delivery will vary depending on who delivers it, how far they must travel and how difficult it is to deliver to your home.

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In Conclusion

Laminate countertops are not the dated look of days gone by. Manufacturers have kept up with the times -- and even stay ahead of the times by using waste material and recycled paper. Take another look at this lightweight, inexpensive material and see what a valuable heavyweight it can be for your countertops!

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  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

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