Quartz Vs Laminate Worktops

A kitchen worktop with text saying quartz vs laminate worktops

Quartz Vs Laminate Worktops – Which is Better?

In this article, we give you provide a complete quartz vs laminate worktops comparison, so you are well informed before you start renovating your kitchen.

Thanks to their admirable durability, design versatility and practicality, quartz and laminate are two of the most popular materials for bathroom and kitchen worktops. Nowadays, quality laminates can appear almost indistinguishable from natural and engineered stones, including quartz.

With that in mind, is it ever really worth paying a premium for quartz worktops?

Deciding which material best suits your needs and preferences can be challenging, which is why we explain in detail the similarities and differences between them below.

At Paramount Stone Specialists, we’ve been a leading UK supplier and installer of premium worktops for over 25 years. If you need personalised advice, don’t hesitate to call us.

 

What Are Quartz Worktops?

One of our most highly sought-after engineered stone surfaces, quartz worktops consist of up to 90–95% crushed quartz crystals, with the remaining 5–10% being made up of resins, polymers and pigments. This mixture is subjected to intense pressures to form solid slabs, which are then cured and cut to size to create kitchen and bathroom worktops.

 

What Are Laminate Worktops?

Laminate worktops consist of layers of fabric and paper, which are bonded together with resin under high pressure. The decorative top layer of laminate can feature just about any colour and design, or it can mimic the appearance of materials such as granite, marble and wood. For added durability, the top layer of laminate is usually coated in a protective melamine resin.

 

A Comparison of Laminate and Quartz Worktops

Here’s everything you need to know about the similarities and differences between quartz and laminate worktops in terms of appearance, price, heat and water resistance, durability, maintenance, and installation requirements. If you need more information, we’re only a phone call away.

 

Appearance

Both quartz and laminate are available in a wide range of designs and colours, including designs that mimic natural stone with the use of veining. 

An advantage of laminate is that you can also roll laminate over worktops to make them show what appears to be a cross-section of stone.

Quartz worktops look closer to real stone and have a higher quality appearance than laminate worktops. Laminate is often easy to recognise and viewed as cheap. It can actually reduce the re-sale value of a house because it is viewed as an inferior product, unlike quartz which increases the house’s value.

Overall, quartz wins the most points when it comes to appearance; while laminate is becoming increasingly realistic, it may never be able to replicate the visual depth and premium appearance of quartz.

 

Price

When it comes to initial purchase price, laminate is the clear winner over quartz. In the UK, quartz worktops cost an average of £375 per square metre (including installation fees). On the other hand, laminate worktops cost between £20 and £50 per square metre (not including installation fees – you might not need to pay for a professional installation).

As you can see, laminate is far more affordable to purchase than quartz. But value isn’t determined solely on retail price.

As you’ll find out below, quartz is far more hard-wearing and durable than laminate, meaning it might turn out to be a better value investment in the long run.

 

Water Resistance

Quartz worktops are non-porous, which makes them 100% waterproof without the need to be sealed. Natural stones like marble and granite need resealing periodically in order to remain free of stains and discolouration.

While the top exposed surface of laminate is highly water resistant, the materials below the top sheet are often not. If water manages to penetrate the edges or seams of your laminate worktops, swelling and warping can be unwanted consequences.

The bottom line is – quartz is the superior material when it comes to waterproofing, making it ideal for worktops, sink surrounds and even windowsills.

 

Heat Resistance

The quartz particles in quartz worktops are highly resistant to heat, but the resin and polymers also found in quartz worktops are not. If you place hot plates and pans directly on the surface of quartz worktops, you can cause permanent damage in the form of cloudiness and blistering. Unfortunately, burnt quartz worktops can be challenging to repair and may need replacing in their entirety. 

The top sheet of laminate worktops is relatively resistant to heat, but the wood and paper bases beneath the top sheet of laminate are not. When exposed to high heat, it’s possible for the laminate sheet to delaminate from the wood. Singed or burned laminate cannot be repaired.

Overall, both laminate and quartz worktops are susceptible to heat damage. It’s best to avoid placing hot cookware directly on top of either surface.

If this is a major factor for you, you may like to concider granite, sintered stone or ceramic worktops as alternative worktop choices.

 

Durability and Maintenance

Under normal conditions, quartz is extremely resistant to abrasions such as chips, scratches and cracks. If you manage to scratch the surface of your quartz worktop, our professionals may be able to sand and buff it, returning it to a near-new condition. Both quartz and laminate worktops are easy to clean.

The surface of laminate worktops scratches fairly easily. Sharp objects such as knives can easily slice into laminate, and abrasions cannot be simply sanded out. 

Overall, laminate is more supceptible to damage than quartz, requiring more repairs and upkeep.

 

Installation

Quartz is a heavy material that can be challenging to handle and install. In most cases, you’ll need to hire professionals to carry out the installation.

While it’s a good idea to let the professionals install laminate worktops, many types of laminate can be installed without help (and mistakes will be less costly). 

 

Quartz vs Laminate Worktops: The Verdict

If you’re looking for budget-friendly worktops that are easy to install, laminate worktops may be the solution for you. However, if you’re looking for kitchen worktops that are highly durable with a premium look and feel, quartz is likely to be a better option for you.

Overall we believe quartz worktops to be a better investment as you will have higher quality, more asethetcially pleasing worktops that will require less repairs and replacements over time.

If you need any advice, we encourage you to reach out to us. At Paramount Stone Specialists, we’ve been helping businesses and homeowners choose and install the perfect premium stone worktops for the better part of three decades, so you can trust us for honest advice. Call 01482 585600 or email us at info@paramountstone.co.uk for quick assistance with your enquiry.

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