Formica Solid Surface Countertop Prices
Formica is a registered and trademarked product discovered by a New Zealand company in 1912. The company, called Formica Group, was founded by former workers at Westinghouse who created a wrapped woven fabric, covered it in Bakelite and slit it, flattened it and cured it in a press. The workers started their own company in 1913 and patented the product. Today, Formica is produced from somewhat different materials using a more efficient industrial process.
The average minimum cost to install Formica solid surface countertops is $20.85 per square foot.
The average maximum cost to install Formica solid surface countertops is $29.54 per square foot.
In addition to the cost of the Formica solid surface countertop, there are some added costs to homeowners who begin this project. Supplies needed for installation include screws, nuts, bolts and adhesives. These supplies add an average of $2.85 per square foot of finished surface. Professional installation of the Formica countertops averages $66.50 per hour. To install 100 square feet of finished Formica solid surface countertops, professional installers require about 15 hours of time. This includes time to create two edges, one sink cutout and one faucet cutout. Installing Formica solid surface countertops in a more complex configuration requires more time for the work crew.
Today's Formica is comprised of phenolic resin and a paste of cellulose powder or kraft paper to form what the industry calls a unified core. Cover sheets impregnated with melamine are fastened to the top to form a press pack. Pigment is added to the unified core to enhance the appearance of the finished product. A sculptured metal press edge can be added around the perimeter of the decorative top sheet to produce a formed edge. The metal is adhered to the melamine sheet with furnace cement that can withstand the high curing temperatures. The final result is a smooth and highly polished surface with a decorative metal edge. The newest line of Formica solid surface countertops is designed to look like wood and even includes a non-repeating pattern of what looks like growth lines.
There are many types of Formica solid surface countertops. Each type of the laminate is known by a combination of name and number as assigned by the manufacturer. The name refers to the color, and the number refers to the type of design. Formica solid surface countertops are also available in different finishes. However, not all finishes are available with every color or pattern of Formica solid surface countertops. The finish types include:
Crystal. This is a clear and highly polished surface that allows the pigmentation to show through.
Glossy. This semi-transparent finish is shiny yet subdued.
Matte. This finish is flat and opaque.
High sheen. This finish is most often used on Formica tabletops but is sometimes used on countertops made of Formica.
Formica is available in three grades. The grading of Formica solid surface countertops is based upon the type of phenol resin and paper in the unified core. The grades of Formica are as follows:
High grade Formica Brand Laminate post-forming grade 20/VGP. This grade is meant for commercial use and in applications where high durability and resistance to dents and scratches are needed. It is processed under high pressure.
Mid grade Formica Brand Laminate post-forming laminate grade 12/HGP. This type of Formica is intended for heavy use interior applications such as tables.
General purpose Formica Brand Laminate grade 10/HGS. This is what most countertops are made of, and it is the thinnest and lowest cost grade of Formica.
Formica Group holds the patent to Formica solid surface countertops and related products. Other countertop manufacturers have created similar products. Wilsonart International, Alpi SpA, Consoweld, Norplex-Micarta and Arborite all make similar types of layered laminate solid surface products. Most of these similar products also hold patents for the processes used in their manufacturing. To most homeowners, any laminate countertop is referred to as Formica even if it is produced by a company other than the Formica Group. The Formica Group continues to create and innovate new colors, finishes and styles of solid surface laminates for use on countertops to keep up with the increased demand of homeowners who are remodeling their kitchens.
Advantages of Formica Solid Surface Countertops
The primary advantage of Formica solid surface countertops are their affordability. Formica is one of the least expensive types of countertop available. Formica is highly durable and resists staining from foods and beverages. It can also withstand moderate amounts of heat. Installation of a Formica countertop is not as complex as the installation of countertops made of other materials such as recycled glass or granite. Formica is easy to clean and only requires soapy water and a soft, damp cloth. The non-porous surface does not require sealing or any other maintenance. Because it is non-porous, it is also hygienic in that it does not allow bacteria, viruses or fungi to seep into the material. If the surface of the Formica does become damaged, it is both repairable and renewable by the homeowner or the certified installer. Some Formica products include recycled plastics such as polystyrene, increasing the environmental friendliness of the countertops. The range of colors, patterns and finishes makes it easy for a homeowner to coordinate the look of the countertop with the kitchen's cabinetry and flooring. With so many different combinations and styles, homeowners can achieve a unique look without a high price tag.
Disadvantages of Formica Solid Surface Countertops
Using abrasive sponges or cleaners may damage the surface of the Formica countertop. Although scratches can be buffed out, this leaves a depression in the surface. Using knives or sharp kitchen tools on the surface of Formica can cut or scratch it. Formica is not resistant to heat. Putting a hot pot from the stove onto the countertop could leave a burn mark. Burn marks cannot be removed from the Formica solid surface.
Last updated on Apr 1, 2015
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