Choosing a countertop is a big decision, and it’s certainly not an easy one. However, having all the information, especially your budget and costs can make your job a bit easier. Once you have established the budget, the next thing to do is to identify the countertop that would fit your budget.
There is a countertop option for every budget. Among them are laminate and quartz. Two materials are very popular with many homeowners and builders. Each material has its quirks and characteristics. However, there is a growing trend of incorporating countertops made with recycled materials as it is believed to be more environmentally friendly — learn more here if that is actually true.
Before we compare the prices of Laminate vs. Quartz, let’s talk about these two materials and why they are priced as such.
Comparison Between Laminate and Quartz
Why are we comparing laminate and quartz if not for the cost? Maybe because laminate has come a long way and the gap between the two is getting narrower through the years. Here is what we are talking about.
Laminate countertops are best described as a sandwich of materials. Meaning, it is a thick slab of particleboard that is invisible because it is covered with a thin sheet of laminate. The laminate may look like plastic but it is made from layers of synthetic resins and kraft paper.
Quartz is made from a blend of different materials, the majority of which is mineral. It is made with 90 percent or more stone materials like quartz, marble, or other natural stone. The mineral is a mixture of fillers, colorants, and resin. It is heated and compressed into a very hard and durable slab. A quartz countertop looks the same throughout the entire thickness of the countertop.
Both laminate and quartz give off that stone look that many are after. They duplicate natural stones but with different benefits and drawbacks. They also come in different colors. When it comes to the natural stone’s depth, quartz has the advantage. Although there are laminates that are close to the look of natural stones, it does not come close to the visual advantage that quartz offers.
Synthetic countertops aim to have the distinctive veining and crystalline structure of marble and travertine are better represented in laminates than in quartz. Premium laminates have beautiful veining that rolls over the edge of the countertop.
In terms of colors, quartz has a limited range of colors but with a wider range of flecked colors. Laminate wins this over since it has a broader range of solid colors, ranging from solid colors from pastels to soft whites and vibrant oranges.
When it comes to materials, both are generally durable and impervious. They do not require sealing as a natural stone does. Quartz is abrasion-resistant under normal conditions, while a laminate take is at a disadvantage on its topmost “wear’ layer. This is not helpful, especially in the kitchen because of sharp objects like knives.
Heat resistance is another point of comparison. Both are not impervious to heat and can be damaged even at relatively low temperatures during prolonged exposure. When damaged, both are difficult to repair.
The Most Important Comparison: Cost
We put the most important point of comparison down to the last, the cost. All the qualities of each countertop, laminate, and quartz come at a cost. And depending on the cost of the project customized quartz or laminate countertops prices may fluctuate.
Laminate is the choice for those who cannot squeeze into the budget a more expensive countertop like quartz. This is because laminate is cheaper not only on the material cost but also the cost of installation.
The Cost of Quartz Countertops
Engineered stone or quartz is gorgeous and the closest you can get if you cannot afford marble or granite countertops. Like we mentioned above, it offers a wider variety of colors than granite and can light a candle to its grandeur.
Quartz countertop can cost between $55-$155 per square foot. There is also low maintenance and needs an expert for installation.
The Cost of Laminate Countertops
Laminate is the most affordable choice for countertop material. It can come in a variety of colors and styles and can mimic the look of marble, granite, and other high-end materials. These countertops are attractive and yet durable.
The cost of a laminate countertop can vary anywhere between $15 to $40, and like quartz, it is also easy to maintain. Some laminate countertops can be installed easily while there are custom countertops that need an experienced handyman.
Given this cost comparison between the two, you can readily say that laminate is less expensive right away. The prices may fluctuate but overall, it is cheaper because the material price and the cost of installation are lower than quartz. However, there are also premium laminates that can be found within the price range of quartz.
As you can see the price between quartz and laminate are not far from each other when you compare the two. The material cost is only one part of the issue, you should also add fabrication and installation. These two factors can easily drive the cost of the overall countertop.
How Do We Choose
Therefore, when it comes to price and saving money, you should focus on appearance and durability since both modern quartz and laminate are at par with each other. Look at the factors affecting the price and how you can save money without sacrificing the quality of installation.
You should also consider the maintenance cost for each of the materials and the cost of cleaning products you need to use.
Quartz and laminate countertops each have their characteristics and advantages. Since they are relatively close in price, the choice ultimately boils down to your style preferences and style choices. Laminate is available in a wide selection of colors, but you can depend on quartz for durability.
Laminate has great heat-resistant quality, but in terms of aesthetics, quartz has the advantage. It looks like granite or marble, only less expensive. Our advice is for you to use our comparison here and weigh your options. Your countertop project will most likely turn out to be the best.