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Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

While paint is usually the go-to solution for DIY cabinet refacing, laminates are another viable option for giving your kitchen the boost it needs. Here’s how to decide if laminates are the right choice for your kitchen cabinetry.

Costs

Purchasing laminate from your local home improvement store will cost you between $50- $75 per linear foot. High-pressure laminates, while certainly more durable, will also cost more.

Pros

Laminates come in a variety of colors and wood-grain patterns.

With a sleek texture, laminates tend to be stain-resistant and easy to clean.

Laminates are readily available at most home improvement stores.

Cons

Plastic laminates tend to be more expensive than RTF veneers.

They are less durable and prone to chipping.

Since they lack the ability to be shaped or molded, laminates are typically meant for plainer cabinet door styles.

Durability

Laminate cabinets, especially low-pressure laminates, are not as durable as those made from other refacing materials. In addition, the most inexpensive laminates tend to be joined with staples, which will cause them to break down over time.

Maintenance

With a smooth, stain-resistant surface, laminate cabinets don’t require much in the way of cleaning. Here’s how to keep them looking great:

  1. Use a few drops of all purpose-cleaner on a soft sponge or cloth and wipe clean.
  2. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can dull or scratch the finish.

Common Questions and Answers

Can laminate be painted if I want to update the look down the road?

Yes, it is possible to paint your laminate countertops. Make sure you start with a stain-blocking primer, and then apply two coats of latex paint. Seal with a non-yellowing polyurethane to finish it up.

I have chips in my laminate cabinets, is there anything I can do to repair them?

Sheets of veneer can be purchased at your local home improvement store to match your existing laminate color. If the color is matched correctly, then the chip should be easy to cover.

History

The use of plastic laminates for kitchen cabinetry first became popular in the 1900s. Since the 1970s, however, homeowners have shifted more towards the use of natural wood materials.

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