Formica Benchtop
Laminate Benchtops

Formica Benchtops

Formica is basically made of laminate, and Formica is the brand name of the material. Today it is one of the first and more popular brands that is available both in home centers and online. This corporation is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and was established in the year 1913. Formica countertops are comparatively easier to maintain and available in numerous colors and shades. This is the reason it is the first choice for most home builders, interior decorators and housewives.

Another reason many homemakers are attracted to Formica countertops is because there is a wide range for you to choose from; while its cost is a fraction of the cost of granite. The price range of Formica countertops range between $ 7 to $25 per square foot, when compared with granite countertops which cost between $70 to $100 per square foot. 

The line of colors available for Formica countertops range from the older variety of mirrored colors of natural materials like stone and granite and the latest variety of man-made colors. These colors range from metallic to gray to bright colors found from the Art Deco period. In fact, there are even some Formica counterparts that look like the more expensive counterparts like granite and concrete.

However if you compare its durability with the durability of granite and other solid surface counterparts, Formica counterparts are not that durable. In fact, with daily use, Formica counterparts succumb to its heat, moisture and end pressure. The best thing to do to maintain your Formica countertops would be to use resurfacing kits which are readily available in any hardware store.

Different cleaning methods have to be maintained for different types of stains on Formica countertops. If you have light stains, you can try cleaning the countertop using baking soda with household cleaner or soapy water and a clean cloth or sponge. Even paper towels and window cleaner work well. 

However if you have tough stains, you have to clean it with care as abrasive cleaning solutions only damage the Formica countertop. It is okay to use products like Fantastic and 409 to clean tough stains on the Formica countertop. However powdered products should never be used; and over exertion or scrubbing are not at all advised. 

If you find any streaks on your dark Formica countertop, you can remove it using a regular window cleaner. However spills have to be cleaned right away as they leave behind permanent stains. If you find these spills difficult to clean, use a mild cream cleanser or mild bleach solution. However this may discolor the Formica countertop; so be ready for it.

Some home makers suggest using wax or gel to protect the Formica countertop from staining. However not every one suggests this; so before actually trying this out, it is better to consult furniture stores on the right wax or gel to be used on the Formica countertop.

It is basically easy to clean Formica counterparts; it is keeping them from cuts, scratches and burns that is not easy. Formica countertops are basically scratch resistant; but cans that fall from the cabinet can damage its surface with its chipping. If chips arise on its edge, it is possible to file its edge so that the chip gets smoothened out. You can then try to camouflage this dent with the help of a color match oil base paint. It is important to have a cutting board to prevent cuts when preparing food while chopping directly on the counter’s service is a no-no. 

Hot pans and electrical appliances should not be placed on the Formica countertop they may burn the Formica countertop. It is better to use hot plates, pads or trivets to offer protection to the surface. Smokers should be careful around Formica countertops as cigarettes leave permanent burn marks on the surface. 

Make it a point to avoid the Formica countertop coming into contact with any chemicals and solvents. Though these materials can be sopped immediately without much damage, extra care has to be taken when things like drain cleaner and acidic materials are nearby. Even dyes, oven cleaners, glues and abrasive dish washing machine cleaners can damage Formica countertops; so avoid spilling them on the counter. Moreover these products are flammable, and prove to be dangerous if spilt on the countertop. 

With Formica counterparts having seam lines, you have to ensure that there is no flooding in these counters. This is because excess water only leaks into the seams and make them swell and cause problems. If you find a loose edge or bubbles on the Formica countertop, a hot hair dryer with some pressure on its end reactivates the glue with which it is possible to re-stick the laminate. However if the laminate is a bit old, it is better to re-glue the surrounding area. 

There are different edges to Formica countertops which include solid surface, flat lay, wood and laminated bevel edges. Flat lay edge in Formica countertops produce a black line that occurs when the wider laminate which is placed on top of the laminate adhered to the countertop is trimmed off. This edge is rather unsightly and runs along the entire edge of the countertop. 

The beveled edge countertop has no sharp 90 degree corners or black lines. Here the counter is machined off at 45 degree angle on the top edge. With the placing of a thin strip of laminate on the edge, the joints are mitered into one to make the black line disappear. With its smaller angle, this edge is smoother and safer and can be done with other material like wood strips and brass strips. 

The solid surface edge can be shaped and routed and offers numerous edge options. The edges here are formed by fusing two pieces of material together while its color and design matching is very good. 

Not only are there Formica countertops, there are also Formica splashbacks that kitchen designers fit in kitchens. These splashbacks are areas found behind the sink, which provides protection from splashes. Splashbacks are also referred to as a backsplash. They are also constructed on walls behind countertops to a height of 400- 500 mm. these splashbacks can be of Formica, or some other material like Corian, glass or granite.


    • Tony

      Clean the Formica with a natural cleanser, such as water and neutral cleaning product, you can use a soft cleaning cloth. The paper on the board is only 2mm thick so any hard scrubbing will cause scratches to appear.

      • Tony

        Formica is brand sold in Australia by Laminex. Both Laminex and Formica sell laminate sheets that are used to cover benchtops. Between the two companies they have quite a huge range of colours and prints.