If you’re installing new countertops or remodeling an existing kitchen, choices abound for countertops. Laminate is widely used around the country. However, if you don’t want to go that route, marble tiles have attributes that laminates lack. Both have advantages and disadvantages that can make all the difference.
SKIN DEEP BEAUTY
Homeowners love the look of marble. The traditional elegance of marble can make all the difference in resale value of the home — which is typically higher than that of homes with laminate countertops. Marble has color variations, swirls and intricate patterns that draw you in and, just like snowflakes, no two are alike. Contemporary laminates are more consistent with patterns that repeat. Installation time and cost for marble are more than that of a comparable laminate, but if you install laminates and don’t like them, the time, effort and cost to remove laminate is less than marble. If you ever want to step up to marble by removing laminate it’s a viable option.
Doing It Yourself
Laminates are easier to work with. Cut laminates on a table saw, spread the glue, install the laminate and rout the edges. The installation of laminates is doable with little or no experience. Cutting marble tiles is trickier, requiring special saws and equipment, but for basic installation with little trimming, installation of marble is similar to any other tile. If you’re good with your hands or worked with tile before, installation is not complicated.
Wear and Tear
Drop a glass or plate on marble and it shatters. Drop the same item on laminate and it’s less likely to suffer damage. Marble tile countertops are more durable and will last a lifetime if properly cared for. Laminates show wear and at some point will need repair or replacement. A simple slip of a knife will not typically have any effect on marble, whereas the same slip may cut laminates.