Wait...WHAT? Three Kitchen Building Facts that Might Blow Your Mind

Kitchen Floor Tile Kitchen Floor Tile

Okay. My ongoing investigations for my future kitchen re-model has uncovered some surprising facts that kind of blow my mind. First is the assumption--on my part and probably on others--that natural stone tile is the most durable. According to my tile guy, that's totally untrue. Porcelain is much denser and, thus, more durable.

Another what...WHAT? moment was reading that laminate (specifically Wilsonart and Formica brand) countertops are as scratch resistant as granite and as heat resistant as quartz countertops. Also--get this--they're as 'seamless' as  granite and quartz too. They can be 'seamless' these days because manufacturers are making it in gigantic 5' x 12' sheets. For most kitchens, that 12' means no seams, including those obvious mitered corners. AND, as far as stain resistance, laminate is equal to quartz. 

Here's a comparison chart I snagged off Lowes:

created at: 01/31/2012

Now, what about that "no integrated sink in a laminate countertop" deal? That's a myth now too. Check out this Karan under-mounted stainless steal sink installed in Formica's Calacatta Marble from their 180fx series:

To see more pics of under-mounted sinks in laminate, click here. There's also a really cool video of a pro completing the entire install process.

Personally, having worked with porcelain tile for years, I believe my tile guy about its durability. However, the laminate info is going to take some time to digest. Perhaps more research is in order. 

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Thomas on Aug 24, 2016:

"Now, what about that "no integrated sink in a laminate countertop" deal? That's a myth now too."

Undermounted and integrated are not the same thing. Integrated means it's a seamless continuation of the same material from countertop to sink. I have never seen that done in laminate, but it's fairly common in composites. None of the pictures you link (as far as I can tell) show integrated sinks in laminate.

shirley on Jan 18, 2014:

does anyone make a Red seamless sink?

Brooke on Feb 01, 2012:

OOPS forgot the link!

Brooke on Feb 01, 2012:

HOLY COW! I logged on to your site because I often check it out and what did I see? A picture of my parents kitchen! That's wild! They did all the work themselves, even figuring out how to lay the tiles on the floor on their own to save money. Check out the before/after pics!

DesigningMom on Jan 31, 2012:

So what if you can tell it's laminate? That's one amazing looking undermount sink.

We have quartz with top mount sink (my choice). We chose quartz because we liked the look and it fit in our budget using my inheritance from my folks. The kitchen was always the heart of my families home. Daddy would have help us build our home had he still been with us and Mom would have helped me decorate. This was just another way they helped us build our dream home. Had we not had their money, I'd have been just as happy with laminate.


DIY Maven on Jan 31, 2012:

@Laura...true, but if  done with a darker laminate, then the transition  virtually disappears, as evidenced in the picture below. It then takes on the look of an integrated sink you'd see in a Corian installation. 

Laura on Jan 31, 2012:

The only goofy thing with undermounts and laminate, is that it's a dead give away that it's laminate.  When you undermount with granite, or other similar material, you see the side profile of that material, which is usually about 1" thick.. with 1/8" laminate, you lose that dimension at the sink - as you can see in the photo you posted... I would probably still do a top mount sink with laminate...

DIY Maven on Jan 31, 2012:

@Mark--yeah, corian and the like still perform best in 'seamless' stats. 

mark on Jan 31, 2012:

second hand info here but i am fairly sure the corian can be chemically bonded together with a "glue" or sorts...that from what i gather melts the pieces into a whole (in the same vein as model airplane glue)...giving a seamless look that is very hard to spot. so while there is a seam it appears seamless

Sam on Jan 31, 2012:

I didn't blow my budget on quartz, snagged a deal for 60 sqft at under $30 a sqft for something that was being discontinued, but still cannot believe that you can do the undermount.  That was the ONLY reason I shyed away from the laminate.  Now that I know, the next time I renovate a kitchen I will research the undermount option with laminate as it is a better and more affordable product.

Quartz isn't bad but it is cold - same complaint you posted regarding granite.  White quartz still stains - so don't leave red wine or mustard on it.  It isn't perfect.

Anonymous on Jan 31, 2012:

you just blew my mind...knowing i don't have to blow my budget on a quartz countertop! I knew about the porcelin tile- we installed it in our foyer and bathrooms a few years ago. Best investment I ever made. Kicking myself for not putting it in the kitchen too. Ah well. Live and learn! Thank you for researching and sharing! Scratching off quartz counter, and penciling in formica! :)

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