Choosing worktops is an essential element of designing a kitchen, this article explains the pros of compact laminate vs quartz worktops. You may be wondering what is better: quartz or compact laminate?
While laminate was once considered a poor relation to quartz, the gap between them has considerably reduced. Compact laminate worktops have been a gamechanger in the laminate world.
Certainly, compact laminate worktops have grown in popularity and are favoured by many who would only have considered quartz in the past. If you are considering which one would be suitable for your project, you may not be clear about the benefits of each product.
This guide will help you compare compact laminate and quartz as a material for your worktops
What is compact laminate?
Compact laminate worktops are more durable than standard laminate. Instead of having an MDF base, they are made of layers of kraft paper, each impregnated with resin.
Their strength comes from the layering process, and the result is a waterproof material that is also heat and stain-resistant. It provides a durable surface for kitchens.
Their strength means they can be cut to be used with undermount sinks and have drainer grooves cut into them. They come in various colours and finishes with textures, specks, and solid and stone appearances.
What is Quartz?
Quartz worktops are a composite made from a mixture of marble, mirrors, glass and quartz, heated, compressed and bound together with adhesive. It is an engineered material that incorporates natural minerals.
The worktop surface will contain a percentage of quartz, often between 90 and 99%. As quartz is the hardest mineral found on earth, the result is a highly durable surface that looks and feels like a premium natural product.
Different blends of materials can create unique effects, such as stone or even a glitter finish. The materials can be dyed to create natural and unusual colours and designs.
Pros and Cons
Appearance of Compact Laminate Worktops Vs Quartz Worktops
Compact laminate worktops in the UK provide a wide range of options, including patterns and prints. They are particularly suited to veining designs that mimic marble. They can also be designed to look like other natural stones.
Quartz worktops do not have the same intensity of colour. Still, their ability to mimic natural stone is incomparable because the pattern will be the same throughout the entire depth of the worktop surface.
While some compact laminates have become far more realistic at replicating natural stone compared to traditional laminate products, it is hard to match quartz’s ability to stand out as a premium natural material.
Quartz is very cold to the touch, whereas compact laminate is a warmer surface. Quartz, therefore, feels more like a natural stone.
Cost of Compact Laminate Worktops Vs Quartz Worktops
Historically laminate has been the more affordable choice for a worktop material. However, a compact laminate worktop will cost far more than a standard laminate worktop.
As a rough idea, you can expect to pay between £475 per metre of quartz compared to £135 per metre of compact laminate. A standard laminate remains the most affordable choice.
Generally, quartz is in the premium price range and will be the more expensive option for most kitchens. However, it also lasts longer than compact laminate, which should be taken into consideration when deciding if it is value for money.
Compact Laminate Worktops Vs Quartz Worktops- Durability
According to Fira’s testing services, both quartz and compact laminate are well known for their durability and heat resistance. Neither is indestructible, but neither of the surfaces needs to be sealed like natural stone.
Compact laminate is much stronger than standard laminate and compares well to quartz, thanks to the layers of resin-coated paper. Compact laminate comes in different thicknesses and is strong enough to support an under-mount sink.
Quartz remains a supremely durable choice and is exceptionally resistant to physical challenges such as cuts and scratches.
Heat resistance is similar in both products. They should both withstand a short period of up to 150 degrees without a problem.
Many customers expect quartz to be thoroughly heat resistant. However, it can suffer from thermal shock if a hot pan is left on the surface, leading to a fracture.
Similarly, the resin in a compact laminate could crack if exposed to a hot pan for more than five minutes.
Both types of material are easy to clean, but harsh chemicals like bleach should be avoided. Quartz benefits from polishing from time to time.
Installation of Compact Laminate Worktops Vs Quartz Worktops
Almost all quartz worktops need to be professionally installed. They are cut in workshops to a template with specialist equipment and then installed in your kitchen.
Unlike standard laminate, compact worktops require particular tools for cutting, such as a TCT triple chip blade, as they are a much harder surface. Therefore, they are often better installed by professionals who can create invisible seams.
Both quartz and compact laminate can be used to create appealing curves in your design. They are both well suited to use with under-mount sinks and island designs.
It is crucial when working out your budget to factor in the installation cost.
Final Thoughts- Compact Laminate Vs Quartz Worktops
Choosing between a compact laminate worktop and a quartz worktop may boil down to your budget. The good news is that while compact laminate is a more affordable choice, it still provides a premium finish that is hard-wearing and comes in a wide selection of styles to suit your design.
Quartz remains a great investment that gives a kitchen some character with an elegant and classy look that will stand the test of time. On the other hand, compact laminate provides a durable popular alternative that comes in a wide choice of designs to match different tastes.
Both products can provide a stunning feature that will enhance the practicality and look of your kitchen. Whatever product you choose, it is worth using a professional fitter to ensure that you achieve the finish you desire.
Please get in touch with Mr Worktop Fitter today for a quote or advice on choosing your worktop design.