Compact laminate is a popular choice for those who want a more durable worktop than traditional laminate, but how does it compare to granite?
In this guide, we will compare the properties of granite vs compact laminate and examine the similarities and differences to help you decide which material is suitable for you.
What are compact laminate worktops made from?
Compact laminate worktops are also known as solid laminate and are made from layers of card and resin, providing a stable surface throughout. As they are totally solid, they do not have a chipboard layer beneath the surface like traditional laminate worktops.
Compact laminate is water-resistant and far more durable than standard laminate.
Pros of Compact Laminate Worktops
Compact laminate worktops are popular because of their increased durability.
The main benefits include the following:
- An excellent choice of designs and colours
- Easily cut into different shapes and sizes
- Can accommodate under-mount sinks and draining grooves
- Durable and long-lasting
- Designs can imitate granite surfaces
- More economical than natural stone worktops
- Easy to clean and maintain
What are granite worktops made from?
Granite worktops are pure natural granite that has been mined. Granite is an igneous rock comprised mainly of tough and beautiful quartz and other natural minerals.
It is formed naturally deep underground from cooling magma, and depending on the mineral content, it creates unique patterns and designs.
Granite is quarried in huge slabs fabricated by specialist machinery into about three-metre-long slabs.
For installation, a kitchen will need to be templated so the final cutting can occur at the supplier’s workshop.
Pros of Granite Worktops
Granite worktops are popular with people valuing a natural stone and a luxurious finish.
The main benefits of granite worktops are:
- Unique natural patterns and colours
- Heat resistance
- Water resistance providing the granite has been sealed
- Low maintenance
What are the differences between granite and compact laminate?
There are a number of differences between granite and compact laminate worktops.
Water and Stain Resistance
Granite is a naturally porous stone that needs to be sealed to develop water resistance. It will need to be resealed regularly to keep the water resistance properties. It is not a difficult job and only needs to be done every six months or once a year, depending on the supplier’s instructions.
It is recommended that you wipe up spillages quickly to avoid causing any surface stains. You also need to keep away it away from acidic cleaning products.
Compact laminate is made using resins and polymers that prevent water ingress for a few days. It does not need any special treatment to retain its water-resistant properties.
The surface also protects the worktop from stains, and any spillages can be cleaned using mild detergent and a sponge.
Compact laminate has limited heat resistance. You can place a hot pan for a few seconds, but the resins are vulnerable to heat, and heat can cause damage and delamination.
We always recommend using trivets or mats to protect a compact laminate worktop.
Granite has excellent heat resistance thanks to the way it is formed. It can withstand temperatures of up to 898 degrees Celsius.
Although you can safely place hot pans and plates directly onto granite without risking thermal shock, it is worth noting that the sealant can be discoloured. It is, therefore, sensible to protect surfaces.
Granite is a tough, durable surface and does provide some resistance to scratches. However, according to Granite Gold, it is not entirely foolproof.
A sharp knife can mark granite, so you should always use a chopping board for cutting. Granite can also become etched if you use harsh acidic cleaning products, so you should use PH-neutral products or specialist granite cleaners.
The good news is that scratches are easily hidden thanks to the natural patterns replicated through this natural stone’s whole depth.
Compact laminate is somewhat resistant to scratching. Owners often say that their worktops remain looking like new for many years.
However, the polymer surface of compact laminate is vulnerable to scratches and chips and will begin to deteriorate over time. It is sensible to use a chopping board to protect the surface when cutting.
Fitting a worktop: Granite vs Compact Laminate
Granite worktops are not suitable for DIY fitting. A professional must create a template and cut the granite using specialist machinery in the supplier’s workshop.
A Fitting team will bring the cut slabs and fit them on your cabinets. The quality of the installation is vital to ensure joints are seamless and the finish is excellent.
Compact laminate is easier to install but requires special tools as the surface is much harder than standard laminate.
Using inadequate blades will result in damage to the surface and your tools. It is best left to the professionals who can ensure that joins are sealed effectively and can also create cutouts for under-mount sinks and draining grooves.
Cost of Granite Vs Compact Laminate
You can expect to pay between £1500 and £2500 plus VAT for a granite worktop in a standard-size kitchen. The price varies depending on the quality of the granite and how complex the installation will be.
Compact laminate is not as cheap as standard laminate worktops and can cost around £1200 for a typical kitchen. The price will depend on the thickness chosen.
You can see that compact laminate is a slightly cheaper option than granite, but you need to factor in the durability of granite. It should be considered a longer-term investment than compact laminate.
Hopefully, our guide to granite vs compact laminate has helped you to make a good choice for your home.
For those wishing to create a luxury, elegant finish with a unique appeal, granite is certainly a solid investment that will suit traditional or contemporary styles.
If you want to know more about the luxury worktops we supply and fit, please get in touch with us today at Mr Worktop Fitter. We have over ten years of experience in the industry and source quality stone worktops from Spain and Italy.