Particleboard benches or laminate kitchen countertops are known to be one of the cheapest options, but are they a good or a bad product?
Cardboard countertops, also known as melamine or post-formed, are named because their core is made of cardboard. This core is covered with successive layers of other materials that add additional features to the bench. Typically, the more layers and properties added, the higher the price.
Within this type of kitchen countertops, the outer layer is generally a decorative melamine paper which is the one that adds the aesthetic component and that we can find in a multitude of designs, from imitations of natural wood to granites. It is also common to find a layer of mdf (medium density fibers) to give greater resistance to the countertop, for example the one that is waterproof. And then a cluster core.
Advantage of particleboard benches
- The price. Chipboard countertops are priced really competitively, although it is true that price fluctuations can be high depending on the materials and industrial processes used for manufacturing.
- Variety of designs and textures. Without a doubt it is the type of bench where we will find a greater variety of designs. This is the advantage of using melamine to cover the countertop.
- New industrial processes have considerably improved the resistance chipboard and melamine.
- It is easy to find chipboard countertops that have been applied antibacterial products, a very desirable quality in the kitchen.
- Variety of uses. The ease of transport and cutting of this type of countertop, compared to those made with other materials, makes laminate countertops a very adaptable and customizable work surface that can be used for many uses outside the kitchen, for example as desks or coffee tables. job.
Disadvantages of particleboard benches
- Melamine loses color. Cleaning products and even the sun affect the melamine layer in the long run, which over time will lose its initial hue. If proper use and care is not something that will happen in the short term.
- Moisture. Although the outer layer is completely waterproof on a chipboard, its core can be affected if there is moisture. If this happens, the bench will swell and deform. The logic says that this should not happen unless the assembly is defective, which means that it was poorly sealed, or receives some surprisingly strong and / or deep impacts or scratches that allow water to enter. An interesting tip when making bench cuts, for example to fit a sink, is that in addition to adding silicone as an insulator on the edges of the sink it is advisable to apply some product to seal the edges, a simple coat of paint can be useful if not we have other options.
- Lifespan. Although the service was perfect, the useful life of this product will always be shorter than that of other types of countertops, for example granite, although on the other hand, as already mentioned, its price is also several times lower.
- Much sensitive to high temperaturesTherefore, avoid placing hot containers on the surface.