Postforms are an excellent choice as a kitchen and bathroom countertop. They are inexpensive, durable, surprisingly strong and the easiest option to install.
What is a post-formed bench?
Generally and schematically, a post-formed bench is one composed of a fiber or particle board coated with melamine. This definition is somewhat generic and does not incorporate many of the qualities that differentiate a simple melamine-coated card from a post-formed countertop, although, on the other hand, not all of these types of countertops have the same qualities.
They are also known as laminate countertops and are very popular for their Great value for the price. Of course, they are not the most resistant or the most durable, but if the care is correct and we prevent them from coming into contact with excessive heat or water leaking into them, they can last for many years as new.
Formica vs. Postformed
Formica or post-formed bench? This is a common question that answers the popular belief that we are dealing with two interchangeable products.
This is true, but only half true. Formica is a well-known brand, among other things, for the manufacture of post-formed countertops. It is a manufacturer with a large international presence and an excellent reputation, which has been able to differentiate its product in the market.
Features of post-formed countertops
- Average thickness greater than that of a traditional board. The most frequent thicknesses of the plates used for the manufacture of furniture are 16 mm and 19 mm, while the thickness of post-formed benches is usually between 30 and 40 mm. This does not mean that there are no thinner benches or thicker plates. In fact, lately it is common to find countertops of this type relatively thin, although they use higher density boards.
- Made with higher density plates. To provide greater resistance, both to torsion and impacts, the workbenches are manufactured with plates of higher density. In some cases, agglomerate or agglomerate is used, the cheapest and least resistant. In other cases, different layers are used, the interior being made of chipboard and later higher in MDF or HDF (high density fiberboard) to give greater resistance. And finally, we have those where only high density fiber boards are used (this is where we can find the best countertops).
- Different layers of plastic and decorative papers are applied to the frame. These, at least, must play a dual role. On the one hand to give the desired appearance and on the other to isolate the plate from moisture. They can also offer a number of additional features, such as antibacterial coatings, a strength advantage, resistance to UV rays to prevent discoloration, etc. It is in these layers that post-formed countertops can really make a difference.
- It is increasingly common to use waterproofing plates for the manufacture of post-formed countertops. These offer greater resistance to moisture.
Advantages of post-formed benches
- Price. We are facing one of the cheapest options when it comes to countertops. The fact that they are cheap does not mean that it is a low quality product, in fact, they are not. Post-formed countertops are also a lasting solution with proper care.
- Variety of designs. They are undoubtedly the type of bench where we will find the most possible designs. This is due to the use of melamine paper, on which any drawing can be printed. Woods, stones or original designs. There is no limit.
- Variety of sizes and thicknesses. Although sizes tend to standardize in the world of countertops and kitchens, it is quite possible to find a greater variety in post-formed countertops.
- Simple installation. As they are basically wooden benches, they can be cut and adapted quite easily, much more than, for example, stone or metal. This makes installation much easier and also reduces its cost. In addition, there is a whole series of accessories and finishes that further simplify installation.
- Non-porous surface. It is a great advantage over other materials, such as granite or marble. They offer a porous surface that can be stained quite easily, especially with acidic products. This does not happen with the post-formed bench, here the liquids will not stain and leave marks. The exception is when the surface has been damaged, for example, with deep scratches or bumps.
- Low moisture resistance. If water enters the plate, it swells and deforms. There are some recommendations to prevent this from happening and, if it does, avoid damaging the bench completely.
- Limited shock resistance.
- Scratch resistance is also limited. In addition, they can help to infiltrate water into the plate.
- Very bad behavior in the heat. It is necessary to always have tripods on hand, as placing a hot pan is fatal for this type of stove.
Daily cleaning and maintenance
As already mentioned, one of the great advantages of the post-formed panels or plates used to manufacture this type of countertop is that they offer non-porous surfaces.
Thanks to this, water, soap and a cloth, preferably in microfiber, are enough for cleaning. So easy!
Perhaps, if we had to add any task, such as periodic maintenance, it would be to verify that the joints or joints, if any, are kept well sealed. The classic examples are the sink or sink, possible joints, etc. If they are not, they must be sealed again, for which silicone is generally used.