It wasn’t that long ago that laminated countertops were considered a quick inexpensive fix, but wouldn’t last long and looked sub-standard relative to natural materials. Now, thanks to new technology that is capable of creating a laminate that imitates the look of wood or stone, times have changed. The new high-pressure laminates (HPL), offer improved features over traditional thermally fused laminates (TFL). While they both offer an attractive selection of faux finishes that resemble natural materials at considerably lower costs, HPL are more resistant to dents, scratches and scuffs than TFL.
This resistance is attributed to a fusion process that offers better adherence to the substrate’s core. In addition, the top layer of HPL is thick enough to permit embossing to create a look that more closely resembles the uneven relief of a natural surface. These features make HPL a better choice for horizontal surfaces that require more resistance to bumps and bangs, such as kitchen countertops. However, because the material is not solid like marble or tile, it’s important to ensure that HPL edges and seams are not exposed to standing or running water.