The beginners guide to Formica countertops
Formica countertops are the ultimate in kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. They’ve been around for decades and can be found in millions of homes all over the world.
Why? Because they’re so versatile and easy to maintain – not to mention gorgeous. Formica comes in a multitude of colors and patterns, so countertop customization is simple and affordable at most home improvement stores.
Formica is one of the top choices for kitchens and bathrooms alike because it offers beauty, practicality, water resistance, durability, and affordability – everything you want from your home counters! If you’re still wondering what Formica is, it’s a brand name that covers any material that has a laminate surface. That means covering an existing material with another material to create a durable, attractive surface. A Formica countertop can be made from any number of materials that have been laminated together with resins and dyes to create the gorgeous colors and patterns we love!
Formica is manufactured by the Dade Behring company, which is part of Georgia-Pacific. It is extensively used in cabinets and furniture, where it has proven resistance against scratches and stains.
How Are They Formica counters made?
Formica countertops are made with raw wood stock that has been milled into thin sheets (1/16″). The color or patterning on each sheet of wood veneer is printed onto the face of the sheet – not layered on top like paint. Each sheet of veneer is bonded under heat and pressure with layers of melamine resin, which is what makes it water-resistant.
After the laminating process, colors are added to make sure each sheet has vibrant coloration. The panel is then run through a CNC machine that removes the excess material from between holes where sinks and faucets will be installed.
Next comes another printing process where dyes for both color and design are applied to the face of each Formica panel as it passes through yet another machine. After this step, the panels go back into a CNC machine for more precise cutting on their edges. This ensures your countertop will fit perfectly around your new sink or stove! Finally, before heading to the warehouse for storage, Formica panels are finished with a clear coat to protect them from damage and give them added shine.
Formica is often used in professional kitchens, office buildings, hospitals, schools, laboratories, etc., for countertops that are tough against impacts, stains, or chemicals
Why is Formica better than other types of countertops?
Formica comes in hundreds of colors and patterns. It’s an affordable material that can be customized to fit your home perfectly – plus, it’s easy to maintain. And if you need us to convince you even more about why Formica rocks for any room of your house… let us know! We’d be happy to help.
Generations ago, paper was laminated together with resin under heat and pressure. Beautiful colors and patterns could be achieved by adding dye to the surface of this paper. The pattern is printed onto the original material, not layered on top like paint. The resins used are called phenolics because they react to formaldehyde. Phenol was used in making plastic until WWII
The phenolics (materials containing phenol) resist water and chemicals; however, they need a chemical catalyst to make them chemically active and create durable adhesive bonds within and between layers. This catalyst also makes polymers (plastic) possible to be created from these inexpensive starting materials.
Phenolic resin is widely used as an adhesive product such as glue or cement; as a binder for non-flammable filler materials(cork, etc.); in electrical insulation, and in grouting and sealing compounds.
Formica laminate is developed in part by adding pigments to the phenolic resin, which gives it color and opaqueness; fillers aid strength and stiffness; lubricants allow Formica to be machined; adhesion promoters facilitate bonding with substrates such as wood veneer, particleboard, or glass-fiber matting.
Unlike laminating paper, Formica is made up of different layers of materials bonded together under heat and pressure using a chemical catalyst instead of heat alone. The surface pattern for Formica countertops is created on a machine that adds dye to the top layer (the face). Then, a CNC machine removes the excess material only in the areas that will receive countertops.
After the panels are cut to size, then they go into another machine that applies additional color/patterning. Once it is finished, Formica panels are sprayed with a protective topcoat to keep them looking beautiful for years to come (and to make sure they last much longer too)
Formica comes in an endless variety of colors and patterns. Colors can be added all at once or layered over time depending on how you want your kitchen, bathroom, or room! – to look like when you’re done with it. Best of all, Formica explains how their product is made without using words like “magic” or “miracle.” Our mother could read this and still be able to get it
What is the difference between laminate and Formica?
Laminate is not a type of countertop but rather the material used to make them. It’s made by fusing paper or plastic film with melamine resin under pressure and high heat. Laminate forms the surface layer of laminated countertops, which are generally cheaper than solid surface counters because they are less durable. They scratch easily, and their finish wears down over time, especially when exposed to abrasive cleaners and harsh temperatures (like hot pots on the stove).
Formica is laminate countertop material backed with wood particles and covered with a protective polyethylene wear layer (the top surface). A Formica top can be any color you like as the color isn’t infused into the product; it’s just an added layer. Some Formica colors are solid, while others have a metallic or pearlized finish. Formica is one of the most durable laminates for countertops because it has to stand up to hot pots and pans.