Kitchen Countertops / September 5, 2018 / Ethan Moore
The basics: Plastic laminate countertops consist of a wafer-thin finish adhered to a plywood or particleboard substrate. That thin finish is a high-pressure laminate (HPL); it’s made of three layers of material bonded together by high heat and pressure: a clear melamine top for protection, a decorative layer and a backing made of phenolic resin-coated kraft paper. Well-known laminate manufacturers include Formica, Wilsonart and Nevamar.
The basics: Recycled paper countertops are composed of postconsumer wastepaper, nonpetroleum-based resins and pigments. This mix is heated and compressed into a dense, monolithic slab with a feel that’s often compared to a warm, soft stone — like soapstone. The primary manufacturers, PaperStone, Richlite, ShetkaStone and Kliptech, all offer several colors, though the material typically is available only in medium to dark hues, all in a smart-looking matte finish.
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