Looking for a Kitchen Overlay? Pros and Cons of Popular Materials Explored
The kitchen is the heart of any home; it is where people talk after work in the evening, prepare food, feed pets, and even where wash those same pets if they are muddy! Therefore, if you are looking for an area of the home to build up in preparation for a sale, the kitchen is a good place to start. While it can be tempting to fit new cupboards and invest in high-tech washing and cleaning equipment, research into house sales has shown that homebuyers are more interested in 2 key parts of the kitchen; how it is lit and what the countertops are made from.
In the last few years, more people have moved towards solid countertops in their kitchens, either made from stone, wood, or other hardy and heat-resistant materials. And it makes sense as to why. These surfaces are attractive, and, of course, they add a touch of high class to any kitchen that they are placed into. But having a complete refit of a kitchen can be pricey, so many people instead opt for overlays, which are also known as kitchen wraps. Think of them as veneers; they are placed over a prepared surface, and, even up close, they are indistinguishable from a solid stone or wooden surface.
You may be wondering at this point if there is any wiggle room for these surfaces to accommodate your unique kitchen style. Well, this article will guide you through some of the most commonly-used materials in kitchen overlays, alongside the pros and cons of each, so you can determine which overlay option is suitable for your home.
Quartz overlays are made from a mixture of quartz particles and resin. They are highly durable and non-porous, which means they are resistant to scratches, stains and bacteria growth. These popular kitchen worktop wrap designs also come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so they can be customized to match your kitchen decor. However, they are more expensive than laminate but are highly durable and will last for many years to come.
Pros of a Quartz Wrap
A quartz wrap is less likely to chip, crack or become scratched, as the material is very hardy.
It also requires minimal (to no) maintenance and doesn’t require annual sealing. And, even with all of this, it still offers a long lifespan, with most quartz wraps lasting for over 30 years or more.
Even a quartz wrap can be pricey, so be sure to have a look at estimates before agreeing to have a wrap fitted. It can also be susceptible to heat damage.
Laminate is one of the most popular materials for a kitchen worktop wrap because it is affordable, durable, and easy to maintain. Laminate countertops are made by gluing layers of paper or fabric to a particleboard or plywood base. The surface is then coated with a layer of melamine or resin to protect it from scratches and stains. Laminate comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so it’s easy to find a style that matches your kitchen decor. However, laminate can be susceptible to chipping and peeling, and it is not as heat-resistant as other materials.
Pros of a Laminate Wrap
One of the main pros of a laminate wrap is its cost; it is by far the most affordable option on here, from the cost per yard to installation. It also comes in an array of colors and designs, so it is versatile when it is being matched to a kitchen.
While laminate surfaces are resistant to impact damage, they can be susceptible to heat damage. And, unlike the other wrap or overlay options on this list, any damage to a laminate surface is not repairable, so it would need to be fully replaced. Luckily, replacements are often very affordable, which is another reason why this option is popular.
Solid surface countertops are made from a mixture of acrylic or polyester resins and natural minerals. This material is highly durable and can be sanded and repaired if it becomes scratched or damaged. Solid surface countertops are also non-porous, which means they are resistant to stains and bacteria growth. However, they are more expensive than laminate and can be damaged by hot pots and pans.
Pros of a Solid Surface Wrap
A solid surface wrap is easy to fit, durable, and resistant to an array of issues that can occur in a kitchen, such as damage caused by knives, meat mallets, and other utensils.
They are also aesthetically flexible, meaning that they can be fitted and color-matched into a wider array of kitchen styles, from contemporary to traditional.
If a solid surface countertop is exposed to direct sources of heat, it can become damaged. These surfaces can also be vulnerable to harsh chemicals, meaning they may not be ideal for kitchens where there is a lot of cooking and cleaning unless you invest in a suitable cleaner.
Granite is a natural stone that is highly durable and heat-resistant. It also comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so it can be customized to match your kitchen decor. However, granite countertops are expensive and require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. They also need to be sealed periodically to prevent stains and bacterial growth.
Pros of a Granite Wrap
Granite is a very hardy material, so it is not susceptible to scratches, chips, or cracks. It is also heat resistant, meaning you can place hot pans and plates onto it without needing to worry about it becoming damaged. Visually, as it is stone, you can even opt to have a wrap fitted that is visually similar to marble.
Because granite is naturally porous, it will need to be sealed in order to keep it stain free. Luckily, most people who have a granite countertop only need to do this once a year, so it isn’t a laborious task.
Butcher block countertops are composed of strips of wood that are glued together and sanded down to create a smooth surface. This material is highly durable and can be sanded and resealed if it becomes scratched or damaged, so the good news is you won’t have to spend a lot of money on having a butcher block overlay repaired.
Butcher block overlays also have a warm, natural look that many homeowners love. However, they are not as heat-resistant as other materials, and they require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. They are also prone to becoming moldy if they are not properly sealed, so this is another area of maintenance that you will have to undertake if you opt for this overlay option.
Pros of a Butcher Block Wrap
Because a butcher block wrap is wooden, it is more affordable to have it fitted and also to have it repaired. It is also not overly time-consuming to maintain, and all you need to do to keep it looking good is to sand it and varnish it every few months.
However, a butcher block wrap, or indeed, a countertop, can dry out if it isn’t properly maintained. This will make it more susceptible to staining, so you really do need to stay on top of the maintenance.
This surface is also prone to scorching, so in order to protect it, you should invest in heat mats for plates and hot frying pans.