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Thickness & Weight Of Laminate Countertops E-mail
Laminate countertops come in a wide range of thicknesses and weights. The thickness and weight of a laminate countertop are very easy to control, because the materials used are light and pliable, as well as cheap and readily available. This is why many manufacturers and dealers offer custom-made laminate countertops – they are fully customizable in all aspects besides thickness and weight, including color, design, shape, and height.

Thickness

Store-bought and ready-made laminate countertops are made up of a ¾-inch plywood board and melamine plastic layers at the top and bottom, which add up to a thickness slightly below one inch. This standard thickness is designed to hold the fixtures of the typical American kitchen counter: a sink, dish washer, dish drainer, dishes and utensils, some pots and pans, perhaps a microwave oven or toaster.

If you have heavy kitchen appliances that need more support than the standard ¾-inch, you can also check out thicker countertop varieties. Laminate countertops also come in 1 ½-inch and two-inch thicknesses. Of course, they will be heavier and more expensive, but they can hold more stuff and you can expect them to last longer.

Weight

The weight of a laminate countertop varies depending on the materials used. Newer plastic laminates, which are reinforced with other materials for added durability, are generally heavier than traditional kraft and melamine ones. The general trend is that weight increases as the countertop gets stronger. Weights are usually measured per square foot.

Kraft


Laminate countertops with a kraft interior are the lightest, at around four pounds per square foot, with a ¾-inch construction and a melamine laminate. A three-by-six foot laminate counter should be able to support 12 pounds of kitchen gear, assuming equal distribution of weight throughout the surface.

Melamine (interior)

Melamine interiors are slightly heavier than kraft ones. They are virtually solid throughout, and are also much more dense; that is, there is more material packed into a small space. One square foot of melamine countertop can contain up to 140 melamine layers and weigh about seven pounds. They do not call for equal weight distribution, although particularly heavy appliances such as dish drainers must be centered or evened out on one side.

Carbon-plastic laminate


The carbon fibers added to modern plastic laminates are very light, adding only an eighth of a pound to each square foot. Choose carbon-plastic laminate if your countertop is five feet or longer; smaller countertops carry less weight and do not need the added support.

Glass fiber laminate

Glass fibers (not to be confused with fiberglass) add about half a pound to each square foot. They offer the same added capacity as carbon-plastic laminates, but are less resistant to impact and breakage.

 
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