Laminates were introduced way back in the 1940s as a substitute for the more expensive wood and stone materials. Today there are multiple manufacturers in the market producing laminates, Formica being one of them, and is extensively used in home renovation projects. Formica is the brand name adopted by one such manufacturer of laminate, but there are distinct qualities of this brand that stand out from the rest.
Between Formica and laminate, certain distinct qualities such as resilience, cut, look, and pliability make Formica a better choice. It started as a mere brand name but is now used widely to refer to the product itself, just as “Kleenex” refers to paper tissues.
There are key differences that set Formica apart from the rest of the laminates available in the market today. Keep on reading to find out more about the attributes of Formica when compared to the other laminates.
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Formica Is a Kind of Laminate
Sometimes, a particular brand is so good at making a generic product that the commonly known product gradually gets replaced by its name. Something similar has happened with Formica, and now it is interchangeably used with the term “laminate.” Formica has set the standard very high for all its competitors in the domain of laminates.
In the earlier example, we have seen that the brand “Kleenex” is being used interchangeably with tissue papers. It is more or less the same as Formica. The name has become the identity of the product itself. It is one of the top laminate brands today and has become a household name due to its quality, durability, and aesthetics.
This video walks you through the history and evolution of Formica as a brand:
Formica Nails the Natural Stone Look
Laminates came into being because it was becoming increasingly difficult to have stone countertops. Stone countertops are heavy and difficult to work with, and they also need heavy maintenance to look shipshape. The only upside would be that stone would look aesthetically pleasing.
Formica is light-weight, and it carries the same aesthetic because it looks exactly like stone but without the formidable weight and upkeep that a stone countertop would necessitate.
Formica Is a Good Long-Term Investment Compared to Other Laminates
Formica is cost-effective compared to its other alternatives, including some of the other brands available in the market, from a long-term investment perspective. Once installed, not only will it give any other laminate or even a stone surface a run for its money, but it will also sustain itself for a long time.
There are many options in the market today, such as the Instant Granite Counter Top Self-Adhesive Vinyl Laminate Sheets, a self-adhesive vinyl laminate countertop contact paper that comes with an easy and stick-application. Another added advantage of peel and stick vinyl sheets is that you do not have to deal with the offensive smell of epoxy or wait overnight to see that it is set in place.
These laminates come in cheap, but not all of them have the same durability as Formica. This is one of the reasons why Formica is more trusted to provide a greater value for money.
Formica Will Not Impact Your Resale Value
Homeowners need not worry that they may have to compromise on the house’s resale value if they have Formica in their home improvement projects. Formica is made up of extremely resilient material that can withstand heat and not get stained easily. Due to these reasons, the resale value of the house does not get much affected.
Compared to Formica, other laminates are usually not that heat resistant, nor do they withstand staining as much as Formica. When reselling, these stains and patches of burnt marks may affect the house’s resale value, which is not likely to happen with Formica.
Formica Is Highly Heat Resistant
As laminates began to be used more widely, it was developed to have the same properties of the materials whose looks they mimic – wood and stone. Laminates became famous because it would mimic the look of wood and stone, bringing in the aesthetic pleasure minus the cost and the heaviness of these materials.
Formica came to the forefront because of its durability and ability to weather the heat. Mostly used in kitchen countertops, Formica came to be a household favorite because of its ability to withstand high temperatures without developing burnt marks. Today, Formica enjoys the same rating as granite when tested for heat resistance. However, for most other laminates, it is recommended to use a trivet to avoid burnt marks and discoloration.
It Is Nearly Impossible to Stain Formica
Formica is famous for not being easily stained. In fact, not just compared to other laminates, but when compared to all the other options available in the market today, Formica is less likely to be stained. When you look at quartz or other costly alternatives, they do get stained pretty fast. Other laminates, too, tend to stain more easily than Formica.
Formica Is Naturally Germ Resistant
Formica is antimicrobial, and so it naturally does not let germs accumulate on the surface. This basic protection is baked into Formica, which cannot be easily found in other laminates.
However, having this protection built-in does not mean that you do not need to clean the surface at all.
Regular cleaning is just as essential with Formica as with any other laminates or alternate materials. Formica prevents the build-up of pathogens and, therefore, hinders the spread of germs and other contamination.
Formica Is Impact Resistant
Formica is highly resistant to any impact from heavy objects. So much so that it is considered better than stone even; stone tends to chip over time. However, Formica stays intact. Compared to other laminates, too, Formica is largely impact-resistant.
Even when compared to other alternatives apart from the laminates, Formica is highly durable and resistant. Even the alternatives on the more expensive end of the spectrum – granite and quartz cannot boast of this quality.
Formica Edges Can Be Shaped to Be Bullnose
You can get a bullnose shape out of a Formica easily, which will make it safer if you have little kids playing around. This is not always the case with all the other kinds of laminates, and certainly not the case with most stone and wood surfaces where there are sharp corners rather than round edges of a bullnose design.
Formica is highly pliable, making it easy to have a rounded edge rather than a sharp one. Having square corners with sharp edges also tend to go black and look grimy over time. This is not the case with rounded edges.
Other laminates tend to have weak edges that allow moisture to seep in. Over time, this moisture may spoil the adhesive that holds the laminate to the base, and it will eventually begin to show signs of damage. However, using Formica will ensure that this does not happen.
Today’s homeowners choose laminates to build their countertops, floors, and even their patio. Needless to say, laminates play a crucial role in home improvement and renovation projects. It is critical to choose your laminates carefully if you are looking to use and enjoy the end product for a long time to come. Formica is one such product that will withstand the test of time.
Given how affordable it is compared to its alternatives, it makes sense to invest in the Formica laminates and use the leftover money from your budget towards other home improvement projects.