7 tips for choosing a plastic countertop

Plastic table top is the most affordable, but not in the least second-rate option, because it is much better than expensive countertops made of wood and even stone. The main thing is to choose it correctly and know the rules of operation. In this article you will find 7 tips for choosing a kitchen countertop from laminated chipboard, an overview of the pros and cons of the material, and recommendations for care.

Pros and cons, comparison with other materials

Plastic table top is a chipboard with a decorative and protective coating made of melamine. Thanks to the digital printing method, the decorative layer pattern mimics natural textures, for example, granite or wood. And the top layer can be smooth, matte or "shagreen".

Pros:

  • Low price (1000-4000 rubles per running meter);
  • Ease of care;
  • Color fastness to burn-out from UV rays;
  • Relative heat resistance - plastic can withstand short-term contact with hot dishes at a temperature of 180-230 degrees (depending on the thickness of the plastic layer);
  • Resistance to rubbing with brushes and cleaning with the use of aggressive household chemicals;
  • Resistance to humidity (under the condition of intact protective layer and closed ends);
  • Ease of installation and dismantling;
  • A variety of colors and textures (more than 150 color options, as well as the ability to select the print yourself, buying a countertop on request).

Below are examples of how a plastic countertop can look like a stone or a tree in the interior of a kitchen.

Столешница из LDSP под камень

Table top made of laminated chipboard under the stone

  • Plastic worktop for wood
  • Plastic worktop for wood
  • Plastic worktop for wood
White plastic worktop

White plastic countertop in the interior of the kitchen

  • Оранжевая столешница из LDSPMost often, plastic countertops mimic the natural textures of wood, stone or ceramic mosaic, however, there are simply colored single-color slabs
  • Оранжевая столешница из LDSPMost often, plastic countertops mimic the natural textures of wood, stone or ceramic mosaic, however, there are simply colored single-color slabs

However, the drawbacks of the table top from the chipboard are, it is:

  • Artificiality of the material, visible to the eye and to the touch;
  • Toxicity at the open ends (however, as a rule, for the manufacture of countertops use EAF class E1, releasing formaldehyde in small amounts);
  • Swelling of the plate when moisture enters the areas with a damaged plastic layer;
  • Presence of appreciable seams (they are closed by special profiles), if the kitchen corner as on the photo below or longer than 3 meters.
  • Corner kitchen countertop
  • Corner kitchen countertop

Corner worktop with beveled side wall

If you compare the chipboard with other popular materials only for performance characteristics, then it turns out that the "plastic" is second only to the agglomerate (composite material made of natural stone and polymers) and confidently wins wood and natural stone (if see the table below from a mobile device, turn the screen in horizontal position):

TreeAgglomerateA natural stoneAcrylic stoneLDSP
Scratch Resistance23212
Resistance to pollution23233
Resistance to cracking and chipping23233
Resistance to flame and high temperatures12322
Resistance to the influence of caustic acids13232
Impenetrable to moisture23232
Shock resistance23122
Color fastness23133
Total points1423151819

* 3 - excellent, 2-satisfactory, 1-bad.

7 Tips for the Buyer

Tip 1. Choose a worktop with a seamless edge

Раньше торцы кухонных столешниц из LDSP закрывали декоративными кромками, которым было свойственно отклеиваться из-за попадания в швы влаги и грязи.

Plastic worktop with melamine edge

Plastic worktop with melamine edge

Plastic worktop with edge

Modern countertops often (but not always) have seamless front ends wrapped in plastic postforming. Sometimes the plastic coating reaches only the bottom edge of the butt (the joint is treated with a sealant), and sometimes wrapped on the back side. The latter option is preferable, since in this case the seam remains hidden and hard to reach for moisture and dirt, and in case of large leaks a drip tray is provided in it (see photo below), which will prevent moisture from seeping into the thickness of the plate. By the way, the drip tray is not present in all the worktops, so we recommend that you always check its availability.

Standing postforming

Postforming tabletop, as a rule, has a rounded edge

Standing postforming с каплесборником

A drip tray is a groove in which, in the event of a leak, water will collect, preventing moisture from seeping into the core

  • The postforming worktop is suitable only for kitchens with a right angle, rather than curved ones. The edges of the rounded countertops are covered with edges made of plastic, melamine and even aluminum. Most often, the edge is selected in a tone to the table top, but if desired, it can be made contrast.

Tip 2. The thicker the plastic layer, the more reliable the material

Wear resistance and durability of the table top mainly depends on the thickness of the plastic layer. Most often domestic and Polish manufacturers make a layer of melamine with a thickness of 0.4-0.5 mm, and manufacturers in Germany and Italy - 0.8 mm. Such a protective coating will not get burned or deformed from short-term contact, say, with a hot frying pan.

Совет 3. Чем толще плита LDSP, тем основательнее она выглядит

Пластиковые столешницы могут иметь толщину 2,8 см, 3,8 см и реже - 4 см. Чем толще плита, тем добротнее она выглядит и тем больше напоминает каменную или деревянную столешницу. Кроме того, толстая LDSP позволяет вставать на напольные тумбы, например, чтобы прибраться в верхних шкафчиках кухни.

  • For a headset of non-standard height, you can order a more solid tabletop 6-10 cm thick or, on the contrary, thinner - up to 12 mm thick. True, the cutting edge of such a non-standard plate will be closed not by postforming technology, but by the usual edge.
  • Thick plastic countertop with contrasting edgeThick plastic countertop with contrasting edge
  • Thick plastic countertop with contrasting edgeThick plastic countertop with contrasting edge

Tip 4. A smooth semi-matt countertop of light color is less than a dark, glossy and structural

When choosing a plastic worktop in color, keep in mind that on a dark background there will be very noticeable tiny pollution, for example, water droplets, dust, dirt, stains after cleaning, crumbs and grains. If you really want to install a dark countertop, we recommend choosing a plate with pronounced light impregnations or veins, for example, with a granite texture as on the photo below or marble.

  • Темная столешница из LDSP под камень
  • Темная столешница из LDSP под камень

Also, we recommend avoiding tabletops with a pronounced structure (for example, repeating the relief of wood), as well as with a glossy coating. The first option is harder to clean, and the second - is prone to quickly get dirty fingerprints.

Столешница из LDSP со структурой под дерево

Столешница из LDSP со структурой чистится несколько сложнее гладкой поверхности

Glossy plastic table top

Glossy plastic countertops are less prone to scratches, but it is more difficult to care for, as it is very visible fingerprints

Tip 5. Ideally, it is worth buying a countertop of increased depth

The standard depth of the kitchen countertop is 60 cm, but ideally it is worth choosing or ordering a slab of increased depth - 63-65 cm. So you will not "beat" your feet on the protruding furniture handles.

  • Sometimes for the arrangement of the kitchen requires a countertop of even greater depth. For example, if you need to bypass the vent or embed it in the windowsill. In this case, it is worthwhile to look for factories that manufacture slabs up to 120 cm deep.

Смотрите также материал: Размеры кухонных столешниц из LDSP, массива, искусственного и натурального камня. Что нужно знать перед покупкой?

Tip 6. Follow the rules of use and care

  • If possible, stains, especially liquids, should be removed as soon as possible with mild cleaning agents and a cloth;
  • To remove old dirt, they must be treated with a cleaning agent and leave "soaked" for a while or treated with a liquid detergent for cleaning and polishing furniture (except for glossy surfaces);
  • Oily dirt (oil, grease, wax, etc.) should be removed with organic solvents;
  • Keep in mind that glossy countertops can not be treated with polishing agents, as well as by means of oils and wax, otherwise the surface will cease to shine;
  • Always use a cutting board to avoid scratching;
  • Не ставьте на ламинированную столешницу горячие сковородки и кастрюли дольше чем на 20 секунд. Утварь, только что снятую с плиты, и вовсе стоит держать подальше от LDSP, ведь даже самый качественный пластик выдержит контакт с посудой температурой 230-240 градусов, тогда как раскаленная посуда может достигать 250 градусов.

Tip 7. The worktop should be combined with the interior elements of the kitchen

Most often, the kitchen countertop is selected in a tone to the apron or facades of the headset (see photo-example below). Also, you can navigate in the choice of color and texture on the windowsills, floor, table top of the dining table.

Table top made of plastic in tone set

Table top made of plastic in tone set

  • Kitchen top in the tone of the tableKitchen top in the tone of the table
  • Kitchen top in the tone of the tableKitchen top in the tone of the table

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