By Abigail Sandra Delia. Kitchen Countertops. Published at Wednesday, March 07th, 2018 - 14:38:35 PM.
Bamboo’s best green feature is that it’s a rapidly renewable resource, plus it’s naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods. Teragren, one of the best-known producers, offers an FSC-certified product called FSC-Pure. Be aware, though, that almost all commercial bamboo comes from China, so a lot of energy goes into transporting the product to the United States.
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.
Countertops are typically fabricated from 14- or 16-gauge material, which is then glued to a substrate of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to form a rigid surface. Type 304 stainless steel is commonly used, due to its higher chromium content (and therefore corrosion resistance) and ability to be welded without affecting its durability or strength. Most common is a number 4 brushed finish, but stainless steel is also available in satin (smooth), antique matte and any number of specialty patterns.
For a bold effect, select a countertop in a lively color. While some of the top choices include yellows, oranges and lime green, the choice of white or black countertops can be as bold a color choice as yellow, depending on the kitchen.
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