Plastic countertops for the kitchen are preferred by housewives who skillfully use practical, original and economical materials in the decoration of the room.
Today, manufacturers offer a wide range of such products for the home, they can be purchased ready-made and to order. It is possible to choose kitchen sets with plastic countertops that are suitable in size, color and price, given some of their features.
Advantages and disadvantages of plastic coated countertops
Plastic countertops are chipboard with a decorative coating. This material has both advantages and disadvantages.
Melamine coating is valued for such positive qualities as:
- heat resistance (short contact with dishes, the temperature of which can reach + 230 ° C, will not spoil the appearance);
- the ability to withstand exposure to water (if there is no damage to the protective layer and the integrity of the ends is not broken);
- strength, as well as the absence of damage under mechanical stress and the use of aggressive household chemicals;
- resistance to sunlight;
- ease of installation;
- rich colors, a variety of textures (matte, “shagreen”, glossy finish);
- affordable price.
Given the peculiarities of the use of plastic, it is worth paying attention to the disadvantages of such products. First of all, it is a short service life. If the integrity of the plastic layer is broken, then water can enter the crack and swell the plate. To prevent this from happening, it is imperative to use a cutting board for cutting products. With open ends, harmful substances can be released, even in small quantities. The appearance and texture of plastic countertops for the kitchen still lose to products made from natural materials.
In order for a plastic countertop to serve as long as possible, you need to choose the right one, taking into account all the nuances. First of all, the thickness of the chipboard. The more solid it looks, the more it resembles stone and wood, the more reliable. Basically, buyers choose products having a thickness of 28 and 38 mm.
To avoid the negative effects of high pressure and temperature, which can spoil the appearance of the purchase, it is worth considering the thickness of the plastic layer. It should be at least 0.4 mm (such for products of a domestic manufacturer).
Appearance is also of practical importance. On a dark surface, the smallest dirt, water drops, etc. are clearly visible. The least brand will be a light semi-gloss countertop.
The big advantage of the product is the seamless edge and increased depth. In the first case, the surface is better protected from moisture, in the second it is convenient that you do not have to constantly touch the protruding handles of the headset with your feet.
Plastic countertops differ in many ways: material, consumer properties, cost.
The thickness of the product depends on the density of the material:
- high (tabletops 18, 28 and 38 mm);
- medium (50 mm);
- combined (60 mm).
- for countertops installed along the wall — 60 cm;
- for openly located — 64 cm, 90 cm.
Side profile type (postforming table top):
- “blockage” (rounding of the coating from above);
- “hem” (rounding on both sides).
The cost of a plastic countertop starts from 1500 rubles per 1 running meter. The better the material, the more reliable the manufacturer, the more expensive.
The process of installing a plastic countertop is best left to professionals if there is no self-confidence. But with your own hands, having the skills to perform such work, it is also possible to install it.
Work is carried out in stages:
- Remove the old countertop (if any). Align kitchen cabinets horizontally using a spirit level.
- Apply markings on the countertop, attaching the product to the future location (distance from the wall 5 mm). If the recesses are cut with an electric jigsaw, then make marks from the end side, if with a hacksaw, then from the front. Determine a place for a sink.
- Stick masking tape on the intended cutting line, which will avoid cracks during work.
- Adjust the plate to the required dimensions. It is more convenient to cut along the guide bar. Process the ends with a file.
- Cut out the marked holes. Fill cuts and joints with silicone sealant.
- Put the countertop in place and fix it on the cabinets.
- Close the end cuts with overlays, if necessary, install the plinth.
When doing work on your own, it should be borne in mind that cracks and chips that have arisen during the installation of a PVC table, kitchen worktop cannot be eliminated.
Custom-made plastic countertops
Manufacturers of cabinet furniture offer their services for the manufacture of plastic countertops. Types, colors and sizes — at the request of the customer. Design services are provided. Some people prefer to install a countertop instead of a kitchen window sill. It is better to entrust the implementation of such a decision to a specialist.
You can choose the option you like in the online store. Employees of the company will clarify the necessary details: the shape, size, location of the sink, etc. Then they will make a layout, discuss all the nuances with the customer and install the product.
Caring for plastic countertops
In order for the countertop to serve as long as possible, it is necessary to fulfill the basic requirements for the operation of a plastic product. Stains and liquids should be removed from the surface immediately. It is advisable to apply a mild detergent on old dirt, wait a while and wipe this place with a damp sponge. From a matte surface, stains can be removed with a furniture polish (only if it is allowed to be used in the kitchen).
Oil, grease and wax are removed with organic solvents. You can wash the surface with salt and soda.
Do not leave hot dishes on plastic for more than 20 seconds, but it is better not to put them on such a surface at all. Subject to all the rules of care, a plastic countertop will be a profitable, beautiful and convenient purchase.