Popular Countertop Material Misconceptions

Recent research shows that the majority of homeowners confuse popular countertop material

What is the primary material in laminate? Does granite need to be routinely sealed? How exactly is a quartz countertop made?

As home improvement projects continue to soar in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, Formica Corporation wanted to find out just how much the average consumer knew about their countertop surfaces. In March 2021, we deployed a survey of 1,000 homeowners and 250 interior designers to understand where there are knowledge gaps about popular countertop materials, and to dispel some common myths.

93% of interior designers agree that homeowners get confused on common surface materials

Porous vs. Nonporous

When choosing a countertop, 56% of designers say ease of care is an important attribute their clients ask for and 85% of homeowners also say it would be useful to have a nonporous surface, yet granite and marble are top materials homeowners are considering (42% and 27%, respectively). 

In fact, 70% of homeowners do not realize that marble requires sealing in order to protect against common everyday household problems such as staining, and 63% don’t realize granite requires sealing maintenance. 

An alternative solution for a truly nonporous surface could be Everform™ Solid Surface. Everform™ is an acrylic surface made from natural mineral fiber and binding resins. It is seamless, nonporous, highly durable and repairable, as well as water- and fire-resistant.


Naturally Occurring vs. Man Made

More than two-thirds of homeowners could not correctly identify the primary material used in quartz surfaces (man-made engineered stone), with many believing it’s a naturally occurring slab. While quartz countertops do contain crystals that are mined, they are ground up into a dust or powder and then fused with resin binders to create the slab. So while granite is mined from a quarry, quartz slabs are man-made.

Paper or Plastic

When asked, 95% of homeowners could not name the primary components of laminate, which are treated layers of Kraft paper and a decorative sheet pressed together under high heat. For years, laminate has been referred to as “plastic laminate,” but the primary component of laminate is naturally occurring sustainably sourced paper.

With 71% of homeowners surveyed saying they are planning a home renovation project in the next 12 months, it is important to research popular countertop materials and their performance attributes to ensure they match your lifestyle. Even if the high level of care marble and other stone materials require isn’t ideal for you, there are many ways you can still achieve these looks with more durable materials. You may just find that the suite of products available from Formica Corporation are a perfect fit!

This study was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Formica Corporation among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adult homeowners, and 250 U.S. interior designers, both residential and commercial, between March 22 and March 30, 2021. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 6.2 percentage points for interior designers and 3.1 percentage points for homeowners from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. 

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