Worktops | Surface tension

Providing the largest range of decors, patterns and textures, laminate worktops should be rightfully  considered as a design choice not a sell-down compromise.

16 Dec, 21

Providing the largest range of decors, patterns and textures, laminate worktops should be rightfully  considered as a design choice not a sell-down compromise.

As kitchen designers look to create ever-more luxurious schemes, it could be easy to overlook the laminate worktop.

Worktops | Surface tension

Part of the Wilsonart Group, Bushboard offers the Zenith compact laminate range through IDS. It spans 20 decors in stone, concrete and marble effects, with antibacterial protection.


But it would be remiss as laminate still accounts for the vast majority of worktop sales. Worktop director at IDS Ian Holmes comments: “Laminate worktops continue to represent the largest proportion of our overall worktop sales and there has been sustained strong demand for them over the past two years thanks to the ‘room boom’ of consumers focusing on their home improvements.

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“Despite the growth of other materials, laminate still accounts for the lion’s share of the UK market by volume.”

Unrivalled design

Manufacturers have worked hard to evolve laminate worktops with high-definition print and texture echoing natural stone, marbles, concrete and timber – so they not only remain relevant but a design choice.


As part of Topform‘s décor makeover, the Topshape worktop brand, has been revised with 18 decors. These include Milan Marble which boasts a matt texture.



Topform recently undertook its largest décor makeover in the company’s history to add 18 decors to its range.

In fact, Ian Holmes of IDS says laminate is unrivalled for providing the largest choice of decors, textures, colours, patterns or thicknesses: “A laminate worktop does not equal low design simply because it’s the lowest price worksurface material.

“Laminate has many benefits to offer ranging from the widest design choice to durability and easy maintenance.

“Good design is about being accessible to everyone and with the designs, textures and thicknesses now available this is something that laminate does in spades.

“It should be sold on its benefits and not portrayed as a sell-down choice.”


Flexible and practical

In fact, laminate can be used not just for worktops but can also provide design features, such as splashbacks and shelving.

Formica Axiom

Artist Olivia Aspinall, who owns Olivia Aspinall Studio in Nottingham, has collaborated with the Formica Group to produce three splashbacks for its Axiom collection.


Speaking about its reinvigorated worktop range, MD of Topform Paul Glynn commented: “We created a variety of sizes for an island unit which you could buy out of a box in 2000 x 900mm and 1240 x 910 mm – sizes agreed with industry experts – that could give a variety of solutions in a laminate.”

And the panels were produced double-sided so they could be used for worktop waterfall ends, shelving, encasing units or other design features.

Unlike stone or composite, laminate also doesn’t require specialist fabrication, fitting, cleaning or maintenance, which furthers its functionality as part of a hardworking kitchen scheme.

Commercial director of luxury kitchen retailer Brandt Design Julia Steadman agrees and points out the design versatility of laminate: “Being lightweight and available in a range of thicknesses, laminate can be used as panelling on island end units or on the walls, as well as for worktops.

“Lightweight and eco-friendly, synthetic worktops are durable, easy to fit and offer a high capacity for personalisation, so it is worth considering using laminate surface solutions to define specific zones in the kitchen in order to not limit yourself to just one cabinet colour and/or one worktop.”

Compact sales

The laminate market has even countered previous restrictions of design with slim, compact surfaces enabling the use of undermount sinks and routered drainers.

Ian Holmes of IDS points out s Over the last two years we have seen huge growth in compact laminate worktops in both 12mm and 20mm, confirming that a more slimline look is popular with consumers currently.

Compact laminate worktops offer all the benefits of a premium worktop, but with a price point closer to traditional laminate.

The fact that the material offers the best of both worlds is proving to be a major selling point.”

So don’t overlook laminate, but instead consider its versatility in kitchen projects.