What are the characteristics of a compact countertop? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Will it fit any kitchen arrangement? We will answer these and other questions about compact countertops below. Interior designer Ida Mikołajska, co-owner of the MIKOŁAJSKAstudio studio, shared her knowledge and experience with us.
Countertops in the kitchen or bathroom are a topic that can arouse a lot of emotions and controversy. As users of space, we use them almost every day and the wrong choice can cost us not only a lot of money, but also nerves and trouble.
Compact top, what is it made of?
And here you may really be surprised! The compact tabletop is an HPL board (wood-based product). It is made of papers soaked in resins, which are then pressed under very high steam pressure. This process is also accompanied by high temperature. High pressure guarantees the appropriate density of the countertop, which in turn affects its amazing properties.
Compact countertops, what are they?
Compact countertops are a material that is an alternative to previously used kitchen countertops, such as those made of conglomerates, quartz sinters, stone or composite. An alternative, but much more perfect. Compact countertops combine all the best features of the above. They are as durable as laminated countertops, practical as those made of solid surface, and comparable in beauty to stone countertops.
Compact countertop, what are its characteristics?
Compact countertops are ultra-thin (even from 10 mm). However, the thickness of the countertop does not affect their durability. They even work well when using suspended sinks and washbasins.
– Thin compact countertops are completely resistant to moisture, which makes them much more durable than laminated countertops. They are hard, but please remember that this is not a mass-dyed product – if we damage its outer coating along with the layer on which the pattern is printed, we will see a core that is uniform (usually similar in color to the external decor, but not identical) . They are also quite resistant to heat, but it is worth using insulating pads under hot dishes freshly removed from the induction hob, gas stove or oven, says architect Ida Mikołajska.
The HPL compact laminate is covered with a special antibacterial coating with silver ions. It also has a perfectly smooth surface. Compact countertops can be safely used as kitchen countertops and work surfaces in contact with food. The mentioned antibacterial coating destroys 99.9% of bacteria within 24 hours.
To sum up, a compact countertop is:
resistant to mechanical damage, scratches and impacts
Compact countertops are not only used in kitchens and bathrooms. They can be successfully used in the furniture industry when designing tables and coffee tables (due to their water resistance – also outdoor furniture). They are also used in the design of restaurants and cafes. An additional advantage of compact countertops is the fact that they are extremely easy to process and can be milled without any problems.
Compact countertops, what color are they?
– Compact countertops are available in an increasing number of colors and decors. Manufacturers also make sure that the customer can choose between a variety of structures. Their advantage is undoubtedly their thickness. If we want to achieve the effect of a light countertop, as thin as a razor blade, this is the perfect material for our concept, says the co-owner of MIKOŁAJSKAstudio.
How much does a compact countertop cost?
– For a long time, the materials available on the market were either relatively cheap, but had significant functional defects (wooden countertop, laminated countertop), or had high visual and functional values, but were very expensive compared to the finishing of an apartment or house (stone, sinter, conglomerate). A few years ago, a completely new, intermediate option appeared – compact countertops. This is an interesting proposition from manufacturers that filled the “gap” on the price axis of kitchen countertops. Being at the stage of moving this year, I decided on this solution and I am satisfied with it – recalls Ida Mikołajska.
Compact kitchen countertops or for everyone?
No, because everyone uses space differently – some people love to cook, others use the kitchen mainly for preparing coffee. The budget that the investor can allocate for equipment is also important. Depending on the materials and solutions used, the price difference can be even several times higher!
– If we dream of a massive, very thick countertop (e.g. 5-15 cm), we should look for a different material because, unlike sintered, a compact countertop should not be connected at an angle of 45 degrees – adds the architect.
Thin compact countertops, for which interiors?
The compact countertop creates a decorative accent, especially in minimalist interiors, where every detail and subtlety is important. It will highlight the beauty of kitchen furniture or bathroom ceramics in a unique way.