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Forum topic by moke posted 02-08-2012 06:24 PM 2295 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1265 posts in 2973 days

02-08-2012 06:24 PM

I am in the process of doing remodeling in my business. I have been looking on line at Formica type products.
I have found a vast variety of prices. There is some product called Wilsonart plastic coating is markedly cheaper, then there is also something called vertical laminate. Can someone tell me if there is a quality difference? I want good quality products, but do not need anything too extravagant. We have many counter tops here and are in need of many more. I am just looking for plain black laminate. If I could receive some advice That would be great.

-- Mike

8 replies so far

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3261 posts in 2873 days

#1 posted 02-08-2012 06:30 PM

I have used Wilsonart and I like to work with it. I installed it in my own home in 1976 or 1977 and it was still serviceable when we sold the home in 2000. I think it is competitive with Formica. I have laid Formica brand plastic laminate that wanted to separate into layers and also had a 5’ x 12’ sheet that started breaking at an inside corner like it had internal stress. It wouldn’t stop cracking. The pieces were set back and used on a later job but it is funny stuff. I have no problem with Wilsonart but like you I have never heard of vertical laminate in my area.

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3593 days

#2 posted 02-08-2012 06:35 PM

Wilsonart is a good durable laminate. You can’t go wrong with it.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View DS's profile


3030 posts in 2618 days

#3 posted 02-08-2012 06:39 PM

Mike, in the laminate world, each color or pattern is usually available in several grades. A vertical grade laminate is typically used for vertical surfaces such as cabinet doors and end panels. These are commercial grade cabinets found in public buildings, hospitals and car dealerships. This grade is not suitable for forming or bending, are thinner than laminate for counters and are not recommended for “wear” surfaces.

Laminate for countertops is typically called post grade. (Sometimes called Standard Grade) It is thicker and suitable for post-forming, or heat bending. This is the grade you would be interested in for countertops or working surfaces, or wear surfaces.

There are chemical resistant grades and half a dozen others to meet specific requirements.

The complete specification is found on the websites of the manufacturers, but can be very confusing.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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1162 posts in 2888 days

#4 posted 02-08-2012 09:54 PM

Wilsonart = top of the line!
Vertical laminate = doors and cabinets
Standard laminate = countertops

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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534 posts in 2651 days

#5 posted 02-08-2012 10:28 PM

There are several brands of plastic laminate available, Formica, Nevamar, Wilsonart, and others that I can’t remember at the moment. Vertical grade laminate is for vertical surfaces only and will not stand up to the abuse of a countertop. Most of these brands are comparable in quality and should serve the purpose well. There is also a product called color-core that has the same color all the way through it. It works great for places you don’t want the dark line showing from the under layers of Formica and the others. Color-core is more brittle and more money but has it’s purpose. Be careful not to mix brands as each has their own “finish” and like colors of different brands may not match.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View graywolf's profile


65 posts in 2890 days

#6 posted 02-09-2012 12:16 AM

Moke, Formica, and wilsonart, color core, and several other manufactures of plastic laminates are just that manufactures of plastic laminats, they all make differant grades colors and patterns. you have recieved some good advice about this so far and all very solid. The bottom line is you are faced with brands of plastic laminate that are in compitition and that with lack of expierince will cause confusion. All these products are vary good for what they are and it is up to you to deside based on your needs what you want to purchase for your project. All these manufactures produce vertical,bendable for post form tops, and standard grade for laminateing flat substrates. All have a varity of colors, patterns, and textures. All are good products for there given purpose and will give you good service for a long time depending on your enviroment. So if I where you I would based on availablity and price knowing that the quality is about the same chose what makes you happy and move on with your porject. Good luck.

-- Richard, North Carolina,

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Samel A. Livingstone

19 posts in 3788 days

#7 posted 02-09-2012 12:41 AM

We used the color core laminate for heavily used surfaces in a doctor’s office in 1986. These were for work surfaces, secretaries’ stations and patient areas that we did not want to wear through and show brown patches. In the nurses’ work room with constant shifting of metal trays no wear through. It is more brittle but easy to use. Formica brand has a similar product. After 24 years still looks good.

-- Sam, upstate

View moke's profile


1265 posts in 2973 days

#8 posted 02-09-2012 03:45 PM

Awesome information!! Thank you all, I now have a good base line of what to look for..

-- Mike

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