This Popular Countertop Material Has a Downside You Should Know About

But it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.
Lydia Geisel Avatar
kitchen counter overhand with bold floor tile

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When you’re designing your forever home, the question of how long it is going to last comes up a lot. Staying power is everything, especially in high-traffic spaces like the kitchen. Never want to pick up a sledgehammer again? A new breakdown of the typical life expectancies for common household fixtures reveals some popular countertop materials expire sooner than you’d expect. 

The report found that natural stone (think: granite), engineered quartz, and tile counters will look good for 100-plus years. It’s trendy options like laminate, which usually lasts 20 to 30 years, that could pose a problem down the road. Given that the surface is a popular choice for remodelers right now (Reserve Home founder Mallory Fletchall recently installed IKEA’s marble-effect countertop in her Brooklyn kitchen as an affordable alternative to the real deal, while Duke Studios proved it looks ultra-contemporary with plywood cabinets), we figured a friendly PSA was in order.

The upside: There are ways to keep it looking good as new long-term. These surfaces are fairly low-maintenance, according to Formica’s care tip site. Trick number one: Stock up on cutting boards—you’ll want to avoid chopping and slicing directly on the surface so it doesn’t scratch or crack. Cookware still hot from the stove is also off-limits, so keep a few trivets around for when you need to set something down. Also, trade in your steel-wool cleaning pads for soft, simple cotton cloths. In most cases, all you need is a mild household cleaner and a damp rag to get rid of lingering grime. Wipe it down often and you’ll live happily ever after. 

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Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.