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Worktop Advice (poll)

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by webweasel, 15 Apr 2019 at 11:16 AM.

?

Should I...

  1. Go for laminate again - but use MR laminate and make sure the fitter seals the cut chipboard

    100.0%
  2. Go for laminate again - but use MR laminate and use jointing strips rather than a mitre (ugly!)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Use solid wood that won't swell even though it is more vulnerable generally

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. webweasel

    webweasel

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    I have a kitchen worktop that has sink very close to a corner. As a result, soon after it was fitted it bubbled where the mitre cuts close to the sink. I need to replace the worktop on a bugdet and can't afford solid surface or solid laminate, so...
     
  2. Ian H

    Ian H

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    What about ply and tile the top like @foxhole
     
  3. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    AFAIK there is no such thing as "solid laminate". Do you by any chance mean solid high pressure laminate (HPL)? Never seen a worktop made from that, though (expensive, too). It is commonly used to make changing room furniture and cubicles, public toilet cubicles, etc. and can be had in thicknesses up to about 18mm these days. Similarly MR laminate? By its' nature laminate (which is basically decorative paper encapsulated in phenolic resin) is moisture resistant - the core used for worktops, chipboard, isn't. I haven't seen anyone using green (MR) chipboard as a core for worktops - even Pfleiderer (aka Duropal), one of the best worktops on the market, doesn't use MR chipboard as a core material, but if there is somebody else out there doing this I'd be interested to know.

    The solution when using chipboard core worktops is generally to arrange the joint as far away as possible from the sink, often by thinking carefully the location of the sink (something some big box stores need to teach their so-called kitchen designers). The second thing to do is to ensure that the joint is accurately cut and properly sealed using an appropriate colour-matched sealant, and the third is to ensure that if the joint needs extra support from beneath, then it gets installed. Of course it helps if the cabinets have been accurately levelled through both end to end and front to back (a common DIY failing is not doing this thoroughly enough in my experience). Any chance of a photo or sketch of the ocation of the joint and sink in your worktop?

    Assuming that solid wood won't swell is maybe a bit niaive, too. Solid wood worktops are probably only suitable for those who will look after them - i.e. those who wipe off water and food spills immediately, don't use them as over-sized cutting boards, don't put hot pans down on them without first putting down a trivet, and very definitely do re-oil them a couple of times a year. They aren't cheap and they are high maintenance, but I think they are well worth it if you can put in the effort (and BTW if properly treated, not soaked all the time, they don't swell) even if they aren't generally suitable for a household with kids

    Sorry not to answer your poll, but TBH I think it's based on wrong information - which is why I've posted the above comments
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2019 at 8:20 PM
  4. webweasel

    webweasel

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    Hi J&K, this is a range of MR laminates I was looking at:

    https://www.magnettrade.co.uk/kitch...minate-worktops/?dynamic-10638=Core--Laminate

    I think MR chipboard is mostly used in the social housing sector and tends to be 28mm but this is all 38mm

    I’ve read that modern laminates tend to be thin (sometimes as little as 1mm) whereas previously they would have been thicker. This makes them cheaper and able to post form to tighter radii but also increases the risk of damage.

    Solid laminate (or SGL, not HPL) is becoming more common now ultrathin (12mm) tops are popular and it’s completely impervious but needs gluing and biscuit jointing.

    https://www.worktop-express.co.uk/solid-laminate-worktops

    Not saying solid wood won’t swell but at least it can be sanded and reconditioned. I had solid wood tops in my old house and know they need looking after but they are nice and chunky.
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2019 at 9:27 AM
  5. wgt52

    wgt52

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    Laminate on compressed chips, look at 'Axiom' brand. Seal the edges with a spirit based sealer preferably (e.g. 'BushBoard Complete') rather than PVA, both take about the same drying time.
    You must put a LARGE bead of sealer around (or in) the edge grove of the sink before putting in place; fix down firmly, with as many fixings as you can find (the companies rarely supply enough for all the fixing points on a sink) before you clean the surplus away.
     
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  6. webweasel

    webweasel

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    The sink cutout has been absolutely fine, it’s the nearby mason mitre that has blown
     
  7. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    At that price I'm afraid I wouldn't expect too much

    Yes, but it's special contract stuff and not generally available off the shelf. Frankly I'd rather go for an Axiom (Formica), Duropal (Pfleidered), Bushboard or Wilsonart worktop, all of which use HG (horizontal grade) as opposed to the thinner VG (vertical grade) laminate found on cheap worktops. The issue is how well or badly the joint is done - done properly a joint is good for 12+ years.

    Ever tried biscuit jointing 12mm thick material? Only asking. 12mm seems alien to me and I wonder how well it can support weight. Glad I no longer do domestics if it's going that way

    I have solid beech worktops at home, but then I installed them (I'm a chippy) and I still maintain a dozen or so worktops I've installed for customers over the years. The oldest has been in place more than 25 years. Maybe I'm luck in that my customers don't abuse their kitchens (the ones who do have generally ripped the kitchens out and replaced them in any case), but when people start talking about worktops swelling that indicates poor installation/lack of maintenance/abuse in my book
     
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