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Cutting & Scratching On Laminate Countertops E-mail
One of the major drawbacks of laminate countertops is that they are prone to cuts and scratches. Laminate coatings may be hard and rigid, but the top layer is soft and can easily get dented, cracked, or scraped. Such blemishes can be hard to remove, and the only solution is usually just to cover them up with grout or filling. These do not get rid of the damage and may have to be reapplied regularly, which can get expensive in the long run. Reinforced plastic laminates, such as those mixed with glass or carbon fibers, are more resistant to damage, but they cost more and can get brittle over time as well. Cuts and scratches in laminate countertops may be caused by sharp objects, abrasives, or burns.

Sharp objects

Knives are probably the most common cause of surface damage on laminate countertops. Many people chop directly on their countertops rather than on chopping boards to save dishwashing time. Although this is fine for stone or granite countertops, plastic laminates cannot take the same amount of abuse. Knives need not be very shard to cut into a laminate countertop; even dull ends like keys or coins can make permanent marks on your countertop surface.


Many laminate countertop owners make the mistake of trying to get rid of stubborn stains by scrubbing with a rough sponge, or even sandpaper. While this certainly takes care of the stain, it leaves you with a mark more unsightly – and more permanent – than a simple stain. Small, hard particles such as rock salt or sugar can also scratch a laminate countertop surface, as well as the bottom of some pots and pans.


Burns can come from cigarettes or exposure to acids. Cigarette burns are a very common culprit of countertop surface damage. They are one of the most difficult countertop blemishes to deal with, because they leave both stains and surface damage. The dark stain they cause is almost always permanent, and the deformation is hard to cover up because the cut is irregular.

Chemical burns are caused when the laminate comes into contact with strong acids, such as hydrochloric and cleaning acids. Burns reach into the kraft layer as well, exposing the rest of the countertop's interior to even more damage.

How to avoid cuts and scratches

Never use your laminate countertop as a chopping board. Use a separate chopping board, and if you have room to spare, do your chopping on a different surface, such as a kitchen table.

Use only soft rags or fine sponges to clean up. Do not try to remove stains by rough scrubbing. Remove salt or sugar spills gently, or sweep them away with a brush.

Avoid smoking when working on your laminate countertop. Keep cigarettes away from your countertop, or keep an ashtray handy. Dilute cleaning acids with water and wipe them away as quickly as possible.

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