It is a very exciting time to be in the laminate countertop business. With all the new patterns, colours and finishes that are available now it can sometimes be overwhelming. Traditionally in the past, the laminate manufacturers were more conservative in their pattern and colour selections.
Recently, with the popularity of natural stone, granite and marble, the laminate industry has been busy updating the patterns that closely emulate this natural look. These new laminate colours have very large detailed patterns, varied colour tones and peculiar, sometimes complex variations of colour and tones.
Although manufacturers have done a marvelous job in creating laminate that offers the natural look of marble at a fraction of the cost, it does come with some obvious obstacles. Any kitchen design that requires mitres, butt joints or seams of any kind, can and will be impossible to “perfectly” match up the pattern from one piece to another.
Years previous, with the traditional colours / patterns, this was usually a non-issue in the laminate countertop business. The major North American manufacturers of laminate today, do not view these obstacles as laminate flaws. Therefore, it is our responsibility to inform customers, to be proactive and communicate to them of these laminate obstacles that are evident in today's new colours.
In regards to butt joints, at Cutting Edge we always inspect all the material first before doing any cutting in order to match up as close as possible for the best esthetic looking match. However, being that every customer is unique in their expectations, it is impossible for us to know if the customer will be satisfied with the match, which again, the major laminate manufacturers along with Cutting Edge will deem as being acceptable to industry standards.
Possible solutions for our customers include; choosing another more contemporary colour, or for them to purchase double the material required to do the butt joint. This solution does not mean that a perfect match can be attained, but we will be able to match better with more material. This must be discussed with our customers.
As a leader in the laminate countertop industry, we feel it is necessary for ourselves and our dealers to communicate these concerns and options with customers at the time of purchase.
A good rule of thumb (but not limited to) which colours could be an issue, is any samples that do not have a 2” x 3” chip available, and any 12” sample that has a unique pattern/colour.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office to talk about any concerns with pattern matching.