A combination of socio-economic factors including recent health and safety concerns around engineered stone kitchen worktops has seen interest in compact laminate surge, according to insight from a leading manufacturer.

According to Elliott Fairlie, Product Lead at Bushboard, the convenience of being able to install compact laminate on site, and the resulting benefits this brings, is driving growing interest across the breadth of the supply chain.

The growing influence of the cost-conscious consumer, demand for accessible luxury in kitchen design and the increasing awareness of the risks posed by silica when working with engineered stone, have seen compact laminate worksurfaces emerge as a safe, versatile option for retailers, designers and installers looking to grow sales in a challenging market.

Due in part to their cost-effective nature, compact laminate worksurfaces are a viable alternative to traditional stone, quartz or marble. Manufactured by compressing layers of kraft paper soaked in resin under high pressure and heat, compact laminate worksurfaces are also surging in popularity given their ability to be cut and installed on-site.

Elliott Fairlie, Product Lead at Bushboard, said: “We have undoubtedly seen more heads turned towards compact laminate worksurfaces of late. With consumers understandably reluctant to spend big on major kitchen upgrades, compact laminate offers a premium look comparable to natural alternatives such a stone or quartz, but at a more affordable price point while avoiding any major health and safety risks associated with the manufacturing process.

“The latest slimline worksurfaces have been developed with flexibility, functionality and visual impact in mind. As the trend for minimalism and open-plan living spaces remain popular, thin yet extremely durable compact laminate worksurfaces create the ‘barely-there’ effect desired by many.”

In February, Bushboard released its updated Zenith range of compact laminate kitchen worksurfaces, featuring six new décor options. Consisting of 20 striking designs with an ultra-slim profile, it is now possible to replicate the texture of real stone and marble counterparts while ensuring the high-performance associated with these natural materials.

The waterproof and non-porous nature of compact laminate worksurfaces, like Zenith, allows for installation of undermount sinks to create curved edges and bespoke areas. The inclusion of Antibacterial Protection, which is added to the compact laminate in the form of resin during the manufacturing process, slows down bacterial growth by up to 99.9 per cent of the surface’s lifetime.

Elliott continued: “The latest developments in kitchen worksurfaces show that ultra-slim profiles are thriving, and Zenith has been manufactured to provide a slimline, premium look without compromising on performance. The fact that it can be cut and fitted on-site makes the installation process cost and time-effective, creating a wider appeal around this product category than ever before.”

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