Let's start with laminate. Laminate countertops are your basic, low cost countertops livermore. Typically made of a plastic laminate material glued to a pressed wood surface, laminate countertops offer a seemingly limitless array of color and pattern options. Today's laminate can even mimic the look of natural stone with photographic representations of granite, and edges that are similar in style to those you see on natural stone countertops. But because laminate is the lowest priced countertop option, it has its limitations. Laminate is easily damaged, and not easily repaired. Knives and other sharp objects can scratch or gouge laminate, and heat from hot pans and dishes can scorch or bubble its surface. Since laminate is like a veneer, there is no room to buff out damage. Laminate countertops will not last a lifetime, either. You should expect to need to replace laminate within 10 to 15 years.