A printed image under a resin coating allows for cheap production, large product ranges and easy material replication. Stone, timber, metallics or solid colours are all achievable. The appearance of laminate has greatly improved in the last decade, but closer inspection on the counter edge will still reveal that the counter is not a single solid material. Also, texture and feel of the replicated material cannot be achieved. A stone laminate will never feel like stone. Even timber texture and feel are hard to match, although to a lesser degree. The most common brands are Formica/Laminex & Polytec.
Scratch / Chip: ★★★☆
Quality varies between products. The ratings above are an indicative and general method for comparing materials with one another.