Formica vs. Quartz Countertop

A countertop, also known as a counter or benchtop, is a horizontally raised firm flat surface mostly found in the kitchen or bathroom where kitchen utensils or bathroom products are placed. There are different countertops on the market, but in this post, we want to discuss the Formica and quartz countertops to see how they compare. So, what is a Formica countertop? It is a countertop made of plastic resins that are laminated to form layers which are then bonded to kraft paper or particleboard, creating a durable countertop surface.

While the quartz countertop is a form of engineered stone, it is made up of natural stone or sometimes quartz itself, bound together with plastic resins and pigments.

The major difference between the Formica and the quartz countertop is that the Formica is a much cheaper option when compared to the quartz, but on a level of similarities, they both offer a long list of designs for you to choose from.

Formica vs Quartz


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Comparison Table between Formica and Quartz Countertops

CompositionPlastic resins, kraft paper, or particleboard90 percent quartz, 10 percent resins, polymers,pigments
Design optionsunlimited design optionsA wide array of design
DurabilityLess durableHighly durable
MaintenanceEasy to maintainEasy to maintain
Resale valueLowHigh
Outdoor or indoorIndoorIndoor, outdoor
InstallationDIY installationProfessional installation required

Differences between the Formica and the quartz countertop

The Formica and the quartz countertops are quite different in a lot of ways, and these differences can be seen in their composition, durability, lifespan, resale value, cost, and installation.


What a countertop is made of goes a long way to determine its reliability immediately after installation and in the years to come. As mentioned earlier, the Formica countertop is made up of plastic resins bonded to a kraft paper or particleboard. The quartz countertop is made up of 90 percent natural ground-up stones or quartz itself. The remaining 10 percent is made up of resins, polymers, and pigments that are used to bind it together.


We have seen a lot of advancements in technology which have led to the production ofimproved Formica countertops, something better than what our parents had. Despite this, Formica countertops still trail quartz countertops when it comes to durability.

Though the modern Formica countertops have a reasonable amount of impact resistance, they are still susceptible to heat and scratch. They are less hard, so deep scratches can damage the surface and reveal the material underneath. This also makes them less resistant to heat, so it is ideal to use trivets when cooking or avoid dropping hot pans on them.

On the other hand, the quartz countertop is highly durable, one of the reasons why it is one of the people’s favorites. Quartz is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals on earth. This gives your quartz countertop a scratch-resistant feature and the ability to withstand heat up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.


Looking at the durability of both countertops, it is very easy to guess which countertop has the longest lifespan, as this is one of the major factors you should consider when choosing which countertop to buy. 

A Formica countertop will last about 15 years with good maintenance and standard use. After that, you will start seeing a significant amount of wear and fading. It is also important to note that heavy use of this countertop will shorten its lifespan. 

In contrast, the quartz countertop is rated to last 10 years more than your home. It has the potential to last a lifetime as long as you don’t hit it with a hammer or pour hot coal on it. 

Resale value

At some point, you might need to resale your countertop. It could either be during a kitchen remodel or when you are selling the entirety of your house. Having a Formica countertop will definitely drop the value of your house or can even be a hindrance if the buyer has no fancy for it. This is not the case for a quartz countertop. As the most desirable countertop on the market with good features, it will be easier to find a buyer who is willing to splash the cash.


The Formica countertop is the most budget-friendly countertop on the market, both in terms of buying and installation. It is much cheaper to produce, so this reflects in its price in the market. On the contrary, a quartz countertop is quite a luxury to have, and it comes at a significant price. The quartz countertop ranks among the highest expensive countertops both in terms of buying and installation.


The Formica countertop has an easy DIY installation process. Professional installation is only required in difficult situations. Apart from that, the countertop is lightweight and usually comes pre-cut or to be cut to fit on-site. Most times, sink cut-outs are even included, which comes as an added advantage. However, the Quartz countertop strongly recommends professional installation. It is heavy and requires professional tools and training that you may not have to install.

Similarities between Formica and quartz countertop

There are just a few things the Formica and the quartz countertops have in common, and this can be found in their design options and maintenance

Design options

Both countertops offer a long list of designs for you to choose from. Before introducing pigments in quartz countertop production, quartz countertops were limited to a few colors and designs, but that has changed as they can be made to appear in many ways. The Formica and the quartz countertops can take the look of limestone, granite, marble, and slate.


Maintenance is easy with both countertops. They are both non-porous and require no sealing. Therefore, a simple wipe down with water and soap will do the work. Ensure that the soap is mild and not toxic.


The details above highlight the highs and lows of both countertops, with price being the major disadvantage of the quartz countertop. The Formica countertop has a good level of durability that matches its affordability and an okay lifespan that will satisfy anyone who wants to make a short-term investment in their kitchen or bathroom countertops. While the quartz is a countertop with high durability and a longer lifespan. It hits more of the right notes for anyone who has the taste, and the cash, looking to make a long-term investment.

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