Technical

Speak to our team for specialist laminate advice in the Greater Waikato area

With over 30 years’ experience in the industry the team at Harker Laminates can assist with any technical or design questions that you may have. Speak to our staff about finishing details for your benchtop to add a new dimension of comfort and practicality to your working space.
Trust a company that is committed to delivering the highest quality workmanship at the most competitive prices. We're proud of our hard won reputation for expert workmanship and real value for money. Our team can provide laminate benchtops for commercial, industrial or residential applications. 

FAQ

What is laminate?  
The manufacture of laminate consists of two processes; one the manufacture of the decorative surface of the product and the other the core material. These two materials come together at a press to bond the melamine treated decorative paper to the phenolic resin treated kraft paper base. This bonding forms the laminate sheet that is bonded to a MDF core to make your custom made benchtop.  
Laminate thickness and type varies so not all laminates can be used for all applications. Your Harker Laminates team will be able to answer any questions you may have in this regard.   

Can laminate colour and finish vary?  
Laminate colours can vary slightly from samples in both colour and texture. 
It is important to note that with undermount bowls some bowl rim telegraphing will be visible and with gloss laminates a ‘sand ripple’ appearance may be visible in certain lights. This is due to the gloss laminate highlighting any natural imperfections in the substrate and is similar to the effect seen with gloss paints on imperfect walls. 
It pays to remember that your gloss laminate top is formed from paper and does not have the same properties as polished stone. 
How can design affect a laminate top?  
Laminate tops are very versatile and can be manufactured in many shapes and sizes. Benchtop thickness does not have a major impact on price, however features such as waterfall ends or negative detail will.  
Common features such as upstands help bring additional versatility to your kitchen but during the design phase join complexity should be considered. Generally, complex joins (those involving two or more features) will be done in the factory and only undertaken on site by experienced installers. Joins near sinks should be avoided due to the risk of water seepage into the join causing the join to swell. At the design stage consideration should be given to join placement to assist with installation around walls, cabinets and windows. Directional laminates require special joins to help match the grain and this will add to the cost as additional laminate will be required.  
Laminate like many other benchtop products can suffer from fading and discolouration over time when exposed to UV light so this needs to be considered when choosing your laminate colour.

Can bowl choice affect my benchtop quality?  
In general almost any bowl can be used with a laminate top. However when considering an undermount bowl you need to choose a bowl with a flat and even flange. Uneven flange/rim bowls will cause that undulation to be transmitted into the laminate edge. This effect is called telegraphing. With poorer quality bowls, telegraphing can be minimised but the trade-off is a thick and possibly uneven silicon glue line bonding the bowl to the laminate. We do not recommend the undermounting of heavy ceramic or porcelain bowls.  
Butler sinks are fashionable but warranty limitations/exclusions exist around the seal between the bowl and top as pooled water at that point can easily access the timber substrate and cause swelling. Butler sinks need to be fitted onsite by a plumber to ensure an adequate seal between the bowl and the top.
Bathroom repairs in Waikto
Kitchen repairs in Waikto

Care & Maintenance

To keep your benchtop in great condition cleaning it with a solution of warm water and liquid dishwashing detergent is all that should be needed. Below are some other tips that will help prolong the life of your benchtop:
  • Don’t place hot pots or dishes straight from the oven directly onto your benchtop as blistering and burning can result. 
  • Avoid using scourers and abrasives to clean your benchtop as they will damage the surface. Clean soapy water is sufficient to remove most marks from the surface. 
  • Always use a chopping board when cutting fruit and vegetables etc as cutting directly onto a laminate benchtop will damage the surface. 
  • Avoid placing appliances etc over any joins as the heat may cause the laminate around the joins to lift. 
  • Streaky marks sometimes show on dark colours and gloss surfaces after cleaning. Mr Muscle Surface Cleaner or Ajax Spray N Wipe should remove these. 
  • Laminate surfaces are resistant to staining from most household spills but prompt action is needed in some cases to prevent damage. Wipe off beetroot and berry juices, first aid preparations, concentrated bleach, oven cleaners, dishwasher detergents and artificial dyes or hair colouring immediately. 
  • Glues such as Super Glue should be removed immediately with Acetone (nail polish remover). Note, some solvent based marker pens may leave permanent marks unless removed immediately. 
  • If a stain won’t move with Ajax Spray N Wipe try using Methylated Spirits. Note, always take care around joins and edges when using these products as they can break down the adhesive used to bond the laminate to the substrate. 
  • Solvents such as Acetone and Methylated Spirits are also highly flammable so take extreme care when using these products. 
  • Laminate surfaces will withstand normal household wear and tear for many years but can be damaged by scratching or cutting with utensils, knives or unglazed pottery. 
  • Darker colours and gloss surfaces will show scratches more easily than lighter colours. To minimise scratching always place and lift objects from the surface – never drag or slide them across the laminate.

Warranty

With each benchtop you will receive a unique manufacturers reference number.
 
Harker Laminates Ltd offers a full 5 year warranty against faulty workmanship and/or faulty materials. During this five year period, if Harker Laminates in its sole opinion is satisfied that the material or workmanship is faulty it will repair or replace the product at its sole option.
 
This warranty does not extend to wear and tear or damage rendered by abuse, misuse or negligence or to any product exported out of New Zealand.
 
Harker Laminates Ltd takes no responsibility for any consequential loss as a result of material or workmanship fault.
 
Harker Laminates Ltd reserves the right in its sole opinion to substitute material of equal quality on the items being repaired or replaced if identical material is not available at the time of repair or replacement.
 
This warranty is in addition to and not in substitution for your rights under the Consumer Guarantee Act.
 
This warranty is valid providing the product is in normal residential application and has been installed, used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
 
Normal residential application excludes sites subject to extreme temperatures and/or humidity or moisture (for example but without limitation) aquatic centres and immediate precincts, and public and commercial applications (for example but without limitation) such as washroom and toilet facilities.
 
In the unlikely event of a claim, such claim must quote your unique Harker Laminates Ltd manufacturers reference number.
 
Installation constitutes acceptance in every respect of any finished product.
Kitchen repairs in Waikto
To organise a free measure and quote, contact Harker Laminates.
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