Consideration for Counters Requiring Water Resistance

Laminate counter tops are a great solution for many commercial build out projects. Caring for your counter is usually simply a matter of using care and regular cleaning.

Although laminate counter tops are generally very strong and low-maintenance, they are not the best choice in certain situations. One common problem is over exposure to water. While casual water from occasional sprays and spills in a residential kitchen will not normally damage the counter, allowing large amounts of water to stand pooled on the surface can result in causing the surface of the laminate to warp and ripple.

If your commercial installation has suffered from water damage, repair may be possible, depending on the underlying components. Problems arise when water seeps through seams and causes swelling in the particle board beneath. When the particle board swells, it puts pressure on the laminate seam. Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse the swelling of the particle board–both the particle board and laminate will need to be removed and replaced. Post form counter tops (one-piece rounded front edge and molded backsplash) are somewhat less susceptible to water damage, simply because there are no seams within the laminate components–the areas that attach to the wall and the cabinets below still can allow water to penetrate, however.

A few suggestions to reduce exposure to these types of problems:

  • Invest in proper substrate materials such as marine board if the presence of water is unavoidable. Please keep in mind that even such materials are water resistant, not water proof. Even marine board will not withstand constant water seepage without ill effects.
  • Use a solid surface material such as Corian instead of laminate. Solid surface counter top material offers superior water resistant seaming techniques. Investing in better quality material up front often results in long term savings since it lasts much longer.

Please call John at Boardworks (219-464-9449)  if you have a project you have questions about.

Local Fabricator vs. Big Box Stores

Your home is an investment in your future, even if you have no plans of selling it.

Money spent now for high quality, professionally installed countertops will result in an enjoyable kitchen for years to come.

At Boardworks we care about our work and stand behind our products.  You will benefit from our experience, expert advice, and personal service. We offer quick, friendly, reliable service and can beat the big box store’s prices; we guarantee it.

Know What You’re Getting

Casework, the custom furniture and fixtures for your space, is a very important component of most projects. The vendor you or your contractor select should be chosen with great care. Make sure you are comparing “apples to apples” in regards to quality and experience; there is a big difference between a reseller of pre-manufactured cabinets and a shop employing carpenters who can build any type of custom component the situation dictates.

Above all, look beyond the price (remember the old cliche still holds true “you get what you pay for”). Ask questions. Are the cabinets specified in your bid wall-to-wall or do they use fillers? Where is the company’s shop located? Are the cabinets pre-manufactured and then being shipped from a distant location and installed by a local crew or will the same people measure, build and install? If there is a problem with installation because components do not fit well, who will be accountable? Does your vendor have a crew or are they a one man garage shop without the resources to react if something goes awry. A reputable casework company will be able to provide a list of references as well as job sites you can visit to see their work firsthand and/or photographs of past projects.

Boardworks has been in business since 1981. We employ experienced craftsmen with decades of experience in multiple trades. We have a long list of satisfied clients who have used our services to help them construct banks, credit unions, medical offices, classrooms, retail counters, convenience stores and much more. You can see samples of our work at If you have a project you would like for us to help you with, please call John Sipple at 219-464-9449.

Re-laminating Vs. Building New

In this economy, everyone is striving to save money wherever possible. Many times clients with chipped counter tops and cabinets assume that re-laminating existing surfaces will be more cost effective than a new build. Boardworks tries hard to save clients money; however, in some cases re-laminating is not cost effective or aesthetically feasible for several reasons:

The Match Up
It’s nearly impossible to only re-laminate the “trouble” spots where laminate is worn or chipped. Assuming the laminate color is still available (colors and finishes are discontinued), the new material can look more vivid and might not match laminate that has been in place for years. There is also the problem of matching seams so that the result looks professional—putting a “patch” in place is not going to look good.

The Mess
Unless you’ve been through a re-laminating job before, it’s easy to underestimate the mess that ensues when the project gets underway. There are fumes, saw dust and generally a lot of noise—typically not a situation where business can go on “as usual.” If your place of business operates 24/7 it can be a bit more challenging. Boardworks carpenters always leave a job site neat and clean, but in the middle of a project, a mess is nearly inevitable.

Lost Productivity
During the installation, employees may need to evacuate the work area. Relocating employees, even temporarily, may result in downtime and decreased productivity.

Boardworks carpenters are trained to “measure twice and cut once”, as the old saying goes. However, when we do a rehab job, measuring twice is often not enough—many times we need to take multiple trips between the client site and our shop to check measurements against one another. When we build a new counter as an example, we are able to measure on site and then construct the new one in the shop; trips to and fro are kept to a minimum and we can get the onsite installation done faster. This means you are not subject to the whole process and find it to be more expedient.

We recommend if a work surface or counter top is damaged (unless it is only the front edge of a square edge top) it will be more cost effective and seamless to replace it entirely. If your reception counter or cabinet fronts are de-laminating it may make sense to consider re-laminating the face, cabinet edges and replace the doors on site.

We are happy to speak to you about the specifics of your job to let you know which route would be best for you. Call John Sipple at 219-464-9449 for more information.

A Great Looking Reception Desk Can Create A Lasting First Impression

What do your clients or customers see when they enter your office? Think about the receptionist you have hired–is he or she professionally dressed? Friendly? Courteous? Hopefully you answered, “Yes”, “yes” and “yes.”

Now think about the reception desk where the person who greets your customers sits… Does it look professional, with no chips or scratches? Is it designed in a welcoming manner that encourages easy communication with visitors? Does it reflect your company’s image? Hopefully you answered “yes” to each of these questions as well.

Your reception area creates an impression about you, your employees and your whole business. Keeping the area up to date and streamlined can make a big difference in how you are perceived.

A custom designed reception desk can enhance your image, improve efficiency and create better “flow.” We are proud to have designed many reception desks throughout Northwest Indiana that have helped our clients achieve these aims. You can check out our photo gallery to see examples of our work. Give us a call at 219-464-9449 if you need a facelift for your reception area.