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Architect Jay Warren Bright of New Haven, Conn., recently posed four questions about high-pressure decorative laminates (HPDLs) following my January column on woods used in kitchen cabinets. Since they're probably of interest to all builders, I decided to devote this month's column to all four questions—starting with the easiest. 1. What temperature can high-pressure decorative laminates withstand in hot pans or pots? The answer is 275 F, but who knows the temperature of a pot? Put it this way: You can take a pot of boiling water off the range and put it down on the countertop without damage. But don't try it with a frying pan. 2. I've seen a 20-year-old woodgrain countertop fade to white under a skylight.