Does anyone on here actually have formica countertops?

mistydatnApril 20, 2012

Well...the verdict is in. The budget does not allow for the granite countertops that I had been hoping for. We had several things go over and thre is no room in the budget for anything but formica:(

Did any of you use formica for your new kitchen or remodel? Most of the kitchens on here are higher end, and beautiful but too pricey for me. I want to see updated with formica kitchens. I know they are out there and beautiful too:)

I am not worrried about resale because this is our forever house. I am sure we will upgrade to granite within the next few years but for now...formica it is.

Can I see pictures of your formica countertops? Any recommendations for a budget friendly formica color that goes with walnut cabinets and naural unstained white oak floors? Thanks so much for any help!

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We just put I a brand new kitchen and we used Formica. I LOVE it! I will see if I can post some pics. The kitchen is not quite finished (the countertops need a few finishing things done, but you will get the idea).
The perimeter is formica's Basalt Slate and the island is Formica's fx180 in Dolce Vita. Our kitchen is not super high end, but I love it. Like you, we were going to do granite, but decided we would rather have custom cabinets instead. I'm so glad we made that choice! I am more than happy with the countertops.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:11PM
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I will try pics again.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:14PM
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And the island countertop.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:15PM
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I have seen pix of IKEA formaica countertops. They look great!

Honestly, it is the easiest contertop in terms of care, except that one shouldn't put anything hot on it.

If I were sure I wouldn't have to sell the house in 12 months, I wouldn't care what anyone else thinks and seriously consider it.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Yes, we have formica. It's been fine for us (but we aren't very fancy. : )) We are DIYers and bought what was in stock a few years ago at the big box store. It looks nice, it's black with little tan and gray flecks in it, called Labrador, and it's ok.

I've had lighter colored formica countertops in the past, which I think I like a little more. The black seems to eat up the light in the kitchen. But, I didn't like any of the lighter colored options that were on the shelf at the time, so I went with the black.

It's also a bit harder to *see* if it's clean. That could be good or bad, I guess. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated, thinking I've washed everything off, only to run my hand across it later and go "ewwww, how did I miss that???"

Sure, you need to use a cutting board to cut on, and hot pads or trivets to protect it, but that's second nature to us.

For an economical product, you could hardly go wrong, especially if you think you might upgrade down the road.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:53PM
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Sure, you need to use a cutting board to cut on, and hot pads or trivets to protect it, but that's second nature to us.

I've gone from formica to tile to quartz. No matter, I will always use a board or pad when cutting or placing hot things on the counter.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Is Wilsonart the same as formica?
My friend built me a beautiful countertop using the Wilsonart Olivine (something). I forget the name.

It's scratchable, I learned while demoing a cabinet and a nail slid a few inches on it. However, I did spill paint remover (mineral spirits) on it and it didn't hurt it at all.
I had a heart attach, but it was fine.

I didn't know about the hot pads, but now that I do I'll probably burn my counter.

I, too, plan to replace mine at some time. My dream counter will be soapstone. In the meanwhile, my Wilsonart is really pretty.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:27PM
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My cousin Kellied finished her kitchen recently with new laminate counters. Very pretty! Its even nicer IRL, and she loved it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kellied's kitchen

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:33PM
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A friend has new Wilson countertops that look marble-ish, and she loves them.

Some people just do plywood counters and wait to be able to afford the counter they want. Would that be a possibility for you? It's not hard to change countertops later.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:46PM
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Wilsonart, Formica, Pionite (sp?), Nevamar are all brand names of laminate counters. People say "formica" like people say "kleenex".

A while back when I thought I was getting laminate counters I did some tests. Used knives, hot pans, etc. on samples from each company. I found that the HD from Wilsonart showed alot of scratches. The matte finishes faired better.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Wilsonart and Formica are both brand names that make laminate for counter tops.

both have great options!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:08PM
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My parents just re-modeled their kitchen with Wilsonart FX laminate and it's beautiful. I would have done laminate if I hadn't gotten butcherblock on clearance.

If you do a Google search for "gardenweb laminate countertops" you'll come up with some great older pic-heavy threads.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:25PM
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In planning our kitchen, I considered stone countertops. But I was having a big problem with the price, and I wasn't that in love with having stone. I like to have the option to make changes, and stone, and especially the price, prevents that. I'd had laminate counters my whole life and never had a problem with them or disliked them. I much preferred to spend our money on excellent performing appliances and other priorities.

For this kitchen, I decided to mix it up a little, and I have a wood countertop on our island, and stainless beside our stove, but the rest of the perimeter, as well as all the countertops in the rest of the house (laundry, sewing room, desks, bathroom vanities, and even our dining room table), are laminate.

I feel like laminate is fairly bullet-proof, so like that it's easy care and I don't have to baby it... and I appreciated the wide variety of color and pattern options. We have Pionite in the kitchen, and a mix of Wilsonart and Formica everywhere else... Mostly Formica.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:33PM
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We did a Design Around This for patterned laminate a while back (Formica Patterns are Coooool! ) that you might find inspiring. The focus of the thread was on patterns that don't imitate stone, because to my mind at least, that's where laminates really stand out (you wouldn't want to do a tatami mat counter but you can do laminate that looks like a tatami mat. Or burlap. Or parchment.)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:45PM
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Laminate is probably the most maintenance-free product you can find, especially in relationship to the cost. We have a lot of countertop area. A notch-above-working class neighborhood of 1950s tract houses and modest house values. Laminate was our only serious option and I'm not apologetic about it. It' s also good because it's warm to touch and does not cause fragile items to break when thumped on it. No etching, no staining, and it's hard to scratch. No maintenance creams or polishes. There's one scratch on my countertop after two years, and the culprit isn't speaking so I don't know what scratched it but I suspect carpenter tools or a sharp piece of metal or sand under something heavy that was dragged for a foot and defaced the topfinish but not the color. I can't see the scratch right now but might when the light changes.

Agree with the comment above saying that darker colors devour light, but this isn't a laminate characteristic; this would be true of stone type materials also. I do wish that my faux marble Antique Mascarello were not as sparkly as it is--doesn't fit my design personality--but that's the product. It gives me the giggles--what, me? with a sparkly countertop? Also agree about the "is it dirty or clean" problem with this particular product and finish. I have to force myself to be diligent in wiping countertops because eyes aren't serving to help me.

There's a lot of pro-stone peer pressure on the GW Kitchens forum but if you look harder you will find laminates and you will also find kitchens that could just as well have laminates, if the budget or taste were different. No need to apologize for being a laminate purchaser, unless you make a bad choice from the tremendous number of options and create an ugly design. If you look at DAT #18 and #17 you will find some laminates.

Many people post their relucatance to use laminate because they think it can't take heat. Well, it would take a great deal of heat to burn it. Except items straight-from-oven or straight-from-hot-range which go on my pull-out wooden boards or onto the top of the range surface, I put pretty hot things on the countertop. It's much like our wood countertop area by the range--I don't put these very hot items on it either. Some years ago I burned a circle onto a pull-out board using a very hot frying pan, so I know how unusual it is to do this but also how it could possibly happen. During kitchen planning, it is important to plan a hot pan landing place. Also, plan to keep abrasive items off the kitchen surfaces (yeah, DH!).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:55PM
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I am having a display templated for laminate on Monday which will have an undermount stainless sink and Formica's new See the edge and current colors at link below

They are adding 47 colors that will have the edge available in June. The neat thing about the edge is it is now possible to have an undermount AND a rounded edge. You used to have to get a square or bevel edge to put an undermount in laminate.
Wilsonarts Aeon finishes such as the HD series are slightly more durable but Formica's are still vey good and the FX series looks great.
I just put an FX 180 top in my sister's and a Wilsonarts HD in my best friends house.
Get a kick out of it when customers say "I don't want laminate. That's what is there now and it's 25 years old".

Here is a link that might be useful: Ideal edge

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:57PM
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I put in new laminate countertops 3 years ago and I love them. I got a black laminate with multicolored specks... kinda retro looking. I do agree with the wiping issue but not such a big deal to me anyway. I would totally consider laminate again in our new house except for the under mount sink that we've purchased.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Also...I know there have been many prior discussions about this, but here's a recent one I remember that had lots of photos with great kitchens and their laminate counters.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 5:19PM
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I installed Formica Mineral jet laminate along with butcher block counters and love them. Easy maintenance and I always use trivets/hot pads when cooking.

Not a great shot, but shows part of the Mineral jet:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 6:00PM
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I was checking out the links above. Nice kitchen, Rhome410. May I ask the name of the green cabinets' color? I'm looking at a swatch of BM Sag Harbor, but it turns blue in my natural light.

However. I was looking at the formica samples, etc., and I realized I liked much of it better than the granites people choose! Even the faux granites. Go figure. The only stone I've really loved is soapstone, I admit, but these formicas are nice!

My Wilsonart Olivine something doesn't show dirt or smudges at all. When the sun sets, though, that shows me exactly where I've been lax. Ick.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 6:40PM
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I have nothing useful to add to this conversation beyond "We had laminate counter tops for 39 years. They held up great and looked good." I can post Country Girl's pics though (2nd post in discussion):

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:00PM
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CEFreeman, my kitchen walls are actually Sag Harbor and never look bluish, and my range area cabinets are gray... BM Sabre Gray. DH actually made the mistake of referring to them as "the blue cabinets" one time and he almost got himself the job of repainting, because I did NOT want them to look blue. If you want a greenish gray you might also check out BM Sea Haze.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Wow...thanks so much everyone for all of the responses. This whole process has been overwhelming to say the least. I really am appreciative of you all taking the time to respond or give your words of encouragement.

Jackuvall...I did not know that you could put an undermount sink in with laminate countertops. I even asked about it at the big box store because I had already bought my undermount sink and the return period has expired. I thought I'd have to by a new sink. Are there only certain people who can do this? I would love to keep this sink.

Thanks for all the pictures. I think laminate has come a long way through the years and all of your kitchens are beautiful:) I hope i can make a good choice. There are sooo many colors to choose from. It makes me nervous.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Suzanne and CountryGirl, thanks for showing us the Dolce Vita Formica. I used it in a DAT and had a great wish to see it in real life usage.

It clearly has drama and a larger than life personality!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Christine, I absolutely love soapstone! Wish I could afford it, but it costs quite a bit more than the priciest granite where I live. I thought it would be too dark with the walnut but it really is beautiful. Good luck!

Breezy...I like your cousin's countertops. I wonder what the name of them is?

Countrygrl...that really is some of the coolest laminate I have ever seen. It looks like stone in the pics. Really pretty! Thanks!

I should also add that we are not "fancy" either and we have never had anything but laminate. I just see (on here )... people using all of these other materials for counters like solid surface and stone and marble and feel like no one uses laminate anymore. I know they do...but I needed a reminder and proof ;)

Thanks again to ALL of you!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 12:30AM
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We had formica until two weeks ago (currently in the middle of a remodel). We are going with granite only because my brother in law is a contractor and got us an amazing deal.....but....I have to say that I LOVED my formica! I rarely used hot pads and will admit I even sometimes cut on it (carefully) was spotless, easy to clean, super durable. I put hot cookie sheets down on it regularly without a problem. With the lovely new patterns that look like stone, I don't think I'd hesitate to use it again if budget was tight.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:05AM
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I have Formica 180FX Corbeau Montana in my kitchen. It's been in for roughly 2 years and we like it.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:48AM
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mistydatn some fabricators won't put in an undermount some will..the fab that the box stores here use will do it. In every case I know of you must get the sink from the fabricator. They use a system from Karran and have both solid surface and stainless sinks. It can only be done in hand built counters not in post format.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 7:16AM
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"Laminate was our only serious option and I'm not apologetic about it."

and posts here show there is no need to apologize for it either! There are great laminates out there to use.

I've also had laminate all of my life (1 rental house had tile counters) and i've not had a problem with it (except 1 that was so old the edges were popping off - I'm sure it was a 99 cent special laminate anyway).

I really like that Dolce Vita shown on here - I'll have to scan back up and look again... thx to those who posted it for sending me into indecision again! oh well, I have time to toss it around.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:06AM
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We recently did a budget re-do of our kitchen and used Formica on the perimeter countertops. We did do a small piece of granite on the island and while we would have liked to do the whole thing, my being in school for the past 5 years nixed that possibility. In any case we're happy with it.
It's Basalt Slate by Formica (ordered in sheet form and DIY'd) and we did undermount the sink as well.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:02AM
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One of my old faves was MaryLynnNC's kitchen, and she used Pionite, I think? I remember she has a loooong island and it looked like marble--really beautiful! I've had it on my list for a long time, for when the time comes for me...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:29AM
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suzannes1, it looks like your island has a bevel edge. Can you see the dark line between the top and edge? I can't see it in your pic but my eyes aren't what they used to be lol.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 12:20PM
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We did our own Arborite laminate counters in the color "Black Grit". Since we did them ourselves, we used plywood as the substrate, instead of MDF. We also used silicon seal around the edges that could be exposed to water (by the sink) and elevated the sink 1/8".

Here is a link that might be useful: Laminate DIY

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 12:55PM
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My Mom did hers in Iron Rust from Formica in a Riverwash finish (discontinued) and a Geneva Edge. She isn't a fancy cook but she cooks most of her meals at home and the counters look the same as the day they went in (I think it's about 3 years now). I really pushed her towards stone and now that I'm about to start my own I'm doing laminate for the exact reason laughable mentioned: I'm not fancy and I didn't want a fancy counter material. It wouldn't be in keeping with the style of kitchen I want. I'm planning on the Brushed Pewter from Arborite.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 3:25PM
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mtnfever-those photos are Country Girl's, I just posted them so they showed up in the thread - more people look that way. As far as her beveled edge goes, I've seen beveled edges that are wrapped with the laminate with no cut edges showing. I think that's what CG has.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 5:17PM
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oops, and thank you suzannelsl for posting countrygl38's pics and mentioning the beveled edge counters that you saw.

countrygrl38, I love your Dolce Vita and hope you post more pics as your kitchen progresses!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 5:32PM
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We too are trying to decide between laminate or butcher block countertops. I know the butcher block will be more maintence but it sure is pretty!! I also like the look of formica too.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Last year I had plywood installed in a small area (36"). I stained it and sealed it with a couple of coats of satin poly. It looks fantastic and has held up well, but it hasn't been installed for very long. The reason I chose plywood was that I couldn't make a decision about what countertop material to use. As it turns out, I love the plywood and if doing a new kitchen, that's probably what I would use. It can be painted any color or design and is cheap and easy to change if desired. You may want to consider it for some, or all, of your countertops, rather than a laminate.

Good luck, whatever you decide!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 7:19PM
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I love formica. My old kitchen's formica was installed during the 1950s, and it still didn't look bad when I removed it.

When I was remodeling, I spent inordinate amount of time in the bathrooms of restaurants, looking at their sinks' countertops. I figured that the restaurants had chosen their bathroom's countertops to withstand everything. (I also looked there for inspiration for my backsplash, BTW.) Some of them had the most beautiful laminate countertops.

One thing that I like about formica is that it can be odd without a huge investment of money. My parents have a lake home with a little kitchen and island. They have this really funky green formica with a tiny beige wavy diamond print. I know it sounds hideous, but it is really cool when you see it. And when they tire of it, they can replace it without worrying about depleting their savings account.

I went with granite, and I like it, but one thing that I miss about the laminate is that I no longer feel free to beat the crap out of round steak on it. I felt free to whale on it indiscriminately with my formica. I don't feel as free with my granite, even when I use a cutting board. For all the talk about how easy granite is, I actually was much less worried about my laminate countertops.

So, go with it!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Oh, that's true! If I have a store bought glass jar with a metal lid, I think nothing of banging it on the counter to break the seal. Then it twists open easily. It doesn't hurt the laminate one iota, but if it was stone.....?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Thanks again everyone! My dissapointment has definitely lessened now :) Thanks for the pictures, also. That helps A LOT! Your laminate counters all look great. I am sure I will be more than happy with mine too. If I could just make a decision on which one....decisions, decisions...;)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:00PM
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laughable, I'm having to learn a whole new way to open jars now that I have granite. I whacked at the jar against the edge of the laminate countertops all the time to open jars. Now, I'm scared to. I still manage to get the jars open, but I miss being able to beat the crap out of them against the edge of my countertop.

That's no small thing, really.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Jar lids: I have a thingie like this:

Mine works well on jars like the one in the photo, but not on canning jar lids or others with deep sides. This one looks like it might even do those. It basically just bends the edge a bit and releases the vacuum seal without damaging the lid. This particular jar lid opener is on sale for $2.99 down from $4.99 - how can you beat that? I have no idea where mine came from, my mom gave it to me. Mine is also much better because it's red ;)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Those are some gorgeous countertops!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:14PM
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'If I have a store bought glass jar with a metal lid, I think nothing of banging it on the counter to break the seal.'

I do that also! I have lots of problems with my hands, fingers, wrists and I drop things - a lot. granite (or other stone type surface) would be very dangerous for me.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:17AM
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I will add here that I still love my laminate counters. They have to be from the mid 90's according to our neighbors (we moved in about 5 years ago.) They are light gray, with small blue speckles, and they still look pristine. Even kool-aid stains, etc, disappear after a short time. I have no issues with it whatsoever, aside from it is dated and the cabinets underneath are falling apart. I wouldn't necessarily get this same pattern again, but I'd certainly get laminate over granite, if those were my only 2 choices. Granite is just too hard and cold my my liking. I don't want to live in fear that every glass will break when my enthusiastic children "set" them on the counter.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Jrsmrs - how did you go about w/ the DIY of your undermount? I've googled different instructions, but would like to hear your thoughts on the process. Do you have any pics of your steps doing it??

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 12:53PM
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I hope it's ok if throw in a question for all you dark laminate owners out there... If you have square edges, is there a white/off-color line showing along the edge? My current 40-yr-old white laminate counters have a sizable dark brown edge showing, but I hear that there's a white-ish under-layer on laminates these days.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Gee, my dark counters have a rolled edge, so I'm no help at all. I do like it for the fact that spills (usually) stay on the counter rather than cascading to the floor, since the laminate is raised just a teensy bit before descending down the front of the counter. It doesn't show when you look at it, but it sure makes a difference.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I have dark edges, no matter the color or any of the 3 brands we used. Our house is about 4 years old, so unless they've changed since then, you'll get that same ol' dark brown...Although I don't consider mine 'sizable,' but that'd be a matter of personal opinion, I guess.

Here's the edge in my kitchen:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Thanks, that's very helpful! The rolled edge sounds handy, laughable. Rhome410, your counters look great. I wonder if laminate was thicker in the past. My current brown exposed edges are 1/16" thick, which is thicker than the samples we've gotten. We're considering brown and black laminates, so brown would blend in very well.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:14PM
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I have formica and I'd be tempted to get it again, if I could find the right shade of blue. Instead, I'm planning to get ceramic tile, which has the added advantage of being more heat resistant.

If you have a few different might be soft enough for the jar lids. I'm leaning towards wood, for one area :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:26PM
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The square edge of my dark (Mineral Jet) laminate has a *very* faint white line, almost imperceptible. I know some people have colored in the line with a matching sharpie.

I tried it on a small spot and it works! However I hesitated to do all the counter edges in case the pen's solvent did something funky to the laminate glue...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:13PM
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My Mom's are postformed except on an angled cabinet where she had to have two applied edges. Slightly brown but with the rust colour it doesn't stand out that much. Careful of the no drip edges because he laminate doesn't wrap around he bottom you can catch the laminate and pull it off. The no drip edge is also very 80's. I have this edge and it also drops everything that does spill over onto the cabinet fronts.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 11:15PM
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All the high end euro cabinetry now are laminate so that must mean something.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Coming in late to this thread, but we just put in Formica (Lime Stone-"honed") and I am truly surprised at just how much I love it! It is so easy to clean up and I think it looks really nice, too. I really never intended to go with any faux stone, but after looking at over 100 samples, I kept coming back to this one. I do even cut on it...things like fruit, so no pressing hard, and it's no problem. But I have a stainless prep table for all the main prep, so it works for us.

This is the only close-up pic I have...I don't love the seams, but didn't want a rolled edge, either. Standing above it, it looks fantastic.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Tip: Typewriter correction fluid works great for coloring chips in white formica and lasts a long time.

I would think that you could use acrylic craft paint & a fine tipped brush to color the seams for lighter colored laminates. By mixing colors you can get a dead-on match & even create two or three custom colors for multi-colored micas.

I have the no-drip edge (old kitchen) & ended up not liking that bump at the front edge. The raised area showed wear a lot sooner than the rest of the countertop and creates problems if you want to clamp a meat grinder/ apple peeler, etc. to the edge of the counter.

I'll definitely be using laminate for countertops here in the new kitchen. Only problem (and a Big One for me) is choosing the pattern! Just too, too many options for the decoratively insecure!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:05AM
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New Question, for all you DIY' hard is it to install your own laminate countertops? Even for the not so handy? We are seriously considering trying. Is it easy to mess up? Can you tell that the budget is really suffering? Also thinking of tackling finishing the hardwood ourselves. Lord help us, I think we have lost our minds ;)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:07AM
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We did them in my parent's build and love them. She decided to put the money into the cabinets themselves and save some on the counters. She loves the built in backsplash without a seam and we went with a decorative edge.

Maybe some of these pictures will show it, even though only in one of them was I actually trying to take a pic of the counter top.

This one is of the counter top, but it was a bit dirty.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:58AM
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For some reason this one picture does not want to show up:

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:02AM
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As an FYI - the kitchen counter tops were purchased from and installed by the cabinet maker. (Girona Cliff Laminate from Wilsonart.)

For the laundry room, they went with what was available at Home Depot or Lowes as preformed. The builder installed it himself since it only involved joining a corner and adding the side trim pieces. One tip he told us - we needed about a 4' section, and we purchased a 10' section instead. Added two more side trim pieces and we now had a 6'counter top for the garage cabinets the building was doing. (Saved about $25.00) My mother insists on the built in backsplash, so she did not consider buying the sheets to do it more DIY style in either area.

Sorry, I don't have any good photos of it, but here is what I do have.

Early pic of leftover coutertop sitting on cabinets in garage.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:21AM
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For DIYing... The preformed stuff as shown above is pretty easy to install... But you'd probably need a good saw to cut the ends, and especially the corners.

For DIYing with the sheets of laminate... You'd need to build the substrate, which means a good saw again, and you need to apply a wood front edge. Cutting the sheets is hard work, IMO, but it's doable. My dh has some tough kind of shears for doing that. To glue them, you use a strong (and strong smelling adhesive)... You roll it onto both the substrate and the laminate and let them dry, then carefully place the laminate over the substrate with some sort of spacers to keep them apart until you have it lined up just right. As soon as the glued surfaces touch, they're stuck. He has a hard roller to press them together, from the middle out, to make sure there are no bubbles and that there is good adhesion. Then a router is used to trim the edges and often a file to make them smooth. I forgot to say that you apply the laminate to the front edges first, and then the top.

This is all a quick overview to give you an idea of the process... You obviously need some tools, and some woodworking type of experience is helpful. It all depends on what you're willing and able to take on. It's not rocket science, but takes care.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lots of YouTube videos on installing laminate counters

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:32PM
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I bookmarked the following article from when I was considering DIY laminate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Extreme How-to

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:07PM
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One of my favorite kitchens, from Janie-k, from a couple of years ago, had laminate counters that mimiced soapstone. Another poster with more computer skills can post her pics.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:32PM
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Mine too, silvergirl!

Here are Janie-k's counters, DIY'd by her father using laminate sheets in Wilsonart's Oiled Soapstone pattern:

Here is a link that might be useful: Somewhat Finished, Somewhat Budget... White Vintage Kitchen

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:13PM
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We put Formica in our rental condo. I can't remember the name of it. It resembled uba tuba. It had a beveled edge. The color is off a little in these pictures but here they are anyway:

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Husband and I sort of doctored it up a bit, using various ideas we found on the Internet. I was sure I'd seen a video that gave us a good nudge in the right direction, but I'll be damned if I can find it now! Isn't that always the way? Lol
Basically, the way we did it without any special tools or kits, you need to use the laminate sheets rather than the preformed countertops. Build the base of the counter with your plywood or whatever (we had existing countertops which we peeled the old laminate off of, thereby skipping this step). After you have your sink hole cut to size and you know the position of your sink, what you're basically doing is sandwiching the sink between the plywood and the laminate layer. We cut the sink hole in the laminate ahead of time, then epoxied the sink down to the counter, vey much like you would with a standard sink, just laying it in the hole with the edges overlapping. The video I had seen used automotive putty to taper out the edges of the sink itself, much like you putty drywall to smooth out imperfections.
We found the putty wasn't drying, and was instead cracking and shrinking. Plan b, plain old wall repair patch, the stuff I keep around for filling nail holes and dents in my walls. Let dry and sand til smooth so that the hard edge of the sink itself is tapered out a few inches in all directions. I painted over the putty just to ensure a nice smooth surface that wouldn't soften or crumble when we put the adhesive over it.
Then we used contact cement for the bulk of the laminate, however at the edges around the sink, we went back to the heavy duty marine epoxy, just to ensure it was a solid adhesion. Lay the laminate over the counter, positioning your precut sink hole over the sink (carefully! You only get one shot here!) and roll out to smooth and remove air bubbles. Lastly, I did a thin bead of silicone around the edge of the sink where it meets the Formica.
Clear as mud? This would be so much easier to explain with pics or video!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:06PM
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These pics are great! Thanks to all of you for all the info on installation. I must say that it makes me nervous. I am not handy at all and DH "thinks" he is handy but I am not convinced just yet ;) I have a lot to think about, that is for sure.

I will def. have to watch all those youtube videos more than once ;) I am exhausted from all of the decisions that have to be made. For those of you that pray...prayers would be greatly appreciated for this stranger that you have never met. lol This whole process has been stressful on my family. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:21AM
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Hey, in todays ever growing and ever innovating kitchen floor industry, here comes the latest [url=]countertops[/url] which are easy to maintain and clean and have a seamless design and very elegant and beautiful to look at.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 6:40AM
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Many people post their relucatance to use laminate because they think it can't take heat.

A lame-o excuse, IMO. Ditto the "it scratches" and "it sucks up light" excuses.

I should have done formica. It's SO practical and fits perfectly in my middle-class house.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:33AM
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