Give me your most beautiful light-colore laminate countertop recs

purrusJuly 29, 2014

Hi.

I'm going with white cabs, glossy white subway tile backsplash. We will be installing nutmeg-colored stained oak floors to match all the other original hardwoods in our 1960s colonial.

The problem is that my KD has said that laminate countertops look best in dark colors (black, basically). While I love black and white and have it all over my house in rugs and window treatments, I really want my kitchen to be lighter. We'll be losing a window in the reno process to get a better layout and the idea of dark countertops just seems like a bad idea.

I am also wondering about the edge shapes available with formica products and whether we have to go with the basic squared-off shape. When my KD was talking about the formica looking best in dark colors she mentioned the edge where the two pieces of formica meet as being the most obvious way to tell that it wasn't real stone. But I've seen pics online of rounded edges and other things like that. How does one go about getting a countertop with that edge shape? my KD doesn't appear to know that these exist.

I originally wanted white quartz or granite or marble countertops, but those are way out of the budget for us. I'm not afraid of a natural stone-looking pattern at all; in fact when I was first checking out actual stone patterns, I was going after some quite bold ones. So that gives you an idea of the look I'm after. Especially because formica counters are much cheaper, I'm not afraid to go a little bolder with the pattern.

I've googled, of course, and found tons of pictures of things like the Formica 180fx Calacatta marble. They look amazing. However, I am looking for real-life experience from you folks. What looks best and most importantly HOLDS UP well?

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mgmum

Both Wilsonart and Formica will send you free 5x7, 8x10 or 12x12 samples. Go online, register and they'll send you as many as you want. I got about 30 during my search.

You want either a D-wrap or Eased edge. My counter has sort of squared off edges, with no backsplash and there is absolutely no "brown line" anywhere except the sides where the stove is, so you can't see it anyway. You should be able to go to any big box store and see samples of the laminate edges.

My laminate counters:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:36AM
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purrus

Mgmum, what is the name of what you have? Did you have to pick a finish? Kd also seemed not to know about that.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:54AM
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palimpsest

Formica offers what they call "Ideal Edge" on 200+ laminates. It's shaped like MGMum's but they offer other profiles, too, I believe.

If you wanted to limit yourself to two greys (Fog or Folkstone) or several whites, you could get ColorCore2 which is one color throughout, with no black edge.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:58AM
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debrak2008

I would branch out from what your KD is telling you. Get lots of samples in many different colors from all the different formica companies. Go to Lowes and HD, etc. or order online.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:00AM
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palimpsest

Also Wilsonart offers shaped edges; and their "Solicor" (no black edge) comes in two whites and a "Calcutta Marble"

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:02AM
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greenhaven

Some patterns come with a finish choice, some do not. I agree with just shopping, then getting some samples. HD has a TON of sample colors and patterns.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:02AM
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mgmum

Mine is WilsonArt Black Alicante. I have a matte type surface. I did not like how the sun shone on the textured finishes and you coudn't see the counter pattern, just the texture. I'm not sure mine came in a texture anyway. Most of the mini samples at the big box stores have the types of textures available. Some also come only in super glossy, and those I did not like that much either, but that's a personal thing. I think you can even get an 'ogee' edge with laminate now.

Your KD needs to school him/herself on this because not everyone can afford or wants a solid surface or stone countertop. No way could I afford solid surface or stone. I suppose I could have found some granite remnants with a good deal of searching, but I like what I have and I liked the price too. :)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:15AM
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abbycat9990

Your KD is stonewalling! Be brave and do some research. Laminate is great - hardwearing and trouble free. We had issues with a light edge showing on our dark laminate, but just be sure to ask questions at HD or wherever you are getting samples. We used WilsonArt Retro Malt in the laundry room of our old house.It's bright and fun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wilsonart Retro Malt

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:49AM
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Trebruchet

I'm having a difficult time imagining how a job that involves losing a window, a relatively expensive project, gets included on such a budget conscious job.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:26AM
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purrus

Trebuchet, I'm spending on layout and not countertop. Without losing the window, my layout would continue to be terrible. My reasoning is that I can always upgrade to stone in a few years if I want to, but you're stuck with the layout forever.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:29AM
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annkh_nd

purrus, I agree with the others - go to a store and look at displays, and the many, many small samples. Pick several you like, and order larger samples on-line.

I was all set to get laminate counters, until DH and I were in a cabinet shop, and found a sample of quartz that we loved. I tried and tried to find a laminate color/finish that I liked as well, to no avail. We bit the bullet and went for quartz, and chose the rest of our finishes (cabinet color, flooring, wall color) around it. I do not regret the decision - but my budget wasn't set in stone. I didn't spend a ton on appliances.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:39AM
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cawaps

I'm kind of partial to the abstracts and textile looks (I realize that isn't a mainstream preference). These are all Formica patterns.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:45AM
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laughablemoments

I like Formica's Soapstone Sequoia pretty well. You can see it installed at the blog below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soapstone Sequoia Formica Counters in Scott and Allie's Kitchen

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:05PM
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lam702

I have formica fx180, but its a darker color pattern. Its fairly shiny, not as much as the Wilsonart HD, which is very glossy, beautiful but it didn't come in the color I was looking for. Because my laminate is dark, the brown edges are not noticeable at all. Since we only had it installed last fall, I can't say how it will hold up, but my last formica counter was 28 yrs old when we replaced it, and still in pretty good shape, so hopefully this new one will last for a while.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:33PM
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Skyangel23

If you get the bevel edge or the crescent edge, mot of the brown lines are eliminated if you also don't do the built-in backsplash.

This countertop is being replaced due to installation error, but the material itself is very pretty, I think. It is Formica FX Cararra Bianco.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:08PM
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ardcp

the problem with the 180fx or wilsonart hd is that after doing the special edges, it is not much of a bargain. i looked at going that route but honestly felt that granite was a better bang for the buck. the laminates that were cheap, weren't to my liking unfortunately and the pretty laminates were not cheap!
you might be able to do a solid surface for less than granite but the difference will not be significant.
honestly it is better to spend a little more now than to spend now and spend more later to change out the counter. if you love laminate then go for it; but if it is a temporary fix, you end up spending more in the end anyway.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:31PM
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