Thinking of using Formica! 180fx Calcatta

Pipersville_CarolJuly 14, 2013

I'm having fun designing a very, very small new kitchen for our tiny studio condo at the beach.

Budget is tight, so I'm contemplating Formica for the countertops and high backsplash. I've gotten samples and am leaning towards the 180fx Calcatta Marble pattern.

Has anyone here seen it in real life?

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desertsteph

not IRL. looked online and it's nice!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:39PM
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snookums2

Have you priced it yet? I don't think it is a budget selection.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:43PM
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live_wire_oak

I used it on my budget Aristokraft coffee bar vignette. The 10' section with the upgraded edge, cut to size, with the sink hole, would retail around $250+ depending on where you shop. (We have wholesale pricing.)

If you need that done as a template and install, you can double the price. Laminate has to be ordered by minimum linear feet. My fabricator has 8' blanks as the minimum. So, even if you have a 6' counter, you will pay for 8'. Laminate also isn't as "budget" as many think it is by the time you upgrade to the specialty finish and edge. In many cases, an inexpensive granite can be very close in pricing by the time you count the install into the picture.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 11:05AM
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dilly_ny

When I priced laminates, I found it wasn't that much cheaper than granite. Unless you buy an off the rack laminate such as those sold at Ikea, Home Depot or Lowes, it gets pricey, as live_wire_oak described above.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:06PM
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SmartDesignerGirl

Laminate is still extremely reasonable in cost. Depending upon where you live, some states don't have custom laminate post-formers/fabricators..like Florida for example so the countertops have to be purchased from companies that make blanks....which makes laminate countertops expensive in Florida.

VT industries and Hartson Kennedy for example are two companies that makes blanks nationally. ..and minimums that have to be purchased. ...in which live_wire_oak description is correct. But that's not true in every state. Iowa for example has custom post-formers...so no minimum is required.

So pricing on laminate really depends upon where you live and if there is a post-former/custom laminate fabricator in your area.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:54PM
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suzanne_sl

If you're thinking budget, have you considered a wood counter? Depending on your kitchen, wood may or may not work for you, but the price can be very interesting and they look great.

Traditional Kitchen by San Francisco Architects & Designers robert kelly

Traditional Kitchen

As to whether the 180fx formica looks good, I think it's a matter of preference. I'm a big fan of formica in general, but I find the fx180 patterns unappealing as they come off as very "imitation." For myself I would choose a pattern that wasn't an imitation of a stone. On the other hand, others love it, so what do I know? Oh, and I agree, the price is pretty expensive.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:57PM
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akl_vdb

In our reno, about 50 sq feet of counter (give or take) would have saved $2700 going with the 180x formica over Cambria quartz. (I don't know the exact amount about how much the counter cost)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 7:41PM
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LAP05

Here's a great blog post from My Old Country House in which she unveils her new kitchen with Calacatta Marble 180fx (lots of pics): http://myoldcountryhouse.com/monday-makeover-part-one-the-budget-kitchen/#comment-5839

Here is a link that might be useful: My Old Country House

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 10:21AM
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mpagmom

It looks gorgeous in the blog post! I would definitely price it out, but I would also price real marble and granite as a comparison.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Pipersville_Carol

Wow, thank you for the helpful responses.

One of the reasons I'm thinking of Formica (in addition to cost) is durability. I have soapstone and Ikea butcher block countertops in my home, and while I love them dearly I don't think they'd be good surfaces in a vacation kitchen that might be used as a seasonal rental some day. I need a super-tough countertop that can be easily and thoroughly sanitized.

And Formica just seems so durable. I have a small run of it in my laundry room at home, and it literally looks brand new after 12 years of use.

Price will be the deciding factor, though. This is going to be a cheap and cheerful big box store countertop purchase.

Thanks again for the responses! I'll be sure to update when the countertops are done.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:16PM
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miruca

live wire oak ... that looks great!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:15AM
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Lake_Girl

I think this is a smart idea. Our formica looked great for 15yrs! The only downfall were scratches, but they were hard to see on white, which the faux marble is mostly white:)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:40AM
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writersblock

Live_wire_oak, which sink is that?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:09AM
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zkgardner

When you buy a sheet of this the (60inch by 12ft)at a big box store, does it usually come in just a square edge? Do they sell the laminate strips in the same finish in order to complete a cut edge? Is it possible to do an undermount farm sink with laminate or does laminate such as this require an overmount sink?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Pipersville_Carol

After witnessing what a DIY countertop install looks (and smells!) like when we were selling my mother's townhouse, I'm going to have the pros install this.

I'm using an overmount sink (fancy round one from Ikea), but I think you could probably use formica with a farmhouse sink. I think the formica website has info about the overmount/undermount question.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 7:40PM
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