“Our homes have become so much more than just living spaces,” says Formica Corporation residential design lead Gerri Chmiel. “Our research shows homeowners want serene surfaces that elicit feelings of peace and calm but are not too austere.” As a result, the brand is introducing a new surface that’s an affordable alternative to fused glass—and even marble.

Named Sugar Glass, the material features blue-gray rounded shards floating on an opaque white background. The surface is one of 14 new cost-effective options in the 2022 Living Impressions™ Collection

Sugar Glass was inspired by the beauty of experimental glassmaking, which is an idea that complements various macro trends we are seeing within the design space,” says Chmiel. To achieve its unique look, which evokes the pattern and translucency of a recycled glass panel, the company scanned a combination of recycled glass chips with water, milk, and sugar for a bold juxtaposition of clarity and opacity.

Formica’s Newest Surface Looks Like Fused Glass—But Costs 96% Less

Chmiel says Formica needed to step outside of convention to form the pattern. First, it scanned recycled glass shards, but that looked too harsh. Then it experimented with different materials in which the glass could float to soften its edges. “The magic came with a combination of water, milk, and sugar, of all things,” she notes. “The milk acted as the opaque sheet of glass, and the recycled chips appear translucent. The mixture also served to soften the edges of the glass, more like glass that’s been sandblasted by the beach.”

Compared to recycled glass, which, according to HomeAdvisor, is typically priced around $90 per square foot, Sugar Glass is much more cost-effective: The Formica surface goes for just $2 to $3 per square foot. It’s also easier to install and care for than glass or marble, while offering a similarly clean and contemporary look. The contrast of the blue-gray glass against the white background offers a tranquil but dramatic option for kitchen islands, bathroom countertops, and even mudroom benches. “Its versatility and durability make it a perfect choice for a variety of applications throughout the home,” adds Chmiel.