A Comprehensive Guide to Every Formica Surface Out There
All laminate is not created equal.
Published Mar 15, 2022 6:00 AM
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There’s a reason the name Formica Corporation is synonymous with laminate and that the material continues to be welcomed into homes, spanning generations: The company has been producing some of the best high-pressure laminate designs for more than 100 years. Today the brand’s range goes well beyond the colorful kitchen tables of the 1950s. From the latest revival of the revolutionary ColorCore®2 surface from the ’80s to its meticulously hand-painted marble in the new 2022 Living Impressions™ Collection (which you can order free samples of now), there’s a Formica surface for every project, style, and budget. Here’s what to know about each.
The O.G.: Formica® Laminate
The main attraction: Durable and flexible.
Choose from: 133-plus colors and patterns.
Best for: High-traffic kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways.
As many a home can attest, Formica’s collection of laminate surfaces is durable, solid, and built to last—without sacrificing style. Offering an affordable alternative to marble, Calacatta, and fused glass, among many others, Formica Laminate is an ideal option for countertops, vanities, and cabinet doors.
The Eye-Catcher: 180fx® Laminate
The main attraction: True-to-scale and high-resolution patterns.
Choose from: 39 realistic takes on marble, quartz, and more.
Best for: Countertops, accent walls, and custom tables.
The 180fx® Laminate collection takes everything you know and love about the O.G. to the next level. The selection features beautiful large-scale granite, stone, and wood-grain prints that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, bringing the drama to kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms, and more. Plus each style can be finished with IdealEdge® Decorative Edging, which helps mimic the contemporary look often found on more expensive surfaces.
The Creativity Enhancer: Formica® Writable Surfaces
The main attraction: Stain-resistant and easy to clean.
Choose from: 52 different neutrals, pastels, and brights.
Best for: WFH setups, kids’ spaces, and organization stations.
In this unprecedented era of hybrid work and remote learning, Formica® Writable Surfaces are a fun and useful addition to a home that’s also an office and classroom (and often all three at once). Turn a kitchen cabinet into a mini chalkboard for grocery lists and other reminders; transform a playroom wall into an expansive blank canvas for the kids to let their imaginations run wild; or bring it into the spare bedroom–slash–study as a worktop for notes or lessons. Bonus: Any Formica color, including those from the new 2022 Living Impressions™ Collection, can become a writable surface when ordered in a -90 gloss finish.
The High Performer: ColorCore®2 Laminate
The main attraction: Versatile and brown-edge-seam–free.
Choose from: 19 variations of stone, wood grains, and solids.
Best for: Tabletops, bartops, and seating areas.
ColorCore®2’s predecessor was a game changer when it was first released in the ’80s. Unlike other laminate surfaces, it had no visible seam or unsightly brown lines bisecting worktops—just a clean, uninterrupted finish. Forty years later, this is still a huge selling point. To take full advantage of the seamless look, ColorCore®2 is best employed wherever you entertain. Think: an at-home bar setup, a kitchen island, or even low-level seating in a banquette.
The Trendsetter: Everform™ Solid Surface
The main attraction: Nonporous and easily customizable.
Choose from: 38 optical shades and natural stone looks.
Best for: Integrated sinks and backsplashes, custom tables, and countertops.
Popular with designers, Everform™ Solid Surface can shape itself to virtually any design concept, making it the ideal choice for creative applications throughout the home (it’s the only Formica material that can be used for integrated sinks and backsplashes). Though it has countless performance qualities worth highlighting—the surface is hard wearing, hygienic, water- and fire-resistant, and repairable—the true standout is its trend-driven patterns that range from Argento Terrazzo Matrix, a bold and colorful terrazzo, to Arctic, a pure, snowy white, all of which offer a completely seam-free look.