Formica’s Moody Surface Is Just as Beautiful as Marble — Without the Fussy Upkeep

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Who said art was just for walls? With its dramatic veining and color variation, a marble countertop is arguably just as much of a statement piece as it is a kitchen workhorse. But there’s a trade-off: Its unique beauty comes with the potential for cracks, leaks, and stains. Formica Corporation’s Marbled Gray laminate surface keeps all of the expressiveness but layers in durability—the company recently collaborated with artist Kathleen “Fred” Streitenberger to design a stunning new pattern for its durable laminate offerings with an inky charcoal base and mesmerizing swirls of gray. 

Mother Nature was just one inspiration; Marbled Gray melds artistry with earthy elements in a way that’s never been done before at Formica. “We’ve been creating marble patterns using real stones as artwork for years, and we wanted to see what marble might look like through the eyes of an artist,” Gerri Chmiel, senior design manager at Formica, elaborates. A classically trained painter, Streitenberger started with an expansive piece of real-life art, dripping and glazing shades of gray paint into a flowing masterpiece. “This allows the paint to [trickle] into a marbled pattern while keeping the colors separate—so they don’t mix into a muddy mess!” Chmiel explains.

Courtesy of Formica
Courtesy of Formica

From there, Formica scanned the painting and adjusted it to fit a sheet of laminate, adding a canvas-textured background for extra depth. “We wanted to make it feel like you had a piece of artwork on your countertops,” Chmiel says.

The cherry on top? Marbled Gray has Formica’s signature SatinTouch™ finish, which has a silky feel while still offering a matte look. It also enhances the surface’s organic swoops and wisps of color, tricking you into seeing and feeling a piece of stone.

But it delivers more than style alone. Marbled Gray has heaps of functionality, too. It has all the easy maintenance and durability of classic Formica® laminate surfaces in part due to EliteForm technology, which makes it scratch- and stain resistant. So rest assured, you can set a wineglass on it without having to worry—unlike typical marble.

Naturally, Marbled Gray works well in kitchens and bathrooms, but don’t overlook it for nontraditional spots as well: “Headboards, bookshelves, cabinet doors, and interior doors are a few suggestions,” Chmiel says. “The front of a bar clad in Marbled Gray laminate will act as a kickplate, and laminate can even be applied to stair risers for an unexpected pop of pattern.” Want to get creative with the surfaces in your home? Head here to check out the Living Impressions™ collection and order a free sample now.

Marbled Gray, Formica

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Shagun Khare


Shagun Khare is an interior design writer who works on stories about unique spaces—from tiny homes to tasteful hotel renovations and more. She lives in Brooklyn.