This post is in partnership with Formica Corporation. We’re revealing our Formica kitchen countertops today and answering all the questions we’ve been receiving over the last few weeks. Why Formica? Which material is best for you? There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s dive in!
Our countertops from Formica Corporation were installed in both of the Two Flat kitchens a few weeks ago, and we’ve been googly-eyed ever since! Friends, these are not your grandmother’s countertops. Today’s Formica® surfaces are innovative and durable, with an impressive color palette for our modern lifestyles.
What is Formica?
“Formica” is a 100+ year-old surfacing company, best known for being the world’s largest manufacturer of high-pressure laminate (HPL). It has the ability to take on the look of wood, solid colors, flecked granite and more, and it can be used on everything from kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, a backsplash, dry-erase boards, cabinet fronts – and the list goes on! From a sustainability standpoint, Formica is continually developing strategies towards reducing energy throughout the life of their products, working with suppliers to increase the eco-friendly content in their materials, and more. You can learn more about these efforts here!
Okay, but why Formica?
We first became interested in Formica as a budget-friendly option, but as our samples began to arrive in the mail, Scott and I continued to ask each other: How is this so good? Initially, we scooped up samples in every product and color imaginable, unsure of the direction we wanted to go with each kitchen design. (More on samples in a minute.) We were impressed with the numerous options and products, but even more so with the quality. A perfect example of this: During a recent site visit from our architect, he took one look at our Unit 2 kitchen and said, I thought you were using Formica countertops? This looks like stone.
Which material is right for me?
This was a question we asked ourselves, and it’s one that filled up my DMs, too. In the end, our quest for the perfect look was what guided our material choice. But before I get too deep into this, I’d like to first share the product we used in each kitchen:
Unit 1 Kitchen | FENIX™ in Nero Ingo | FENIX is owned by Arpa Industriale, a sister company to Formica Corporation. Formica began manufacturing and distributing FENIX in North America this past spring, lucky for us, around the same time we were making kitchen design decisions. We chose Nero Ingo, an extremely matte black that feels soft to the touch. (You have to feel to believe!) Small scratches can be healed at home with a damp cloth and iron thanks to FENIX’s thermal healing capabilities.
Unit 2 Kitchen | Everform™ Solid Surfacing in Bleached Concrete | Everform™ Solid Surfacing is a non-porous surface ideal for wet locations such as bathrooms and kitchens, and we felt it most closely resembled stone. (Hence, tricking our architect.) It’s hygienic, water and wear resistant, and repairable! To give you an idea of its durability, I poured red wine and coffee on my sample and allowed it to sit overnight. The next morning, I wiped the liquids clean, and the sample still looked brand new!
Fun fact: FENIX is an innovative surface made from layering pigments and isn’t actually a laminate, and Everform is an acrylic surface. So although Formica Corporation is known for their HPL, they have multiple surface options available!
Do you notice in the photo below how the edge of the countertop looks as though there are the tiniest imperfections along the edge? It is perfectly smooth, but what you’re seeing is the movement in the Bleached Concrete.
Our Everform countertop truly mimics the look of white concrete, all the way down to the air pockets you’d find in concrete itself. I’m including a close-up below, but here’s a look at our exact product on Formica’s site.
Can I order samples?
Yes! To know which material is best for your application, I encourage you to order free(!) samples. Residential products available include everything from 180fx® Laminate (which mimics true-to-scale patterns) to ColorCore®2 Laminate (colors that go all the way through the material – no dark edges!) to Everform™ Solid Surfacing, which was our choice for Unit 2. You can order samples from FENIX right here, or order samples for any Residential Formica product right here.
How Do I Find a Fabricator?
Whether you’re looking to buy raw material or on the hunt for a fabricator (also known as a ‘postformer’) that specializes in Formica products, you’ll want to use the Where to Buy tool. Follow the prompts on screen to find the service that suits you best and to receive a quote on materials.
What Can I Expect During Installation?
The process requires two visits: 1) Measuring and templating and 2) the installation. We waited about 2 weeks after the measurements for our countertops to be installed, and our fabricator was on-site installing both of our kitchens for 3 hours. We were impressed at the speed and accuracy!
Leading up to our install date, Scott and I kept trying to imagine how they frame out the material to create our countertops. Well, now I can show you! The front edge of our countertops measures 1.5″, and you can see that the material wraps around a wood frame:
Can I Do-It-Myself?
Believe it or not, yes!
If you’re interested in DIY-ing a Formica installation, you can call 1-800-FORMICA (367-6422) and ask for the technical team to provide additional support. The team is available weekdays and has the knowledge to help guide any of your projects.
Additionally there are also fabrication guides that are downloadable from Formica’s website. Type in fabrication guide using the search tool at the top of the site, and you’ll find downloadable PDFs for each product. If you end up DIY-ing an install, please let us know! We’d love to know how it goes for you.
In the end, we couldn’t be more pleased with our choices. Each kitchen has its own distinct personality, brought to life by the matte black and glossy ‘concrete’ countertops. I hope this answers your questions about our Formica countertops! If I missed anything, please drop them in the comments below.
Thank you to our partner Formica Corporation for helping us bring our vision to life, and thank you for supporting the brands that support us.
Unit 1 Kitchen Sources (Wood + White):
Wall color: Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070 | backsplash + trim color: Sherwin-Williams Pure White SW 7005 | FENIX™ countertop in Nero Ingo | base cabinet panels | upper cabinet panels | gas range | counter-depth refrigerator | ORB ball knobs | ORB pulls | ceiling flush mount light | sconce | bridge faucet | farmhouse sink
Unit 2 Kitchen Sources (Black + Blue):
Wall color: Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070 | upper cabinet color: Sherwin-Williams Magnetic Gray SW 7058 | Formica Everform™ Solid Surfacing countertop in Bleached Concrete | shelf brackets | base cabinet shaker panels | 5″ x 5″ tile | grey pencil liner | gas range | counter-depth refrigerator | brass ball knobs | brass pulls | ceiling flush mount light | wall sconce | bridge faucet