Once the darling of kitchen renovations in the 70’s, laminate countertops were all the rage.

Ten years later, laminate was being replaced with natural stone, which in turn was replaced by quartz composite. What’s next? Look for surface trends to come full circle with the introduction of Formica’s 2018 Living Impressions TM Collection.

Formica Corporation, the inventor of laminate, introduced their new collection at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orland, Florida. It features 11 beautiful, durable and affordable Formica Brand designs for today’s homes.

“The 2018 Living Impressions ™ Collection celebrates a range of on-trend surfacing looks, from natural wood and stone patterns, to looks that embrace the craftsmanship of man-made materials, to luxurious, dark and sophisticated designs,” said Gerri Chmiel, North American residential design lead at Formica Corporation.

Three global macro-trends for 2018 influenced the Formica collection. Neo Chalet, bringing the presence of nature indoors; Millennial Maker, celebrating craft and artisanal work and Modern Gentleman, embracing moody, sophisticated tones.

Stylish and Affordable Laminates
Left: Sea Pearl by Formica / Right: Quarzite Bianco by Formica

Quartz Composite, inspired by quartz, emulates the Millennial Maker trend and is a composite created using concrete and recycled glass. Sea Pearl, a blend of warm and cool grays with a dramatic vein in rust, evoking the Neo Chalet trend.

Quartzite Blanco, a soft white and gray quartzite-inspired look interspersed with charcoal veins, fitting with the Modern Gentleman trend. Stormy Night Granite, a deep, multi-tonal granite look, also designed for the Modern Gentleman trend.

Stylish and Affordable Laminates
Left: Umbra Oak by Formica / Right: HappyWords by Formica

New Formica laminate designs evoke tactile stone and wood joined with aggregate and man-made materials. Umbra Oak, a rustic yet sophisticated dark gray stain over humble knotted oak; Silver Galaxy Slate, a contemporary look with elegant swirls and variations; White and Black Shalestone; Sea Salt and Smoked Sea Salt, created with recycled glass and concrete.

Formica’s Writable Surfaces collection has been expanded with the addition of HappyWords, a companion to 2017’s LoveWords. The new design features terms for happiness, joy and contentment written in English, Spanish and French in festive colors. All the Writable Surfaces provide a cheery writing surface for message centers, menu boards, grocery lists and calendar notes.

Laminates are not just for countertops. They are surface materials. That means they can be applied vertically or horizontally, from countertops to walls. It is durable, wear and impact resistant, doesn’t trap bacterial like stone and never needs sealing. Making it the perfect choice for kitchens, baths, craft and laundry room. The range of styles and colors adapts beautifully throughout the home.

Stylish and Affordable Laminates
Silver Galaxy Slate by Formica

IdealEdge ® mimics the contemporary look often found on more expensive stones, granites and quartzes by eliminating the flat edges and brown seams traditionally associated with laminate surfaces. Two stunning profiles, Ogee and Bullnose, are available in almost all Formica Laminate.

Cost is always an issue when renovating. Laminates range between $19-$25 per sq. foot installed, half the cost of granite and a third the cost of basic quartz countertops. Always check with your contractor for a total cost of countertop replacement when putting together your budget.