When I started out in the remodeling business over 30 years ago, I installed more than my share of plastic laminate countertops. While not considered the most attractive or natural looking material for countertops, plastic laminate had the twin virtues of being both durable and inexpensive.
With the rise in popularity of another plastic based countertop material—solid surface, often known by the trade name Corian®—along with improved manufacturing techniques for natural stone such as granite, it looked like plastic laminate’s days were numbered. But since solid surface and natural stone remain much more expensive, plastic laminate is still the countertop material of choice for millions of homeowners on a limited budget.
All that has changed in the past few years, however, due to the introduction of new plastic laminate patterns and edge profiles that are hard to distinguish from real stone. From compound curves on edges to more natural looking patterns, plastic laminate countertops are more attractive than ever.
The latest and most realistic looking plastic laminate product I’ve come across is Formica 180fx, which replicates the look of real natural stone. Available in a range of patterns and colors, Formica 180fx is made from photographic reproductions of actual slabs of granite, and mark the next generation in the evolution of plastic laminate countertop materials for your kitchen.