CHOOSING FORMICA MARBLE OVER REAL MARBLE

ONE MORE DAY to sign up for the giveaway!!! Go here for more information!

I want to think those of you who have signed up the giveaway….for sharing stories of your pets with me. We sat and read them last night and laughed and laughed at the characters who have stolen your hearts….I wish I could do a free portrait for all of you…but don’t forget to take advantage of the discount ….

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THE COUNTERTOPS. I spent a good few years, on my regular LOWES and HOME DEPOT runs, wandering over to the Kitchen countertop section, running my fingers over the samples…dreaming of my Beautiful Marble Countertops..then for a while I had a fantasy of having Silestone…even a brief interlude with Granite. But never, EVER with Formica. Formica is what I had…and what I hoped to get rid of.

IMG_9176 One day while I was picking the brain of the patient Kitchen Designer…now on a first name basis, I glanced sideways and saw a finished Marble countertop…probably waiting for its lucky rich owner to pick it up.

“Just for kicks…. how much would THAT marble be?” I asked.

She smiled .”THAT is NOT marble” she said with a grin. “Believe it or not, THAT is FORMICA!”

“NO WAY!!!” I said. I walked over and looked at it from all sides, and honestly could not see that it was Formica. It was wild! Then I touched it, and it was not cold like marble. That was the ONLY giveaway!!!

“Tell me more about this Formica Marble” I said…..

I learned that Formica had introduced a line of countertops, called 180X which Formica.com says “captures the true scale and visual drama of a full granite slab, recreating the dynamic sweep of its striking colorations and exquisite veining. Affordable luxury on a grand scale.”

Amore Edge Kohler Vault Sink

Amore Edge , Kohler Vault Sink, Rohl Faucet

These beautiful countertops are really just digital “prints” of the real thing, technology at its finest….that is why they look so real.

FORMICA IDEAL EDGE

FORMICA IDEAL EDGE

GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS

In 2012, FORMICA  introduced the Ideal Edge, which eliminates the telltale brown seam line of Formica and can go around corners.That was the GOOD NEWS. The Not SO GOOD NEWS is that I ALSO FOUND OUT that there are ONLY a few Fabricators in the Whole country,  I think they are in OHIO, that can do this Ideal Edge …..so in my opinion they spoke a little too soon because they put something out there that they really cannot provide wide scale.

THEN….in sleuthing a bit…, I learned that a company named Hartson Kennedy, a leader in Countertop manufacturing, can do the 4 sided countertop with  A FEW EDGE profiles: The AMORE’ which is what I chose……

IMG_0570

 and the VIDA EDGE

VIDA EDGE HARTSON KENNEDY

VIDA EDGE
HARTSON KENNEDY

ORIGINALLY i had chosen the AEGEAN EDGE…I like the sharp edge and thought it was what I would have chosen in REAL marble…

Button_-_Aegean The countertops were ordered and due IN any day. Then, I got an email while I was at the Design Bloggers conference that began “I am so sorry…” and it turns out they can no longer DO the AEGEAN edge with the Calacatta Marble because it cracks in the bending process. I was so bummed, but went with my second choice, the AMORE and actually think it was a GREAT decision. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!!

I am a bit buMMed that I did not think to have the side edges done in the Amore… banjy

and in a few places they HAD to do the straight edge, like in my “Banjo Countertop”

banjotoplong

 But I have gotten over it. I LOVE them. and I actually think the straight edge is not totally horrible…in fact it is kind of sleek.

longviewedge The ISLAND now has  the straight edge on all 4 sides but is being made over with the AMORE on all 4 sides.

Island Edge

Island Edge

SO This Is why I  chose Laminate over Real Marble……

1. Cost. My Formica Countertops cost me under $800.

2.And they are so beautiful.

3.And they are less maintenance.

4.And they are less fragile.

5.And in a kitchen that is 45 years old…I just did not think it was sensible to invest over $5000 on Countertops.

I think that is a ridiculous amount of money when we want to take the kids to Europe and put braces on their teeth or maybe buy some nice boots. If the LOOK were dramatically different…maybe…but honestly…These countertops are  beautiful!!!

JUST PLAIN GORGEOUS!!!

AND THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE.

THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL! AND I THINK THE BEST KEPT SECRET AROUND!

and

UPDATE!

Great NEWS. Since I wrote this post, FORMICA has launched a nationwide training program aimed at educating and training fabricators in the BIG BOX stores like HOME DEPOT AND LOWES on the construction of the 180X countertops in all of the edge profiles.

and to make things right…MY COUNTERTOPS are being re-DONE IN THE ORIGINAL AEGEAN edge profile I wanted…I am so excited and I cannot wait to show them to you!!!

FORMICA ROCKS!

 

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100 thoughts on “CHOOSING FORMICA MARBLE OVER REAL MARBLE

  1. Carolyn

    Thank you for all the info on your “farble” countertops. They are gorgeous. I’m in the planning stages of a kitchen remodel and love the look of marble and had pretty much decided that it is what I wanted. Well sister, you have opened up my mind to consider other possibilities, Formica? Who knew??? THANK YOU.

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      Carolyn… this makes me so happy to hear. I could not wait to show people how wonderful they are and listen if I become a Real Housewife of Greenwood and am rolling in dough, sure maybe I will spring for the real deal…but for now, I have the look, for less!!!!!

      Reply
  2. katie

    So where did you end up purchasing the counters? From Home Depot? Lowes? Or directly from Hartson Kennedy? I love them and I think I could probably do the small amount of counters in our kitchen for under $500. You also have me contemplating just adding new doors to our 1950s kitchen cabinets like you did. Such good, affordable ideas.

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      I purchased the countertops at Home Depot. I spent alot of time popping in and asking questions and OUR HOME DEPOT was where I got the best answers,and had a good rapor with the Kitchen Designer. Then THEY worked with Hartson Kennedy to get the countertops. This is a piece I left put because It was a bit of a mess. I actually had ordered the countertops in the straight edge with the seam and then found out that they could get them from HC, which they ahd not known. So they very wonderfully ordered the NEW set from HC…and twice because of the Aegean Cracking issue. It took 4 months to get these countertops but it was all worth it and I sing the praises of HD…

      Reply
  3. Rebecca

    I appreciate this post so much. I’ve often wondered how people afford to put granite and marble countertops in their homes if they have children. Not only do parents have to think about food, clothing, school fees, lessons, sports, and vacations, but there’s college right around the corner. My husband and I provided nice homes for our daughters while they were growing up, none of which had anything other than formica. We did, however, pay for all college costs! It’s all about priorities and preferences. One of my favorite blogs ever was Frugal Farmhouse Design. She has a fabulous house and was intentional in her use of formica in the kitchen for much the same reasons you have given. Your kitchen is amazing, and I’m always in awe of your artistic talent. Beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      This comment makes me so happy. You GET me and THAT also makes me so happy. I do love nice things and nice things are often times expensive, but in the end, you are so right…we have to look at the BIG picture….
      Now I am off to go check out the Frugal Farmhouse!!

      Reply
  4. Thirkellgirl

    We just completed the first half of our kitchen makeover, using Ikea cabinets. The second half will be done starting Memorial Day weekend, after our daughters fly the coop again for the summer. I WANTED Corian. Well, I wanted honed marble, but I was going to settle for Corian. But the more I thought about the cost, compared to Ikea’s birch countertops, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. What if I hated it? When I placed my kitchen order at Ikea, the birch was out of stock in the four states! So I spent about 45 seconds picking out a “temporary” laminate. I went with black “mineral effect” and I LOVE it. If I do decide to redo them in a few years, I want what you have. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Vicki

    I love them. I do not love my granite, maybe when i redo I will get farble! Love the way it looks and it is gorgeous….

    Reply
  6. linda

    Thanks for this info. I wanted a marble slab in my bathroom (8 foot long) I have a real marble vessel sink I got at a steal and wanted the counter to match. I would have never thought of laminate if not for this post thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Counters and Updates | Life Spruce

  8. Eva Szustak

    Saw this product in a ShopSmart Magazine a few months ago and was intrigued. Need to redo my kitchen and had a kitchen designer come in today and she had never heard of it. Wonder if it is available in Ontario Canada and if so, if it would be much more expensive here. Looks amazing. Have four girls to put through college so might be a great option.

    Reply
  9. Rebecca

    I would never have dared to dream that I could have new counters, then I read your post. My heart is pounding as I begin this first stage of planning. I must thank you for sharing your story. If I have questions I just go to Home Depot, is that right?

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      Yes, Home Depot, or Lowes…either place will help you get your new counter tops!I suggest the “aegean” or the “amore” edge…they lend themslevs to the “look” of marble. good luck and send picks!!!

      Reply
  10. Trisha

    I’m just wondering if the countertops stain easily since they are Formica and are mainly white? We have cream Formica and it stains pretty easily. I’m hoping with the updated technology, it won’t be a factor. I love this countertop!!

    Reply
  11. Trisha

    One more question…how noticeable are the seams? I really want to make this countertop work in my kitchen as well as it did in yours!!

    Reply
      1. rebecca

        if you place the edging correctly the seam will be barely visable, but for those places where you can see it, you can get a tube of Seam Fill and it will make that line disaapear. It’s like $5 bucks a tube and I was able to find it easily online along with the matching charts for what colors you need for your particular formica. We used the carrara bianco to mimic carrara marble with an ogee edge and they look amazing! We tried going the Lowe’s route but they wouldn’t let us purchase the material without paying their installers to do it. Boo. We just had to do a little googling and we found a supplier. The whole thing was about $650.

        Reply
        1. Kristen G

          Rebecca, could you send me a picture of your Carrara Bianco countertops? I am desperate to see what they look like in a REAL kitchen! The calacatta and carrara are gorgeous, but I’m being very picky and need to decide soon!

          Reply
          1. rebecca

            Sure, are you comfortable posting your e-mail address? If not I recently e-mailed a bunch of pics to the article author Lesli. She can see everyone’s e-mail address so she may be able to send you the pics without you having to post your address here.

          2. Danielle

            I would love to see pics of the Carrara Bianco as well! I’ve hardly been able to find any online. My e-mail is danielleATtheburgifamily.com. Thank you!

  12. Cori Lenard

    Was web surfing re laminate countertops and found your web site. Enjoyed reading your experience in choosing laminate countertops. I’m in the planning stage of redoing a kitchen that is 17 years old and was not maintained, we purchased this house in 2013 as our down sized home. I plan on using formica for my counter tops too. Can’t justify the cost of solid surface countertop and granite was never on my wish list. Plan on using a full overlay, raised panel cabinet in a mocha stain with formica antique mascarello countertop. Appliances will be either the new ge slate or bisque color. Back splash will be in an creamy white subway tile. The floors r wood medium tone and they r staying.

    Reply
  13. Brandy

    I love your kitchen! We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation and are going with the same countertops. One sales associate at Lowes told me that they can do the Aegean edge for me and another told me that they can’t. Did they come back and re-do yours? Couldn’t find any updated pics on your blog, but maybe I missed them.

    Reply
    1. rebecca

      I started by looking up formica suppliers online and eventually got to a guy who would sell me the material. I believe they actually make the ideal edge in ohio.

      Reply
  14. RB

    Thank you for posting this. I’m looking for exactly the look you got in your kitchen for my master bath countertops. Our house is 22 years old and our neighborhood is coming back from a dip in value. Trying to get the most bang for my buck in remodeling both master bath and kitchen this year, giving myself the incentive of using saved $ for hardwood flooring in master bedroom.

    Reply
  15. sue

    Hi, maybe a dumb question, but are these the formica 3460 calcutta marble? They look more light and soft comared to the stock photos online. I like yours better. Can you please let me know? Beautiful job!

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      Yes, these are Formica Calacatta Marble. The FORMICA photos (I think) do not do their own product justice, they are too cold. But in person the countertops are a very affordable way to get a nice clean light look…NO they are not marble, but they ARE pretty! Thanks

      Reply
  16. Pat

    Well after reading this I might have figured out why I have stayed up for hours looking for the laminate counters with a more natural edge. I can order the laminate but then I am going to have a problem cause I cannot do good edges. My grandson who is a teen likes to stay busy and helps me with all these updates because I am disabled with kidney and heart failure. I have had quad bypass and an artificial valve which has left me short on money for updates and repairs on this house have lived here since I was 18 and am now 60 so you can imagine.

    So Leslie I want to thank you for posting a picture of your lovely kitchen. I have a question though, do you know where I can order the counters that are “post formed” they come with the edge and laminate already put on the compressed wood with the edge built in? Any information you can give me would help maybe there is an edge I can put on the laminate? Thank you in advance for your help The home depot told me that it was discontinued.? So I left the store…. Pat

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      Hi Pat,

      I am forwarding your question to my friend at Formica, as I had not heard that they were discontinued and would be shocked (and saddened) if that were true. You can get the Formica Calacatta Marble Post form counter tops at Lowes..and they have a number of edge choices. The one on my blog is “Amore'” edge. Good luck and thank you for leaving your message. best, Lesli

      Reply
  17. Kathy

    Do you have problems keeping the sink corners clean? I want to get the same sink because of the flat rim, but have read that sinks with squared off corners are hard to keep clean.

    Reply
  18. Tara

    The issue I am having w/ my current laminate countertops is the edging which is basically just a glued on strip – if you walk too close to it it catches on stuff and has begun peeling off – which is super annoying and seems to have been an issue with any laminate countertop I’ve ever had.

    I love the look of these though. With the new edging that’s available is it still just that glued on strip? If it is I’m probably going to have to upgrade to solid surface or something, even though I much prefer the look/cost of these. 🙁

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      hi Tara,
      These countertops are great because the edge is continuous meaning to edge strip on most sides. If you have an island you can also get the ideal edge with goes around all four sides….! I would not give up …..for the price you cannot beat the look! good luck!

      Reply
    2. rebecca

      Ideal edge is still a glue on strip but much more attractive. Also, for both your older style edge and the new edges you can buy a product called seam fill that comes in a tube and fills all the seams and hardens to the color of your countertops. It is very inexpensive and so for a few bucks and some time you can greatly improve how it looks and greatly reduce the chances for snagging etc. We found a chart online that tells you what colors to order to match your formica pattern and we are very happy with the result. You cannot see the seam unless you are looking for it.

      Reply
      1. Kathy

        Is your new edge an IdealEdge? It looks like a rolled edge with flat strips on the ends and sides of the island.

        Reply
  19. rebecca

    The above pics aren’t of my kitchen. Your assessment seems correct. We were able to miter the corners of the ideal edge and use it on all sides of our island.

    Reply
      1. rebecca

        I meant the pictures in the article. I do not think I can attach pictures here but wouldn’t mind sharing pics of our project. Not sure how to be able to do that securely. We also had quite the experience trying to find the product. We heard about it online and had nothing but trouble trying to get Lowes and Home Depot to get it for us. They would only do it if they installed it which doubled the price and took away the cost savings you get by using it. I actually ended up going through a local Formica supplier to get both the formica and the ideal edge so we did all of our countertops for around $600…and that was even after we had to order an extra sheet when we screwed up with the contact cement the first time;)

        Reply
  20. Lauren

    Hi, Leslie 🙂 We are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen. We chose a “farble” by Wilsonart with their version of the Aegean edge, and they have been cracked three times. We are now trying to decide what route to take. Were you able to get the Formica Aegean edge without any cracks? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      Hi Lauren,

      Yes we did get the age an edge with no cracks. That is such a bummer. Are they offering to change products for you? Maybe try the Formica? I hope it works out…it really is so pretty.

      take care and let me know how it turns out.

      Reply
  21. Carole

    When we remodeled our kitchen roughly ten years ago, I never considered marble, granite, or any of the high end options. I don’t like them, plus I’m not one to follow the trends. It’s my house, I’m going to make it my house. 😉 We chose Corian for a small area of the kitchen (our coffee bar), but it was way too expensive to even consider for the entire room. What I had actually fallen in love with was a color from Earthstone (I still have the brochure), so I took my sample and hit the Formica aisle. I found a laminate so close in color that everyone who comes into the house has to check out the counter tops closely. When originally installed the seams were practically invisible (we had a fabulous installer) and we opted for the roundover edge, which adds to the illusion.

    I love my counter tops, and with a little polishing compound now and again it’s easy to keep them looking good as new. I’d never hesitate to choose laminate.

    Reply
  22. Pamela

    Calacatta Marble– is yours the “etched” selection? I don’t think I want the etching but that is the only selection I can find….THANK YOU !

    Reply
  23. Tammy

    I am getting ready to order the calacutta marble laminate as well. But I have looked at some real marble pieces and they are smooth and shiny.I have a sample with the etchings finish. Does the etchibgs look like real marble or ( if available) should I het a glossy finish?

    Reply
      1. tammy

        does it come in the glossy? From the 5×7 piece, I cant imagine it looks that close to marble in the etchings since it is more of a satin finish

        Reply
        1. Lesli DeVito Post author

          Believe it or not, it looks great!! But no, it is not shiny like real marble. If you are able to see a larger piece in person it might help in your decision making process. Good luck!

          Reply
          1. tammy

            Thank you for your quick responses. one more question. To use the top for an island they can only do the squared edge or the ogee. since it will have the edge all the way around. Which edge did u prefer?

  24. Pamela

    I just ordered the formica 180fx calacatta marble also– they tell me that it only comes with the etching….sure hope it looks good !!! I think the etching will mostly be pronounced when the sun is shining through the window…

    Reply
  25. Betsy S

    I’m looking at new countertops & love the marble look you have, but we have bisque appliances that we won’t be replacing. Your cabinets don’t look pure white…are they an off white? Just trying to see if it would work to mix bisque appliances with cabinets painted to match & the marble countertop.

    Reply
  26. Charlotte

    this looks amaxing and exactly what I’m after however I’m in the UK, do you know if it is also available here?
    Thanks

    Reply
  27. Patty Spires

    I am thrilled to read your info. Need to update a 30 yr kitchen on a very limited budget. I like the calacatta marble by Formica but also do not want the straight regular edge. Want some edge that does t have the Formica look. So are you saying the Aegean or a more edge work alright…no splitting or cracking? Will it be guaranteed if Home Depot or lowes does it. I have hired a contractor to do this but maybe I need to ask him about guarantee or replacement of cracking occurs? You said no staining..like grape juice, red wine? Know you have to be very careful of cut marks and heat..what else? So excited to have someone to question about this. Thanks, patty

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      any of the curved edges are less likely to crack. We had “amore” first and it was very nice. I don’t know about Guarantees. It does look nice though. If I were doing it again I might even look into the thicker counter tops, I like how they look. Good Luck!

      Reply
      1. Patty

        Hi again Lesli,
        Thanks so much for your reply. What would be thicker? Does Calacatta come in thicker Formica or are you thinking something totally different. Wish you were here. I am so decisive…when funds are slight, one doesn’t want to make a costly mistake. Patty

        Reply
        1. Lesli DeVito Post author

          Happy to help! Don’t let my daydreaming confuse you…I don;t even know if they make a thick formica, I have just like the thicker kitchen counters I have seen of late! good luck!

          Reply
          1. Patty

            Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Decisions are so difficult. Appreciate your help and expertise. So it started me thinking that maybe to make it look thicker and stronger, I could ask for a thicker underboard (is there such a Thing) so the laminate would look thicker by itself? Checking on that as well as researching appliances. So many choices and how does one know middle range, middle quality. Gonna do some looking on Internet. Any thoughts or ideas would be welcomed. Hugs for your help, Patty

  28. Libby

    Thank you so much for posting this! I was dead set on Corian and now that I have done some research and looked and touched the formica I’m in love and sold! My husband was even more so when he saw the pricing!!!

    Reply
  29. Patty spires

    I am ordering my Calacatta countertops but still undecided about edging. Need all of your advise. My dilemma : I like ideal edge but it means a seam all around the countertop. Bullnose is rounded with no seam but means a 45 degree angle cut on counter top. Does the seam across the countertop show very much on this design or because of pattern, would be easily hidden? Help! I want to have installed right after Christmas. Thanks

    Reply
  30. Penny

    You helped me decide… Its going to be formica marble for my 18 year old counter tops!
    I hope it can be installed over the current countertops. Its such a waste to fill landfills with junk if it can just stay in place!

    Reply
  31. MAKENZIE

    I am putting calcutta formica in my new home. Having trouble finding a good white color for subway tile and white paint for cabinets. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      WE bought them at Home Depot and we had the tops installed professionally. At Home Depot hey were $14 A SQ FT uninstalled and 30 installed. We bought them for $14 square foot and then had our guy install them. I think he charged us $250 which was a big savings over HD…

      Reply
  32. Ruth

    Hi! I was wondering if you went with the gloss or etching finish? My contact at Lowe’s warned me about scratching on the gloss, but I dislike the way the etching looks on the sample I got. 🙁

    Reply
      1. Ruth

        Good to know! It might just be I didn’t like it when the sample was 4 inches from my face, something I doubt I would do with my actual countertop 😉 Thank you for your very helpful posts!!!!

        Reply
  33. Mandy

    Hi there, from what I can gather if I get the ideal edges then I will have a 45 degree seam in the corner. Do you have this seam then? Does it bother you?

    Reply
  34. Terri Rorex

    I LOVE Formica 180x line! I really want the Formica Calcutta Marble in my lake vacation home. I wanted white cabinets too……. My husband has his heart set on hickory cabinets! Should I still use the Formica Calcutta Marble I want? I feel I need to go with his hickory cabinets…..he would like whatever I choose…. He always really does…. However since he rarely voices his preferences in home interior items ….so him to say anything about cabinet type is something I really want to do…it’s his lake house too.

    Reply
    1. Lesli DeVito Post author

      I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I would have to see them together, or at least see photos of the cabinets. Sorry I can be of more help.

      Reply
  35. Tiffany

    Hello, I am wondering how you are liking the countertops to date. are they holding up well? Any stains? I am wanting to get these for a new house that I’m buying with basic laminate countertops.

    Reply

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