Let’s face it, laminate has had a bad rap for a long time. Many of us grew up with it and then during the 80’s solid surfaces like Corian became the new and improved counter top material. Corian and Corian-like counter tops eventually fell out of fashion and was replaced by granite and now more recently with quartz, quartzite and a variety of other natural stones. I can honestly say very few of my friends or clients are still in love with their bossy granite counter tops from the 1990’s and 2000’s but the expense and work of replacing them keeps them stuck.

So imagine my curiosity when I saw not one but two well known and respected vendors at this years Kitchen and Bath Show displaying laminate. I saw some inspiring applications and it got me excited about the possibilities. Wilsonart, one of our BlogTour sponsors was asking designers to be open minded about laminate and used the tag line “Explore new surfaces” as their theme of the show.

Cabinets, wall, counter tops and shelving all laminate from Wilsonart. Photo by Tori Aston

Cabinets and wall are all laminate by Wilsonart. Counter tops are Quartz by Wilsonart. Photo by Tori Aston

Now before you immediately poo poo laminate this let me share some facts.

  1. A new housing study shows that millennials, the fastest growing group of US home buyers are looking for home finishes that are budget friendly and make less of an impact on our planet. Stone counter tops rank surprisingly low on their list of “must haves”.
  2. Laminate is a way for homeowners to express their creativity and truly personalize their home. It comes in just about any color and pattern or you can create your own laminate design from a drawing or photograph.
Small sampling of Wilsonart laminate options

Small sampling of Wilsonart laminate options Photo by Tori Aston

3. Laminate is a sustainable product. When you use one their products you are doing no harm to our planet. You may think stone is eco friendly but the expense and energy involved in getting that stone out of the ground and transporting it to your home is anything but. The world does not have an endless supply of marble and granite and entire regions of certain parts of the world are scarred and blighted from the granite and marble mining industry.

4. Trend setting celebrity designers like Dany Seo for Wilsonart and Jonathon Adler for Formica are doing some amazing things with laminate designs, colors and patterns. Can you believe this potting station below is made entirely from laminate? The wood-look barn board and the integrated sink…all laminate. Affordable, easy to clean and water proof!


This custom bookcase below is also made from laminate, including the “metal” dividers and shelves.

Custom laminate bookcase edged in laminate "metal" Photo by Tori Aston

Custom laminate bookcase edged in laminate “metal” Photo by Tori Aston

5. With the renewed interest and popularity of mid century homes and design many homeowners are looking to decorate their home using materials authentic to the era. Wilsonart partnered with bloggers Pam Keuber and Kate Battle of Retro Renovation and introduced Boomerang laminates. This IS your grandmothers laminate but for some that’s just the ticket!

Boomerang laminate: Photo by Wilsonart

Boomerang laminate: Photo by Wilsonart

So whether you are looking to personalize your home with an affordable alternative to stone or take a trip back to the 40’s and 50’s, Wilsonart has a product for you. Time will tell but I do think laminate just may be the new come back kid.

What do you think of laminate?

Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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