Everything You Want to Know About Our Formica Countertops!

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!

FENIX Nero Ingo matte black countertops with wood cabinets | via Yellow Brick Home
Unit 1 Kitchen

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!

FENIX Nero Ingo matte black countertops with wood cabinets | via Yellow Brick Home
Unit 1 Kitchen

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.

Formica countertops in Bleached Concrete with black cabinets | via Yellow Brick Home
Unit 2 Kitchen

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.

FENIX Nero Ingo matte black countertops with wood cabinets | via Yellow Brick Home
​​​Unit 1 Kitchen featuring FENIX™ in Nero Ingo

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!

Formica countertops in Bleached Concrete with black cabinets | via Yellow Brick Home
Unit 2 Kitchen featuring Everform™ Solid Surfacing in Bleached Concrete

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.

Close-up of Formica Bleached Concrete Everform countertops | via Yellow Brick Home

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.

Close-up of Formica Bleached Concrete Everform countertops | via Yellow Brick Home

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.

FENIX Nero Ingo matte black countertops with wood cabinets | via Yellow Brick Home
Unit 1 Kitchen

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:

The underside of a Formica countertop, what to expect during installation | via Yellow Brick Home

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.

Close-up of Formica Bleached Concrete Everform countertops with brass pulls | via Yellow Brick Home
Unit 2 Kitchen

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.

Formica countertops in Bleached Concrete with black cabinets | via Yellow Brick Home
Unit 2 Kitchen

Final Notes

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

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  • Karen T.10.23.20 - 6:57 AM

    Wow, these are stunning! Curious about the price–how do they compare to typical formica? My bestie is on a budget kitchen revamp and the FENIX would be perfect!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.20 - 7:48 AM

      It’s worth grabbing a quote! There’s not a considerable difference between Everform and FENIX, and we had a quote from our fabricator in a couple of days.ReplyCancel

  • RC10.23.20 - 7:10 AM

    These look so good. How does the cost of these two materials compare to a stone like granite?ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.20 - 7:46 AM

      It will vary by location and fabricator, but compared to stone, this is much more affordable! The budget friendliness is the first reason that had us considering Formica, especially as the renovation costs started adding up around us.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy10.23.20 - 7:24 AM

    I cannot get over the way that the black countertops absolutely GLOW!
    My parents have had Formica countertops in their kitchen for 30+ years, and while the color and style are certainly out of date, they have held up beautifully. I learned how to cook in that kitchen and (while certainly not recommended) did plenty of cutting and putting down hot pans directly on those countertops, and you’d never, ever know. My biggest issue is with the visible seams but it looks like yours don’t have any? That’s a huge selling point if they’ve found ways around that.
    I’m a little biased because the unit 2 kitchen looks strikingly similar to my own, but both turned out gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.20 - 7:44 AM

      Love hearing that! The fabricators put the seams in both kitchens at the oven, so you can’t see it AT ALL. It’s really incredible.ReplyCancel

  • Susan10.23.20 - 7:26 AM

    My aunt and uncle had formica in their kitchen and we went to visit when we were trying to decide on new counters for our house. The first thing we noticed is how scratched up it was everywhere they used the counters. This was after 18 years of use, so I didnt expect perfection but it was shocking and we decided against it. Granted their install was 20 years ago now. Just wondering if they have made recent changes to the durability? I know you mentioned it can be repaired with an iron, so does that mean you need to give renters special instruction about not putting a hot pan on it?ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.20 - 7:51 AM

      They have come a loooong way, and now there are many different materials available! I’ve never been one to put a hot pot directly on a countertop ever (I always use a trivet!), so I’d politely suggest to our renters to do the same.ReplyCancel

  • Blake10.23.20 - 9:00 AM

    It’s so cool to see you guys embrace and SHOWCASE a different material than what we usually see, especially one that most people would rip out immediately. Both counters look SO GOOD!!!
    We recently bought a mid-century style rancher house here in California, complete with mustard yellow formica countertops. I can’t believe how much I LOVE them!!! They blend with the simple oak cabinets and seem perfect for the vibe of the house. For being 45 years old they are in great shape, and thanks to this post I am investigating repair products for the few minor dings they do have, so thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.20 - 10:19 AM

      Oh, wow, that’s amazing. ???? I love that you’re embracing something so unique! If you get stumped, be sure to reach out to Formica’s Customer Service line!ReplyCancel

  • Shauna10.23.20 - 10:54 AM

    I am curious about formica and undermounted sinks. The old formica (and recent installations I’ve seen) was on MDF that expands under tiny holes in the formica. It looks like your formica overlays a more water impermeable material?ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.20 - 12:30 PM

      Yes, the Everform material is acrylic, and I cannot say enough good things about it. We were initially worried about undermount, but after more research, we realized that we would be a-okay! And the fact that we fooled our architect into thinking we installed stone was the icing on the cake!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah10.23.20 - 12:25 PM

    My jaw dropped when I read that headline. I loved these at first sight and NEVER would have guessed they are Formica.ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.20 - 12:29 PM

      ???? They have so many options! The hardest part was narrowing it all down.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy10.23.20 - 1:54 PM

    I remember helping my dad install laminate countertops at our home in the early 90s. He had special glue, and a heat gun, and a roller! It was an intense process, but he knew what he was doing. This seems crazy easy and looks amazing! I’m impressed.ReplyCancel

    • Scott10.23.20 - 2:03 PM

      Wow! That does seem intense. Formica still offers lots of support for DIY installs as well. We weren’t brave enough to take it on, but give tons of props to anyone that is!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Rossman10.26.20 - 9:16 AM

    I’m loving those countertops! Very impressive. ReplyCancel

  • Betsy10.26.20 - 11:05 AM

    Thank you for this post!  I live in small “starter” home with only 848 sq feet.  Been here 17 years, with no plans to move.  I have black Formica countertops, that were here when I moved into the house.  They look great still.  I did just finally place a bottle of something that left a ring.  409, Mr. Clean??  Not really sure.  But they have actually been great in the wear and tear department.  And I am hard on everything.  I’ve thought of upgrading to fancier materials, but hesitate since this house is a starter home.  I would not recoup the money spent.  But this may be exactly what I am looking for in the countertop department.  I just ordered a bunch of samples.  I may have been staring right at it, but can you link the undermount sink you used?  Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • Molly10.27.20 - 9:03 PM

    Hi! Curious about the feel of these – do they feel like the Formica of yore?  Are they cold or room temperature?  ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.28.20 - 8:18 AM

      The FENIX feels room temperature and super soft to the touch (it’s an incredible material), and the Everform feels room temp/cooler.ReplyCancel

  • Tracy11.6.20 - 3:11 PM

    thank you for this post!  as much as I would love to have a top of the line kitchen, its not always in the budget to have the most expensive of everything! ReplyCancel

  • Nancy11.11.20 - 5:50 PM

    Love the countertops!  I am looking for the tile you used Unit 2 – the hyperlink says OOPs and even tried searching tileshop’s site to no avail.  Please help! 
    Longtime reader – first time posting :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.11.20 - 6:51 PM

      Hi Nancy! I am soooo sad to report that the tile has been discontinued! ???? the next closest thing would be anything from the Annie Selke line at The Tile Shop.ReplyCancel

  • JENNIFER12.8.20 - 8:49 AM

    Would you be able to share the name of the company you used to purchase/install? We’re in the Chicago area as well and I’m having a hard time finding anyone to do the work. Thank you so much – if we ever become friends in real life and you come see my kitchen you will see it’s heavily influenced by you and your incredible choices (I’m looking at you sink, countertops, hardware, shelves) : )ReplyCancel

    • Scott12.8.20 - 9:02 AM

      Hi Jennifer! We used B & B Formica and they were absolutely fantastic to work with. We can’t recommend them enough! Feel free to send over some pics when your kitchen is complete. We’d love to see it!ReplyCancel

      • Jenny12.8.20 - 10:20 AM

        Thank you so much for your quick response – I will!ReplyCancel

  • Aaron2.2.21 - 10:27 PM

    I’d like to know how those Fenix countertops are holding up. We are currently designing a home with the help of some architects, and, of course, we’re trying to keep our costs in check. The Fenix NTA materials looks really nice; I’d consider them even if they were so inexpensive. What has the real-world wear and tear been like?

    • Scott2.3.21 - 9:56 AM

      Hey Aaron! We were incredibly impressed with the Fenix material and the fabrication team that did the work. Unfortunately, we can’t truly speak to the durability as the unit has been occupied by renters since we completed the project. Sorry we can’t be of more assistance!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah3.31.21 - 3:52 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this! This is the perfect solution for my kitchen remodel with a Mid-Century Modern feel to it! Stone countertops just felt inauthentic! I signed the contract today to get the Felix Nero Ingo for my kitchen. ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay5.31.21 - 8:07 AM

    Hello! The formica countertops are stunning! I’ve read the rough the post and comments looking for some cost info. I know you said that it was considerably less than granite. Can you share roughly what price per square foot you paid?ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.31.21 - 2:00 PM

      Hi Lindsay, you’ll want to get an estimate from your local Formica fabricator, since it can really vary by city/state AND type of Formica. Quotes are at no charge to you, and it will give you the best idea of what you can expect from order-to-installation!ReplyCancel

  • Tamara7.29.21 - 10:54 AM

    Hi there! I love the look of the Nero Ingo countertops. I would be interested in hearing how the material has handled since the installation! I have samples of it for a client and I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.21 - 11:18 AM

      It’s currently in a rental unit so we haven’t been able to see it in person up close recently, but I’d like to share at some point in the future! I recommend beating up the sample you have – pour wine and coffee on it, let it sit over night, scratch it, put a hot pan on it, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Tip Leigh7.29.21 - 6:09 PM

    After reading this blog I called the Company to find a Fenix fabricator in my area. They didn’t know of  any and told me it wasn’t available for residential use. They said you may have an ‘in’ because you are decorator. I then called Formica fabricators and they hadn’t heard of the product. I am in San Francisco so I assumed there would be people here who are ‘in the know.’ Please let me know how I can access the material and find someone to create my countertops. Love the blog!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.30.21 - 9:56 AM

      It’s available for residential use! Try finding a fabricator recommendation through the FENIX website, you may have better luck? ????ReplyCancel

  • Janice Rhodes1.22.22 - 7:41 AM

    We own a (beautiful) 3 flat on the north side of Chicago. I was doing research for new countertops for one of our rental units when I stumbled across you. Formica or laminate would have been quickly ruled out if I hadn’t! The other options are so pricey for a rental but we want it to be durable AND look good.  We’re only attempting a facelift between renters, not a complete remodel.ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.22.22 - 5:52 PM

      Formica has come a LONG way! Worth it to grab samples.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi5.25.22 - 4:21 PM

    Love the article and countertops! Do you happen to know if they can seam the product for large islands/ long countertops?ReplyCancel

    • Scott5.26.22 - 9:26 AM

      We’re fairly certain that’s possible, but it would be best to reach out to your local installer to confirm.ReplyCancel


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