Tuesday, September 9, 2014

formica calacatta marble review


Formica has come a long way!
I revealed our Formica 180fx Calacatta Marble counter top back in May, along with
my One Room Challenge Kitchen Reveal. I had intended to do a follow up post on
the counter top right away, but decided to live with it for a few months before giving
 my opinion. After four months here's what I think: I could not LOVE it more!!
Everyone that's seen it comments how realistic it appears and then proceeds to feels it.


If you're not familiar with Formica's 180fx product you're in for a surprise. Technology
 and nature merged to create the first laminate with large scale patterns that replicates the
depth and realism of stone at an affordable price. The effect is achieved by digitally
 photographing the highest quality pieces of stone.

 

Our island is 11' x 5' at the longest and widest points and there is NO seam!
 That was a huge selling point for me, the sheets of laminate are 12' x 5'.


What sealed the deal was the availability of the IdealEdge. It mimics the decorative Ogee and Bullnose profiles found on more expensive stones,
 and eliminates the brown seams previously associated with laminate counters.
 I chose the Bullnose edge to coordinate with the profile on the existing granite in the
 rest of my kitchen.
 

It has lived up to the durable, easy to maintain, stain and impact resistant claims.
We've spilled red wine, mustard, BBQ sauce, red sauce, paint - nothing has left a trace of a
stain. I'm just not careful with it, if I want to bust out a messy project, I do. I've used it for
large projects with glue smeared all over it and everything has come right up. I've used the
magic eraser and abrasive scratch pad. Short of actually cutting on it (which you can't do)
I feel like we've given it a very good test.

I was hesitant about one item, there are little tiny divots in the laminate and I wasn't sure
 about them when I first looked at the sample. Different lighting highlighted them, and they
 gave off a shine. I made all my design savvy friends check them out and we all agreed they
 would be ok. I'm so glad I didn't let that hold me back. I don't even notice them at all, you'd
 have to be looking for them in a certain specific light to pick up on it. Also, they were less
 noticeable in the older, used sample I checked out from Lowes.

The Price??
The real deal would have been about $6,000 for our island,
the Formica Calacatta Marble was approximately $1,300.
Of course, prices will vary depending on fabricators in your area and the specifics
of your project.  

I couldn't be happier with it, it truly is a great representation of a real marble pattern
 without the worry of maintenance and at an incredible price!


39 comments:

Kim said...

So glad you still love it ... it looks amazing Pam!

Dana Frieling said...

I just pitched this to my client...no bite though. I need to show them your post!

Sonny Gianetti said...

If this dang granite in my kitchen wasnt new I'd have it ripped out and have what you choose put in,, in a heartbeat.. Its absolutely beautiful AND something priced so that if in 10 years you're sick of it, can be replaced..

I feel like I am hung to this granite with no ability to change it and that doesnt suit my personality.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

so glad it worked out so well for you and saved you so much money!!! that's awesome!

MichelleAnn said...

Pam, looks beautiful. I live in Denver, too. Could you tell me where you bought your Formica so I can go check out the product?

Kris @ Driven by Décor said...

Thanks for sharing your experience - I love the look of marble but don't know if I'd be happy with it in the kitchen due to the staining and etching issues. So great to know about this alternative!

Denise Greenwood said...

I love it and I'm happy to know the size of the sheets - thanks for sharing that! We have old laminate now, and would love to upgrade - but don't want to spend the extra on stone - the one thing I hate most about the laminate is the seam. This just might have moved a little higher up the list. Looks great Pam!

SHERRY HART said...

It looks so much like real stone! I am glad it has held up well for you. Love you kitchen makeover:)

Ami said...

So very refreshing to have a blogger actually live with a product before they do a review. I'm so leery of those that make claims about how wonderful something is when they haven't even lived with it (especially on sponsored posts). This post really gives you a lot of credibility and I'm sure your readers appreciate it. I've looked at the Formica 180fx line for two years now. It looks amazing and comes in some many wonderful options. Now I know it preforms well, too. Thank you!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

It looks incredible. Love your kitchen

Kristin@bliss-athome.com said...

Wow! You saved a lot of money going that route! xoxo

Shannon Latimer said...

Thank you for sharing the update! I am dying to redo my kitchen counters in white marble, but it's cost prohibitive at this point, so I'm super stoked that there is a viable, tried-and-tested alternative out there. I just ordered a sample, fingers crossed!

Teresa P said...

Pam,
Your kitchen looks gorgeous and the island looks amazing. We are in the process of countertop shopping and talk about sticker shock. I love the look of marble and each time the salesperson steers me away from it because of staining and chipping issues. Your post came at a great time as I will definitely be looking into this product as an alternative option.

Carol@6WilsonBlog.com said...

Hi Pam, I still love what you did!! You and I both did formica for the ORC and I love mine (I can't remember the name, but it's a soapstone/slate look-alike). With all the fuss over marbles and granites in the past decade, laminates have been so dismissed (by me included), looked at down the nose of so many, but the reality is, you just can't beat it for budget, durability, and now good looks, too. It is a great alternative to a long term look commitment, like one of your commentors said above. Mine will keep me super happy until we finally get to our kitchen reno in a few years. Great, great kitchen ;-)

Vel Criste said...

Great Review Pam! I wish i went with it rather than my marble. Yup, my island is not in it's best shape already only after a year, water stains it even! Uggghh! It's driving me nuts!

My Little Bungalow said...

This is fascinating, Pam. I never would have guessed that Formica would look like this. Your counter looks amazing. I am going to have to investigate this product further as an option for our kitchen. Thanks so much for sharing!
Claudia

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

I'm so glad you did this post. As you know I've been talking that countertop up, and now I've got even more amo to back up my case. :) It really does look great.

Debbie J. said...

It looks fantastic. I will definitely check this product out. Thanks for sharing beautiful and more affordable options in our décor. It is very much appreciated.

Trisha Wray said...

It is gorgeous! I've beed DYING for you to post this review -after I saw it in your ORC reveal I was so intrigued. I'd love to see a close up shot of the edge and maybe the tiny divots you referred to.

Jennifer@The Chronicles of Home said...

I can't get over how realistic it looks. So great that it's performing so well, too - I definitely do not have time for high maintenance counters in my kitchen!

Julie Reinwald said...

This is such a great solution, Pam. And you gave us all a lot of valuable information about this product. I just LOVE your kitchen! Gorgeous!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Wow...that countertop is a beauty!....I have faux granite formica in my laundry room and wanting to replace it...Love that countertop!...

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

Great review Pam. I have white formica and I love it. I have wanted marble and granite but the cost has held me back, this is very reassuring and something I will definitely consider. It looks fabulous and I know how hardy it is, I have tortured mine and they still look great. xo Nancy

Thirkellgirl said...

I have a black "mineral effect" Formica in my new Ikea kitchen, and I love it. It was intended to be a temporary countertop until I bit the bullet on honed marble (I, too, was discouraged by salespeople) but I'm perfectly satisfied with it. It's easy to clean, it shows no scratches or marks even if I bang a pickle jar on it, and everyone who comes into my kitchen assumes it's granite. If I ever do replace it I'd go with what you have.

Julia Konya said...

It looks so good

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Kelly said...

Just beautiful! So good to know that you don't have to go 'without' if you don't have the budget for real marble!

pam {simple details} said...

MichelleAnn - Sorry there wasn't an email attached to your comment. You can get it through Lowes, they have samples in the store you can check out as well. Good luck!

Robyn Davies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robyn Davies said...

I was so excited to find your blog on pinterest! Your kitchen is gorgeous! We are getting the same laminate for our kitchen and I noticed that you said there are no brown seams on your island. I just want to make sure I understand that there are no seams at all? My laminate on my island now has no seam on the longer ends but does on the two short ends. Could you please let me know for sure.
I don't think it would change my mind it it does have seams, but it would be such a bonus if it didn't!
Thank you so much for your review!

pam {simple details} said...

Thanks Robyn - correct NO seams as all. Just to confirm, I'm talking about the top, the sheets come in 12' lengths x 5' width, so as long as your project fits within that parameter there wouldn't be a seam. There are seams around the edge where the Ideal Edge meets the top. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Lovely. When we moved to a new housing area and everyone was getting granite counter tops, a friend of mine chose laminate. She said, "I can change my mind and redecorate a lot of times for the cost of granite counter tops." She was right. Now that we are in a different home and looking at remodels, I'm considering options that are beautiful and much less costly. Expensive options are much less important to me now. Trends change so fast.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I love your counters! I really want to do something like this in our kitchen. I just ordered a sample of the Calacatta marble formica and was wondering which finish you chose? Did you get the "honed" finish for your formica calacatta marble? Thanks!

Unknown said...

I have picked out the same calacatta marble pattern. My contractor will not do the ideal edge... he wants to do a wood edge. Have you had any issues with yours?

Sara Ross said...

I have picked out the same calacatta marble pattern. My contractor will not do the ideal edge... he wants to do a wood edge. Have you had any issues with yours?

Sara Ross said...

I have picked out the same calacatta marble pattern. My contractor will not do the ideal edge... he wants to do a wood edge. Have you had any issues with yours?

pam {simple details} said...

Hi Sara,

I haven't had any trouble at all, it looks exactly the same as the day it was installed. The Ideal Edge was put on at the fabricators, the installer didn't have to do anything. I went with it because I wanted to mimic the look of real marble as close as possible, if that's what you're hoping for you wouldn't achieve that same look with a wood edge. Good luck!

pam {simple details} said...

Sara, another thought - you might contact Formica directly (they're very helpful) and ask questions if your contractor has some concerns. Or if he doesn't feel comfortable with the installation they could direct you to other local installers.

Unknown said...

I love this countertop and am planning to put it in my kitchen. Did you do the gloss or etchings finish?

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