Where to find cracked ice laminate

cracked ice laminate

Cracked ice laminate seems to have been a very popular choice for vintage dinette table tops, and I hear from readers fairly often asking where they can find it for kitchen counters. Crackle ice laminate is still available from a number of sources online. Like the other special-order boomerang laminates available, these crackle ice laminates  — available in red, yellow and grey — are relatively expensive, at $450 for a 4′ x 10′ sheet. “Relatively” – in that numerous readers have reported that the much more-readily-available big-name company laminates — from companies including Formica, Wilsonart, etc. — are about 1/4 the price when purchased from Home Depot, Lowe’s or the like. That said, if you need crackle ice countertops… you need crackle ice countertops.

My friend Grace Jeffers — the laminate expert — actually calls this style “Mother of Pearl. I think of this crackle ice finish, in particular in the colors shown, as being a 1930s, 1940s or early 1950s look. As the 50s progressed, I see more graphic finishes — boomerangs… other googie shapes… the ever-beloved gold-sparkles-on-white… and the most popular design of all, I’m told, was: linen finish.

My go-to source for this laminate would be: Heffron’s – note, they are an advertiser here — the last time I did a price survey, they had the best prices. Recognize, though, that there may be other online sources, such as Bars & Booths — so you should do your own research. But before you buy, recognize that there are other online sources for this same product. However, to find them, my tip is to google “boomerang laminate” — this will get you these suppliers more effectively than trying “crackle ice laminate”, in my experience.

Lastly, I saw a small sample of this laminate once. I was concerned about the pixelation (the “dots of color”  laid down during digital printing) visible in the sample. Perhaps it was an anomaly. If I were to consider this counter top for my own kitchen, I would need to see a larger sample before making a commitment.

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Comments

  1. John says

    Morning Pam,
    One reason I bought my 1959 ranch in Florence,MA was because the counter tops and backsplash matched my kitchen table. Yes, you guessed it, Cracked Ice laminate. My home was a Model home for the neighborhood too so many neighbors have it also unless they “updated” to keep with the times.

    John

  2. says

    Definitely get yourself swatches of those before ordering though — I got samples of the laminate and the vinyl a few years ago and it’s not a good match for the vintage stuff at all (I was hoping to coordinate with my cracked ice dinette set) A very heavy screen-tone effect is visible in the printing, and the difference is glaring — so you can’t really mix them. Also, the colors are much more saturated/dark than the originals. There’s a good example on this page:
    http://www.kpetersen.com/zodiacvinyls.htm

    But if you had no vintage cracked ice stuff in your house it would look fantastic!

    Also, there are cheaper sources for the vinyl – pastense.com and barstoolsandchairs.com both carry it for less than all the ordering services. Barstools And Chairs used to say on their site that custom colors could be done if you ordered 30 yards or more, but I’m not seeing that on their site any more (it’s been a couple years since I looked at it, probably)

    • says

      also – yes, I know that sample of the printing is the vinyl, but the laminate looked exactly the same. I don’t know what process they used originally, but apparently it can’t be done now.

      • MbS says

        Sarah — thanks for the reminders about process and even the idea of “dye lot”….I saw a dinette with seats redone in grey vinyl cracked ice….to the red laminate table. the contrast worked….and now, I understand, that this choice may have been necessary.

  3. says

    Sigh… cracked ice is okay, but what I really want is that linen finish. I’ve seen several decorating articles in the past year in which people just go gaga over old linen counters in red or pastel green. Why can’t the laminate manufacturers catch a clue and realize that people want that pattern again? And that people just aren’t buying much faux granite anymore?

    • DIANE SANSEVERINO says

      I TOO, AM LOOKING FOR PALE GREEN LINEN COUNTERTOP. I WANT TO RESTORE MY GRANDPARENTS LATE 1940′S CAPE. THE KITCHEN HAD BIRCH CABINES AND GREEN LINEN COUNTERTOP WITH THE CHROME RINGS. THE COUNTER IS SHOT, THOUGH. DIANE

  4. Sabrina says

    Our house was built in 1957 and our bathroom vanity countertop is pink cracked ice laminate… I didn’t realize it was hard to find! When we made an offer on the house, we told our daughters that it has a pink bathroom, a very big draw for them. It’s been virtually untouched since 1957 (the floor tile has been replaced, but we think that’s it), and I love it that way.

    That said, I noticed that the beloved countertop has spot that is discolored… it looks like it’s finally breaking down, after over 50 years. Any sources for pink to replace it?

  5. Vintigchik says

    I grew up in my grandpa’s ’59 ranch and it had yellow cracked ice countertops. I loved them and miss them :)

  6. Jan says

    The idea that the popularity of cracked ice might have waned by the late 1950s made me think of a Formica ad I saw just the other day from a 1962 magazine for a laminate called “Mayflower.” I think it was a “new” laminate in the ad. It had a cream background with square-ish motifs in aqua, pinkish and maybe green (I’ll have to look at it again tonight).

    Pam, I can scan you a copy of the ad, if you’d like – although you may have already seen this one. It’s funny – I remember this laminate from that period – I just didn’t remember it until I saw the ad!

    I, too, grew up with various family having grey or a pale, pale blue-ish cracked ice and miss it very much!

  7. says

    Is “cracked ice” a vernacular term or an original trade term? I’ve always known these rag-like patterns as “pearls” – i.e., they imitate the sort of pearlescent effects one might see in mother of pearl or an abalone shell. They were popular on drum sets, too.

  8. Bonnie Mc says

    Anyone want to split a sheet of yellow crackle ice laminate with me? I don’t need 10 feet! Just re-doing the one table…

    Thanks so much -

    Bonnie

  9. Carol Lucas says

    Does anyone know where to get a 32′ X32″ piece of original red vinyl with a marble like pattern, which I believe is “cracked ice”. I thought it was “cracked ice” until I got a sample of the new stuff from Bars and Booths. The sample is way more of a tomato red color, like I remember the later ones being–the ones you would see on the rolls in the dime stores in the late 60′s, before contact paper started to be manufactured. The type I’m looking for is the older cherry red color. It is much prettier, with a dark crisp veining, not the rather vague and muddied look of the sample. Also it is about 1/8 inch thick, red all the way through, although the design is on the top part. I know this because it is finally starting to wear off in heavy use spots on my kitchen countertops, where it has been thumbtacked over boards since who knows when. I have used it almost daily since 1970, and found it wonderfully cheerful and easy to use then, and still do! I really love it. Perhaps I should explain, this is a small beach cabin, not a full size formal kitchen. It had a drain board in 1969. You know, a large piece of board set at a slant to drain in the big old sink, but some where along the way that got replaced with a flat plyboard counter. I am looking for a piece to match my counters and cover that counter. I am not looking for the stuff that is backed with a soft knit fabric, but solid thick vinyl, with lots of dark patterning, giving a cherry red appearance.

  10. Colvin says

    Hi Pam,
    Question where is the best place to find cracked ice vinyl?
    I was given a fabulous red cracked ice chrome kitchen table with a leaf and 2 chairs. The chairs were originially done in the red cracked ice vinyl. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Colvin
    PS I’ll upload a pic once I figure out how to do that so you can see.

  11. Marisa C. says

    **MAJOR great product from Formica!!!!!** I was going to go for a retro laminate to replace the counters in my Mom’s 1961 California Ranch house, until I got a sample of Formica’s “Solid Surface” in Nickel Mica. It’s just like Corian and it’s the Gray Cracked Ice!~ It’s stunning!! The sample pic doesn’t do it justice. What’s even more amazing is that is has tiny silver sparkles in it!!!! I’ll post a pic when I get them installed in the kitchen. If you go to Formica’s website, you can get a 2″ X 2″ sample. Formica rocks!!!!…https://www.formica.com/home/dna.aspx?color=S901&std=1&prl=PRL_SOLID_SURFACING&mc=0&sp=0&ots=&fns=&grs=

    • Carrie says

      I don’t know if Pam caught your post, that cracked ice looks amazingly like my vintage tabletop. Thanks for the tip Marisa!

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