What is this 1960s countertop made of? Targinol? Luster Rock?

1960s quartz countertopWow, does anyone know about countertops like these? Becky recently bought a time capsule and her french provincial kitchen (I’d call it) includes these countertops. Reminds me of these Fritz floor tiles. Anyone work with this back in the day who knows? Kind of, an early-days version of Silestone or the other composite-quartz countertops sold today. I love it!! And that kitchen, too (nix the carpet and get a counter-depth fridge.) Note: These are photos from the walk-through before Becky bought the house. She is talking about gutting — argh! Becky: Live with the house a while, I implore you — I sure bet you can learn to Love this House You’re In!
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1960s french provindial kitchen

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Comments

  1. Delores Lara says

    Yes, it is called luster rock. My mom’s neighbors in LA , CA ran a small business out of an El Sereno warehouse where they made these countertops. They also subcontracted through Sears until I believe it became against the law to obtain shell in these quanitites for these purposes. My mom sold her 1924 home in 2005 and the kitchen was done in the yellowish whitelusterock. Two houses to the right is where the luster rock couple still live and their 2 story home including, kitchen and bathrooms were beautiful in the best of ltheir work and luster rock. The house in between belonged to the wives’ brother (was a wrought iron artist) and that house was also complete with luster rock counter tops. We are selling some unique pieces (stereo unit and curio iron stands) that were made by brother and the tops are luster rock – white yellow and a long piece made with a bluish lavendar shell that looks like carnival glass. Wonder what they are really worth…. they have kept their luster and beauty.

    • jennifer B says

      I need a small piece of luster rock. Do you still have any? or know where we can get a small piece. We have a counter top made of luster rock and a small corner piece broke off, only about 1-3 sq feet. I have a picture of the counter top I can send to you.

  2. says

    My step-father made and sold that in Arlington VA back in the 60’s and 70’s. I remember that he had to go away someplace to learn how to do it and buy the rights (I guess it was a franchise type of thing.) They used real rocks and shells, even fossil shark’s teeth and coins. Their house was full of it – they made shower stalls, sinks, counter tops, floors, paper weights – you name it they made it. I do not know why they stopped making it. It was beautiful then and it still is beautiful now. Probably found out it was really toxic or something – or like someone above said maybe it was illegal to get the shells in such quantity. But they used a lot of rocks, and it doesn’t make sense that it would be illegal to get rocks!

  3. Ro says

    My grandparents house in Orange County, CA was built in the ’60s and one of the bathrooms had a countertop and matching toilet seat that were made of clear resin with embedded abalone shell. It was absolutely stunning. The embedded pieces of shell were numerous and had the full range of rainbow colored shine that abalone shell is known for. There were also little flecks of gold “sand” inside the resin. It was gorgeous, the whole thing was so captivating. You felt like you were swimming in the sea when you were in that bathroom. I have such fond memories of that countertop & toilet seat, as silly as it sounds, because they were just so unique and beautiful, despite having a somewhat dated feel when I would visit them in the 80s. I was just googling to find an abalone shell countertop or toilet seat like the one they had, but I haven’t found an exact match. None of them ones I’m seeing online measure up to how beautiful theirs was.

  4. Lorri Baranyai says

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Houston-TX-Lusterock-Table-Ad-Postcard-/350500507326

    This recent ad on ebay shows a postcard from the Lusterock Company and provides further insight into their product.

    “Lusterock”, a product of modern engineering and chemical research, combines and enhances the natural beauty of natural marble slices and chips, granites, Mother of Pearl, Italian quartz and an infinite variety of other stones with permanent polyester resin.

    Designs, textures and patterns – limited only by your imagination – are available in a wide variety of foreign and domestic simulations.
    “Lusterock” captures the beauty of natures stones …even to the third dimension. Yet it’s built-in resilience reduces the breakage factor so common in other stone products.

    • pam kueber says

      Thank you, Lorri! We are chasing permissions so that we can show archive your Lusterock research. Many thanks!

  5. Jane says

    Yes, I have this counter top installed in my kitchen in 1985 and I still love it. It was a small company that made them and I don’t think he is still around with no sons to carry on. To keep clean its always by feeling the top. To smooth a very fine steel wood to buff and pledge to shine. The pledge keeps it easy to clean and food wipes off smoothly. Mine is made of sea shells installed by Sears.

      • Kim Jasper says

        We just bought a 1972 home that is full of this stuff. Complete double sink vanity. It is one piece–the counter top and sinks–crazy interesting stuff. Both bathrooms are fully done in this stuff; shower stall, bathtub surround and its in perfect shape. My husband hates it! 🙁 Will be selling it in the future when we get to the remodel part of the bathrooms. Feel free to contact me kimberlyannjasper@gmail.com if anyone knows of any interested parties.

  6. JoAnn says

    I have a 42 inch round kitchen table with a wrought iron base made of Lustre Rock. It was purchased in Chicago in the 1960’s, has been used since the day it was bought and still looks brand new. I get compliments on it every time someone sees it for the first time.

    Also, a friend built a 4 bedroom, 4 bath home and used this product for all of the vanity counter tops. Still beautiful. I wish it was still available.

  7. Layne says

    My kitchen counter top and my shower surround are made of lusterrock. I absolutely love the look and feel of the material and probably will never replace either. The material makes the shower feel warm and inviting and actually feels warm to the touch. It gives me a nostalgic feeling and makes my house my home!

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