10 places to find retro laminate for kitchen or bathroom countertops + my research tips

boomerang laminate at a moment in time
If you are looking for retro-style laminate for a kitchen or bathroom counter top, you have some blinding research ahead of you. Unless there is a home-run-out-of-the-park solution — like the boomerangs, crackle ice or dogbone still available — it’s going to be a hunt-peck-and-forage to find something that’s “close enough” to original laminates from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Here to help is a list of all the places I know — eight nine 11 places — to look for laminate for your retro kitchen, along with some tips for your hunt–>

Where to find retro style laminate for kitchen and bathroom countertops:

  • Abet Laminati — 195 solid colors… 136 woodgrains… 149 patterns… 33 metals… Easy-to-use website. If you need a solid color and can’t find it here — or at Arpa, below — it probably doesn’t exist.
  • Arpa — Eye-boggling to search, but their colors look good, so may well be worth the trouble to pursue this brand for that reason.
  • Wilsonart — Don’t forget to also check out their Virtual Design Library for a growing number of custom, digital-printed optionsincluding several recent revivals from Wilsonart’s 1960s and 1970s archive.
    • Where to buy the Wilsonart digital designs:  I suggest starting with A Moment in Time — Specialist provider of retro-vintage styles. This is a new company on my radar, and as of Sept. 2011, their prices for 10 shades of boomerang laminate and crackle ice laminate are better than Bars & Booths’ prices. Best price for a number of these specialty designs is at A Moment in Time, which charges $325.50 for a 4’x10′ sheet (vs. $328.79 at Vitro and $425 at Bars & Booths). Shipping is going to be extra. Disclosure: A Moment in Time became an advertiser after I first wrote this story, but this mention is not part of the deal.
    • UPDATE 2016: You can also buy the new Retro Renovation by Wilsonart collection affordably (I think) with shipping included via Home Depot!
  • Pionite — Be sure to check out their linen-look laminates in Abstracts; colors are greyed out – more suitable for 60s and 70s than 50s, but overall, I quite like them.
  • Formica — Boomerang in charcoal (the only color still available from Formica) is in Homeowners. But, Dogbones, Wefts and Warps are in To The Trade. Tip: Formica lets you see All Swatches once you get yourself on the correct page — look for this feature, it’s easier.
  • Arborite — They have some patterns I like, including a blueberry that looks like linoleum and some almost-linens. Easy-to-use website.
  • Nevamar — Check out their abstracts.
  • Decotone — Added to our list in 2015.
  • Laminart — Added to our list in 2015.
  • Lab Designs — Added to our list in 2013, they have some retro-modern styles worth considering.


  • No substitute for seeing an actual sample — Of course, there is no substitute for seeing actual samples in the flesh. If you can order the samples in an 8″x10″ size, all the better. Smack it down in your kitchen or bathroom — and look at it in all lights during different times of the day. This is a prime opportunity to torture your spouse in the decision-making process.
  • Do not become enraged by prices for the specialty laminates — Laminate must be stored flat, in a climate- and humidity-controlled environment. Specialty providers often also must invest more to hold inventory, and they do not benefit from the economies of scale possible in mass market production.
  • Searching is going to take time and will blind you — Some of these websites are better organized than others. Be patient and be sure that, once you find a product page, you look at all the links to ensure you have not missed any sections.
  • Look in the Commercial section of the websites, too — Look in both the “Residential / Homeowner” sections and the “Contract / To the Trade / Professional” sections. So many of the popular consumer patterns today look like granite. More abstract designs may be over in the Commercial section. Generally, as a consumer you can get product from either section. You *may* have to go to a real countertop fabricator to get Commercial selections — BUT, with the internet now, you likely can also find an online source at a good price. (Just check everyone out.)
  • Good-Better-Best — Manufacturers have good-better-best grades for a variety of requirements.  For example, see this Pionite page showing the different grades possible. Check out the options, and make your decision accordingly. On stuff that requires professional installation, all the more so, because that means replacing the product has two costs.
  • Buy a matte finish — Keep in mind that shiny finishes show scratches. I have glossy in the two bathrooms, and they are doing just fine. But I would never put glossy in a kitchen. Watch the specifications — if it says “for vertical surfaces only” it means not for countertops, duh.
  • Share your experiences — Readers, do you have any more tips of your own, or questions?


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  1. RobL says

    When choosing laminates, please consider where it is made and the company that manufactures it. Laminate is a great environmental-friendly countertop choice especially if coming from a responsible company. Do your research on the manufacturer because most laminates listed here are not manufactured in the USA. All Wilsonart Laminates have minimum 25% post-consumer recycled content, are all made in the USA, and the company has a strong and ongoing sustainability mission. They are also the only laminate company that participates in the health product declaration that is ongoingly concerned about you as a consumer.

  2. Mary Haux says

    I’m desperately looking for a laminate or vinyl that mimics victorian bathroom tile. Just a simple white with some kind of black accent tile – squares, diamonds, hexagons – anything like that. There’s got to be a market out there for people who can’t afford vintage-style ceramic tile. Can anyone help?

    • pam kueber says

      See my category Kitchens/Flooring.

      That said, I don’t really focus much on Victorian style. I don’t recall seeing anything quite like this out there today — the mass market is being sold ginormous stone look vinyl flooring…

      Have you gone to Home Depot — you CAN get simple black and white ceramic tile — small mosaics — relatively inexpensively…

  3. Susan D says

    Late to the party, but I thought I’d ask: does anyone know if the Vitra cracked ice laminate is the same as what A Moment in Time has? A Moment in Time was very responsive & helpful, but when I received their swatches they were just not right, very “pixellated”, so the search continues…..sigh.

  4. Rebecca says

    I have a pink formica sink counter top 9ft x 25.5 in as well as several large pierce of back splash availible for sale. This is the pink with gold flecks Came out of a 1962 ranch. Sadly we can’t use it in our project. It is in very good to excellent condition. Please email for details. If I’ve posted it this in error please let me know

  5. Amy says

    We just installed retro mint boomerang Wilsonart countertop.
    FYI here is the run around I got.
    I called Wilsonart and they did have what I wanted in stock but stated they do not sell to the to the public and referred me to company A. I drove to company A with the measurements and they figured out exactly how much I need but stated they did not sell to the public and referred me to company B. I called company B who then contacted company A and was told that only half sheets were available at $350 each. Wilsonart and company A had both previously confirmed that the larger sheets were available. I am sure company B tried and was simply unable to purchase. Company A had given me a contractors card and as a last resort I called them. They did install the retro mint for $2500 and do a nice job. I could have been more impressed with the installers that left a pretty big mess and at one point laid glued laminate, glue side up on a brand new $1000.00 rug after I asked them not to use that area. Overall, it’s in and I am happy with it but it sure was much more difficult then necessary.

    • pam kueber says

      nope, not like the ones we want – i have lots of stories re glitter laminate – type it into our search box and they will come right up

    • Kate says

      Check the links in this story Morry, they will lead you to the laminate company’s websites, where you can see their current offerings. Good luck!

  6. Joe Felice says

    I was fortunate to acquire Formica’s “aqua boomerang” for the soon-to-be-completed Joe’s Diner before it was discontinued. My decor actually centers around that. I always like to start with something I like, and then use that as a jumping-off point for the rest of the project. For instance, I have an original Turner flamingo mirror from ’55, and I designed one entire wall around that.

  7. Dave & Debbie says

    Thank you, Thank You, Thank You!
    We have been looking for original laminate for or 1963 trailer restoration project.
    We found it at Wilsonart page.
    Thank you very much for your links.

  8. Bea says

    Formica now has the Envision where you design your own artwork. I have not seen it in person. I am guessing they can’t do something shiny like the glitter look we all seem to be searching for. I am considering an atomic star pattern to go with my Kohler Triton faucets as an alternative to the glitter laminate.

  9. Mary Dailey says

    I am considering restoring my mom’s bathroom. I will not be able to preserve it as a mid-century bathroom. It has very cool gold starburst on white background laminate panels – I would sell to interested party – is there a site where I can place this kind of listing

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