Formica – 54 retro colors and patterns from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s still for sale today

Formica White Onyx, available since 1969 — You KNOW you’ve seen this in a gazillion kitchens and bathrooms!

I have been on a tear, of late, researching laminates. Considering how Greige and Granite-y 99% of what’s out there is, I want to provide Retro Renovators with the broadest researched selection possible of designs that have a more historical, retro appeal. After I learned that Formica’s butcher block laminate has been in production since 1972, I asked Formica if they could look through their records to identify any more laminates introduced in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and which are still for sale today. And yes, the company found 54 more postmodern-era laminates for us to consider for our bathroom and kitchen renovations. At the left: White Oynx, which has been in production since 1969. Faux granite today — faux marble back then. A reminder to let’s not diss today’s granite fixations too much, we’re now in houses built during a time when there were just different fixations.

 

I have always loved Dune Wood – introduced in 1982

 

Marine Blue, 1976: Heck to the yeah!

 

In 1963 – possibly earlier – we had Antique White (above), as well as White, Champagne and Beige. Why not!

Formica’s archivist says:

White Onyx, from 1969, is the oldest pattern in the range. Many solid colors are older than I have records for, since intro dates on databases have changed with supplier changes. But I do have a brochure from 1963 that shows: 949 White, 932 Antique White, 925 Champagne, 879 Beige, The 70’s and 80’s are much easier:

Cool, huh? See all of Formica’s solid-, pattern- and woodgrain laminate here.

Get our retrolicious free newsletter.

Newsletter-sign-up-2NMAS

Comments

  1. Jordanna says

    So any of the white fake-marbles should be workable, in a vintage setting, right? I ask because Formica’s Australia branch doesn’t seem to have all the options of the USA one. But they have some white marble ones under other names, and Wilsonart has them too.

    I am so happy contemplating white “marble” counters and white cabinets! My kitchen cabinets and counters have been destroyed by water damage (and honestly was too late-period for me anyway!) so making my kitchen not a disaster zone is so nice to contemplate.

    Black wrought iron strap hardware, perhaps? Perhaps!

  2. Scotty says

    Trying to restore a Vally coin-op pool table to original and looking for some gunstock walnut or walnut gunstock formica from the 1970. If you know anyone with vintage formica in the above flavor, please forward this or e-mail me Thanks

  3. Scott says

    Well I’ve had red on the brain day and night for weeks on end but that White Onyx really stops me in my tracks. I think I better get myself a sample of that too! You can’t get much more authentic than never out of production since 1963. :-)

    I think this would be especially beautiful trimmed in aluminum… if I walk into Lowe’s or Home Depot and ask for aluminum trim are they going to look at me like I have 4 heads? Do countertop installers still know how to do that?

    • pam kueber says

      Probably – ask from someone who’s been doing it a while. See the Kitchen/Countertops category for trim suppliers.

  4. Brenda R. says

    The 1965 ranch I grew up in had/has a formica counter top white background with space age stars and spots all over. Has anyone else seen this or might have a commerical photo?

  5. dick decker says

    i put formica in 1993, it is white textured like slate, it also came in black..the only numbers i can find on a scrap is 799…5198..others are 11323021685..we are renovating and would to find more again..thanks for a great website..sincerely, dick

  6. maryCT says

    Pam thanks for your link back to this article – mystery solved I think as to what my 1948 wood cabinets were faced with – dune wood. (which still seems to be available). As the floor, sink, and countertops are original I also wished the cabinets had been left alone, but putting a name to the pattern has helped me to appreciate them more. They are still in very good condition.

  7. Lizzy says

    I’m trying to date this kitchen – the laminate counters are white with a sager-forest green ragged on. It’s a common pattern, seen it all my life, but I have no idea when it dates from. My kitchen has the original wood cabinets (custom, shellacked) and a linoleum floor in horrible shape. There’s an alcove for the stove, lined in white with gold glitter laminate to the ceiling. probably from the same time? The bathroom is Mamie pink with blue trim. If that has a date! Please help. The link to Formica’s historical archive leads nowhere now.

    • pam kueber says

      What year was your house built? … Laminate could have gone in any time after that, that’s the thing … The ragged on look sounds 80s to me … Glitter laminate started around 1950 and continued into the early 2000s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *