40 favorite laminates for a midcentury bathroom

vintage bathroom laminateWhen it comes to choosing laminate countertop for vintage or new midcentury-style bathrooms, we tend to like multi-directional, or at least bi-directional, abstract patterns over linear or solid designs…. We usually prefer tone-on-tone color rather than high contrast, more ‘busy’ color combinations…. And a third consideration: Finding the just-right colors to merge well with vintage pastel bathroom tiles and for those remodeling, from today’s sellers including B&W Tile, Daltile and Nemo Tile. Here, we have compiled a list of our 40 favorite laminate options bathroom ranging from just-right retro patterns to more retro-modern options. 

1. Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart Boomerang Laminate (select colors)

boomerang laminatePam and I worked with Wilsonart to create our Retro Renovation® boomerang laminate collection to fill a big gap in the market: multidirectional, tone-on-tone abstract laminates color-cued to midcentury pastels. Retro Renovation® First Lady Pink was painstakingly created to complement both vintage pink bathrooms and new bathrooms created using B&W Tile’s 70W Pink tile.

boomerang laminateRetro Renovation® Creme Caramel is not quite right for citrus yellow bathrooms, but if you have a pale cream or buttery yellow tile bathroom with wood cabinetry, this countertop color can pull the room together quite well.

boomerang laminateRetro Renovation® Delightful Jade is a fantastic match for Kate’s original 1962 mint green and white bathroom and could easily add a fun pop of retro pizzazz to an otherwise all white space.

boomerang laminateRetro Renovation® Aqua Ripple was created with both vintage blue and aqua bathrooms in mind. This versatile hue blends well with both shades.

boomerang laminateRetro Renovation® Friendly Beige is a multi-tasker for the bathroom. Whether is is coordinating with a beige bathroom, or is used as a more neutral option in a vintage pink bathroom, this warm, friendly neutral plays well with others.boomerang laminateRetro Renovation® Nostalgic Gray is a fantastic choice for a vintage grey bathroom, or to use as a neutral that coordinates with the chrome fixtures in a pink, blue, green, aqua, or black and white midcentury pastel bathroom.

Disclosure from Publisher Pam: I want readers to know: I do not make money if you buy this laminate; “the deal” that I have with Wilsonart includes other elements of consideration. For example, on Feb. 1 they will launch an advertisement on the blog, for which Retro Renovation is compensated. So, I do not have any incremental financial reason to promote the laminates in this collection over other options — see all our research on countertop options to find the product that’s right for you! – Pam.

2. Formica Charcoal Boomerang laminate

formica charcoal boomerang laminateFormica Charcoal Boomerang laminate is a good choice for a dramatic look in a vintage bathroom — grey, black and white, pink and black, yellow and black — all of these vintage bathroom color combos can pump up the drama with this dark charcoal choice. And: This is a stock laminate, so the price should be just about as low as you can get for any boomie design.

3. Vitro Glacier Laminates

boomerang laminate

Vitro’s Glacier laminate collection has several color variations that could work well in a vintage pastel bathroom, especially the Yellow Glacier — a more citrusy yellow than the Retro Renovation® for Wilsonart Creme Caramel — and the Turquoise Glacier, which offers a deeper turquoise color than the Retro Renovation® for Wilsonart Aqua Ripple. Glacier is a hard working neutral and Red Glacier could be used successfully to add a zip of color to a black and white, grey or all white vintage bathroom.

4. Wilsonart Endora and Betty Laminates

retro laminateWilsonart Betty Laminate reads a tad more retro-modern due to its larger-scale geometric pattern, but we can see this working well in a aqua or  grey vintage bathroom.

retro laminateWilsonart Endora Laminate — also a retro modern option — would work well in a vintage pink or beige bathroom.

5. Wilsonart Spectrum Laminate (select colors)

linen laminateSpectrum is a great, colorful tone-on-tone, bi-directional linen like laminate line that we think is very retro-appropriate. We chose a selection of colors from the existing line of Spectrum laminate that might work for vintage bathrooms, BUT: You can also request a custom-match of Spectrum by submitting a solid color paint or fabric swatch (or possibly a piece of your bathroom tile) to create your own custom color. Contact your local Wilsonart Sales Rep or use this online form. Spectrum Buttercream could be a good choice for a vintage yellow bathroom.

linen laminateSpectrum Wheat might work well in a vintage beige or almond bathroom, or even a yellow bathroom if you have a more buttery yellow tile and wood cabinetry.

linen laminateSpectrum Raspberry Cream is an option for those sometimes bubblegum pink vintage tile bathrooms.

linen laminateSpectrum Salmon could be just the right shade to pack a punch in a vintage peach bathroom.

linen laminateSpectrum Dried Sage is a good option to try in a vintage aqua, blue or even grey bathroom, depending on the color temperature of your particular grey tile.

linen laminateSpectrum Bellini Blue is bright and punchy, and could look fabulous in a vintage blue and white bathroom.

linen laminateSpectrum Sugar Cookie would be a good option to try in a vintage beige bathroom or to use as a neutral in a vintage pink or cream bathroom too.

linen laminateSpectrum Coffee Ice would add a dramatic feel to a vintage beige bathroom.

6. Lab Designs Abstract Laminate

linen laminateLeaning toward a retro-modern look, Lab Designs laminates come in several different textures, ranging from smooth and shiny to textured. Be careful, some of Lab Designs’ laminates are only specified for vertical installations (like a backsplash), o be sure to double check the specs before getting your heart set on a specific pattern. Lab Designs Whisper Batiste is a lovely linen look laminate that would make a great neutral in a vintage pastel bathroom of nearly any color, or coordinate well with a vintage cream or beige bathroom.

linen laminateLab Designs Fog Batiste could work in a vintage beige or almond bathroom.

abstract laminateLab Designs Ivory Organica is one of those larger scale, retro-modern options, but we still like the multi-directional pattern and pastel pink, blue and yellow for potential use in retro bathrooms.

abstract laminateLab Designs Beige Organica could be a great retro-modern option for a beige, white or grey retro bathroom or as a neutral option in a colorful space.

retro laminateLab  Designs Arctic Retro seems to be available for use on horizontal surfaces now, and could make a great neutral, go-with-anything option for retro bathrooms.

retro laminateLab Designs Ebony Retro would be a dramatic option in a black and white, pink and black, grey or yellow and black retro bathroom.

7. Wilsonart Abstract Laminates — Pinball, Arcade and Midway

retro laminateWilsonart Pinball is a bit on the greige side, but could work well in a vintage beige bathroom. We love the bi-directional tone-on-tone pattern.

retro laminateWilsonart Arcade is a more dramatic option for a vintage black and white, black and pink, black and yellow or grey bathroom.

retro laminateWilsonart Midway could work in a vintage almond or beige bathroom.

8. Carrara Laminates from Formica, Wilsonart and Abet Laminati

Carrara laminateCarrara marble laminate is a classic choice for a vintage bathroom of any color. There are also a number of other marble-look laminates available on the market today that could provide a similar look. Formica Carrara Bianco Laminate is one of our favorites, with a classic look.

Carrara laminateWilsonart White Carrara Laminate is also a classic, versatile option for a vintage bathroom.

carrara laminateAbet Laminati Rocks Carrara laminate is another option for vintage-style bathrooms.

9. Formica White Onyx

formica white onyx laminateFormica White Onyx laminate — which has been in Formica’s line since 1969 offers a timeless, neutral look that coordinates well with nearly all vintage bathroom color combinations.

10. Formica Antique White

antique white laminateIf you like solid colors, Formica Antique White — in production since 1962, possibly earlier — is a classic choice for any vintage bathroom.

11. Formica Dogbone

formica dogboneFormica Dogbone White is a fantastic retro modern bi-directional, tone-on-tone choice that would coordinate well with nearly any vintage bathroom color scheme.

12. Formica Geo White laminate 

formica-geo-white-laminateFormica Geo White Laminate is another neutral retro-modern option that could work well in nearly any vintage bathroom.

13. Wilsonart Primrose Boucle Laminatewilsonart-primrose-boucle-laminate

Wilsonart Primrose Boucle Laminate harkens back to the texture of grandma’s sofa and would look retro-fantastic in a vintage pink, white, grey or even beige bathroom. This is a new laminate — Pam has just ordered an 8×10″ sample.

14. Wilsonart Crystalized White Laminate

Wilsonart-Crystalized-white-laminate

Wilsonart Crystalized White Laminate is a tone-on-tone, multi-directional laminate that reminds us of crackle ice laminate, but in a neutral color. This subtle pattern would be at home in any vintage-style bathroom. This is a new laminate — Pam has just ordered an 8×10″ sample.

So there you have it — our top 40 picks for laminate to use in midcentury bathrooms. Which one is your favorite?

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Comments

  1. says

    I love all the choices you have shown. We are soon replacing the tiled top of the angled corner vanity in our original 1953 tiled hall bath. We picked Wilsonart Apricot Glow Daisy which is right out of their 70’s archives. It matches the sink and soft peachy beige and brown tiles perfectly.

  2. Robin, NV says

    Formica White Onyx reminds me of the solid surface bathroom vanity tops of the 80s – and I don’t mean that in a bad way! 😆

  3. Jay says

    Well RR laminate had better be number one on the list! My head always spins when I start scrolling down through colors and patterns but this is a great selection. I’m sure you featured Wilsonart’s Spectrum before but I don’t recall it. Nice overview.

  4. Roberta Jones says

    I used Wilsonart Arcade (black) in my kitchen and laundry room. I got it in high gloss and it looks fabulous!

  5. Tisha says

    “Wilsonart Primrose Boucle Laminate harkens back to the texture of grandma’s sofa” – ?!?!?
    How about Jackie O’s Chanel suit?

  6. Paul - CT says

    I really like the Wilsonart Crystallized laminate! I wish that was around two years ago when I redid my bathrooms. I think I would have used that for the yellow bathroom.

    Although these two didn’t make the top 40 cut, Wilsonart HD’s Luna Frost and Carrara Santorini, are wonderful neutral white based laminates (see links below).

    http://retrorenovation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/midcentury-yellow-bathroom.jpg

    http://retrorenovation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/midcentury-blue-bathroom.jpg

    Another thought is don’t hesitate to use a granite/stone/quartz looking laminate with a vintage hudee ring sink. I did that and I loved the results as the sink pops out of its laminate. (Sadly no link to a picture.)

  7. Tammy1749 says

    I am using Retro Renovation by Wilsonart boomerang laminate right now in my farm house renovation. We hope to be finished and moved in soon. Although you only mentioned bathroom remodels, I am using Nostalgic Grey in my kitchen on my island top. I have vintage cracked ice counters with chrome backsplash and it pairs up very well with it. In the basement bathroom, I’m using Aqua Ripple on the vanity top. It pairs well with the University Blue floor tile and the blue ensemble of fixtures. They are being done from scratch, too! couldn’t be done without the help of Retro Renovation!

  8. Ree says

    My long awaited kitchen renovation began Monday, and I will be using Wilsonart laminate on my counters. The cabinets are going to be very simple with flat panel doors, and stained a very light maple color to mimic the birch cabinets that were so popular in the 60’s. Both the kitchen designer and the contractor on the project were a little surprised at my choices, but are now on board with the idea since the house was built in 1957 using a California mid-century style. This is not a granite counters, French country cabinet style house. I was telling the designer that I wished I could have found metal cabinets and then referred her to the recent story in this blog about the many manufacturers of metal cabinets. She called me yesterday to say she had met with a couple who own a house built in the ’50’s and they have metal cabinets in great condition. They cannot afford to do the renovation they really want at this time, and she told them about this site and encouraged them to investigate preserving what they have and doing small changes. She thanked me for steering her to Retro Renovation and said she has been busily reading the older posts on a daily basis and trying to educate herself.

    • pam kueber says

      Wow, what a nice note, Ree! Be sure to take lots of photos of your project and send them to me when you’re done. And thanks for spreading the word about RR and turning more people onto our community!

    • Paul - CT says

      Ree,

      One bit of advice for laminate in the kitchen: If you do the 4 inch backsplash in laminate behind the sink or where it gets wet with steam, etc., have them use PVC board and not the wood composite. Within weeks of installation, my backsplash started warping as water leached in through the seams. Using PVC will stop this from happening and in 18 month I have had no further issues.

      • Ree says

        Paul, I’m giving a nod to mid-century style, not doing a pure replica, so the laminate will not have the 4″ run up the wall. I chose a ceramic tile back splash that will come down to the counter level, and the back splash will be installed on the same type of material that is used in showers and around tubs. Thank you for the advice though, and it’s always good to share that with others who may be planning to do what you did.

        • pam kueber says

          Backsplashes were done they way you describe, as well — that is, laminate on the horizontal countertop, 4″ ceramic tile on the vertical backsplash.

  9. Paul - CT says

    As I mentioned earlier, reusing a vintage sink with hudee ring with new granite/quartz like laminate can have great results. Though not a true mid-century design, I think it looks great.

    This is my 55 year old Gerber beige sink with hudee ring with new Wilsonart HD laminate countertop. I went with a 6 inch backsplash and the finished beveled edge front. As I said, it really makes the sink pop:

    http://imageshack.com/a/img921/8475/KdWF0N.jpg

  10. Daniel says

    This article is a great help. Thank you!

    I’m trying to source the correct mid century style laminate for a retro bar, the shiny wood grain look you come across in vintage restaurants. I am building a new “modern mid century” home and amalgamating many elements so it feels pretty vintage. The bar laminate is one of my targets … Any lead you can provide would be awesome.

    Love the site, thank you so much.

  11. Joe Felice says

    Thinking back, I would have to say that the chrystalized and marbelized patterns of laminate were ubiquitous and the most popular. Personally, I didn’t care for them much as a child, and still don’t. But there are so-many beautiful patterns here that would look good in any mid-century bathroom (or kitchen)!

    “Betty” is the most intriguing to me. When I look at it, it seems something is “out-of-focus.” Very interesting are the “Organicas.” I would like to see a larger sample, or an actual kitchen to sense the “effect.”

    I sure wish I had a pink bathroom. There are so-many beautiful pink patterns. And the fabric-looking patterns are pretty cool, too.

    For some reason, I am a big fan of colors and of laminates.

    • pam kueber says

      The “Mother of Pearl” laminate designs were popular in the early days of laminate countertops; I think of this design as more for kitchens than bathrooms. I think that once the 1950s really got going, abstract designs became more popular. In the 1960s, marbles became popularized. There were different favorites at different points.

      Mother of Pearl laminate still available special order in three color: http://retrorenovation.com/2010/08/01/where-to-find-crackle-ice-laminate/

      I tend to believe that overall, the “most popular” in terms of volume overall were likely the Linens.

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