Linen laminate counter tops, another mid century favorite

linen laminate counter tops

The most popular designs for laminate countertops in mid century America? Boomerang and glitter certainly must be near the top — but we also believe that linen laminate countertops were top sellers, too. It is easy to see why this pleasing texture would be a hit. The tone-on-tone coloration prevents counter tops from looking like a single slab ‘o color, while the “design” is neutral enough to accommodate ‘most any decor. Probably even hides the crumbs pretty well! For this story, we are able to show you seven different colorways of vintage linen laminate counter tops — taken from our recent story about the stash of vintage Wilsonart laminate samples spotted on etsy.

green linen laminate counter tops vintage-wilsonart-grey-fine-linen-laminate-countertops vintage-laminate-countertops

Update: Since it’s coming up in the Comments, here is my famous “Graveyard of the Atlantic” laminate-name story.


vintage-red-linen-laminateThe only photo of vintage linen laminate counter tops on the blog so far is this show (above) from an estate sale time capsule house that Pam visited back in 2009. Could this be Wilsonart red Irish linen laminate?

Pam says that she originally had linen laminate countertops in two of the bathrooms in her house. They were in bad shape, and were replaced with some retro look laminates available at the time.

Vintage linen laminate on the left; new Pionite on the right. Not too bad a "design" match, but colorways are very different. The market today is "greige"....
Vintage linen laminate on the left; new Pionite on the right. Not too bad a “design” match, but colorways diverge…

Several companies today make laminates they call “linen”. Check out the Pionite linen — which sort of approximates the vintage “Fine Linen” above…. Wilsonart has a new linen — but hmmm too sharpened…. And of course: See all our stories about laminates that might suit a retro remodel in our Kitchens / Countertops category here.

Readers — do you have vintage linen laminate counter tops in your kitchen or bath?

  1. Wendy in St. Louis says:

    Nevamar has several linen-like patterns. My personal favorite is Vanish Vava – only partly because of the fabulous name 🙂 It looks aqua on the website, but is actually a light grey with blue undertones and a bit of beige. Here is my pic, showing a better (but not perfect) representation of the color:

    I am considering it for my kitchen as a nice backdrop for my collection of colorful small appliances. They also have “Vision Vava” and “Visible Vava”.

    Besides the Vava Family, (heee!), they have some with Yarn in the name and other interesting patterns. Over in their woodgrain section, who could not love ‘Valet Available’ and ‘Validate We Do’ ? Great names, and other than being tan and brown, the patterns are very cool. Link to all of their laminates:


    1. pam kueber says:

      Thanks, Wendy. I have written about Vanish Vava before, I think — thanks for the catch! I must go lookie at yarn and the others, thank you!!

    2. Robin, NV says:

      The Vanish Vava is a serious contender for my new kitchen countertops as I swing back and forth between wanting a blue-and-red kitchen to a green-and-yellow kitchen. I love the look of it. Pionite also has some excellent linen look choices, inlcuding a yellow and a beige.

      1. wendy in st louis says:

        Hey Robin, were you the one looking for the vintage “falling leaves” or “fall leaves” laminate??? I found some up for grabs!

    3. Lauryn says:

      We have the Serene Stardom from Nevamar (with yellow cabinets and a red floor) and love, love, love it. It is remarkably close to the Grey Fine Linen and looks more linen-y than the Pionite (we ordered samples from both).

      1. Pam Shellenberger says:

        We used a Formica from their Weft series which has a nice gauzelike pattern. The one we chose was Fossil, sort of greyish green that blended with our sand-and-surf kitchen colors. But we looked at pionite and some of the other more retro patterns like the boomerangs…tough sometimes to know how far to go reproducing the 50’s.

  2. We still have the yellow Irish Linen in our main bath and we’re trying to figure out how to keep it. That yellow, which is slightly acidic with a black undertone, is surprisingly hard to match or pair with flooring. We needed to replace our badly worn Beige Irish Linen kitchen countertops when we refurbished the kitchen, but it’s still on some of the custom drawer linings and shelves!

  3. Mary Beth says:

    Our circa 57′ kitchen laminate was Jackson Pollack meets linen – background was Bermuda pink , with a turquoise overlay of slubs, spots and some vertical lines- all the appliances were glorious turquoise..the neighbors had the yellow version- the chocolate overlay looked like you let the mix master ‘distribute’ cake batter over everything!

  4. Jackie says:

    Ah, the Irish Linen is my all-time favorite vintage laminate! None of the newer patterns truly captures the texture, and the colors are all awful. I’d like a nice mid-blue–no gray in it–and it’s just hopeless.

    My grandparents had linen laminate in that glorious red, complete with metal banding and hudee ring sink. I learned to cook on a 1940s stove in that kitchen. No wonder I love retro kitchens!

  5. Mark E. says:

    I’m SURE it was #1680 Green Irish Linen that my contractor father banded in metal to place atop the ONE. BASE. CABINET. that he built to bridge a 40″ space between their Frigidaire range and a wall-hung, drainboarded apron sink in my parents’ first kitchen. It provided the ONLY workspace in the entire 1955 kitchen in their little rented house– unless you count the space between the burners . . . . . or the kitchen table.

  6. Amy Lynn says:

    I am almost a positive that we have that red linen counter top in the house we just inherited. The house also had an awesome pink and black bathroom that was torn out by a family member before we moved in (so sad).

  7. pam s says:

    We have red irish linen with stainless trim in our basement bar area. It isnt perfect but its staying put. Can send pics when we are back in town.

  8. tikitacky says:

    Has there been a previous story/post with information on trying to spruce up original laminate countertops in poor condition? I have browsed around looking, but didn’t hit anything. I just referred a friend to RR who asked for my advice on this subject, and I have none. She has pink Formica counters with gold glitter and they’re stained and scratched. She wants to try to bring them back to good enough condition to keep them rather than replace them. Does anyone have any advice or links to share?

  9. Mickey Rouse says:

    Does anyone know where I can find approx. 1/4 sheet of Irish linen laminate, preferably in Formica, but acceptable in any close match

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