Lab-LaminatesThanks to reader Ashly for today’s tip:  A new source for kitchen and bathroom counter top laminate, Lab Designs. We have not seen these designs in person, but viewed online, they seem promising. After Ashly’s comment, Pam called the company for pricing information. According to the representative, most laminates they have deliver for $1.90-$2.10 per square foot — which calculates to about $64 for a 4 x 8 sheet.

NOTE: Check to ensure for Horizontal Use.


When you are looking at Lab Design’s collection online, take note whether it is for “vertical installation only” — we interpret that to mean not rated for the constant abuse that horizontal surfaces take. In her comment, Ashly mentioned the Arctic Retro and Ebony Retro designs — but unfortunately — these are both for vertical use only.

BUT … UPDATE April 2018: It now looks like Arctic and Ebony Retro are available for horizontal use. Check this out directly with Lab Designs.

Luckily there are still many other exciting choices rated for horizontal installation in the abstract collection.

The retro counter top laminates from Lab Designs

Laminate-Ivory-Organica-1400Above: Ivory Organica — a fun pattern in nice pastel colors — that would look great in a kitchen or bathroom.

Design study: Notice how Ivory Organica’s pattern is “multi-directional”. Pam learned that term recently from Grace Jeffers. That is, the laminate design does not look like it is running in only one direction. This Lab Design pattern runs both north and south (if you will) equally. Most vintage laminate was “multi directional,” Grace seemed to be saying. Isn’t this nuance interesting?!

Laminate-Beige-Organica-1400Above: Beige Organica — same cool pattern with a more neutral color scheme.

Laminate-Tangerine-Fabrique-14Above: Tangerine Fabrique — great for your flower power kitchen.

Laminate-Verde-Fabrique-1400Above: Verde Fabrique — pretty close to our Retro Renovation color of the year — Broyhill Premier Chapter One Lime Green — don’t you think?

Laminate-True-Blue-Fabrique-14Above: True Blue Fabrique — a close relative of Bitossi Rimini Blu.

Laminate-Yellow-Fabrique-1400Above: Yellow Fabrique — another great choice for a sunny flower power kitchen.

Laminate-Red-Fabrique-1400Above: Red Fabrique — a good option for vintage 50s style kitchen.

Laminate-Plum-Fabrique-1400Above: Plum Fabrique.

Laminate-Black-Fabrique-1400Above: Black Fabrique

Laminate-Charcoal-Fabrique-140Above: Charcoal Fabrique

Laminate-Whisper-Batiste-1400Above: Whisper Batiste — for a neutral linen look.

Laminate-Fog-Batiste-1400Above: Fog Batiste — another neutral linen look option.

Laminate-Chile-Mesh-1400Above: Chili Mesh — not quite linen, but it reads as a fabric-like texture.

Laminate-Apple-Tesseract-1400Above: Apple Tesseract — not quite a linen, but a nice texture and color.

Laminate-Nutmeg-Tesseract-1400Above: Nutmeg Tesseract — this would work well in a 70’s style kitchen.

laminate-Thyme-Tesseract-1400Above: Thyme Tesseract — another good option for a 70s style kitchen remodel.

Though there isn’t a boomerang or sparkle in sight — this collection of abstract laminates would feel at home in many a retro kitchen or bathroom. And hey — they have color — which is a beacon of light in today’s sea of greige granite laminate.

See our extensive research about laminates suitable for a retro or vintage kitchen or bathroom in our Kitchen / Countertops category.  

  1. KStacey says:

    I just got a sample of SW210 White Celestial, and about fell off my chair. This is honest-to-goodness SPARKLE LAMINATE. Gorgeous, three-dimensional flakes of silver (that turns copper from some angles) varying from a fine dust to a healthier chunks up to about 1/8″.

    Flipping it over to see the dreaded “vertical use only” was heartbreaking. A plumbing issue was discovered in my kitchen wall, and the cabinets have to be removed. Although every precaution will be taken, they cannot promise a safe return of my beloved rose marble Wilsonart countertops, and the odds are even less favorable for the matching backsplash. I thought for a minute that I had found my back-up option!! Although I can say that if the backsplash needs replacing, THIS will be it. Even if I have to redesign the whole kitchen around it!

      1. KStacey says:

        Well I have no idea what particular glitter medium is, but it’s embedded, random and sparkly! Mylar maybe? Not at all like a digital image of quartz or the like.

  2. Melanie Brooks says:

    I just received my requested samples from Lab Designs. They now have Ebony Retro in matte or high gloss for HORIZONTAL surfaces.
    I was debating between that pattern and the Black Pearl pattern. Unfortunately, the Black Pearl gloss is vertical only.
    I also got a sample of the Black Celestial- gorgeous flakes of mica! BUT…vertical only.

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