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. Sarah g (roundhouse) says:

    I love these patterns! I ordered a sample of artic retro and its amazing! It is for vertical use only though. It is high gloss and just wouldn’t put up with the abuse horizontal surfaces receive. That being said it would be cool to resurface cabinet doors, a backsplash or even for a shower situation. The little stripes are metallic silver and sparkle and shine in the light, love it!

  2. Robin, NV says:

    Geez you guys, just when I’d finally settled on the laminate for my counter tops, you whip out these awesome samples. Fortunately, their yellows don’t quite work for me – wonderful as they are. I would be interested in checking out retro arctic as a backsplash option though. It’d be a lot cheaper than the subway tile I was considering anyway.

  3. sprayfaint says:

    Has anyone found a good source for patterned vinyl/linoleum/marmoleum floor tiles? I’m striking out everywhere as I try to replace my 40s vinyl tiles.

  4. Daizy72 says:

    In August of 2010 we had a kitchen disaster that required a complete remodel. Of course, this was funded by insurance which meant it wasn’t funded as a proper remodel like we’d been planning for years. It was funded as a do what you can with X amount in Y amount of time and be grateful. And we are grateful and we’ve just been biding our time. We stapled the leftover vinyl flooring to the counters to tide us over until we could afford the laminate. I had my heart set on Tangled Smoke by Formica. When we finally went to order it was gone. The flooring is still on the counter just waiting to be removed when we find something that measures up and thanks to this article that day could be soon. I’m about to order a sample of Ivory Organica! It may just be what we’ve been waiting for, Thank you!

      1. Daizy says:

        The laminate samples already arrived and are huge. I love that Lab Designs will send a good sized sample that won’t fit in the mailbox!

        Just have to decide which Organica is for us!

  5. Scott says:

    The Organicas are tranquil and hypnotic, very appealing.

    Just for fun I took a browse around Lab’s entire website and they are quite with it. Even the wood selection is quite lively, far from the usual boring snoring wood looks. I like the fact that they are putting some creative energy into naming their products too, very enticing.

    And thanks for planting “multi-directional” into my liitle OCD brain, I probably won’t be able to ever look at another pattern the same way again. 🙂

  6. Kkmk says:

    Some cool stuff here and on their website! I am loving Rio, corrugated tin, and twilight weave. They have a huge range of finishes too.

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