After Susan Halla of Make It Midcentury introduced her SparkeLam glitter laminate, I expressed concern to her that the ‘glitter’ showing on top of the laminate was not glittering enough. Long story, short: She actually came to visit me, and after a few hours of comparing her new design with a bunch of vintage glitter laminates in my personal collection and talking about possible options, she has created another, more sparkly v.2 of her SparkleLam product. I like it much better — and would certainly consider it as an awesome option if I had a kitchen or bathroom project under way.
Long story, a little longer:
Susan actually didn’t come all the way from St. Louis to the Berkshires just to see me. She had the opportunity to be in the area for other reasons, so we made plans to get together for a few hours. Over the years I have lots of glitter laminate samples, from a variety of manufacturers, and some salvaged glitter countertops, too. She had all her test samples. We brought all of this research into one place:
That one place being: my dining room table.
We compared old and new in a variety of lights.
- Wanna ogle the old stuff? See my story: 42 historic designs of glitter laminate — Formica, Wilsonart, Nevamar, Textolite, and more.
We inspected for both sparkletensity (I claim authorship of that word!) and also looked at the field color (the underlying background color) of the paper. The white field specifically, as that is my main interest — that’s the mainstream paper that would solve for many problems in our RR world.
We discussed manufacturing processes and how they might be affecting the sparkleation (authorship claimed). We went for lunch. And, we took action photos.
Then, Susan went home with several new ideas to test. A few weeks later, she followed up with me with new samples for me to view — I liked ’em. Then, last week, she sent me an official mailing with new samples. Looks like everyone who ordered v.1. samples also got the v.2. update in the mail. Nice customer service, Susan!
Video: How I used metal countertop edging on my Formica kitchen countertop
The key changes made to the SparkeLam glitter laminate:
- There is a new glitter product — “inclusion chips” — used. When laminated, these inclusions do not get “lost” underneath the melamine topcoat integral to creating laminate for countertops. In the samples I viewed, there was plenty of sparkle sparkling, glitter glittering on top.
- When we met, I also expressed concern about the tone of the original white laminate — I thought it had too much blue in it. In v.2., Susan changed it, and I like it better — it looks more like the vintage originals, which had more yellow going on. Susan explains: “The white samples are now made using a slightly softer white color with a tinge more of a warm background than the ultra-white background we had in version one of the laminate. That too has been positively received.”
Another color added:
- In this round, Susan also added a fourth color, a light aqua, based on customer feedback.
- So that’s four colors in all — white, pink, aqua, and light aqua.
But get this, Susan says she can offer up to 27 colors:
We do have the ability to create laminates in even more colors, but we have not tested any other colors yet. Our paper line has 27 different colors possible for our laminate (see attached). We can make custom laminate in one of the colors from our line of papers that have yet to be tested, but it requires more lead time*, and a setup charge for running an initial test sample. As we have time, we may add more of the paper colors into our permanent line as well. (*Our standard lead time is 3-5 weeks.)
And she provides more info on ordering:
We still have the min/max requirement of a 4’x12’ sheet of laminate, but if two or more parties wish to go in on a sheet together, we can have the sheet cut and shipped to different locations for a fee. We can also ship to other locations outside of the United States, but we would have to estimate costs on a case-by-case basis, and it may end up being cost prohibitive.
As we continue to work on getting our full website up and running, laminate samples can be ordered by sending an email to susan@makeitmidcentury with your full name, shipping address and which color(s) you wish to order. Samples are still $10 per colorway, refundable towards the purchase of a full sheet. Once we get the request with full name and shipping address, we send out an online invoice that can be paid online, and we send out the samples via Priority Mail. We are fairly well stocked at the moment on samples.
If you or are any of your readers have any more questions I haven’t addressed, or if there’s a color from our paper line that your readers MUST HAVE, we’d love to hear it. Send any comments or questions to the email address above.
Nicely done, Susan! For more information and to order samples, head to Susan’s website: