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Formica Countertops Cost & Guide 2018

Our formica countertops cost guide includes detailed information regarding formica countertops as well as all the costs involved in getting one.

The kitchen is clearly one of the essential rooms in our homes and undoubtedly the heart of most homes. It’s the place where you will find your most favorite meals. It’s the hang-out place for everyone in the family and the center spot for conversations when catching up with your loved ones as you prepare food or sip a cup of tea or coffee. It’s probably one of the most used or busiest rooms in your home, and the rapid wear and tear can prove this fact.

When your kitchen space is looking outdated and drab, you might consider doing a complete remodel to revamp it. But in some cases, tearing your kitchen down may not be necessary. All your kitchen may need to spruce it up could be just a few minor upgrades and adjustments to change its look and improve its overall appearance. Having a functional kitchen is essential, but making it look appealing is a bonus. After all, everyone wants to cook meals in a visually appealing kitchen and not one with outdated, worn out features.

Kitchen countertops occupy a big space in the kitchen, and they are probably the first thing that anyone notices in a kitchen. If they are worn out or outdated, they can change the entire look of your kitchen. Updating your kitchen countertops could be the little magic that will transform your rather dull kitchen space into an aesthetically appealing space. Typically, countertops command the tone of a room. The style of your countertops enhances the entire room and defines your taste.

Seeing that the appearance of countertops can either make or break the entire look of a room, it’s essential to make a wise choice when it comes to countertops materials. You need to ensure that the countertop material you go for will compliment your kitchen without breaking your bank account. You need a countertop material that is not only cost-effective but long-lasting and gives you a variety of styles in terms of color, patterns, and design. You need a countertop material that is versatile and will provide you with a practical solution for your countertop needs.

Even though there are several types of countertop materials in the market today, the one that perfectly suits the above description is none other than Formica. Yes, you heard right! Formica countertops are rapidly making a comeback and all for good reasons. While some people may actually frown at the thought of installing Formica countertops, you should know that this particular countertop material has over the years undergone changes. Formica countertops are now available in an array of colors, lots of patterns and styles to choose from, and you can get all these unbelievable qualities still at a fraction of the cost of other kitchen countertop materials.

Formica countertops have come a long way. In the past, they had little appeal with limited patterns and were only available in bright colors that were not eye-catching at all. But the modern Formica is something totally different from the one in the past. This countertop material has advanced and to be classier, elegant, and more contemporary than what was available back in the 70’s. It is available in a variety of colors, patterns, and edges that will effortless transform your kitchen into a modern entity and easily blend with every other aspect of your kitchen.

Benefits of Formica Countertops

Formica countertops fall into the category of laminate countertops and are known to be the top producers of laminate products in most countries. Its popularly becoming a favorite countertop choice among homeowners today. Formica countertops stand out because they are made of high-quality material, they are attractive and quite functional. A report shows that about 70% of homeowners still prefer Formica (laminate) countertops for a variety of reasons which we will discuss comprehensively in this guide.

Let’s look at the benefits of Formica countertops and the reasons why you should consider them when remodeling or building your kitchen or bathroom.

Durable

Countertops generally take in a lot of abuse. They serve as a working space, and in the kitchen, they offer a meal preparation area. When you are looking for a countertop material, you have to install one that will hold up to tear and wear. It must take in cuts, scratches, scuffs, and dings without leaving the surface with adverse damages.

Formica countertops are the perfect description of durability. They will take in a serious beating without scratching, cracking, or showing signs of aging. Even though they have some degree of heat resistant, you should restrain from putting extremely hot pans and pots on the surface. But, generally, Formica is way tougher than most natural countertop material available. Once you install them, you will not have to worry about an expensive countertop replacement for years to come.

Low-Cost

A kitchen remodeling project can cost thousands of dollars and leave your pockets dry. When you think of countertop replacement, you might be tempted to postpone it when you factor in the high prices for installing natural countertop materials such as quartz, marble, stone or granite. Formica countertops are incredibly affordable and will still give you the same aesthetics as the natural countertop options.

The price for Formica countertops is right, quite affordable making the installation project cost-effective. You will achieve luxurious, expensive modern looking kitchen at a fraction cost of the natural kitchen countertop options.

With a quarter of the price of what you would have spent on a real stone countertop, you will achieve replica of your favorite high-end natural stone countertop. In fact, with the reduced cost of Formica countertops, you will be left with enough room in your budget to make other kitchen upgrades, and you will end up with an updated modern luxurious kitchen without necessarily breaking the bank.

Variety of Colors and Patterns

One thing that stands out with Formica countertops is the wide variety of colors and patterns. Formica gives you infinite choices and possibilities when it comes to designs and styles. You can get any pattern or color that will match just any look that you desire. Formica countertops have gone through technological advancements, and now they have countertops products that replicate most high-end natural surfaces such as marble or granite.

If you have been dreaming about that cover magazine kitchen with real granite slab but the price tag is way over your budget, you do not need to worry. Formica has you covered with a variety of classic and luxurious patterns to choose from. You can get countertops that mimic the look of stone, natural wood, granite, marble, or any style that suits your taste and personality.

With Formica products, you will be able to get subtle yet classy colors. Elegant patterns that illuminate warm undertones, or exotic patterns and colors that will effortlessly complement your home décor, cabinets and most importantly define your style better. In fact, Formica is one the celebrated brands when it comes to beautiful finishes, colors, and patterns.

If you are shopping for countertops, you will have a wide variety of contemporary to traditional designs to choose from. Better yet, you will not miss something that will transform your bathroom or kitchen and make your remodeling project worth every cent. Formica products are continuously changing, always coming up with new colors, patterns, and designs to suit the modern home setup.

Edging Options

When shopping for countertops, you are not just looking for the right materials; you want something that has attention to details when it comes to the finishing. Formica offers you various edging options for you to choose from. Formica has ideal edges that will give your countertops eye-catching details to make your kitchen or bathroom stand out with a unique character.

In fact, Formica is the only product that has eliminated the infamous laminate dark seam and instead added a decorative edge; a quality that makes this option stand out. The decorative edge options include 180 wraps, wood bevel accent, wood edge, classic flat edge, bullnose, ogee among many others. The decorated edge options are limitless, and you will be able to achieve an excellent finished edge without the tell-tale brown laminate line.

Minimal Maintenance

Perhaps this is one the most attractive thing about Formica countertops. Cleaning this type of countertop is incredibly simple. You do not need to stock up expensive special cleaners as you would with other types of countertops surfaces.

All you need to do to keep Formica countertops clean is use simple dishwashing soap, water, and a paper towel. You do not need sealers or expensive special polishes as it is the case with some countertop materials such as quartz or stone. Since they are easy to clean, they make your cleaning superfast especially when you are tidying up the kitchen after cooking.

Once you install Formica countertops, you are set. There is nothing special you need to do to keep them looking good other than wiping them. In short, this countertop material practically requires zero-maintenance.

Quick Installation

Formica countertops are quick to install. Your kitchen or bathroom doesn’t have to stay in a disarrayed state for days when installing countertops. Formica countertops take minimal installation time, and your kitchen will be up and ready for you use within a few hours after installation.

In fact, if you purchase the pre-formed models, you can do the installation through DIY and save a significant amount of money on your remodeling project. This, however, cannot happen with other types of countertops such as quartz which require a professional and days for installation.

Even better, you can install Formica countertops over newly made cabinets or install them over existing laminate counters. More so, the material can be cut into different shapes to fit into any shape of a kitchen especially if your kitchen has oddly shaped corners.

You Can Paint Formica Countertop

Formica countertops can be painted to suit your desired color. After having your countertops for some time, you might change your mind and decide to want a different color theme for your kitchen. This does not mean that you will be stuck with countertops that do not match with the rest of your kitchen theme. You can paint your Formica countertops with a color of your choice.

In fact, it will only take you three to four days to prepare the countertop surface, and apply the paint. If your Formica countertops are looking worn-out or you simply want to change the way they look, a paint job can spruce them up and give your entire kitchen new life without necessarily replacing them.

The process of painting your Formica countertops is relatively easy. You will first clean the counters using hot soapy water to remove grime and dirt on the surface. After this, you will clean the countertop area with ammonia and give it some time to dry. Once the counters are dry, you will sand the entire countertop surface using sandpaper. If there are any nicks or holes on the countertop surface, fill them with appropriate wood filler.

After the sanding process, you can now start the painting process. Start by applying the primer and then proceed to apply one coat of paint. When purchasing paint for your Formica countertop, you should go for oil-based paint. Give the first coat about a day or two to dry before applying the second coat or topcoat. After painting, give your countertops about three to four days before you start using them.

If you are doing a home improvement project, especially a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, you should consider Formica countertops. If you are working on a tight budget, it’s safe to say that you will not find a more cost-effective and affordable countertop option than Formica.

Drawbacks of Formica countertops

Just like any other countertop material, Formica countertops have a few disadvantages that you should be aware of as you make your choice. Understanding the pros and cons of the countertop material you ate going to use is essential. It will help you make an informed decision and invest wisely in your countertops.

Prone to burns: even though Formica countertops can withstand various forms of abuse, they can get damaged by extremely hot pans and pots. It’s worth noting that Formica products are made of several layers of paper that are glued together to make a solid surface that is topped up with melanin resin. Thus, you cannot place hot materials on the surface as you risk staining the material and burning it. If you are using Formica countertops in the kitchen, you have to shield the surface from hot materials.

May not add significant value to your home: Formica countertops come low-cost which is advantageous when you are renovating your kitchen or bathroom. However, if you plan to resell your home in the future, they may not add significant value to your home. Formica countertops are beautiful and can make your kitchen or bathroom achieve a luxurious, sophisticated touch; but, their worth cannot be compared with natural stone, marble, quartz, Corian or granite.

Now that you have gone through the pros and cons of Formica, you can make an informed decision. Formica countertops are chic, elegant, and you can get patterns and designs that are a replica of your favorite natural countertop material. If you are not planning to go overboard with your kitchen or bathroom remodeling budget, you should consider installing Formica countertops. It’s a brand that has advanced over the years to deliver excellent products that will enhance and complement your home regardless of your budget.

Cost of Installing Formica Countertops

Formica countertops fall under the category of laminates products. Formica is known to produce the most durable, stylish, elegant, and fairly inexpensive counters in the country. Formica countertops are not only available in different styles, colors, and patterns, but they are also easy to install and come with a variety of ideal edge options.

Most homeowners report spending an average cost of about $1180 on Formica countertops, with a cost range of $790 and $1620. Formica countertops come at an average cost of about $22 per square foot exclusive of installation cost.

The minimum price for Formica countertops comes to about $16.15 per square foot, and the maximum price comes to about $27.20.

The average cost of Formica counter come to about $ 22 per square feet, and technically, the cost may not exceed $30 per square feet.

Some factors such as the need for extra materials, the grades and your location may affect the cost of Formica countertops. For example, if you opt to go for the most durable grades like high-pressure laminates or C-9, you will spend more than you would with a lower grade Formica material.

If you are installing about 30 square feet of Formica countertop, expect to spend about $700 to $1300 or $15 to $40 per square foot. Formica countertop installers generally charge about $30 to $45 per on installation and will take an average of eight hours to complete the installation. Therefore, the total cost of labor for a 30 square feet Formica countertop should range anywhere between $260 to$400.

Formica countertops costs 
National average cost of Formica countertops$1,180
Low end -cost $790
High end-cost$1,620
Cost per square feet$16.15 to $37.20 per square feet
Labor charges$30-$45 per square feet

Additional Costs

Most Formica countertops are usually pre-foamed meaning they have already been cut into the ideal pieces and prepared ready for installation before they get to your home. However, you might be having a kitchen that has oddly shaped corners that will require the installer to cut the Formica counter material to fit. In such a scenario, you will need to purchase Formica countertops materials that will be measured and cut on the site. For such, the installer will charge you an extra 30% on the installation costs. The measuring and cutting will take time, and the whole process will require more labor as compared to the installation of prefabricated Formica countertops.

Another cost factor to consider is the removal of the old countertops. If you are remodeling your kitchen, you may decide to do away with the existing countertops to create room for the new installation of Formica countertops. A professional countertop installer will charge you about $500 to$900 to remove and dispose of the old countertop.

You should also consider the extra cost of adding a backsplash. If the backsplash runs the entire length of the countertop, you may need to spend an additional $300 to$500 on the overall cost of Formica countertop installation.

Your installation quote should include the following:

When you are getting a quote from a professional countertop installer, you should ensure the following details are included;

Labor charges: The quote should include the rate of labor charges and how much the whole project will cost. This includes labor required to complete the project by taking countertop measurements, leveling, and the installation process.

Also, if the Formica countertop requires extra work to achieve the ideal edging, the installer should indicate the additional labor charges for that service.

Materials and supplies: the quote should have a detailed list of materials and supplies needed for the entire countertop installation project. These are materials required for prepping the countertop area, clearing the subsurface, the Formica countertop materials, particle board substrate, and other supplies that are essential to the installation process.

Removal costs: if the installer is responsible for tearing down the existing countertop, they should clearly indicate the costs of removal and disposing of it. The quote should include any other addition task to be performed during the removal of the existing countertops such as plumbing, cutouts for kitchen or bathroom sinks and faucets.

The quote should include the cost of the final clean-up after the installation. Also, make sure that the installer indicates how much it will cost to dispose of debris and waste from the site.

Find out if the quote includes permits required for the installation of Formica countertop installation. Some states require homeowners to acquire necessary permits when doing major home remodeling projects.

Some professional countertop installers will handle the permits and include the fee in the final quote. However, some professionals will leave the acquisition of a permit to the homeowner. If the quote is inclusive of permits, the acquisition and inspection fee should be indicated.

Essential Formica Countertops Tips

Prices for Formica countertops vary with different companies. Remember, each company has its way of pricing their products, and each has different operating expenses and overheads. Therefore, it’s possible to find one company has higher or lower prices than the other.

If you are planning for a kitchen renovation that will involve replacement of countertops, try and get quotes and estimates in the late fall. This is the contractor’s downtime season, and you stand a chance of getting discounts and friendly prices.

To get a better deal, you should not settle for a single quote. If you are using a professional countertop installation company, get multiple quotes and make a price comparison. If you are shopping for Formica countertop material, visit various supply shops that sell the specific brand of Formica countertops you are planning to install and compare prices. While shopping, try to negotiate for discounts or better prices. You will be surprised at how much you might end up saving on the final cost of purchase.

Find out about transportation costs. Some companies may offer to deliver the countertops at a fee while others may have free delivery depending on your location. If you live far from the store, you can opt to organize for your transport. If you are hiring a contractor for the countertop installation project, make sure you find out if their quote is inclusive of the delivery charges.

How Formica Countertop Costs Compare with Other Options

We mentioned that Formica countertops are least expensive as compared to other countertop materials. For more emphasis on how cost-effective Formica countertops, are, we will look at the cost of other commonly used countertop materials and see how they compare with Formica products. We will use average costs based on an average 30 feet kitchen countertop area.

Countertop materialAverage cost -30 linear feet material
Formica $1,300
Granite$4,500
Marble$4,650
Ceramic Tile$1,900
Concrete$5,320
Butcher block $2,850
Corian $3,120
Concrete $5,350
Recycled glass$2,100

From the above table, you can see that Formica countertop material is the least expensive among all the other materials.

Formica Countertops Subtypes

If at this point you are wondering what Formica is, you need to know that Formica is one of the leading companies that specially produces laminate products. They produce a range of laminate products including countertops and cabinets. They are known for their two top-selling lines that a lot of homeowners’ order which are:

180FX is a replica of marble, and most people tend to confuse it with real marble countertop material. Its available in larger sections as compared to the traditional laminate and unlike marble material, Formica 180FX is quite an inexpensive option.

Premium FX is among the laminate series and its available in five premium finishes which include, gloss finish, crystal finish, plex finish, natural grain finish, earthy finish, and 3D.

The traditional Formica laminate products are available in different patterns; more than 50. More so, Formica products are customizable, and they can be made to suit almost any home design including oddly shaped rooms. The latest addition to Formica brand is the Formica writable surfaces. It’s the latest collection with a range of chalkboard and marker board that give Formica surfaces various options in terms of color and patterns that will define and suit your home better. This new collection comes with six marker board and stylish chalkboard designs and unique patterns that are exclusive and give you an opportunity to create your designs to provide a unique character for your home.

DIY Formica Countertop Installation

Installing pre-formed Formica countertops can be an easy DIY task. A DIY countertop installation can save you a significant amount of money on labor costs. Besides, a DIY countertop installation can give you a sense of achievement and a chance for self-expression. To help carry out the installation job efficiently, we will list simple steps for installing pre-formed Formica countertops including materials and tools required for the project.

List of Materials
  • Countertop sections
  • Fasteners
  • End splash
  • Contact adhesive-non flammable
  • White glue
  • Tools
  • Sandpaper
  • C-clamps
  • Belt sander
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Hand laminate trimmer
  • Smooth file
  • Level
  • Handsaw
  • J-roller
  • Screwdriver
  • Caulk gun
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Rubber mallet
  • Heat conductive aluminum tape
  • Wrench
  • Safety glasses

Step 1: Measure your countertop area and make sure you allow about ¾ to 1-inch overhang on open ends and in the front. Also, make sure the countertop overhang to the dimensions of the cabinets.

If you include end splash, you need to reduce about a ¾ inch length of the countertop from the side where you will add end splash or end caps.

Step 2: Before you start cutting, you need to cover the laminate surface to be sawed using a stripping masking tape. Use a pencil to mark the cutting line which you will use as your guide when cutting. Using a fine-tooth handsaw and start cutting from the section where you will add the end cap or end splash. Carefully cut the laminate surface and make sure you cut into the surface to prevent excess chipping. After cutting the laminate surface, sand the edges to smoothen them.

Step 3: Position your countertop on a flat surface with the top side facing down. Get strips of wood that are thick enough to enable you to match countertop surface with the front build-up. Attach the strips of wood using glue around the edges or the countertop.

Step 4: Start applying end caps. To do this, you will need to set a clothes iron to medium heat and then start ironing the cap against the edge of the laminate, back and forth. Allow it to sit for a minute and then use a rubber mallet to tap the cap gently. Use a file to trim and make sure that you only apply pressure on the upward strokes.

If you are using non-glued end caps, you will need to use contact adhesive glue which is non-flammable. Apply the adhesive glue on both laminate and substrate. Make sure you follow manufacturer’s instructions to know when the contact adhesive glue is ready for bonding. Use a J-roller to roll the laminate and finish trimming using a fine file.

Step five: Make cutouts for sinks and range tops. But you need to make you follow the manufactures instructions on the installation of any appliance you handle. Place your sink or range top on the position on the countertop where the appliance will be located. Using a pencil, mark from edge all the way to the rim and cut the hole and make sure it’s ¼ to 3/8 smaller than the marked line. Make sure the cutout corners are smooth and clean. After cutting the cutout holes, you should apply heat conductive aluminum, about two layers all around the edges or the range top cutout.

Step 6: It’s time to join the miters. If you have a U- or L- shaped kitchen, you will need to make sure that you order pre-cut miters as it is quite hard to miter the countertop sections at home during installation. The pre-metered sections usually have small slots for attaching draw bolts which are cut at the bottom of the edges. Apply some amount of sealant on each of the mitered edges, align the edges and tighten the bolts securely.

Step 7: The countertop will require scribing to ensure that it matches each side of the wall. Normally, the countertop comes with ascribing strip on the backsplash which can be trimmed to fit the contours of your walls. Position the top of your cabinet and using a scriber-compass, carefully mark all the top edges of your countertop and then plane sand or belt sand the line. This way, your countertop will contour to the wall.

Step 8: Once you are sure that the contours are perfectly in place, you can now position the countertop to the base of the cabinet. Check for level and ensure stability. Check to see if the drawers and doors can open freely without getting stuck. Secure the countertop to the cabinets using wood screws. After the countertop is securely in place, install the sinks.

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Conclusion

Formica countertops provide a cost-effective solution to your kitchen and bathroom remodeling project. Formica is one of the leading laminate brands in the market today with an array of countertop options that will effortlessly work well with your cabinetry, flooring, and table. It is popular among homeowners who are looking for cost-effective countertop options that will leave their kitchen looking luxurious and chic without sacrificing quality, functionality, and style.

Formica countertops have over the years have undergone technological advancements which have seen the production of countertop products replicate most of your favorite top-end surfaces such as granite, marble, or natural stone.

The countertops are available in an array of colors and patterns that will leave your kitchen looking luxuriously chic. They also give you the option to choose edges that will give your counters a unique character and eye-catching details. Formica brand which is known for its two top-selling brands; 180FX and Premium FX, has unlimited countertop options for you which will make your kitchen stand out elegantly. Even better, Formica countertops are quick to install, easy to maintain and incredibly durable.

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