Faux Marble

Kev and I had to make a trip to Home Depot for some epoxy yesterday, and (as usual) we wound up looking at flooring, and tile, and counter tops while we were there, too. We’re both kind of in permanent “look-out mode” when it comes to interesting new design solutions, and we love discovering useful/affordable/neat-looking home stuff!

We managed to make it out of the store with only the epoxy yesterday, but we were totally blown away by one of the counter top materials we saw while we were there, so I wanted to blog a little bit about it here today. It’s called “Calacatta Marble“, and I’m not even kidding, as I walked up to it in the store I was saying to Kevin, “Ooh! I love marble counters!“. It wasn’t until I reached out to touch it, that I discovered it was actually Formica!

Here are some pics I found of it online…

Pretty lovely look-a-like, huh? It was $16 sq/ft. (installed) at Home Depot, which is obviously waaaay more cost effective than real marble, which usually costs between $60-$100 sq/ft.

This next photos shows an island topped in of one of Formica’s faux granite patterns, but can you imagine how pretty that Calacatta Marble would look with this kind of edge…

Me likey the thought-y.

And did you know that you can even use undermount sinks with Formica now, too? Check it out…

Way to increase the realism factor, Formica!

Anywho, I know laminate’s not for everyone, but for a lot of folks it’s the right choice, so I thought I’d pass this info along today in case anyone was looking for a “marb”elous-looking, low-dough faux-mica!

And speaking of spectacular faux counters…check out this amazing concrete creation I found on a Gardenweb thread yesterday. Here’s the before pic…

And here’s the (concrete) after…

(note: the homeowner mentioned that they hadn’t quite finished remodeling when that pic was taken.)

Can you believe that’s a concrete countertop!? Unfortunately I couldn’t track down the lady who posted the pics, but she did say in the comments on that thread that they started by cleaning and scuffing the original laminate surface really well. Next, they applied two layers of a “special mix of concrete” with drying time in between each layer. (Her husband owns a concrete business, and has extensive experience with the stuff.) After that, they created the veining by applying concrete stain using a variety of feathers, sponges and brushes. They finished the surface by grinding, sealing, and polishing it.

Pretty incredible, huh?

PS- Here’s a video Formica put together about how they’re able to create their new line of realistic-looking stone counters- which, by the way, is called 180fx. Pretty interesting stuff!

 Click on the ADVERTISE tab at the top of our blog, or on any one of the “Click Here To Upload Your Ad” buttons in our sidebar for more info!

Join me on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!


Need design inspiration? Need help arranging your furniture?

Check out my e-books!

Room Inspiration - Kristin Alber Style
The Lettered Living Room

Have posts from The Lettered Cottage sent right to your INBOX!


  1. Beth says

    Oh the word formica makes me think of old restaurants!! and my childhood home, and now I actually want some! I love all the options they have now. They have uppdated for sure… and my kitchen is in need of an overhaul!!!

  2. says

    The concrete solution is so creative and unique! I haven’t seen that before. Laminate has come a long way, The really pattern-y colors, like the color on the 180FX brochure picture, can get tricky if you have a seam in the corner with the direction change. IDK about undermounting a sink with laminate. Excessive water + particle board= possible disaster but it looks cool!:)

  3. LoriB says

    I have the granite looking formica you show in the pics, I love it the only downfall was the builder used a golden oak edge instead of the continuous one that makes it look like actual granite. It’s also much more stain resistant, I did manage to scratch it by accidently dragging a sharp edge across but I’m the only one who sees it because it blends with the veining.

  4. says

    Thank you!!! I am working on a complete kitchen remodel for a client and she has champagne taste and a beer budget. I had heard about this but I had not seen it. It is amazing and I will order my samples tomorrow so I can present them at our next meeting. I love the look of the Calacutta Marble and I think she will too. She will be concerned about durability and I will need to ask questions about that and maintenance but this is a great option.

  5. says

    Hey Lay! I picked that calacatta formica out for our beach cottage kitchen last summer! Can’t wait to have it installed! Great post :)


  6. says

    I went to Home Depot today to see this person and didn’t find it. The Formica countertop display didn’t include this and the representative didn’t know what 180fx was–she also said, like the above poster, that installing their “nice” formica options for $29 a sq foot, not $16. So strange! I wonder if they’re rolling it out regionally? I’m located in Texzs. So strange!

  7. says

    great post on a great product. we just did our laundry room and used this marble with an ogee edge for the counters. I love it and the price is so do-able.

  8. Kate says

    Great Timing! I’m redoing my kitchen – on the cheap – as I am unemployed right now. So I have time to take down walls but no money to replace them. Ha! We’re using demolition cabinets, etc. This is GREAT!

  9. Penny says

    Holy fake-marble Batgirl!! That does look real, I’m gonna have to go check it out this weekend. I’m trying to help my decor challenged brother decorate his house from 450 miles away & this would be perfect for him! Can ya tell I’m excited? Thanks for the tip!

  10. says

    I discovered that Formica had these granite/ marble look alike counters a year ago and my husband and I fell in love with it. We would love the real thing but would be impractical in our townhouse where we wouldn’t earn the money bag. A laminate alternative is a better investment for us. We hope to use it in our kitchen sometime soon!

  11. says

    I have granite look Formica in my kitchen and unless you walk right up to it and touch it, you can’t tell it from granite. It’s about 7 years old and holding up nicely. It does have scratches (as most Formica will) but you can’t really see them.unless you are looking for them. I would be glad to send pics if anyone wants to see it.

  12. Melinda says

    I ran to the phone and called the closest Home Depot – the girl was a snot and she didn’t know anything about this calacutta marble formica. So I called the next closest and it is only available for special order and is $25 for product and install per sq foot. Darn, I was ready to get the ball roliing !!

    • Stephanie says

      I called a local place that installs it – not only do they sell it by the LINEAR foot, which is different than square foot, the installation was a one time fee. That being said, I’d call local places to see if they are cheaper than the big box stores. I found them by going to the formica180fx website and there was a link that said something like find a dealer near you…

  13. Jeff says

    If you’re looking for faux marble for bathroom surfaces (showers and vanity tops) you’ve gotta check out Tyvarian (tyvarian.com). They use digital images of real stone combined with cultured marble.

  14. Charlene says

    Wow, thats great. Is funny I will be redoing my kitchen and I think I will be going for that counter. Great post. All the way from Canada

  15. Heather says

    I am so disappointed. I fell in love with the look of these counter tops and immediately called Home Depot. They told me $18 sq/ft and $30-ish sq/ft installed (depending on edging design). Could that be true? Would it vary that much from state to state?

  16. pam says

    I checked on this yesterday – I am outside Dallas. They said it would be around 35 per linear foot installed with a waterfall edge. Still a lot cheaper than other options —

  17. Lisa says

    Thanks for showcasing the mini makeover we’ve done in our kitchen :). The concrete overlay was a perfect solution for our kitchen. We needed something cost effective since we hope to eventually completely renovate. It has held up beautifully and I love how it looks in our ‘new’ kitchen.

  18. says

    I had this installed in 2010 and love it. My total cost was $500 for the counter, beveled edge, and installation (by the cabinet man).



  19. says

    I”m SO happy you posted about this! I’ve been dreaming of a marble counter top for years — but the price would be outrageous in our kitchen with LOTS of counter top space. THIS is perfect!

    Oh, and at our previous house (over 10 years ago) we had a Formica counter top installed with an undermount sink and it was amazing!

    I might have new counter tops sooner than I thought!

  20. Tanya W says

    My husband installed the in stock (gasp!) Formica 180FX countertops in Antique Mascarello from Home Depot about 6 months ago and I couldn’t be happier. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to blow on countertops and these only cost us about 300. Will we keep them forever? No, but we were able to go with an attractive temporary solution to an otherwise ugly problem. The light marble ones are really lovely! Excited to see future projects from you guys!

  21. says

    We put in the granite look formica and you simply cannot tell the difference. It even has a texture to it. I love it!

  22. tim moon says

    Looks wise this is working for me but I’m concerned about the suggestion that you can fit an undermount sink in a lminate top. That will de-laminate pretty quickly unless you chaps in the USA can do things with laminate tops we can’t do in the UK!

  23. Lynn says

    Formica is SO much easier to keep clean and looking good than granite or marble. I knew if I waited long enough people would start coming around. Hurray for Formica for responding to the market with their great product. Now if I can just persuade every one to quit it with the stainless or black appliances and go back to white, also easier to keep clean and looking good. From a long-suffering cleaning lady.

  24. Coral Young says

    I just had Calacatta Marble counters installed in my new kitchen last week and it is absolutely gorgeous! You can even feel the little pock marks that real marble has. It adds real depth and richness to the whole kitchen. It’s definitely way beyond my expectations!

  25. Brooke says

    This is so great, thanks for sharing! I am considering the 180FX countertop but still haven’t found anyone local who has it as a sample (larger than the 8×10″) I wanted to do a real marble subway tile backsplash, how do you think they would look together? Would it make the countertop look more fake?

  26. Melinda says

    I had our local hardware store designer come and measure for the calacutta faux. She just called and it is $1258 for my tiny amount of countertop !! That is not installed. I ask her what that was per sq. foot and she said $26 ! Wish I lived where you do. Wondering if you were mis quoted.

    • Layla says

      Whoa! :-O The sign on the countertop we saw definitely said “installed”. Maybe they were having a sale at that time. ? Should’a snatched it up then, I guess! 😀

  27. Melissa says

    I went to my local home depot and they didn’t have it and when I showed them an image they said they don’t sell it:( total bummer!

    • Layla says

      Hey Melissa,
      Ours said they didn’t have it when we went back to look at it a few weeks later, too. I made them look reeeeally hard on their computer, and they found it. 😀
      It’s made by Formica, and they can definitely order it!

  28. Melissa says

    I ended up going to lowes and they can order it(: they have to call on Monday but I’m verrrry excited(:

  29. Heather says

    Hi! Just saw this post while perusing your blog. I’m an interior designer in savannah and used the Calcutta Marble in a small home my husband and I only plan on living in a few years. I drool over white marbles but installing them in a home that will sell at a mid level price point here doesn’t really make since unless we were going be here long term to enjoy them. I was a little nervous that theyight be a little laughable (think 4ct diamond earrings working the drive trough at Taco Bell). They turned out beautiful. The finish isnt flat like old Formica. it has a texture that is more believable. The only the only thing my overly scrutinizing eye didn’t care for was that once installed I noticed the end caps where the countertop was not rounded has a strip of laminate to cover the fiberboard backing.the seam, though small showed the fiberboard where true marble would have been smooth. My husband thought I was insane to notice ,but I simply mixed some paint to match and painted the small crease. PERFECT! I love them. I also noticed either Wilsonart or Formica brand has replica stone laminates that are cool to the touch like true stone.