Formica Group – celebrating 110 years of laminate 20
Mar '23

The inventors of laminate, Formica Group, are celebrating their monumental 110th anniversary throughout 2023. 

A brief history

Although today Formica Group is best known for producing beautiful laminate countertops, home décor products are a long way from where they originally started…

Founded in 1913 by Daniel O’Conor, Herbert A. Faber, and John G. Tomlin, Formica Group gained a patent for a process to make laminate insulators. This original process used laminate to bond silicate minerals within the manufacture of electric motor parts. 

Having gained their first orders from Chaimers Motor Company, the company went on to secure a contract in the radio industry in 1917. The Company then started to make communication components for the U.S. Navy and Signal Corps. As the company moved into radio manufacturing, it developed self-assembly radio kits with Formica® laminate exteriors.

14 years after it first manufactured radios, Formica Group moved on and started to produce home decorative laminates, gradually moving from industrial to consumer products. 

As Formica Group advances its laminated products, it went on to create a cigarette-proof laminate in 1931, a game changer for the hospitality sector. The invention of a cigarette-proof laminate made Formica Brand products a ‘must-have’ product for cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.

1950 marked a landmark for Formica Group as Brooks Stevens designed their first graphic laminate, and thus the ‘Skylark’ pattern was born and is still an iconic design to this day. 

With hardwearing properties, colourful designs and easy-to-clean surfaces, it’s easy to see why Formica Laminate became such a popular kitchen design option.

As you fast forward through the decades, Formica Group continues to pride itself on offering an unrivalled range of on-trend colours, patterns, and woodgrains in addition to premium and innovative surface solutions. 

Going green

As we all strive to play our part to protect the planet, Formica Group is setting an example to the industry…

In 2011, all of the plants producing Formica laminates achieved the GREENGUARD® Indoor Quality Certification, meaning that the products have exceeded industry standards for low emissions.

A year later, Formica Group became the first laminate manufacturer in the world to be awarded the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label.

They are now on a mission to change the misconception that its laminates are made from plastic. 

Did you know that the primary material used for its decorative laminates is naturally occurring sustainably sourced paper?

To create the laminate, kraft paper is used to form the core material that is permeated with resin. The layers are then pressed together under high pressure and temperate to create the décor paper that creates a decadent feature of so many kitchens.

Not only is the kraft paper better for the environment, but it also has the added benefits of high resistance to wear, impact, heat and staining, along with aesthetical high-quality finishes.

Designed for the modern kitchen 

The designs of the Formica laminate kitchen worktops have changed over the decades, from bold prints in the 1960s to more neutral tones to suit the modern home.

So what design trends can you expect to see from Formica Group in 2023?

With the kitchen being a social space as well as a practical space, it’s important to create a multifunctional space that the homeowner will be pleased to show off when they host dinner parties or family gatherings. 

One of Formica Group’s most popular ranges amongst Kbsa members is the Aria® range. The Aria range focuses on the visual beauty of natural elements to create designs of marble veining, granite textures and engineered stone patterns. 

These high-performance worktops are constructed from a single slab to give you a finished product that is waterproof and that gives a consistent colour throughout. With a combination of exceptional construction quality and sophisticated designs, the Aria range gives you the scope to create your client’s dream kitchen that will be able to withstand the test of time.

There is no doubt that Formica Laminate is the ultimate kitchen companion for laminated worktops, splash-backs and upstands. If you’re interested in browsing the ranges Formica® Brand has to offer, you can find a list of suppliers on their website or you can order a sample. Formica Group would be delighted to work with our Kbsa members. 

As part of Formica Group’s 110th anniversary, they are going to be showcasing a different notable topic of their history each month. Be sure to keep up to date with their social media accounts and website to see the latest special features. 

For more information about Formica Brand and its products, visit

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