What are the Formica Laminate Specifications?

Formica laminate is a man-made chemical compound fused with melamine and certain types of papers to create a plastic-like surface for the use in homes and other buildings. One common use of the general purpose grade of Formica laminate is for counter top usage. It is highly durable and resistance to heat and other daily wear and tear. Specifications are needed to ensure proper functioning and that the Formica laminate lives up to the standard that has made it a staple in American kitchens.

Color Name and Number

Formica laminate is a durable covering used for many surfaces, including tables.

When ordering Formica laminate for a project, the color name and the number that correlates are both needed. This is to prevent any ordering mishaps and to ensure that the desired colored is ordered correctly. Having only a name or a product number can lead to many mistakes. When the name and number matches, the supplier knows exactly what is needed. However, if the name and number do not match, then the supplier will need to contact the buyer to avoid any mishaps. General purpose laminate comes in an array of solid colors and other decorative fashions. Designs range from stone, marble, metallic flecks and wood grains.


Standard Formica laminate comes in three grades. Grade 10 is for general purpose use such as splash guards and counter tops. Grade 12 is slightly more durable, and can be used vertically and as a counter top, but is recommended for commercial use. Grade 20 is thinner and should be used on vertical surfaces that do not have the wear and tear a counter top would have. Because grade 20 Formica laminate is also thinner, it is good for laminating curved surfaces, but only up to 3/8 of an inch radii. An example of this is the edge of the counter top the rounds down, rather than meeting with another flat surface. All grades of the laminate are for indoor use only.


Formica laminate comes in many finishes. There is matte, glossy and crystal. Crystal is a clear and textured finish. Matte lacks the shine that the glossy finish has. Formica also offers other finishes such as natural, which is best used with wood patterns. There are high sheen finishes, and other ones with patterned textures. Chemtop2 is a finish that is resistant to heat, chemicals, stains and impacts. Not all the finishes are available for all the colors and patterns.


Laminate comes in sheets in various widths and lengths. The smallest size is 36-by-96 inches, the middle size is 48-by-120 inches, and the largest sheet offered is 60-by-144 inches. Thicknesses vary depending on the grade chosen. Grade 10 is 0.045 inches thick, grade 12 is .035, and the thinnest is grade 20 at 0.026 inches.

About the Author

Elle Dunkle began freelance writing in 2007 for various websites. Dunkle graduated from Pennsylvania State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in criminology and forensic science.