By Katy Tomasulo. Far from ordinary, laminate countertops can mimic almost anything or have a look all their own. Traditional styles are highlighted by wood tones or realistic granite looks while textured metals and playful colors brighten rooms by not blending in. A few manufacturers also offer custom products for a true one-of-a-kind feel.
Pionite. The company's 2002 high-pressure laminate collection includes 28 colors, including solids and stone and wood looks. New colors include Blueberry Hill, Mr. Sandman, and Margaritaville. (800) 746-6483. www.pionite.com.
Abet Laminati. Iridescenti laminates are made up of bright, light-sensitive hues that shimmer and change in the light. The line comes in 21 colors with soft or bumpy surfaces. (800) 228-2238. www.abetlaminati.com.
Wilsonart. Mesa Twilight laminate offers the look of granite, with varying shades of blue and underlying flecks of gray. The product is part of the MesaGranite collection, which includes nine other granite-look colors such as Mesa Gold, Mesa Pearl, and Mesa Verte. (800) 433-3222. www.wilsonart.com.
Nevamar. The Bamboo collection offers the high-end look of bamboo woodgrain in a high-pressure laminate pattern. The four colors include Extreme Green, which offers a yellow-green look with slight translucency; vibrant Red Dragon; Electric, an almost-gold yellow; and Xanadu Blue, a blue with a hint of red overtones. (800) 638-4380. www.nevamar.com.
Formica. The company has introduced 16 new laminate designs this year. The Solidz collection includes eight "near-solid" looks with slight visual texture. The four Modern Classics designs offer the look of cork and classic wood grains. The third collection is metals. (800) 367-6422. www.formica.com.