25th countertops
Photo: Geoffrey Sokol
There's been a counter revolution in this country over the past 25 years. What used to be just a work surface has become a design element as integral to the look of our homes as the furniture.

The Past
The neon-orange plastic laminate used in the first This Old House TV project was typical of its time. In 1979, when the show launched, laminate brands such as Formica and Wilsonart commanded 90 percent of the countertop market. The '80s saw the rise of another synthetic marvel, solid surfacing, which was durable, stain resistant, and could be molded in a single, seamless piece with sink and backsplash. Soon it supplanted laminate as the countertop favorite.

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