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After a long [and slightly painful] process, my dolce vita laminate countertop has been chosen, ordered, installed, removed, reordered, reinstalled, and is now perfect!

Dolce Vita Laminate Countertop

Here are some photos of my "bad" countertop. All of these problems were remedied with the reinstall, but held up my schedule for over 8 weeks.
Here are some photos of my “bad” countertop. All of these problems were remedied with the reinstall, but held up my schedule for over 8 weeks.

So… in case you are wondering why have I had the tile that long without putting it up… the answer is my countertop. Oh, my dear, dear countertop that took me months to pick out (if you can remember my desperate blog post about how many counter choices are available). I ended up choosing the Formica 180FX Laminate in Dolce Vita. It has a really unique driftwood-like pattern, and even though it’s an upgraded laminate product it still fit within my budget of $2,000.00 total for tile and countertop. It’s absolutely beautiful. However, after ordering, measuring, and installing the countertop over an 8-week period, there were majors problems with the measurements:

  • First, the seam was not in the location of the counter that had been discussed with me. I knew that the counter had a very very busy pattern, so I was very adamant about running the pattern all in one direction to avoid having too noticeable seams. Well, apparently all of my discussions were not enough for them to listen, so it was manufactured with a giant diagonal seam across a huge part of the L-shaped counter that shouldn’t have been there (1st photo on right).
  • Second, the original laminate counters in my kitchen were done with an “apron front” — which basically means that the countertop fits over the cabinets like a shoe box lid, rather than resting right on top of the cabinets. Even though the counter was measured, they didn’t notice the apron-front, and set the new counters right on top of my cabinets from 1957. This left a lot of unfinished pieces of cabinet showing, and gapping above my dishwasher (photo 3 and 2 on the right). Another catch to the way the countertops were set was that it completely messed up the backsplash height measurement for my custom cut tile. Instead of the backsplash height being 16″ as I measured, it was now 15 1/4″. Once you see my tile you’ll understand why I couldn’t just trim it to fit :).

Sadly, after discussing these major problems with the countertop installers (I will tell you their name if you ask me for it, but since the problem was corrected I will not reveal it publicly), they decided that none of my issues were problems, and basically hung up on me. So, I ended up having to write a detailed (4 page) letter explaining every issue along with every person involved, and copying the corporate headquarters of the company. After the letter was received by the headquarters, they were instantly back to my house to remeasure and redo the countertop manufacturing and installation. Another 6 weeks later, and my new- new countertop has been reinstalled. The new one is fabulous and I couldn’t be happier!

Here are some updated photos of the new countertop installation. You can see in each photo how the problems were remedied.
Here's a shot of the new countertop with the sink just sitting in the hole cut-out before installation.
Here’s a shot of the new countertop with the sink just sitting in the hole cut-out before installation.

Edge Detail of the Dolce Vita Laminate Countertop

Per request, here’s a photo of the edge detail for this countertop. Laminate countertops come in all different types of edge profiles (although I’ve found that once you get into fancy edging the price goes way up). I just got the basic edge veneer because of the curve near the left of my countertop in the picture above.

basic edge veneer
basic edge veneer

Current Seam Situation

I’ve had a few inquires for closeups of the current seams on the countertop. I did my best to take some photos of them. In some instances they are so difficult to see I actually used my finger to point them out to you. Hope this helps!

pointing at the seam about 18
pointing at the seam about 18″ from the stove
another closeup of the
another closeup of the “stove” seam
closeup of the
closeup of the “stove” seam
Here's the seam at the sink.
Here’s the seam at the sink.

Dolce Vita Laminate Countertop Revealed:


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