Laminate: Everything You Need to Know About It

Published by Rachit on

Laminate - complete

If you have been shopping for interior, you likely came across a laminate in one form or another. Available in a range of decorative patterns and colors, today these form the surface of many more products than you can imagine. Read on for this complete guide to this material and tips for using it in your home.

Laminate is enhancing surface materials used on top of plywood, MDF, or particleboard to provide a trendy surface finish to interior or furniture.

Laminate is durable, low maintenance, and easy to apply surface finish option. It is moisture-resistant and scratch-resistant and offers an attractive appearance to the furniture.

Laminate is a hard and brittle sheet with a thickness of 1 mm used for overlay on wooden furniture which gives the furniture a more granular and attractive appearance. It is available in various sizes such as 2440 mm × 1220 mm (8′ × 4’), 915 mm × 2135 mm (3’ × 7’), etc. and the thickness usually varies from 0.6 mm to 1.5 mm.

Laminates can be used on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Laminate can be installed in homes, kitchens, offices, or any base. They not only appeal to aesthetics but also provide long-term durability.

 

How is a laminate made?

Knowing how laminate is made, you have knowledge of laminate right from its inception. This is important information because these are materials that you have been living with for years. Knowing laminate construction helps you to better understand and evaluate its performance aspects.

Today’s laminate floors are available in a multitude of designs, patterns, and textures, yet they comprise all four core components that bond together.

The bottom layer, or backing, is a melamine plastic layer that provides dimensional stability to the planks and also helps protect from moisture.

The next layer is a core board, usually made of a high-density fiberboard or particle board that may also contain melamine plastic resins that help improve the core’s moisture resistance.

A design layer or print film is then adhered to the top of the board, giving the floor its wood or tile appearance. This layer is a printed high-resolution photo of wood grain, natural stone or ceramic tile patterns.

The top has a durable wear layer, providing protection and stain resistance. Many wear layers now contain aluminum oxide, as well as melamine resin and create exceptional durability. So, the most active house will stand for – even yours.

All four layers of laminate are then added together using high heat and intense pressure.

What are the different types of laminate?

Laminates can be classified into different types based on the following:

Laminate based on manufacturing process:

High-Pressure Laminate (HPL):

The high-pressure laminate is produced by attaching the decor paper to the kraft paper under high pressure. The laminated layer adheres to the substrate under a pressure of 70 to 100 bars at a temperature of 280 ° to 320 ° F using adhesive.

These laminates are the most durable, flame retardant, and have high levels of resistance to heat and chemicals.

High-pressure laminates are rigid decorative sheets, fixed on plywood and MDF using adhesives and pressed using a cold process.

Low-Pressure laminate (LPL):

This type of laminate decorative paper is soaked in melamine resins and dries naturally and then it will bond to MDF, HDF, or particleboard with heat-activated glue and laminators have heat rollers for coherent and finely bonding. The laminated layer adheres to the substrate at a pressure of 20 to 30 bars at a temperature of 335 ° to 375 ° F without the use of adhesives.

These laminates are less durable, thinner than HPL, flame retardant, resistant to heat and chemicals and are much cheaper than HPL.

Laminate based on usage:

Decorative laminate:

Decorative laminations are rigid sheets of about 1 mm and are mainly used as surface materials of furniture and are commonly used to protect wood surfaces. These laminates give a premium finish, touch, and feel.

They are available in both low pressure and high-pressure laminates and are manufactured in a variety of colors, designs, and textures.

They can be used mainly in conference rooms, home interiors, walls, etc. to give an attractive and auspicious look.

Industrial laminate:

Industrial laminate has high strength, high resistance to scratches and wear and tear, and is durable. These types of laminates are also chemical resistant, fire-resistant, and antibacterial.

They have a wide application in industries and hospitals. Circuit boards are made using industrial laminate. They can also be used in office cabinets, office furniture, etc.

Laminate based on thickness:

Compact laminate:

Compact laminate sheet thicknesses range from 3 mm to 30 mm. These laminates are self-supporting and therefore do not need to be affixed to the wood or any other material. There are decorative surfaces on the top and bottom of the compact laminate sheet.

Regular laminate:

Regular laminate sheets have thicknesses that range from 0.8 mm to 1.5 mm. These sheets are pasted by carpenters to base materials such as plywood by adhesives like Fevicol.

Laminate based on advanced properties:

Fire Retardant laminate:

This laminate is specifically made for fire-prone areas using fire-resistant resin. It is used for decoration in fire-fighting applications such as kitchens, industries, airports, hospitals, public buildings, institutions, storerooms, etc.

Electrostatic dissipative laminate:

Electrostatic dissipative laminate is made with the unique feature of low electrical resistance and is mainly used in electrical assembly for manufacturing circuit boards. This type of laminate provides a surface that will not attract dust or dirt particles and would be ideal for work-stations, hospitals, and medical laboratories.

Anti-bacterial laminate:

This type of laminate is made with antifungal and antibacterial properties, which can resist the growth of bacteria and pathogens. This is used in hospitals, bathrooms, day-care centers, etc., where cleanliness is very important.

Magnetic laminate:

It is an innovative laminate, which has a unique property of holding a magnet. These are high-pressure decorative laminations that are used for placing reports, charts, photographs, etc. in educational institutions, offices, hospitals, etc.

Mark or chalkboard laminate:

These laminates have a non-porous glossy white laminate surface that provides excellent properties for marker pens for writing, wiping, and rewriting. These laminations have additional thickness with the abrasion-resistant property.

Laminate based on surface finish:

Glossy Finish laminate:

This creates a glossy effect on the laminate surface and making the furniture more eye-catching and attractive than other finishes.

Glossy laminates have mirror-like shine and a reflective surface that adds a lot of brightness to any space.

One drawback of this type of laminate is that the surface tends to smudge and show fingerprints easily.

These laminates are used in the event industry, restaurants, hotels, and clubs and are also suitable for use in kitchens as it cleans more easily.

Glossy finish Laminate

Matt Finish laminate:

This creates a matte-like finish, which gives a flat finish to the laminate surface.

These laminates have a medium reflective surface and have good resistance to scratches and dust, which makes the laminate of the matte finish easy to clean and maintain.

These are used in corporate and business offices, living rooms, bedrooms where a sophisticated but stylish look is desired.

Metallic Finish laminate:

As the name suggests it gives the laminated surface a metallic appearance. Give your home a sleek modern look with metal-finished laminates. The metallic look adds a lot of richness and sophistication to any space.

Metallic laminates are offered in limited colors such as silver, copper, brushed gold, and a few solid colors.

These laminates are durable and are used in commercial buildings and showrooms.

Texture Finish laminate:

These laminates are designed in such a way that you can feel the texture or pattern printed on the decoration paper. Textured laminate emulates different natural surfaces such as Nappa leather, raw silk, and suede, stone plaster finishes, and so on. The textured finish can be used to bring an element of depth to any space.

Avoid using these laminates in the kitchen as textured laminate may tend to trap too much dirt and grime, which can be difficult to maintain.

These are used in flooring, wall covering, where a subtle and classy look is essential. This type of laminate is used in corporate offices, advertisements, living rooms, decorative units, etc., in which they create a delicate and classy look.

PVC finish laminate:

PVC finishes laminate are moisture-resistant, which makes them highly suitable for bathroom cabinets and other areas that are prone to moisture.

Laminated PVC finishes are very durable and waterproof. This type of laminate is easy to maintain but offer a plastic look.

Exterior laminate:

Consider the building facade, balcony railing, building entrance, and pergolas exterior laminate is best. Exterior laminations are very durable and provide good protection against the weather. Besides, these pieces are scratch-resistant and fire-resistant.

Acrylic Finish laminate:

Acrylic-finish laminate is a great way to bring in a high-end modern and sophisticated look. Their ability to reflect light adds instant brightness to any space.

These laminates are easy to maintain with moisture resistance and fading resistance due to UV rays.

Solid Color laminate:

This type of laminate has a single solid color without any print or texture. They are mainly used in kitchen and bathroom areas.

Digital laminate:

Digital laminates are printed laminate customized to the interior. Which provides architects and designers with an easy, simple, and reliable mode of artistic expression.

Woodgrain laminate:

These laminates are designed in such a way that they look like real wood and are extensively used in wood flooring. They are made of both softwood and hardwood.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Laminates:

Different types of laminate have many advantages and disadvantages. Here we give some advantages and disadvantages of laminate which are as follows:

Advantages of Laminate:

  • Its installation is easy than many traditional surfaces.
  • It is more cost-effective and needs less skill to fix. Laminate costs much less than real wood or stone but it looks the same.
  • It is available in many designs, patterns, colors, and textures and is therefore pleasing. The availability of vast range leads to minimal wastage.
  • It is very durable, clean, and relatively easy to maintain.
  • No polishing painting is required.
  • Resistant to stains. Even if stained, it can be cleaned easily. Just using wet wipes is enough to get a crystal clear look.
  • It is the best choice for heavy use environments.
  • It can be installed on almost any existing floor.
  • It is moisture resistant. Besides, it is an impact, shock, and pressure-resistant.
  • It is highly resistant to scratches and abrasion.

Disadvantages of Laminate:

  • While it may follow the look of a veneer, laminate flooring does not come close to the feeling of those textures of a veneer. No matter the quality, it cannot emulate the feeling of real wood under your feet.
  • It is known to be toxic because it is known to release formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds.
  • Once the top layer has been worn through, the entire floor must be replaced.
  • It is difficult to be recycled.
  • It is a brittle material therefore prone to clipping.
  • Laminate flooring is very slippery and is affecting your safety.

How to choose the right laminate for your home:

Whether you are an interior designer choosing the right laminate for a development or a homeowner to choose the best laminate to suit their lifestyle needs, how to choose your laminate often overlooked.

When you are purchasing a laminate, see that you fully understand which laminations are for which surface areas. These areas can be furniture, doors, countertops, kitchens, bathroom areas, bedrooms, and more.

However, a laminate manufacturer should be able to give you complete information about its products as well as properties. These properties are of extreme importance as they decide the durability in the laminate sheet.

Some general tips for selection of Laminate:

  • Always select laminate by looking at your entire sheet, do not decide by looking at a small sample or catalog. Because they do not have the image of the entire sheet, it is the only piece of the entire sheet that looks different after being installed.
  • If you are choosing a plain color (laminate) color, this is a different matter.
  • If possible, look at laminate in natural light, usually, we see laminate in artificial lighting in a shop that looks very different after it is installed in our house then maybe how the light will come on the furniture in your house. It is important to find out so that you know whether you have to choose a darker or lighter color.
  • Here are some steps to consider before selecting a laminate for your home.
  • First, decide which room you want to buy laminate for.
  • Then make sure what paint is on the wall or is being done in the room.
  • You have to choose a laminate according to the color of the wall and the tiles on the floor.
  • Now, according to the color of your wall and floor tiles, choose 2 or 3 colors that can match them.
  • If your floor tiles are dark, then choose a light-colored laminate, otherwise, your room will look quite full and heavy.
  • And if by contrast, floor tiles are light-colored, you can choose a light-colored laminate so that your room will look larger and give more light.
  • Use darker colors when your room is big and more than necessary. Then we will use darker laminate to make the room look a bit stuffed.
  • If the height of your room is a task, be sure to choose a laminate with vertical grain for the cupboard instead of a horizontal grain laminate, a vertical grain laminate creates the illusion of a higher height in your room.
  • If the width of your room is small, choose a laminate with a horizontal grain, which will create the illusion of greater width.
  • Avoid the choice of darker and finer designs of laminate that you like for a while and you get bored of them after some time.
  • The interior of the cupboard should always choose white laminate, which will save you money and make your wardrobe look very clean.
  • Laminated 2-3 thickness options are available, do not choose the lowest thickness designer laminate at all, as they are more prone to cracks and cracks.
  • If you have small children in the house, to avoid a sharp edge in the corner, select PVC laminate, which you can bend over the corner and avoid a sharp edge.

Some ideas for choosing the type of laminate base in place to use:

Flooring:

Decorative laminate, like a piece of wood grain, is a popular pick because it mimics hardwood. Textured finish laminations come in various designs that look like marble, limestone, and many more.

laminate flooring

On-wall panels and furniture:

Depending on your preference, you can select a laminate ranging from textured wall laminate to a matte finish. A laminated wall lends to the perfect backdrop of your interiors and also adds a layer of sophistication.

Glossy laminate finishes come with a reflective and shiny exterior and give your furniture a chic appearance. Leather and matte-finished laminate are also widely used to give a classy appeal to furniture.

Modular Kitchen:

Both matte-finish laminates and glossy finish laminates are popular choices for kitchen cabinets and are also elegant and enhance functionality.

If you want to add a little color to the kitchen, you can do this by adding solid colored laminates to the kitchen cabinets and drawers and mixing it.

solid colour laminate

Metal finish Laminates are also a try to find after choice for kitchens as metal finishes radiate a modern and sleek appeal.

Wardrobe & Storage:

Glossy, matte, and textured laminate finish are just a few of the options available and each one brings a new feel to your wardrobe and storage.

Some popular laminate brands in India:

GreenLam Laminate – (GreenPly)

GreenPly Industries Ltd. Is an India-based multinational company with a strong presence in the plywood, veneer, particleboard, and decorative laminate markets in India. Laminates manufactured by Greenplay are sold in India under the brand name of GreenLam Laminates.

Merino Laminates:

Merino is the third-largest manufacturer of decorative laminate in the world. It entered the interior design solutions sector in India in the year 1974 with the manufacture of plywood.

Century:

It is another popular Indian company which has been working in the industry for 25 years. The company trades many types of laminate, particleboard, MDF, wood veneer, as well as complete furniture through retail outlets under the brand name of Nesta.

Some of the more well-known laminate companies/brands in India are Sunmaika, Royal Touch, Signature, Sundek, Essis, Virgo, Durian, Delta Laminates, etc.

Laminate Price:

The price of a laminate is dependent on the type, pattern, and texture of the laminate, the thickness of the laminate. Laminate is generally priced per sheet (8 ft x 4 ft).

The decorative type laminate of 1 mm thickness costs around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 per sheet. The glossy and matte finished type laminate costs around Rs. 2000 per sheet. Acrylic and PVC decorative laminate is around Rs. 2000 per sheet.

Laminate or Veneer – Which Furniture Finish To Select?

Is this article help you? What type of laminate did you use and why? Please share in the comments below.

Categories: Material

Rachit

Civil Engineer

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