All about laminates
All about laminates: Types, finishes, applications and a lot more
If you have been out recently to buy the interiors of your house, office, or any commercial space, you might have come across laminates. These are the sheets that add to the beauty and durability of your furniture. Their application in the furniture industry has been versatile since inception. The laminate industry has come up with an exceptional variety of laminate sheets fulfilling the requirements of almost all types of furniture. So, let’s explore the world of laminates and know about their diversity in terms of texture, color, usage, maintenance, and much more!
Types of laminates
The classification of laminates is quite complex. They are categorized based on an array of characteristics. Here is a brief to the same:
1. Based on the manufacturing process
According to the process involved in manufacturing, they can be classified as Low-pressure and High-pressure laminates. Melamine resins are used as an adhesive followed by a natural drying process to fix the decorative papers on the MDF/HDF base in the low-pressure laminates. High-pressure laminates are formed by fixing the decorative sheets on a base through adhesives using a cold-press technique.
2. Based on the application
Majorly, two types of laminates fall under this classification. First are the decorative ones that are best for the surfaces that suffer the least wear and tear. They have their application in home and office décor. Second, are the industrial laminates that render resistance along with the decorative element. They are best suited for areas that face more damage, like the tabletops of the cafeteria, office cabinets, etc.
3. Based on the surface finish
There is a huge list of laminates that fall under this category. The market offers a wide array of colors, textures, patterns, and features on laminate surfaces. Here is the complete list of some of the surface finish available in laminate sheets:
- Matt texture
- Glossy finish
- Metallic finish
- Embossed texture (where you can feel the texture when you touch the surface)
- Solid color
- Digital/ Computerized finish
3. The laminates with advanced properties
The current world demands more than just decoration from the laminate industry. Hence, the laminate sheets available today are equipped with many such properties, and based on them; they are classified as:
- Laminates that resist fire
- Anti-bacterial/ anti-microbial laminates
- Electrostatic dissipative laminates
- Magnetic laminate surfaces
- Marker/ Chalkboard laminates
Application of laminates
As mentioned earlier, laminates have found their application in almost every infrastructure. The decorative ones are the best laminates for walls, doors, and interiors of a house. The ones designed for industrial applications that are highly resistant to damage are applicable in the furniture of commercial sectors.
The matt finish laminates are trending in the office as well as home décor as they give a subtle and classy appearance to the interiors. Generally, the laminates chosen for clubs, bars, kitchens, restaurants, etc., have a glossy finish as they elevate the beauty of such spaces and are easy to clean. Some of the commercials and showrooms have metallic finish laminates that give a royal look to the spaces. The laminates with embossed textures present a modish façade to the decorative units, business office spaces, living rooms, etc. Solid color finish is the finest choice for kitchen workplace tops, drawers, bathrooms, etc.
The spaces like hospitals, industries with heavy machinery, schools, etc., require fire resistant laminates for public safety. The present-day pandemic has raised the demand for anti-microbial laminates in spaces ranging from home to commercial sectors. The magnetic laminates have found their application at hospitals for putting up the operation schedules, charts, reports, etc. They can even be used at home to hold up the photographs, plan the schedules, make the shopping list, etc. Lastly, no one is unaware of the application of a market or chalkboard laminate. These laminate sheets have given a new definition of teaching and learning practices.
Laminates: Sizes available
The standard size of laminate sheets manufactured in India is 8 feet by 4 feet. This might vary depending on the demands of a particular laminate manufacturer. Some of them also offer customization of size if you have bulk requirements. When you go shopping for wall panels, market/chalkboards, and metallic laminates, you will also find a huge diversity in terms of the shapes and sizes of the sheets. Some of the laminates that are applicable for flooring are also available in the form of long and narrow sheets. However, you can get better options when you consult your laminate supplier.
The life of laminates
Laminates are highly durable surfaces. Present-day laminates are also available with scratch and water-resistant features that add to their life. They are highly resilient to external damage. But this does not mean that you can use them roughly. If you try keeping them away from the water, stress, stains, harmful detergents, etc., you can also contribute to their longer life. Moreover, they are brittle surfaces that are prone to break on the application of excessive force.
How to maintain the laminates?
Here are some maintenance tips for your laminate surfaces to keep them clean and strong for years together:
- Dust the surfaces regularly with a clean duster and wipe them with a mildly wet cloth. Make sure that you don’t add more water to them for cleaning. Also, dry the surface with a napkin soon after wiping it with a wet cloth.
- Avoid using Steel wires, abrasive detergents, acids, etc., for cleaning the laminate surfaces as they might damage the sheets.
- Don’t allow excess sunlight to fall on your laminates as there are chances of them fading with time due to the UV radiations.
Perks of using laminates for finishing your furniture
Laminates have more advantages over other furniture coating surfaces as:
- Being manufactured from wooden materials, they are inexpensive surface coating options.
- Laminates are eco-friendly as their manufacturing, installation, and replacement processes contribute the least to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Further, some of them can also be recycled and reused after proper treatment and finishing.
- Easy and cheap installation, repair, and replacement facilities
Thus, this is an overview of the world of laminates. There are several types, shapes, sizes, colors, and textures of laminate sheets available in the market. You can get them customized to meet your expectations and requirements. For more information on laminates, contact us at Welmica Laminates. We are more than happy to guide you through your process of choosing the right laminate sheets for your interiors.