If shopping for interiors, then there is no chance that you will not come across laminates in one form or the other. Available in a range of decorative patterns and colors, today these form the surface of a lot more products than you can imagine. Below is a quick summary of the features of this versatile material and tips on how to use the same.
The most commonly used finishing layer for MDF, plywood, particle board, wooden furniture, wall panels and flooring are laminates. Essentially, a composite artificial material, they are made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins. The upper layer is printed with a decorative pattern or color.
Decorative laminates have greater aesthetic appeal in terms of finishes and patterns. Decorative laminates can be used for doing ornamental overlays on furniture. And there are so many to choose from as well! Look at some of the popular decorative laminates.
Post formed laminates are flexible versions and are thinner than regular laminates. They are used to wrap around tables, columns etc.
High-pressure and low-pressure laminates – Differing only in the pressure with which the laminate is applied on a substrate, HPL is usually used with plywood while LPL finds its use with MDF.
Colors and patterns
Laminates are available in a wide variety of patterns. If you want to simulate the appearance of solid wood textures and other natural materials, using laminates are your best bet. They are also available in bright colors and funky motifs.
Although available in an array of finishes, the most common are smooth, medium to high gloss, and matte finishes. Furniture and wall finish often use textured laminates, which replicate the tactile feel of natural materials. Popularly used textures include hand scraped, rustic wood, metallic and leather finishes.
Laminates are commercially available in sheets, panels and boards depending on the type of application. The approximate size of sheets available is around 8 feet by 4 feet. Wall panels and boards are available as squares or rectangles in different sizes.
Laminates are durable and scratch resistant. They are more resistant to wear and tear, moisture, and heat when compared to veneer and solid wood products. However, laminated surfaces tend to warp when exposed to excess water. Since they are brittle materials, these are also prone to chipping.
As a wood finishing material, these are cheaper than veneers. Laminated wooden flooring is also an inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative to solid hardwood floors.
Laminated products are easier to maintain and can last with just a few measures. Dust your laminated surfaces regularly. Clean with a mildly wet cloth and wipe dry with gentle strokes. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool scrubbers. Protect the surface from exposure to excess water and sunlight.
Installation, repair & replacement
It is easier to install laminated wooden flooring when compared to vitrified tiles or marble. The boards are interlocked using a tongue and groove joint. You can install laminate flooring on top of an existing floor, making them suitable for DIY refurbishment projects.
Furniture & Wall Panels: You can also fix laminated sheets onto furniture using high-grade adhesives. Chipped or warped laminates on furniture need to be completely stripped off and replaced. It is best to hire professionals for this process as it requires some finesse.
Decorative laminates are perfect for everyday surfaces that see a lot of wear and tear — such as your living room or bedroom floor, table tops, cabinet shutters etc. They are also an inexpensive and eco-friendly alternative to solid wood products when it comes to flooring. Patterned versions are a great way to liven up your furniture and add some interest to a space.
While these are available in a wide variety of realistic textures, they can sometimes have a rather plastic and mass-produced feel. If you’re aiming for a distinctive, authentic look for a focal piece of furniture, go with veneers or solid wood instead.
Hence, to make a laminate purchase consider all the above factors and your own custom requirements. Furthermore, always make sure that laminates used for kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas are of the requisite quality to withstand exposure to heat and moisture.
Vikas Plywood is the distributor for most of the leading manufacturers in the laminate industry such as Green, Merino, Century, Royal touch and various other leading Laminate Manufacturers from India.
Among the world’s top three producer of laminates, Greemlam Laminates brings a legacy of exceptional artistry, unsurpassed quality and unyielding passion for excellence to the table. With a production capacity of 15.62 million sheets every year, we have always ensured that superior quality products are available to you. Innovative technology and creative solution have been our guiding principles from day one.