What are Laminates? Types, Uses, Care, Pros, and Cons

What are laminates?

Laminates are thin seats with a smooth surface. It covers furniture countertops, floors, walls, ceilings, and many other applications. Laminates provide a better surface finish and an attractive look for furniture at a low price. 

The Laminates material is made from multiple thin layers. Mainly laminates are used to give a great appearance to the furniture. But also it gives good strength, stability, and sound insulation. Laminates are popular as surfacing material and used worldwide. 

Laminates come in many patterns and colors. There are many different ways to apply it to furniture. It depends primarily on the type or types of materials to be laminated. To laminate wood or plywood, strong glue is required.

Types of laminate

Laminate can be classified into several parts based on uses, thickness, pressure, finishing, and other properties.

Laminate based on Usage

Decorative Laminates: This type of laminate has greater appeal and pattern. Its thickness is about 1 mm. This type of laminate is most common. To decorate and protect wooden furniture this type of laminate is the best option.

Industrial Laminates: This type of laminate is used for industrial applications. Laminates of this type have higher strength that lasts for a long time. These laminates do not scratch easily. They cost more than decorative laminate.

Types of laminate based Thickness

Regular Laminate Sheets: This type of laminate has a thickness range from about 1.5 mm to 8 mm. The laminate is glued to the surface of wood or plywood by glue.

Compact Laminate Sheets: The thickness of these Laminates has a thickness of about 3 mm to 30 mm. It is self-supporting Laminates. Therefore, It can be used directly, it does not require the support of wood or plywood, or other material.

Laminate based Manufacturing process

High-Pressure Laminate(HPL): High pressure applies to kraft paper and other layers while making this type of laminate. It can withstand heavy loads and is extremely durable.

Low-Pressure Laminate(LPL):  20 to 30 bars at temperatures of 335 ° to 375 ° are used while making it. The kraft paper is soaked in melamine resin and directly glued to particle board or fiberboard. It is not as strong and withstands heavy loads as HPL. 

Types of laminate based Surface Finish

 Solid Colored Laminates: These types of laminate sheets have one solid color. It is a common laminate that is used to make kitchen platforms and desks.

Gloss Finish Laminates: It has a glossy effect on the surface. It is widely used in restaurants, hotels, and the event industry. Because it can also be cleaned easily with a damp cloth.

Matt Finished Laminates: This laminate gives flat matt finishes on the surface. Its durability is higher than Gloss Finish Laminates and it is also expensive. Matt finishing laminates are ideal for professional business offices, and computer desks.

Leather Laminate Sheets: This type of laminate gives you a leather appearance surface, it also comes in many colors like brown, black, and gray. It is used in making cabinets and beds

Textured Laminates: This type of laminate has a pattern or abstract texture. Their texture can be felt. A laminate sheet has many colors or patterns.

Wood Grain Laminates: This laminate gives a perfectly wooden texture. It looks like solid wood. The emergence of its grain can be felt. It is famous for laminate wood flooring. It is a bit expensive.

Metal Laminates: This type of laminate gives a metallic look. Such as aluminum, chrome, and zinc. It is useful for both commercial or residential

Based on Advanced Properties

Fire Rated Laminates: A special fire-resistant resin is applied to make such types of laminates, which makes the laminate fire-resistant. Such laminates are used in kitchens, airports, hospitals, institutions & banks. 

Outdoor UV Laminates: This type of laminate is used for outdoor purposes. Where the sunlight falls in direct contact with the project. It can withstand sun and dust for a long time. It is useful for billboards and siding.

Laminate pros and cons

Laminate is a good and useful furniture material. Along with its advantages, there are some cons.

Laminates Pros

Easy DIY installation: Laminates are very easy to use. It can easily apply to a wooded, plywood, and MDF panel surface. 

Low Cost: It is available in the market at a very low price. The price of a solid wood or veneer sheet is very high for wooden texture and smooth finishing. 

Good stain resistance: It is very durable. If the laminate is glued properly, it is easily durable for 20-30 years. It can withstand moisture and water for a short time.

Easy to clean and maintain: The surface of the laminate is smooth and flat. Due to this, it can be cleaned easily.

Availability: laminate is easily available in the market. It is available in almost every country in the world. It is also available in many colors and patterns.

Laminates Cons

“Fake” appearance: If we talk about appearance, it gives better looks. It looks like real wood but it is not real wood.

Noisy: Laminates are good for tables and other furniture, But when we talk about “laminate flooring” it is noisy when walking on with shoes. 

Laminate flooring can’t refinish: If we use laminate for flooring, it can not be refinished like wood. If a sheet has a scratch or defect, the laminate has to replace the entire sheet.

Release toxic: Some laminate materials are manufactured with formaldehyde and other chemicals. So environmental experts say it can release toxic VOCs. which is not good for health. So refrain from using such laminates.

Laminate sheet material

There are 3 main layers in the laminate. 

  1. Core or Bottom layer: This is the lower part of the laminate. It is thicker than all layers. Core layers are brown paper or kraft paper coated with phenolic resin. After the coating, it becomes hard and solid. 
  2. Decorative layer: Center layers are decorative layers, it is that pattern or color. Which gives the laminate an appearance.
  3. Protective layers: This is the final layer of the Layers laminate, a special chemical coat applied to these layers. Which protects the laminate from dust, scratch, and moisture.

How to Clean and Care Laminate the floor?

How to Clean and care Laminates floor?
How to Clean and Care Laminate the floor? Image Credit: Gambar oleh Pixaline dari Pixabay

Laminate is a beautiful material that gives an attractive look to your furniture and floor. So it is necessary to clean it regularly. Laminate is easier to clean than solid wood.

Dry Mop Cleaning: It is better to do dry mop cleaning daily. So that the dust does not get collected. Dry mop cleaning is very important even when you are going deep cleaning.

Gentle Cleaning: It should be clean with hands with a dry or wet cloth. But If you are using any chemical during cleaning then it is necessary to wash the entire floor. So that it is not harmful in any way.

Don’t do with laminate 

Use a clean cloth or mop: Always use a clean cloth to clean the laminate. Otherwise, after cleaning several times it can scratch on laminate.

Regular cleaning: When water and any other type of liquid fall on the laminate, clean it as soon as possible. Otherwise, it can damage the laminate and the laminate starts leaving its surface.

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