What Are The Types Of Laminates?

types of laminates

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Types Of Laminates

Of late, if you have been purchasing furniture or kitchen shutters, or even choosing wall panels or flooring materials, the odds are that you might have come across the term “laminate” over and over again during your shopping scenes. Yes, of course, we are talking about that finishing layer with which people have been carefully covering their furnishings for dozens of years. This versatile material comes in multiple types and is widely preferred for both residential and commercial projects. So, no matter what your project’s interior design needs are, there is always a laminate to match.

Here is a comprehensive guide on the types of laminates, which you should be reading out before buying laminates for your next project.

Generally, laminates are classified based on the following:

  • Usage
  • Surface Finish
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Advanced Properties
  • Thickness

Types of laminates based on Usage

1. Decorative Laminates

As the name says, these laminates are purely for decorative purposes. Available in a wide range of colours, designs, and textures, they can easily add attractive and stylish finishes to various elements like furniture, cabinets, wall panels, and other installations and bring an exclusive luxury look to space. They are often the top choice for living room shelves, doors, kitchen cabinets, office cubicles, and conference rooms.

2. Industrial Laminates

Industrial Laminates have stable geometry at high temperatures and also exhibit high resistance to scratches and wear and tear. Besides this, they also have a high strength to weight ratio and show minimal deformation when subjected to loads. These properties make these laminates an ideal choice for constructing circuit boards at home, and storage boxes and other furniture at industries.

Types of laminates based on Surface Finish

1. Matt Finish Laminates

These laminates are non-shiny and completely lustreless and hence they give a “matt” effect on the surface. The biggest plus of these laminates are they make marks and scratches less noticeable with their muted appearance. They are the perfect choice for floorings, kitchen cabinets and worktops, and corporate areas.

2. Glossy Finish Laminates

In contrast to matt finish laminates, these laminates give a “glossy” or “shiny” effect on the surface. This glossy finish gives a luxurious look and often makes the furniture or room look eye catchy and inviting. Generally, these laminates are used in restaurants, spa and saloons, hotels, and also in the event industry. As they make cleaning easy, they are preferred for kitchen units as well.

3. Metallic Finish Laminates

These laminates give a metallic look to the furniture surfaces. They are durable and also make cleaning and maintenance not a quite big task. Metallic finish laminates are widely used in commercial buildings, offices and showrooms.

4. Texture Finish Laminates

The laminates that make you feel the texture on its surface are texture finish laminates. They are a kind of decorative laminate which beautifies the surroundings by creating impressive impacts. These laminates are most often used for wall cladding, flooring, corporate offices, and commercial spaces.

5. Solid Colour Laminates

These are the most common laminates in which the whole laminate sheet has one solid colour without any prints or textures on it. They are best suited for kitchen countertops and bathrooms.

6. Leather laminate sheets

These laminates give the look of the leather material to the surface where it is used. They are apt for cabinets and other furniture.

laminates types

Types of laminates based on Manufacturing Process

1. High Pressure Laminates

High pressure laminates are produced by bonding the layer of the laminate with the substrate at high pressure. It is considered to be one of the most durable laminates and hence a good choice for horizontal surfaces including flooring, and countertops. The highly preferred substrates for these laminates are plywood and MDF.

2. Low Pressure Laminates

In Low-Pressure Laminate, the layer of laminate is adhered to the substrate under low pressure. These laminates are relatively less expensive than high pressure laminates. LPL is commonly used as a finishing layer for particle board or fibreboard (MDF and HDF).

Types of laminates based on Advanced Properties

1. Fire Retardant Laminates

The laminates which are resistant to fire are Fire Retardant Laminates. They are treated with special thermosetting resin to impart this flame retardant property. Because of this property, these laminates are best suited for giving makeovers without compromising on safety and hence it is commonly used for interior decoration in fire prone areas like kitchen, office buildings, shopping malls, multiplexes, industries, airports, hospitals, institutions, banks, etc.

2. Antibacterial Laminates

The laminates which resist the growth of bacteria are Antibacterial Laminates. So, it is intended for applications where there is a need for a high degree of hygiene like hospitals and health care facilities, kindergarten and nursery schools, rest rooms, restaurants, storage rooms, pathological labs, catering facilities, fitness facilities, etc.

3. Electrostatic Dissipative Laminates

These laminates provide a safe environment for furniture used in electrostatic protected areas. They don’t attract dust or dirt particles and therefore help create a dust-free and clean environment which is ideal for IT offices, call centres, electronic industries, pharmaceutical labs, hospitals and medical offices.

4. Outdoor UV Laminates

These are exterior grade laminates which offer protection against harmful UV rays. It is commonly used for constructing outdoor wall cladding and outdoor furniture like lawn chairs, swings, patio benches, and doors and windows.

Types of Laminates Based on Thickness

1. Regular Laminate Sheets

The laminate sheets that are very thin and have a thickness ranging from 0.6 mm to 1.5 mm are regular laminate sheets. These laminates give a very natural look to the furniture and are highly economical.

2. Compact Laminate Sheets

The laminate sheets that have a thickness ranging from 3 mm to 30 mm are compact laminate sheets. It is a tough durable product and can be used for wall panelling, lab benches, tables, office furniture, ceiling, wardrobes, etc.

Long Story Short: Type of Laminate and Its Application

Type of Laminate

Application

Decorative laminate
Living room shelves, doors, kitchen cabinets, office cubicles and conference rooms
Industrial laminate
Furniture and storage boxes at industries, and circuit boards at home
Matt finish laminate
Floorings, kitchen cabinets and worktops, and corporate areas
Glossy finish laminate
Restaurants, spa and saloons, hotels, and in event industry
Metallic finish laminate
Commercial buildings, offices and showrooms
Texture finish laminate
Wall cladding, flooring, corporate offices, and commercial spaces
Solid colour laminate
Kitchen countertops and bathrooms
Leather laminate sheet
Cabinets and other furniture
Fire retardant laminate
Kitchen, office buildings, shopping malls, multiplexes, industries, airports, hospitals, institutions, banks
Antibacterial laminate
Hospitals and health care facilities, kindergarten and nursery schools, rest rooms, restaurant, storage rooms, pathological labs, catering facilities, fitness facilities
Electrostatic dissipative laminate
IT offices, call centres, electronic industries, pharmaceutical labs, hospitals and medical offices
Outdoor UV Laminate
Outdoor wall cladding and Outdoor furniture like lawn chairs, swings, patio benches, and doors and windows
Compact laminate
Wall panelling, lab benches, tables, office furniture, ceiling, wardrobes

Though these are general recommendations, your final choice can vary based on factors like design needs, accessories to go with, the look you are after, etc.

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