Different Types of Laminates & Their Uses

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Laminates are most commonly used surface finish for furniture elements, as they provide decorative look in comparatively less price. They also enhance the durability of the furniture as they are scratch resistant and easy to clean. Due to availability of various types of laminates, commercial and corporate offices, industries, restaurants, hotels, showrooms, etc. are also now decorated by using laminates.
There are different types of laminates available in the market according to their application. Here we have tried to provide the brief information on different types of laminates, which a homeowner must know, before buying laminates, for their house.

Types of Laminates
Courtesy - 123rf

The various types of laminates are as follows:

01. Types of Laminates Based on Pressure Applied:

(a) High Pressure Laminate (HPL):

  • High pressure laminates are produced by attaching the décor paper at high pressure to the kraft paper. They are commonly fixed by carpenters over plywood and MDF while making the furniture. High pressure laminates are extremely durable and can take heavy loads.

(b) Low Pressure Laminate (LPL):

  • In low pressure laminates, the decorative paper is soaked in melamine resin, and the laminated paper is then directly bonded to particle board or fiber board (MDF and HDF) at low pressure.

02. Types of Laminates Based on Thickness:

(a) Regular Laminate Sheets:

  • The regular laminate sheets have a thickness that ranges from 0.8 mm to 1.5 mm. These sheets are glued by carpenters to substrate materials such as plywood using common adhesives like Fevicol.

(b) Compact Laminate Sheets:

  • Compact laminate sheets have a thickness ranging from 3 mm to 30 mm. These laminates are self-supporting and hence do not need to be glued to woods or any other material. The top and bottom sides of compact laminate sheets have decorative surfaces.

03. Types of Laminates Based on Usage:

(a) Decorative Laminates:

  • Decorative laminates are hard sheets of around 1 mm and are widely used to give finished look to the furniture elements. They are commonly used to decorate and protect wooden furniture. Decorative laminates are manufactured in a wide variety of colours, designs and textures. They are generally used in residential areas to create a decorative look of the house.

(b) Industrial Laminates:

  • The industrial laminates have higher strength, higher resistance to scratches and wear and tear and durable. They are also fire-resistant, antibacterial and chemical resistant. They have wide application in industries and hospitals. Circuit boards are made using industrial laminates.

04. Types of Laminates Based on Surface Finish:

(a) Solid Colored Laminates:

  • These are the most common laminate sheets. The whole laminate sheet is of one solid color. It is generally used in bathroom vanity and kitchen countertop.

(b) Gloss Finished Laminates:

  • There is a glossy finish to the décor paper, and can often make the furniture look more eye catching and stand out with this type of finish. It is most commonly used in restaurants, hotels, and in event industry.

(c) Matt Finished Laminates:

  • This is a flat finish that gives “matt” effect on the surface of the laminate. It is more commonly used in corporate areas like large professional business offices where a subtle but stylish look of office is desired.

(d) Textured Laminates:

  • Textured laminates are designed such that you can feel the pattern or texture, which is printed on the décor paper. Generally natural materials such as wood, natural stones, leather, metals, etc. They give realistic effect to the furniture. They are most commonly used for wall cladding and flooring.

(e) Wood Grain Laminates:

  • Wood grain laminates are designed in such a way that they give aesthetics like real wood. They are extensively used for laminate wood flooring. Wood grain laminates are available in various designs of hardwoods as well as softwoods.

(f) Metal Laminates:

  • Metal laminates give metallic look to the surface of furniture. Metallic laminate is ideal for commercial as well as residential purpose. It is used in offices, corporate buildings, showrooms, etc.

(g) Leather Laminate Sheets:

  • Leather laminate sheets give look of leather material. Leather laminate sheets are used in cabinets and other furniture elements.

05. Types of Laminates Based on Advanced Properties:

(a) Fire Rated Laminate:

Special fire resistant resin is used to make these laminates. Fire rated laminate is commonly used for interior decoration in fire prone applications like, industry, airports, hospitals, institutions & banks, kitchens, etc.

(b) Anti-Bacterial Laminate: 

In hospitals and restaurants where hygiene is most important, these laminates are widely used. Antibacterial laminate resist growth of bacteria and pathogens.

(c) Outdoor UV Laminates:

Outdoor UV laminates are used to make billboards.

(d) Electrostatic Dissipative Laminate:

Electro static dissipative laminates are commonly used in electronic assembly, dust-free environments for manufacturing of circuit boards and other work areas like hospitals, medical offices and laboratories.

Also Read:
Advantages & Disadvantages of Laminates
Different Types of Particle Board and Their Uses
Properties of Plywood as a Building Material
Plywood vs MDF: How to Make the Correct Choice

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