Often times we hear high-pressure laminatecompared to melamine. Technically, melamine is a chemical used in both HPL and LPL. It is really the process by which they become laminates that distinguishes an HPL from an LPL. … Melamine, combined with other chemicals becomes a plastic resin.
Melamine vs Laminate
It is during the time when we are getting made cabinets for our kitchens or other furniture items that require pasting of a veneer at the top that we hear terms like melamine and laminate. These materials are highly moisture resistant and allow the products over which they are pasted in the form of layers to be cleaned easily with a moist piece of cloth. Both these products are used extensively by carpenters to make products used in kitchens and other places. However, despite similarities, there is a significant difference between melamine and laminate that is discussed in this article.
What is Melamine?
Melamine is also referred to as direct pressure laminate or low-pressure laminate. However, it is popular among the people only as melamine. This is a product that results when a thin paper is pressed at a high pressure of 300-500psi to a board. However, experts know that the melamine is not this product, but the resin that is used to impregnate the paper. The advantage with this laminate is that you do not need to glue mica sheet over the piece of furniture that you get made for home or office use. In fact, it is ideal to be used in the making of kitchen cabinet doors.
What is Laminate?
Also called high-pressure laminate, this is popular among common people by the name of Formica. To make this laminate, a very high pressure of 1400psi is used over 6-8 layers of kraft paper. These papers have been glued together and finally a melamine plastic is pressed at the top. This product is not attached to a board, and the carpenter has to press it over the board to complete a piece of furniture or the countertop. It is available in many shades and even textures. This product is resistant to scratching, heat and moisture.
What is the difference between Melamine and Laminate?
• Melamine is cheaper than laminate as it is manufactured by a method which is not cost intensive.
• Laminate is more durable than melamine and more resistant to heat and chemicals.
• Melamine is produced with a pressure of just 300-500psi while to make a laminate a pressure of 1400psi is required.
• No pasting over a board is needed with melamine whereas carpenters require pasting a laminate over a board to make the finished product for office or kitchen use.
• Laminates are available in many colours and textures, but melamine is not available in different shades.
Actually, melamine is a type of laminate and there are a few different variations of laminate.
Direct-pressure laminate, otherwise known as low-pressure laminate is what is commonly referred to as melamine. It is manufactured under 2 to 3.5 meganewtons of pressure per square metre and the final product is a sheet of melamine resin – a highly durable type of thermosetting plastic bonded with a phenolic resin glue and a melamine resin plastic facing.
Whereas the final product with low-pressure laminate is attached to a substrate of board, attaching high-pressure laminate to board is usually an entirely different process.
We have found ‘melamine’ to be the material most suited to the manufacturing of office furniture for most work settings. It is highly durable, extremely cost effective and an excellent surface to work on. We also make sure to use a moisture-resistant substrate board which adds to the durability of the surface.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VENEER, LAMINATE & SOLID WOOD
When describing the furniture from our shop on our website, we try to remember to tell you, if we can, about the kind of wood that was used to make the piece, as well as a bit of information about the finish. We are often asked whether a particular piece is made with veneer, laminate, or if it is solid wood, and we have found that there are often misconceptions about the differences. Today, we will try to help to define and explain the practical applications of the three.
Veneer is technically a thin layer of hardwood, usually thinner than 1/8 of an inch. Typically, veneer is bonded, or glued with adhesive, to a cheaper surface that is hidden below. A less expensive wood or particle board can often be found underneath. This practice allows furniture makers to design and build beautiful pieces at a lower cost. At Furnish Green, we often find a lot of mid century pieces with dark walnut veneer and Danish modern pieces with teak veneer. Veneer can be sanded along the grain, painted and stained because it is real wood. When working with it though, you must be very careful not to overdo it, remembering that the layer is very thin and can quickly be worn down with a power sander.
Laminate is made with synthetic materials or very thinly sliced pieces of wood. In some cases, it is made to look like wood grain by using a method that is similar to printing. Laminate typically has a shiny finish and is known for being used in low-end furniture and pieces that need very durable surfaces. Of course, laminate is much cheaper than solid wood or veneer to produce and use. At Furnish Green, we try to stay away from carrying many pieces with laminate, but occasionally find a server or console that we think looks great and fits the bill. Laminate pieces are incredibly easy to clean and maintain, great for children’s rooms or any spot where it will get a lot of wear. Although it is not real wood, laminate can be painted by sanding the piece lightly to remove the glossy finish, primed, and then painted with thin layers of your favorite color.
Solid Wood is, well, solid wood. Furniture made with solid wood can be sanded, stained, varnished, treated and painted. Some woods are soft and show wear, such as worn corners and edges, after many years of use. Others are called hardwoods and have a more durable lifespan. Here in our store, we love the look of solid wood pieces, often finding them as rustic, farm style tables, bookshelves and cabinets.
Overlay papers, from 18 gsm till 45 gsm, are used as a protective layer in flooring, kitchen countertops and decor panels (HPL and LPL). Made with 100% pure and clean bleached cellulose pulp, Overlay Papers are engineered to be strong and very absorbent to withstand different levels of wear abrasion. Our papers form a film for the embedded melamine resin in the fiber structure. This enhances the appearance of printed decor papers while improving the abrasive resistance and durability.