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Laminate vs Veneer: Which Is the Best Finish for Your Furniture?
A laminate is an artificial material made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins at a high temperature and pressure. One of these layers of paper is the decorative paper, which gives the laminate its colour or printed pattern. To make things easier, we made a quick video about laminates for you.
A veneer is technically a thin layer of hardwood which is stuck to the core material’s surface using strong adhesives. In fact, it can be used to hide the lower quality or less appealing look of a core material to make the item look flawless and expensive.
Let’s take a closer look at the two materials and understand all the differences between laminate and veneer. In this debate of laminate finish vs veneer finish, we have covered all the aspects that majorly impact our decision when it comes to choosing one of these materials.
Laminate vs Veneer: Which Is a Better Finish?
Laminate vs Veneer: Variety
Laminate: Available in numerous colours and shades
, these can be broadly classified into textured, high gloss, soft and matte. Comparatively, textured laminates replicate the feel of materials like wood or stone. As a result, one can use different types of laminates according to one’s personal style to cover their core material like MDF.
Veneer: There are a few types of veneer laminates
, each serving a particular purpose. Accordingly, you can classify veneers into raw, paper backed, phenolic backed, laid up, reconstituted veneer and wood on wood. Since it is a natural material, veneer is available in a limited number of shades when it is about laminate vs veneer.
Laminate vs Veneer: Maintenance
Laminate: Laminates are definitely easier to maintain. This difference between veneer and laminate goes a long way. That’s because laminates are not only scratch-resistant and waterproof, but also retain their look for years.
Veneer: When it comes to laminate vs veneer, veneers require more maintenance. This is because you will need to polish veneer surfaces from time to time to maintain its look.
Laminate vs Veneer in Terms of Durability
Laminate: Laminates are known for their durability and reliability. Since it looks like wood, and you stick it to a strong core material, it is typically durable and can resist scratches and stains.
Veneer: Veneers are usually not as durable as laminates. They might require maintenance and care since they can be more prone to scratches. As a result, most rented homes have laminate finishes and not veneer finishes.
Laminate vs Veneer: Cost
Laminate: These materials are usually pocket-friendly and more affordable as compared to veneers. In fact, the price of laminates depends on the quality and the brand.
Veneer: High-quality veneers can be much costlier than laminates. The veneer vs laminate cost difference sometimes also depends on the raw materials and the process of making. For instance, the value of veneer depends on the type of wood.
Acrylic or Laminate: Which Is the Best Finish for Your Kitchen Cabinets?
A type of finish similar to lacquer, acrylic finish for kitchen cabinets is a non-toxic, reflective high-gloss finish which can give cabinets a perfectly smooth appearance. It is available in a wide range of colours and gives a glossy sheen to your kitchen cabinets.
Laminates are a composite artificial material commonly used in modular kitchen cabinets. Basically, this material is made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins, the upper layer is printed with a decorative pattern or colour. In other words, the laminates used in kitchen cabinets are pressed in factories under high pressure using automated machinery.
Pros and Cons of Acrylic and Laminate Finish for Kitchen Cabinets
A premium high-gloss option, an acrylic-finish kitchen is the preferred option for high-end kitchens. Basically it can add visual space and an inviting appeal to your space
While laminates are available in glossy options, these are not as reflective as an acrylic finish. As a result, laminate kitchen cabinets are more muted and less striking
Colour and Varieties
Acrylic finishes are available in a wide range of vibrant shades, which retain their colour and brightness for years
However, the variety available in laminates for kitchen is higher and includes matte, glossy and ultra high gloss. Apart from colours, these are also available in various textures, including wood
Maintenance and Durability
Scratch-resistant acrylic finishes do not tarnish, de-laminate or fade away with time; they maintain their smooth and glossy appearance. However, this means that fingerprint marks, dirt and stains are more visible and require regular cleaning
Laminate finishes are relatively more hard-wearing and durable when compared to acrylic. Laminates are also moisture- and heat-resistant and can also be treated for antibacterial properties
Given their aesthetic appeal and easy-to-clean properties, acrylic-finish cabinets are more expensive than laminates
Laminate finishes offer variety and durability at a significantly lower cost, making them ideal for those on a budget
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All About Laminates: Cost, Types, Finishes, Maintenance and Tips to Choose
Laminates are one of the most popular decorative materials that are used for surfacing cabinets, furniture, walls, ceilings, external facades and so on. The thickness of these laminates ranges between 0.6 millimetre to 1.5 millimetres, and they are available in the form of sheets with a standard size of 8x4 feet. Learn about the costs of different types of laminates (from premium brands) that can be used for the interiors and exteriors of your home.
1. Matte-finish laminate
Matte-finish laminates are one of the most preferred laminate finishes that are used for the kitchen and other carpentry works.
These laminates have a moderate reflective surface, and good resistance to scratches and dust, which makes matte finish laminates easy to clean and maintain.
The cost of 1-millimetre-thick matte-finish laminates starts at ₹1200 per sheet.
Textured laminates simulate the look of different natural surfaces such as nappa leather, raw silk, suede, stone stucco finishes and so on. Textured finishes can be used to bring in an element of depth into any space.
Avoid using these laminates in the kitchen because the textured laminate may have the tendency to trap a lot of dirt and grime, which might become difficult to maintain.
The cost of 1-millimetre-thick textured laminates starts at ₹1500 per sheet, depending on the type of texture and design of the laminate sheet.
Glossy laminates have a mirror-like sheen and a reflective surface that adds a lot of brightness into any space.
Gloss-finish laminates give a premium look to the interiors and are available in various colours. One drawback about this type of laminate is that the surface tends to show smudges and fingerprints easily.
The cost of 1-millimetre-thick glossy laminates starts at ₹2000 per sheet.
4. Metallic laminate
Give your home a sleek modern look with metal-finish laminates. The metallic look adds a lot of richness and sophistication to any space, as you see in the image above.
Metallic laminates are available in limited colours such as silver, copper, brushed gold and a few solid colours.
The cost of 1-millimetre-thick metal-finish laminates starts at ₹3000 per sheet.
5. PVC-finish laminate
PVC-finish laminates are moisture resistant, which makes them highly suitable for bathroom cabinetry and other areas that are prone to moisture.
PVC-finish laminates are highly durable and waterproof. They are easy to maintain but give a plastic look.
The cost of 1.2-millimetre-thick PVC-finish laminates starts at ₹2000 per sheet.
6. Acrylic-finish laminate
Acrylic-finish laminates are a great way to bring in a high-end modern and sophisticated look. Their ability to reflect light adds instant brightness to any space.
These laminates are easy to maintain, moisture resistant and resistant to fading caused due to UV rays.
The cost of 1-millimetre-thick acrylic-finish laminates starts at ₹3500 per sheet.
If you’re new to the world of interiors, it’s normal to wonder what is laminate. So, a laminate is the most commonly used finishing layer for MDF, plywood, particleboard, wooden furniture, wall panels and flooring options.
Essentially, a composite artificial material, it is made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and resins. The upper layer is often printed with a decorative pattern or colour. The laminate cost per square foot lies between ₹56.25 per sq.ft. (high gloss laminate sheets price) to ₹350 per sq.ft. (PVC laminate cost).
How to Choose a Laminate?
With over 700 permutations and combinations, choosing a laminate can be confusing. We hear you, but fear not! Here are some tips to help you with the selection process:
You can use two solid colours to create pleasing combinations. But too much pop is time to stop!
If you’ve chosen a pop colour laminate for your cabinets, then go with a lighter tone laminate on the countertop and dado area.
For your base units, go for a darker solid colour as these laminated areas are used frequently, and they are more prone to getting dirty
Matte-finish laminates are one of the most preferred laminate finishes that are used for the kitchen and other carpentry works. These laminates have a moderate reflective surface, and good resistance to scratches and dust, which makes matte finish laminates easy to clean and maintain.
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