When it comes to designing a space, be it home decor or office decor, a classic question for most of us is whether to opt for solid wood surfaces or laminates. While they may seem similar, there's a huge difference in applying these materials when it comes to furnishing. Laminates have several benefits, a range of options to choose from and many windows of opportunity for design. They are said to be one of the best substitutes for solid wood furniture and are today made to last for long periods without wear and tear.
Here we discuss laminates and solid wood, how they are different from each other and what would work out as a better option for their application in interior decor and furniture.
What are laminates?
Laminates are very different when compared to solid wood surfaces. A laminate can pass off as wood due to its appearance, but furniture made of solid wood remains starkly different from laminates. Laminates can be used to coat solid wood furniture or, as it is commonly used today, used to coat composite wood or plywood.
Laminating is a tedious process but one that promises sturdiness, durability and ease in installation. The process involves juxtaposing different materials in a sequence so that the resulting composite surface is that of improved strength, well-insulated stability and longevity. Laminates are an excellent long-term furnishing idea created using heat, pressure, glue or other adhesives, and welding through coating machines like machine presses and other equipment.
How are laminates different from solid wood?
Laminates are quite different from solid wood, even though they come with their own set of benefits. Laminates are the layer juxtaposed onto the top layer of the wood such that it seamlessly blends into the wood. Using laminates is less expensive when compared to solid wood, even though a laminate can entirely pass off as a solid wood piece.
Laminates are usually made using plastic or other materials and designed to coat the complete surface of other substrates like MDF or plywood. When it comes to plywood, the grain of alternate layers that make up the plywood is crossed at right angles, while in laminates, they are juxtaposed parallel to each other.
Laminates today come in a much more sturdy fashion and can be made resistant to heat, moisture, scratches, and generally, last much longer.
Why Laminates -
A Great Option for Home Decor -
Saying that laminates are a great option feels like an understatement for interior decor for a home space or an office set-up. An understatement because the benefits of laminates are diverse and far-reaching. Today, when it comes to home decor, one thinks of sturdiness and durability, a wide range of options, cost-effectiveness, colours/ patterns and textures that could emulate different materials, and the overall effectiveness of a material. And laminates tick all those boxes and more.
Here, we discuss a few benefits of incorporating laminates into your furniture design and why they're a great investment in home decor.
Sturdiness & Durability
One of the most important features we all look for in furniture and furniture designs is durability, longevity and sturdiness. We would all do well using materials that last long rather than give way too soon. They come with multiple other added features like scratch-proof surfaces, water-resistant finishes, wear & tear resistance, and heat and moisture resistance. Depending on the surface you're using, laminates can be customized to keep it durable and long-lasting. Not just that, laminates are juxtaposed against the wood so seamlessly that it's easy to replace in case of wear and tear.
Range of Colors & Finishes
A wide range is one of the best features of having and using laminates in home decor today. Unlike how it was back in the day, due to technology and innovation in the interior decor industry, it has become much easier to produce different laminates with a range of colours, finishes, textures, patterns, thicknesses and more. Depending on your usage, there is also a grade of dust, water, scratch and moisture-proof laminates, making sure your cabinets last longer. Depending on your personal choice and taste, laminates can be customized to fit your needs and requirements. Unlike wood, there's a lot more versatility in the range of laminates, which makes it one of the most preferred options in decor today.
Ease of Installation
Compared to wood, which takes much longer to install and craft, laminates are comparatively more straightforward in installation. They can be designed to be lightweight and at the same time remain easily portable and dismantlable. Not only that, in case of damage to the corners during installation or moving, exact replicas can be made such that the furnishing looks brand new.
Ease of Maintenance
When it comes to choosing the right materials for home furnishing, it's a given that we'd all prefer materials that are easy to maintain without requiring constant care or attention. A spill or two shouldn't reflect on the surface. If spills are a constant worry, one would rather do with surfaces that are spillproof and easy to maintain in case of a spill. For those who are used to having kids in the house, using scratch-resistant surfaces will make it a lot easier to clean and maintain.
Where is the fun in investing and planning for a home decor rejig if there are no options for customization? Not much, right? Ergo, laminates! Laminates are one of the most customization-friendly materials for home furnishings and are one of the biggest reasons it remains a preferred choice among homeowners and interior decorators. The range of options for laminates is endless - with a wide range of colours, patterns and textures that emulate wood and other surfaces to choose from, you can mix and match laminates that go with your walls and the general aesthetic of your home.
Textured and patterned laminates can be used to break the monotone by standing out as statement pieces in a home. Customization isn't just about the material, but colours and textures that come in a wide range of options and the fact that they can be customized according to your need. For example, work surfaces would do well with textured laminates that are scratch and water-resistant. Cabinets can have laminates with a matte finish, giving the feeling that the furniture is brand new even after years.
Depending on your own personal taste, the aesthetic of the rest of your home, type of usage and other customizable factors, laminates are so free-flowing that they can be designed to give you the dream home you have always wanted. Whether it be a wood grain finish, a glossy finish or even a matte finish, there's a laminate out there that is bound to fit your need.