Laminate and veneer are experiencing an increase in popularity. With their flexibility, versatility, and their ability to gel in with any design scheme, these prove to be a cost-effective alternative to wood, and an environment-friendly practice. While laminates are mostly used in doors, floors, kitchen cabinets, etc., veneer is mostly used in the manufacture of doors.
What is the difference between laminates and veneers?
Moreover, with the significant transition in the designing and decoration of interiors, people have started opting for more functional interiors, preferring them over excessively intricate details. This is where laminates and veneers are preferred over solid timber.
In this article, we will look at the application areas and other aspects of laminates and veneers in comparison to each other as well as in comparison to solid wood.
Thus, it will touch upon the following aspects:-
- 1 Laminates
- 1.1 Types of laminates
- 1.1.1 On the basis of thickness
- 1.1.2 On the basis of pressure
- 1.1.3 On the basis of finish
- 1.1.4 On the basis of advanced properties
- 1.2 Door laminates
- 1.3 Floor laminates
- 1.4 Wardrobe laminates
- 1.5 Kitchen laminates
- 1.1 Types of laminates
- 2 Veneers
- 2.1 Types of veneers
- 2.2 Veneer flooring
- 2.3 Veneer wardrobes
- 2.4 Veneer furniture
- 2.5 Veneer wall
- 2.6 Veneer doors
- 3 Top Laminates and Veneers Brands
- 4 Laminate vs Veneer: Comparison Chart
- 5 Conclusion
Also, they are available in multiple textures, patterns, colors, and designs including floor and door laminates.
Image Source: ZAD Interiors
These are engineered materials made from paper and plastic resins. Thus, from furniture and cabinetry, their implementation today has extended to decorative walls and flooring too where they can prove to be a good alternative to hardwood.
On the basis of thickness
Regular laminates are far thinner, with a maximum thickness of 1.5 mm. As regular sheets are thin, they are typically glued to the base of the substrate material.
This is meant to increase stability and strength.
One of the most commonly used substrates is plywood.
The thickness of this type, on the other hand, can be up to 30 mm.
They are strong enough to stand on their own. Therefore, they do not need to be glued to wood or other materials.
This makes them an ideal protective layer for most surfaces. Additionally, some compact sheets also have decorative designs covering their top and bottom surfaces.
On the basis of pressure
These are made up of laminated paper that is bonded to a particle or fibreboard. The bonding process is done through a low-pressure mechanism.
These, on the other hand, bond under high pressure, which makes them exceptionally durable.
Hence, for those looking for the most resistant laminate solution for projects that require more stability, these are the best choice.
On the basis of finish
One of the most commonly used laminate surfaces, matte-finish laminate, has a flat and moderately reflective surface.
However, high gloss laminates tend to show smudge marks easily.
This type amplifies the look of various natural surfaces like leather, suede, stone, etc.
Although textured laminate adds depth and character to space, it is difficult to maintain and clean.
Despite having excellent durability, these give a plastic-like look.
Also, it provides a glossy finish to the surface which is highly reflective and automatically enhances the aesthetics of your interior.
Thus, it is more brittle and lighter than real glass. It is a fantastic alternative to ordinary glass. Moreover, being scratch-resistant makes glass laminates easy to work with.
On the basis of advanced properties
- Electrostatic dissipative laminates
- Mark or chalkboard
- Outdoor/UV laminates
- Digital laminates
From commercial to residential applications, there is no dearth of where one may use different laminate designs.
Some of the various application areas of laminates are listed below:-
Considered ideal for most surfacing applications, standard laminates are used in normal applications such as the manufacture of doors.
Door laminates design #1
Image Source: Tumblr
Door laminates design #2
Image Source: evkap.com
Just like floor laminates, door skin or laminate are available in myriad colors. Thus, it is correct to say that everyone can easily find a color and texture that appeals to them.
Additionally, this design has the potential to amplify the entire space.
It is an excellent option for anyone who is looking for a durable floor but for a fraction of the price.
Floor laminates design #1
Image Source: Select Surfaces
A floating floor laminate design that combines modern, beautiful design, and long-lasting durability like no other.
Floor laminates design #2
Image Source: Direct Wood Flooring UK
Floor laminates are easy to maintain as they don’t require any waxes, polishes, detergents, or abrasive cleaner.
Moreover, the warmth brought in by the wood texture and color, adds a streak of positivity to the environment.
Not only do they improve the appeal of pieces but also give them a great amount of protection from damage.
Image Source: Karma Interiors
Wardrobe laminates design #2
Image Source: Karma Interiors
This dark-colored laminate on a sliding wardrobe with grooves is the perfect choice for your bedroom.
Kitchen laminates design #1
Image Source: Makaan.com
The properties of the laminate are so compatible, that they can perfectly match every room in the home or commercial space.
Kitchen laminates design #2
Image Source: Behance
Grey is definitely the new black this year!
Veneer refers to treated thin slices of wood obtained from trees and further categorized as sliced or rotary-cut veneers (according to the cut). Being actual wood slices, veneers impart a warm and natural wooden look to the surfaces.
Image Source: oakwoodveneer
The thickness of the veneers is important as it has a major role in determining their durability. More the thickness of the veneers better is the durability.
Also, during any kind of repair, it is the thickness that determines the limitations to which any damage can be fixed.
Different ranges of veneers in shades, colors, and textures (smoked and fumed veneers), are available in the markets today.
They have oil-based finishes as well as water-based finishes and are a stupendous combination with lacquer finishes too. Being natural products, they last longer than laminates. But, veneers require regular polishing according to the client’s taste to maintain their quality over time.
On the basis of wood type
- Rose heart
On the basis of cutting
- Rotary cut
- Flat cut
- Quarter natural cut
- Quarter rift-cut
Veneers offer several uses, such as:-
In most cases, veneers are considered to be the perfect fit for interior décor.
Veneer flooring design #1
Image Source: Shaw Floors
Veneer flooring design #2
Image Source: Floor & Decor
Wood veneers offer high aesthetics to your interiors. These are complex components, which when executed in a proper manner, can raise the standard to a whole new level.
Image Source: Pinterest
Image Source: LaOrigin
Image Source: Foshan Sunwings Furniture Co. Ltd.
Image Source: Amazon India
Used for furniture and paneling of all kinds, veneers standalone remain a great option for residences.
Today, the market also offers a range of veneers used for complete wall paneling.
Veneer wall panelling #1
Image Source: Pinterest
Moreover, the high-quality panels offer acoustic properties to personify your modern styling needs.
Veneer wall panelling #2
Image Source: HomeLane
Moreover, veneer doors are a great option to conceal the edges without increasing the price tremendously.
Veneer door design #1
Image Source: Durian
Veneer door design #2
Image Source: GAROFOLI
Wood veneer doors are extra demanding when it comes to their care and maintenance as they require polishing from time to time. But, this material, certainly, will pass the test of time looking glossy and put together.
Top Laminates and Veneers Brands
There are various companies engaged in the manufacturing and selling of laminates. Having a difference in models, qualities, and pricing structures, here are the top 6 veneer and laminate brands in India:-
India’s most premium laminate brand, Royale Touche, offers a wide range of designs and impeccable quality products.
Moreover, the company is recognized to abide by the rule of, “Ever-changing designs and never-changing quality”.
Among the leading laminate manufacturers, Signature Laminate produces some of the most stunning colors, designs, and sustainable laminates.
Moreover, their products include decorative laminates, post-forming laminates, chalk and marker board laminates, fire retardant panels, etc.
This company has recently gained popularity in the decorative laminates market. Additionally, it works towards producing and delivering the best for its customers.
Laminate vs Veneer: Comparison Chart
|Surface Finish||Artificial plastic-like finish||Natural wood-like finish|
|Maintenance||Requires minimal to no maintenance||Require polishing from time to time to maintain luster|
|Cost||Factory-manufactured and hence, comparatively cheaper||More expensive due to high production cost|
|Presence of VOCs||Can be toxic due to the presence of polymers and resin||Devoid of VOCs|
|Color Availability||Color and surface finish remains unaltered||Processed and stained to achieve various colors|
|Impact on Environment||Contain plastics that are toxic and damaging||Made from a renewable resource, thus, environment friendly|
|Moisture Resistance||Waterproof up to a certain extent||Not resistant to water unless coated in melamine|
|Scratch Resistance||Resistant to scratch and abrasion due to hard surface||Not resistant to scratches and abrasion|
Thus, if you are looking for natural material and a classic look that adds warmth to your interiors, a veneer finish is ideal for you. On the other hand, laminates are an ideal choice for modern and colorful interiors that are easy to maintain.
So, which one is better?
Well, the answer to that question depends on your personal preference and requirements. In the end, it all comes down to modern vs classic and durability vs versatility.
As construction and architecture industry professionals, it is important to know the meaning, applications, types, uses, and the basic difference between laminates and veneers. Moreover, this helps in making a much more informed and justified choice while working on a project.
Since laminates are artificial materials manufactured by pressing together thin layers of paper and plastic resins, their decorative pattern and color account for the upper layer of the finished product.
On the contrary, veneers are technically a thin layer of hardwood that is bonded with the help of an adhesive, to a surface hidden below. Therefore, it is fair to say that every brown-colored piece of furniture is not made of actual wood!
So, next time you come across wooden sheets or planks, try to remember the points mentioned above and differentiate to know whether it is solid wood, softwood, or engineered wood.