8 Must-know Interior Designer Tips on Using Laminates in Your Renovation

Posted by Lamitak on Jun 21, 2018 11:50:07 AM

Laminates are a ubiquitous part of any home renovation. The material’s wide range of designs, affordability, durability, and easy maintenance are just some reasons why designers like using them in their projects. We asked two interior designers, William Lim, the director of Authors Interior, and Lee Zhiqi of Elpis Interior, to share their expert tips on using and maintaining laminates.

June Week 4-1

Featured laminate: Ibiza Nogal WY 1244D (cabinets)
Design and photo: Authors Interior 

 

Tip #1
Use laminates if you’re on a budget

As laminates come in a large variety of designs, especially for popular patterns such as marble and wood, designers turn to the material when the client’s budget is limited. But besides “being more economical than some materials like veneer and spray paint, laminates are also more durable. Not only are they scratch- and water-resistant, they are also easier to clean compared to other materials,” says William. Zhiqi recounts a situation where she proposed a marble-inspired laminate instead of using real marble for a TV feature wall, to meet the client’s budget. “The result looked as good as using marble slab for the feature wall, and we had no issues mounting the TV bracket on the feature wall as well,” she says. That said, some laminates are more expensive than others, so make sure you are aware of the costs.

 

Tip #2
Take note of the size of the laminate sheet

The majority of laminate sheets come in a size of four feet by eight feet (120cm by 240cm), so any design that exceeds the length or width will have a joint line, affecting the flow of a pattern, such as a wood grain, says Zhiqi. Selected Lamitak laminates now come in four feet by 10feet (120cm by 300cm) sheets, so there is more flexibility in design.

June Week 4-2

The design of this feature wall and cabinets in this living room cleverly disguises the laminate edges.
Featured laminates: Bella Seville Walnut WY 4224D (cabinet doors), 
and Karl Hoffmann Elm WY 4256D (behind TV)
Design and photo: Elpis Interior

 

Tip #3
Choose laminates based on where you’re using them

When choosing laminates, keep in mind where they are going to be used. “Laminates with uneven textures such as woodgrain ones, are slightly harder to clean compared to smooth surfaces. Thumbprints will be more obvious on laminates with glossy surfaces, especially when the light hits the laminate. Also take note that white surfaces tend to turn yellow after some time, and not just for laminates,”  says William. In other words, for surfaces that are often touched, such as countertops and cabinet doors, choose laminates with a smooth finish that are easier to clean. Textured or glossy laminates are more suitable for areas which see less traffic. Sunlight causes yellowing, so white laminates might not be the best choice for areas with harsh sunlight.

June Week 4-3

Textured laminates such as those with wood-grain designs, are good for cabinets with no handles as fingerprints don’t show up easily on these surfaces, unlike glossy laminates.
Featured laminates: Brazilian Teak Ramos WY 1208D (on cabinet doors),
Truffle SCX 1165D (cabinet trimmings), Dario Ramblas DXP 1329C (TV feature wall)
Design and photo: Authors Interior

 

Tip #4
A sure-win laminate pairing

Not sure which laminate designs go together? Here’s a tip from Zhiqi. “Wood-look- and solid-colour laminates are my all-time favourites. Together, they create a timeless combination. Enjoy cost-savings with wood-look laminates compared to using natural wood. Contrast with a solid colour laminate which will bring out the wood grain design of the laminate.”

June Week 4-4

A neutral colour palette of greys and white is used with a wood-grain laminate to create a restful environment that’s great for concentration in this study.
Featured laminates: Designer White SCA 5101D (on drawers), Iron SCX 1149D (on overhead cabinets), Canele York Teak WY 5230D (on surfaces, shelves and display cabinets)
Design and photo: Elpis Interior

 

Tip #5
Request for a larger-size sample for some laminate designs

Laminate samples in a catalogue don’t show you the full picture, says Zhiqi. “When it comes to choosing wood- and marble-look laminates for your home, request for A4 size samples or visit the Lamitak studio to view the full-size laminate sheet.” This is to prevent any unwanted ‘surprises’ when the full sheet of laminate is installed!

 

Tip #6
Don’t leave water lying on laminate surfaces

Laminates are water-resistant but they are not waterproof, so it’s best not to leave water lying on laminate surfaces for too long, says William. Take care also not to let water seep into the laminate edges and joints as well, which will cause the laminate to detach from the substrate.

 

Tip #7
Avoid playing with laminate edges

Laminate is an easy material to take care of, but do not touch or play with the joining edges often or the laminate will peel off over time, advises William.

 

Tip #8
Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals

Both designers recommend simply using a wet towel with a dishwashing liquid solution to clean off any dirt or stains on laminates. Never use an abrasive material or strong chemicals to clean your laminate surfaces.

 

Get more ideas and tips on using laminates at the Lamitak Studio at 114 Lavender Street, CT Hub 2, #01-61 Singapore 338729. For more information, contact the studio at 6592-5200 and studio@lamitak.com; or drop by during the opening hours below:
Monday to Thursday: 10.30am–6.30pm
Friday: 11.30am–6.30pm
Saturday: 10.30am - 4.30pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 12.30pm – 4.30pm

Topics: Solid Colour Laminate, Interior Design, Wood-look laminate, Design Tips, Designer Interview, Cleaning Laminate, Laminate Selection, Large-Format Design, Choosing Laminate