Lamitak laminates might only be either 0.7mm- or 1mm-thick, but they’re very durable, and are able to resist abrasion and impact under normal use. That’s because they are made by using high heat and pressure to fuse many layers of craft paper soaked in resin. As their surface is sealed with a protective layer, they’re also easy to clean.
Photo and design: Ansana Interior Design & Fine Arts
Featured laminate on front wall: Dario Ramblas DXP 1329C
But there’s more to maintaining your laminates than just regular cleaning. Other factors such as how and where you use them also play a part in how well they stand up to wear and tear. Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your laminates in tip-top condition!
At The Selection Stage
Photo and design: DB Studio
Featured laminate on bathroom cabinet: Marco Rialto Pine WYA 5278E
- Although laminates can be used in almost all vertical or horizontal surfaces, there are places where using them is not advisable. For example, on floors, as laminates are not made to withstand heavy and constant abrasion. The exception is display platforms which are not accessed frequently.
- Laminates generally will not discolour, but do keep them away from areas with direct sunlight or strong heat sources, which might cause the laminate design to fade.
- Laminates can be used in bathrooms, but not on walls or areas which have a heavy flow of water. When they are used for bathroom cabinets and shelves, they have to be sealed on all sides with Lamitak Newedge edgebands. Made of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) these edgebands seal the edges where the laminate panels meet and waterproof the substrate. They also provide a seamless finish and strengthen the corners. See above picture for laminate panels without Newedge (on top) and with Newedge (below).
- Matte or gloss? Although this might seem like a decision based on decorative preferences, there are practical considerations involved as well. Glossy laminates are not recommended for table surfaces as they are more prone to scratches as compared to a non-glossy surface. Also, if you hate seeing fingerprint marks on your surfaces, don’t apply glossy laminates to surfaces you need to touch often. That said, glossy surfaces are easier to clean, so wiping away any fingerprints is easy work!
- Dark or light colours? Again, if fingerprint marks are a big issue for you, bear in mind that laminates in darker solid colours tend to show up fingerprints more clearly. That isn’t the case for glossy laminates with a pattern though, such as woodgrains.
- To debunk a common misconception, textured (embossed) laminates are not dust-traps, as their textures are too fine to trap dust. They are as easy to clean as all laminates are, and compared to glossy laminates, have a higher resistance to scratches.
Photo and design: Chapter One Interior Design
Featured laminate on kitchen cabinets: Liam Oak Giethoorn WYA1279E
- Always protect your laminate surfaces from direct heat. For example, in the kitchen, do not place hot cookware directly on laminate surfaces or expose laminates to temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius for prolonged periods.
- Do not chop, slice, or hammer directly on the laminate surface, or use sharp objects such as knives or box-cutters on them. They are not made to withstand such abuse.
- Do not flood the laminate or introduce water at the joints, which may cause the substrate to expand. However, the joints will be waterproof if sealed with Newedge edgebands.
- Otherwise, maintaining laminates is easy work. Just wipe stains away with warm water and a clean non-abrasive cloth. Use a mild household cleaner or detergent if necessary and rinse with clean water, then dry the surface with a clean non-abrasive cloth.
- To remove stubborn stains, apply a small amount of thinner on a clean non-abrasive cloth and use on the stain. Rinse the area with another clean damp cloth. Avoid using any cleaning agent containing acid, alkali or sodium hypochlorite, as they may corrode, discolour or ruin the surface of the laminate.
Monday to Thursday: 10.30am–6.30pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 12.30pm–4.30pm