Regardless of the material you use for the core of your kitchen cabinets or wardrobes (which will determine their durability), the surface finishes that you see on the outside are what will determine the functionality and look that you are trying to achieve. Classy cabinet finishes can make your home look like it’s straight out of the pages of a glossy magazine. The right choice of materials will define the character and style of your home interiors, and we’re here to help you with all the research you need to make your decisions!
Acrylic and PVC Laminates are two of the most popular finishing materials for kitchens and wardrobes alike. We’ve put together the pros and cons of these materials so you can pick the one that works for you.
Acrylic Finish Laminates
Acrylic sheets are available in a wide range of colours and are pasted on the MDF board and sealed with a protective layer to give a seamless finish. The end result is a highly reflective surface with a mirror-like sheen that retains its colour and brightness over the years.
Laminates are sheets that are made by bonding together decorative paper and plastic resins in the form of sheets. They are available in matte, glossy, textured and high gloss finishes and in a wide range of patterns and solid colours. Laminates are pasted on MDF or plywood and finished by edge banding the sides. While the high gloss laminates do give an appearance similar to acrylic, they are not the same.
So, how do you decide which material to choose?
Weigh the pros and cons of each, before you decide!
|Durability||Durable and hard-wearing.||Durable and hard-wearing.|
|Appearance||Gives the kitchen a super glossy, sophisticated appearance as compared to a laminate or membrane finish.||High gloss laminates give a similar appearance to acrylic, but without brilliance. The result will be a bit more subdued.|
|Resistance to water and heat||Acrylic finishes are waterproof and resistant to heat.
|Laminates are moisture and heat resistant.|
|Resistance to scratches||Acrylic surfaces can get scratched by very sharp objects.||Laminates can get scratched by very sharp objects. The edges of laminates can get chipped if handled roughly.|
|Maintenance||The glossy surface easily shows up fingerprints, splashes and stains. Regular wiping with soap and water is required to keep it clean, and this needs to be done carefully to avoid ‘streaking’.||Non-glossy laminates do not show up fingerprints or dirt easily. Laminates can be wiped easily.|
|Edging||Acrylic sheets are thin and can be seamlessly finished across the edges of the board.||Edge band strips need to be used on the edges of the board, to avoid seeing the edges of laminate sheets which do not look good.|
|Cost||Considered a premium finish, and therefore on the expensive side when compared to other finishes
|Much more cost-effective and budget-friendly than acrylic finishes|
|Availability||Available in a wide range of solid colours, not available in patterns and textures.
|Available in a wide range of solid colours, patterns, textures including metallic and wood look-alike finishes|
|Environmental impact||Considered to be non-toxic||Resins and binders could be used during the manufacturing process which can cause minimal amounts of off-gassing.|
|Repairs||Replacing an acrylic shutter after several years depends on the availability of the same sheet. There may be colour disparities if you try to obtain a replacement.||Replacing a laminated shutter after several years is not difficult. However, the replacement, even when the same sheet is purchased, will appear to be brighter and cleaner than the older shutters.|
Acrylic vs Laminates, what’s the final verdict? Your decision, in the end, will be heavily influenced by your budget and how well you are able to maintain your cabinets.
Here’s our take on this! Both options suit contemporary or minimalistic interior themes and are available in an array of colours to suit your palette and décor theme. If you are thinking of a glossy effect, though, do keep in mind that high-gloss laminates will never give you the mirror-like finish of acrylic.
If you need help making these all-important décor decisions, help is at hand! Connect with the HomeLane team and we’ll help you to narrow down your selection and make the right choices.