Almost any species of wood material can be crafted into a cabinet or furniture. This material used to be the gold standard when limited alternative products existed. Today, wood products garner a premium price, the weight of the wood may be a limiting factor and the ability to properly clean wood is restricted, generally stripping away a layer of the protective coating with each cleaning. However, some commercial properties still prefer the real wood style for their project. Some of the most commonly used types of wood and veneers include, but are not limited to: Alder, Ash, Beech, Birch, Cedar Aromatic, Cherry, Hickory, Mahogany, Maple, Meranti, Red Oak, White Oak, White Pine, Walnut, and Poplar.
Wood veneer is a much more cost-efficient route if a customer wants the look of real wood. Wood veneers are basically a thin slice from the real wood product. The veneer process is obtained by “peeling” the trunk of a tree or by “slicing” large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches. The appearance of the grain comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and depends upon the angle at which the wood is sliced. Each slicing process provides a very distinctive type of grain and each tree species provides a unique look once sliced.
Therefore, a wood veneer can provide the look of real wood without paying for the full price of the wood. Today, wood veneer is commonly used for wall panels and furniture. Because wood veneer is often a more practical option over solid wood, there are several types of veneers available, each serving a particular purpose.
High Pressure Laminate (HPL) is considered to be one of the most frequently used and durable decorative surface materials in the industry today. It is available with special performance properties including impact, chemical, fire and wear resistance.
Laminate is created from wood byproducts that are mixed with resin and glued together with pressure and heat. Adhesives are then applied in a variety of designs and styles. There are thousands of color and texture options available in this product.
This product is ideal for commercial applications because of its durability and the ease of cleaning. Laminate cabinets can be customized with almost any design you can imagine, even designs that look like real wood, concrete, fabric, marble/quartz or custom images.
Laminates combine durability with innovation, providing amazing designs that are perfect for horizontal and vertical surfaces in high-traffic commercial areas. They are also ideal for curved applications. As a finishing material, they can be bonded to particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), Multiplex, plywood and other core boards to create a variety of different case goods, furniture or millwork products.
The TFL product is basically particleboard that is permanently fused with resin-impregnated decor paper directly onto both sides of a particleboard substrate. Heat and pressure activate the resin to effectively seal the paper onto the substrate so that it won’t peel away. TFL boards are not only durable and fade-resistant, but they reproduce the look and feel of real woodgrain, concrete, or other material designs. TFL is an easy and quick material to manufacture. Pre-fabricated panels with BOTH the front & back sides fused with the color/paper saves valuable time and money, eliminating the need for lamination and finishing. The TFL material is impact and wear resistant, suitable for mid/high-traffic areas. While TFL is not as durable on the impact resistant side, however it is generally a great product for any commercial project.
There are a variety of specialty products on the market now to help with the longevity and durability of the product. Options to consider when selecting the right materials generally entail looking at the traffic, abrasion, impact and scratch resistant needs of an area. Products are available that offer added features such as: antimicrobial, anti-finger print, high-impact resistant, moisture resistant, scratch and abrasion resistance, extremely opaque, soft touch, Class “A” fire rated, provide a special “designer look” or the option to customize with specialty graphics.