The above is a question I am often asked. Some within the industry cannot comprehend how laminate doors have made a comeback. So, let me explain why we are witnessing such huge demand for this type of door and why now, many manufacturers are now producing laminates again.
High Pressure Laminate doors – or HPL doors for short – tend to be timber constructed. The faces utilise a three-layer system: -
1) A protective overlay
2) Thick decorative paper impregnated with melamine resin; a resin renowned for its robust properties)
3) Finally, layers of kraft impregnated with phenolic resin.
This innovative system results in a robust, protective layer that can withstand consistent impact and handling, perfect for high-traffic areas. This is perhaps why laminate doors remind us of our school days, although thankfully, door manufacturers have moved on from ghastly, monotonous Laminates and now create more eye-catching and provocative products. Due to the versatile and robust qualities of a laminate door, it is easy to see why headmasters and principals throughout the UK select these long-lasting and consequently, cost-effective doors.
Laminate doors are also often hung within hospitals, restaurants and cafeterias – wherever hygiene is a prime concern (look out for IANESCO approval for restaurant and catering environments when purchasing a laminate door). This is mainly because laminate doors are smooth and therefore, wipeable and because of the aforementioned protection system, even industrial cleaning products can be used on laminate doors.
The mind-boggling range of unique colours, patterns and even authentic wood finishes provided by laminate manufacturers such as Polyrey and Formica, allows end-users to select doors that match their corporate colours or best represent their brand’s identity. What’s more, laminates provide continuity of shade and finish, perfect for corridor locations or wherever a consistent appearance is required.
The historic Gran Melia Colon Hotel in Seville, Spain featured artwork that utilised Formica laminates on its bedroom doors.
As most laminate doors are made to measure and completely bespoke, 30- and 60-minute fire doors (also known as FD30s and FD60s) are also available to meet Building Regulations Part B, keeping your local building control department happy! In addition, Part M of the Building Regulations calls for mobility-friendly doors to assist wheel-chair users and others with mobility requirements. Accordingly, laminate door manufacturers provide aperturing services, allowing you to create some unusual and eye-catching designs (providing they are within the Part M guidelines).
Jon Walker is Brand Director at Premdor, a division of Tampa-based Masonite® – one of the world’s largest door manufacturers. He was instrumental in launching Premdor’s Laminate door range to market.