Everything you need to know on Laminates: Types, Maintenance, Finishes.

Taking over walls, furnishes and sometimes even floors. Laminates are sometimes a convenient yet affordable way to elevate commercial spaces.

Available in a range of decorative patterns and colors, today these form the surface of a lot more products than you can imagine.

So what are laminates?

Generally, laminate sheets are made of 3 layers: Bottom layer of brown paper coated with phenolic resin. A second layer of paper decorated with the desired pattern, and a finishing layer.


  • Industrial laminates – These have higher strength and are more resistant to wear and tear. Depending on needs and quality, some laminates can be fire retardant, antibacterial and chemical resistant.
  • Decorative laminates – These have greater aesthetic appeal in terms of finishes and patterns. Decorative laminates can be used for overlays on furnitures.
  • Compact laminates – These fairly thick ones are self-supporting and don’t need to be glued to other materials.
  • Post formed laminates – These flexible versions are thinner than regular laminates. Making it suitable for finishings.


Laminates are fairly durable and scratch resistant. Even more so when compared to veneer and solid wood products. However, laminated surfaces tend to warp when exposed to excess water.

Despite that, laminates are much affordable and easier to maintain. Where minerals aside, compared to other wooden materials, it is pretty much the top pick for our commercial clients when furnishing their offices and retail spaces.


Popularly used textures include handscraped, rustic wood, metallic and leather finishes. 

Although available in an array of finishes, the most common are smooth, medium to high gloss, and matte finishes. Furniture and wall finishes often use textured laminates, replicating the tactile feel of natural materials.


Decorative laminates are perfect for commercial surfaces with its low maintenance while being durable. That said, laminates cannot always be the solution.

They can sometimes have a rather plastic and mass produced feel. Also, take into account for use cases: Would I have liquid in my commercial spaces? If so, laminates may not be the best option.

That said, we conclude our weekly issue! We hope this issue of our design and build Singapore series has been informative. Till next time!

For more of our past works, do visit Portfolio at https://pna-int.com/portfolio-commercial-interior-design/

Should you have any queries for us, do contact us at +65 6481 8434. Alternatively, you may reach us at admin@pna-int.com