Laminate cabinets are used in either the kitchen or the bathroom and are cabinets that are faced in a laminate material as opposed to being made of solid wood. Laminate cabinets are made from particleboard over which a laminate veneer is glued.
The Properties of Laminate
Laminate, which is sometimes called by the brand name Formica or Wilsonart, is an extremely durable material that has improved considerably in recent years. Laminates are actually made from many layers of a special kind of paper that are compressed under conditions of heat and pressure to form a single "sheet" of laminate. The top layer is a decorative paper that is either a color, plain in design, or has a pattern, for example a wood grain pattern that imitates real wood. The laminate is sealed with a protective plastic-type clear finish.
Maintaining Laminate Cabinets
Laminates used for laminate cabinets are thinner than those used for countertops. Laminate cabinets are easy to clean and maintain. The best way to clean laminate cabinets is to wipe them off with warm soapy water and a sponge or soft cloth. Do not allow water to sit on the cabinets or the laminate may peel or buckle due to softening of the glue. Some commercial cleaner may be used but always test them first in an inconspicuous place before proceeding.
Stock Laminate Cabinets
Buying laminate cabinets is very much like buying any other type of cabinets for your kitchen or bathroom. The first decision is whether to buy stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets, or custom cabinets, which range from least to most expensive respectively. Stock laminate cabinets are stocked in the store and do not have to be ordered. Homeowners can take them home the same day. Although the selection of styles may be limited by what is available, stock laminate cabinets work well for many homeowners who only need standard size cabinets and designs.
Semi-Custom and Custom Laminate Cabinets
Semi-custom and custom laminate cabinets are built to the specifications required for your particular kitchen or bathroom. The difference between the two is that custom laminate cabinets are made by a cabinetmaker; semi-custom cabinets are factory-made but in custom sizes. Semi-custom laminate cabinets offer a greater selection of styles and designs than stock laminate cabinets do; however, custom laminate cabinets offer the greatest choice of styles, sizes, and designs. Custom cabinets are most often built to accommodate odd-sized kitchen spaces or specific materials not generally available on the market.