What is Laminate Wood?
Have you ever seen a wooden piece or furniture that seems to withstand scratches and splashes?
Most likely the wood that was used in making his wooden furniture was laminate wood. Laminated wood is wood that has been treated with a special coat of plastic or laminate so that it can remain beautiful and strong despite being affected by the elements.
When wood is laminated, it can be used in indoor or outdoor construction and furniture because wood is sealed and protected.
Laminating is a process of gluing two different pieces together. When wood is laminated, plastics or other materials are applied on the surface of the solid wood, plywood or composites, to seal it. The wood-laminate terminology usually refers to laminate flooring but it can be used in veneer laminating and in laminating solid wood together to manufacture furniture.
Laminated products can be laminated composites, plywood, and veneered wood. These have similar characteristics but these differ on how these were manufactured. These laminated wood products have a core with a coating or layer found on both sides. The main difference in these laminated wood products is the core of the material.
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The plywood core
Plywood is the most popular type of laminated wood. Its core is composed of multiple layers of natural wood glued together. This gives plywood its strength. Despite not being considered as a laminate, plywood is actually laminated wood.
And the strength and durability of plywood may be attributed from its overlapping grain patterns. Each of these layers is placed perpendicular to the preceding layer creating a strong and resilient material for all kinds of applications.
Laminated composite is also known as particleboard. This material is made up of small pieces of wood fibers glued together using resins, heat and hydraulic pressure. This is also known as MDL, or medium-density-laminate which is similar to glossy countertop laminate.
Contractors and home builders use laminate composite wood to make cabinets and shelving. This kind of material is easy to wipe clean due to its shiny plastic surface that can resist stains, splashes, and moisture. You can find most MDL cabinets stark white or in a solid color. But you can find wood-grain patterns as well.
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Laminate flooring facts you must remember
One of the most common uses of laminate wood is laminate flooring. This is because laminated wood can resist spills and messes better than natural wood flooring. Laminate flooring actually 50 percent cheaper than solid wood flooring.
Possibly the most obvious disadvantage of laminate flooring is mostly aesthetics. Laminate flooring is not as beautiful as natural wood. Hardwood flooring is better, durable and demands a higher resale value compared to laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring could be impossible to repair if you don’t have a pattern match. On the other hand, hardwood flooring can be sanded, patched and repaired anytime.
Veneered wood is another kind of laminate. The veneer is a layer of natural wood with about 1/32 to 1/16 inch in thickness which is harvested from logs in sheets. When veneer is glued to composites, plywood or solid wood, this creates a natural wood appearance but is certainly affordable compared solid wood.
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Another kind of laminated wood is bent wood or curved wood such as furniture parts like chair legs, backs, etc. Bent wood is made by using thin strips of wood which is no thicker than 1/16 inch. These are glued together to form circles, waves or any shape or designs. Bent wood is durable and considered stronger than solid wood which has the natural ability to split or crack.
Using glue and clamps
Glue and clamps are the most common tools that woodworkers use to laminate two or three pieces of lumber together to create a thicker and stronger piece. The first thing to do is to find the laminated furniture parts with a thin layer of glue. Place glue along legs or when parts are thicker than 3/4 inch.
Another common laminate wood is construction lumber. This is thicker, bigger and stronger. This is used in making support roofing on large buildings. Laminated timber is composed of a large number of pieces stacked together. This is also known as LVL (laminated veneer lumber).
Laminate wood is wood that has been coated with a laminate, usually plastic, to protect the wood from scratches, weathering, and messes. There are many types of laminate wood each with a specific feature, use, and application. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of using laminate wood to be able to find the ideal building material that’s right for your needs.