Difference Between Melamine and Laminate

Melamine vs Laminate

It is during the time when we are getting made cabinets for our kitchens or other furniture items that require pasting of a veneer at the top that we hear terms like melamine and laminate. These materials are highly moisture resistant and allow the products over which they are pasted in the form of layers to be cleaned easily with a moist piece of cloth. Both these products are used extensively by carpenters to make products used in kitchens and other places. However, despite similarities, there is a significant difference between melamine and laminate that is discussed in this article.

What is Melamine?

Melamine is also referred to as direct pressure laminate or low-pressure laminate. However, it is popular among the people only as melamine. This is a product that results when a thin paper is pressed at a high pressure of 300-500psi to a board. However, experts know that the melamine is not this product, but the resin that is used to impregnate the paper. The advantage with this laminate is that you do not need to glue mica sheet over the piece of furniture that you get made for home or office use. In fact, it is ideal to be used in the making of kitchen cabinet doors.

Difference Between Melamine and Laminate

What is Laminate?

Also called high-pressure laminate, this is popular among common people by the name of Formica. To make this laminate, a very high pressure of 1400psi is used over 6-8 layers of kraft paper. These papers have been glued together and finally a melamine plastic is pressed at the top. This product is not attached to a board, and the carpenter has to press it over the board to complete a piece of furniture or the countertop. It is available in many shades and even textures. This product is resistant to scratching, heat and moisture.


What is the difference between Melamine and Laminate?

• Melamine is cheaper than laminate as it is manufactured by a method which is not cost intensive.

• Laminate is more durable than melamine and more resistant to heat and chemicals.

• Melamine is produced with a pressure of just 300-500psi while to make a laminate a pressure of 1400psi is required.

• No pasting over a board is needed with melamine whereas carpenters require pasting a laminate over a board to make the finished product for office or kitchen use.

• Laminates are available in many colours and textures, but melamine is not available in different shades.


Photos By: Bret and Sue Coulstock (CC BY 2.0), ActiveSteve (CC BY-ND 2.0)