Wilsonart laminate countertops deliver the perfect combination of beauty, affordability, and easy care. Retro or post-modern, city loft or a country cottage, bold graphic hues or soft shades of natural stone -whatever your favorite style may be- laminate has a way to fulfill your decorating desires. Today’s laminate comes in more contemporary colors, styles, and patterns than any other surface material. More choices = more fun!
What Is Laminate?
High pressure decorative laminate (HPDL) is commonly used as the decorative surface for residential and commercial countertops and cabinets, work surfaces, laboratory surfaces, backsplashes, partitions, retail fixtures, panel applications, furniture, built-ins, signage/displays, decorative wainscoting, walls and floors. HPDL is a paper-based product created by bonding melamine-impregnated decorative papers to layers of resin-treated kraft paper under high heat and pressure. In the press, decorative papers are permanently bonded to the kraft paper to form a sheet of laminate. Laminate is made up of several components and key ingredients:
The Overlay (or Wear Layer) is made from alpha-cellulose wood fibers which primarily come from softwood trees. The lignin is removed from the fibers and they are lightly refined. The long fibers provide strength to the overlay paper. These lightweight papers are very absorbent and carry melamine resin and aluminum oxide from the impregnation process. Overlay paper is similar to the paper used in tea bags or coffee filters. In many cases, the paper machines that make filter papers also make overlay papers!
Decorative paper (solid colors and base papers used for print designs)use alpha cellulose because it does not discolor when exposed to heat and light. Fibers content includes Eucalyptus (primary), small amounts of cotton and some hardwood. The cotton fibers used are not suitable for making most types of thread. Solid color sheets contain a pacifying agent, titanium dioxide and environmentally safe pigments. Print base paper also contains TiO2 and small amounts of pigment for color control. Printed designs are usually rotogravure printed, but may also be digitally printed.
Kraft paper layers comprise soft/hard wood from FSC Controlled Wood sources and post-consumer recycled paper (similar to what is used in paper grocery bags). Kraft paper provides the strength and impact resistance to the laminate and gives it the primary performance characteristics (such as post-formability). The paper is not bleached.
Melamine resin saturates the top layer of paper for hardness and scuff resistance. Thermoset melamine resin produces a hard chemically resistant surface that is transparent and visually stable upon exposure to light. Melamine is a synthetic resin derived from the natural gas and petroleum industries. It is water white and inert to most common household chemicals.
Phenolic resin saturates the Kraft paper layers for strength and flexibility. Phenolic resin is a thermoset resin based on the chemistry developed for Bakelite over 100 years ago. It is derived from natural gas and petroleum products. The red-brown color is partially responsible for the color of the core layers in a sheet of laminate. It provides strength and impact resistance to the paper layers, as well as postforming performance to the laminate when cooked in the appropriate cycle.
There are several different types of Wilsonart laminate and associated Wilsonart laminate products available at Web-Don.
Laminate countertop surfaces have come a long way since our grandparents’ era. Today homeowners are getting more creative with their pattern and material choices, and laminate is the only material that lets you be both serious and playful at the same time. Mixing a woodgrain laminate countertop with, say, a decorative metal backsplash adds a little glamour and personality to a space. Or mixing a quartz island countertop surface with a laminate perimeter countertop can extend your budget and give you that “mixed materials” look that is so on-trend.
Personalization is also hot right now, and with laminate’s extensive design range – stones, granites, woods and abstracts – homeowners of all style preferences can find a solution. Wilsonart’s new online Virtual Design Library puts an ever expanding collection of exotic and even off-beat design easily at your fingertips. New Geometrics and Painted Woods take laminate out of “traditional” applications like kitchen countertops and allows it to move onto vertical/wall installations in almost any room. These patterns represent Wilsonart’s residential design collection.
Check out these “distressed wood” patterns that are taking the laminate world by storm:
Wilsonart revolutionized laminate with Wilsonart® HD®. Wilsonart HD laminates come standard with their exclusive AEON™ finish, which creates a laminate countertop that is 5X more durable than our standard laminate and 3X more wear resistant than the industry standard. Available for residential or commercial applications, texture and movement permeate the many pattern and color options available in this fantastic collection of Wilsonart designs.
These Classic and Urban-inspired designs include abstracts, solids and woodgrains, as well as factory specials, stones, pure metals and multiple finishes to provide designers with a fresh and approachable look for any project. These are the Wilsonart commercial patterns and designs.
With hundreds of designs to choose from, including woodgrains, abstracts and solids, you’re certain to find the perfect solution for all of your project needs. Wilsonart laminate designs are available with a number of premium finish options, too. From traditional matte and glossy finishes to abstract textures, you can create a custom look for every surface.
Virtual Design Library
With an ever expanding collection of custom laminate designs, Wilsonart’s Virtual Design Library patterns give you the opportunity to make every space unique. From laminate designs that include footballs to folk art, and checkerboards to cherry groves, the digital design library contains something for every space or inspiration.
The perfect pattern.
- Entirely custom; entirely you.
- You supply Web-Don with your own camera-ready artwork, photos or illustrations and Web-Don and Wilsonart x You will create a laminate that matches your vision; perfectly.
Decorative Edges – the difference is in the details
1. Choose your Laminate Design.
2. Treat your countertop edge as jewelry for your kitchen and bath.
Select your decorative edge profile.
3. Discuss your design plan with Web-Don.
A soft curve that mimics the “bullnose” granite edge, this versatile edge blends into most any kitchen design. The perfect finishing touch to your “I can’t believe this isn’t real granite” countertop.
Strong, crisp angles enhance the solid stone look with a classic look and feel. The 45 degree angle “cut” reflects light for a defined border that smartly frames your countertop.