How to choose the best materials for your designs

Whether imagining commercial or residential designs, a designer’s goals are to fashion layouts that reflect the personality of the client and create a beautiful and functional environment – all while staying within the given budget. While some may insist on the need for real wood, more clients are now open to the idea of choosing wood-alternative cabinet materials for their designs such as melamine (TFL).

“Today’s wood-alternative products are manufactured to be more durable and functional, while still allowing plenty of room for artistic creativity,” explained Ariane Bouchard, Marketing Manager with Uniboard®. Thermally fused laminate (TFL) panels are created by fusing a resin-impregnated sheet of decorative paper directly to a substrate such as medium infused fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard.

MDF and Particleboard panels can be manufactured with a variety of physical properties and dimensions, providing the ultimate in design  flexibility.  Both MDF and Particleboard make ideal substrates for TFL because they are uniform in strength, consistent, and defect-free. Uniboard also offers a NU Green family of MDF and particleboard products that easily conform with modern eco-conscious sensibilities. Décor trends show that more and more designers are choosing these modern wood-alternative cabinet materials because of their many advantages:

  • “Real” Wood without the cost:  Certain TFL panels beautifully replicate the texture and appeal of “real” wood finishes. TFL technology has advanced so rapidly that a new generation of replica wood products can provide a more authentic look for such classic textures as Maple, Walnut and Oak.
  • Versatility: TFL panels can be used alone or can be complemented by HPL, edge-banding, 3DL and 5-Piece, thermoplastic and polyester doors to be as unique as the client wants it to be.
  • Stay in Style: Many design advancements in wood-alternative cabinets have led to contemporary styles which further replicate the look and feel of “real” wood.
  • Affordability Advantages: Wood-alternative cabinets are a great way to save money on a kitchen or office design. They can be used to allow maximum storage space without sacrificing beauty, quality or style.
  • Durability:Kitchen and office cabinets can take a beating, but wood-alternative cabinets are highly resistant to scuffs and scratches. Even better, TFL cabinets are extremely easy to clean.

interior of modern european kitchen

“Wood-alternative cabinets are the perfect option for designers who love the appeal of wood, but require a more durable and affordable surface,” added Bouchard. Uniboard also offers a stunning array of standard and signature finishes to provide the crowning touch to any design.


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