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Connecting decoration, durability and functionality

Posted 08/13/2018 by Tim Moore, Technical Manager, Durable Assembly

As their name implies, decorative surfaces seem to have the primary purpose of being decorative—something we like to look at. Just by looking around our homes, we are likely to spot a variety of decorative surfaces, such as the floor, our side tables, the kitchen cabinets and countertops, the bookshelves, our desk or the dining table. And, design trends and consumer preferences certainly have a large influence on the diversity of materials, colors and patterns.

However, there is much more to decorative surface materials than being “decorative.” Most of these materials also fulfill additional requirements, depending on their primary purpose. Your kitchen cabinets, for example, have to resist wear, heat and wetness throughout their lifetime while still maintaining a presentable appearance. In addition to needing to be resistant to scratches, heat and water, your cabinets also need to be reasonably easy to clean. Design, quality, performance, durability and overall cost are extremely important criteria when determining the style and materials to be used.

The popularity of decorative surface panels is increasing. According to the a recent report from The Freedonia Group, the demand for decorative laminates in the United States is projected to increase 4.1 percent annually in 2018—totaling 11.9 billion square feet. Driven by consumers’ expectations, the decorative panel industry and its suppliers are investing a considerable amount of time and resources to research and develop innovative products with a broad performance range and for a wide variety of applications. Decorative surfaces can be produced either with overlays (e.g. foil, high-pressure laminate, paper, thermally-fused laminate, veneer, vinyl) or with coatings in liquid or powder form, and are applied to wood-based panel products, such as medium-density fiberboards, particle boards or hardboards.

The variety of innovative surface materials with increased functionality requires adhesives manufacturers to develop equally innovative and multi-functional adhesives to support or even enhance the performance of the final product.

Visit with our adhesive experts in booth #1262 at the International Woodworking Fair at the Georgia Congress Center in Atlanta on August 22 – 25.

Learn more about our adhesive solutions for decorative surfaces.

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