While it might seem like washrooms only contain toilets, sinks and hand dryers, the outer construction of these items such as washroom cubicle walls and doors, vanity units and duct panels are equally important in terms of hygiene, practicality and the overall aesthetic of your washroom.
The main options to choose from for such assets include solid grade laminate, high-pressure laminate and melamine faced chipboard. The final choice should always be based on the type of environment the items will be placed in, which may affect the suitability of the material.
Here’s an overview of solid grade laminate, high-pressure laminate and melamine faced chipboard to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Solid Grade Laminate (SGL)
Solid grade laminate (SGL) is also known as compact grade laminate. It is made from several layers of kraft paper, which are bonded together using a thermosetting technique, using either polymer or plastic.
As well as being moderately priced, solid grade laminate is also HBN 00-10 compliant, meaning it meets the regulations for sanitaryware as outlined by the Department of Health. The material is also extremely durable, making it ideal for use in public buildings.
Benefits of solid grade laminate:
- Extremely durable material
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Great for high humidity areas
Best suited for:
- Shopping centres
- Shower cubicles
- Sink surrounds
- Swimming pools/leisure centres
High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)
High-pressure laminate (HPL) is made up of anywhere from 6 to 8 layers of resin style kraft paper, a decorative paper followed by a clear overlay. The layers are manufactured under a high-intensity pressure at temperatures of around 140°C.
The popularity of HPL is due to its stylish appearance, especially when selecting a wood-effect finish. For that reason, HPL makes for an excellent choice in professional settings, along with sleek retail boutiques or restaurants. Though, HPL is also incredibly versatile where appearance is concerned, meaning it’s possible to find a finish to suit most environments.
Benefits of high pressure laminate:
- Low maintenance
- Stylish appearance
- Heat resistant
- Hygienic properties
- UV ray resistant
- Infiltration resistant
- Economical versus wood
Best suited for: Washrooms where aesthetics are important to reflect a company image, but you don’t want to compromise on hygiene as would be the case if you used real wood.
Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)
Melamine faced chipboard (MFC) is a composite wood that is made by mixing small machined wood particles with a resin that acts as an adhesive. It can be used to make everything from wardrobes to cabinets as well as various washroom features.
The main point to note with MFC is that while it’s water-resistant, it’s not waterproof. Specifically, if the inner contents of the material become wet the this will cause damage. So while it can still be used in a washroom environment, the correct cleaning procedures must be carried out, to ensure excess moisture isn’t left on the units. This also means MFC wouldn’t be the first choice for swimming pools or any other environment that sees its fair share of water or humidity.
Benefits of melamine faced chipboard:
- Economical material
- Requires no finishing
- Easy to clean
- Wide variety of uses throughout entire building
Best suited for: Light to medium traffic areas, along with professional environments rather than sports or swimming venues.
Commercial Washrooms UK
We’re only just getting started when it comes to all things washroom materials. As a leading commercial washroom installer in the UK, we’ve worked on projects that use a wide range of different materials.
The best way for us to help select the most appropriate materials for your building environment and the project budget is to get in touch. From there, we can give you tailored advice so that you can maximise the outcome of your project.
Why not download our brochure to get some ideas of what we can do for you? Browse our full range of colours and materials to help bring your washroom project to life!
If you’re ready to book in with us, or if you need any further advice on anything we’ve mentioned above, please give us a call on 0115 811 4242 or drop us an email and our friendly team will be in touch.