Whether you’re buying furniture or choosing flooring for your home, you might have repeatedly heard the term ‘Sunmica’. If not, you’ve at least heard the word ‘laminate’ over and over again. Yes, that final layer that we’ve been consistently coating our furniture with for decades!
But first, let’s answer the most basic question…
Is Sunmica different from Laminate?
No, they’re exactly the same thing. In fact, because Sunmica is one of the earliest and most popular brands of laminates in India, we all tend to refer to laminates as Sunmica. It’s quite similar to how photocopy is called Xerox, even though Xerox is just the most popular brand of photocopy machines!
Now, while laminates are widely used in the home construction and renovation industry — from floors to furniture — it is common for a layman to question the durability, quality, pricing and other characteristics of the material.
So, here is an extensive guide that can help you with your queries.
What are laminates?
Laminate is made by mixing resins with thin layers of paper, and is a preferred finish for different surfaces like wood and MDF. In layman terms, it is a thin sheet that is put over furniture, kitchen shutters, wall panels and even flooring. It comes in various colours and prints, thus, making it an attractive option in home decor.
A Note About Laminate Flooring
Wooden laminates look almost the same as floors made out of real wood (hardwood floors) but are much more cost-effective — this makes them a popular flooring option.
Types of Laminates
- Decorative laminates: These are easy to find in the market, as compared to other varieties. As the name suggests, they come in various prints and colours — so use them on furniture, floors and in kitchens. An add-on advantage is that these also shield the surfaces beneath.
- HPL and LPL: High-pressure and low-pressure laminates are basically named after their respective production processes. So, if you’re using MDF for your furniture or in the kitchen, go for LPL; but if you’re going for plywood furniture and storage, use HPL.
- Industrial laminates: These are preferred for circuit boards at home, or storage and furniture at industries and hospitals. This is primarily due to their high strength, resistance to wear and tear, and fire-retardant properties.
- Compact laminates: The above three types of laminates are sheets and need a base as support. But compact laminates are self-supporting and do not need to be glued to wood or any surface. They usually vary from 3 mm to 30 mm in thickness. They are used as lab table tops or even dividers in public bathrooms.
You’ll be surprised to know that Sunmica or laminate flooring comes in a variety of colours — from whites, greys and browns to sometimes even reds, greens and blues. But what comes in a larger variety are the shades of popular colours like greys and browns. There’s ash, cherry, oakwood, graphite, sandstone, granite, walnut and multiple other shades that range from light to dark. Take a look at a few of the many colour options by AICA-Sunmica.
To add to this, some laminate flooring are also two- or three-toned. So, choose the colour of your laminate flooring carefully — keep the room size, natural light and the bigger picture in mind before you come to a decision.
Sunmica Price List
The prices of Sunmica vary according to the quality and pattern of the laminate sheet. You can expect the cost to start from Rs. 600 per sheet for furniture (the price is per sheet and not per square foot for furniture), while for flooring, the range is as wide as Rs. 150-Rs. 2,000 per square feet!
Sunmica Sheet Size
Laminate sheets are produced in India at a standard size of 8 feet by 4 feet. However, some manufacturers offer other sizes based on its application. While Sunmica laminates are one of the most popular choices, other popular brands include Formica, GreenLam Laminates, Century, Durian, Sundek, Aica and Merina Laminates.
If you want to have a quick look at their e-catalogues, here are the links that will help you:
- Sunmica Laminates Catalogue
- Merino Laminates Catalogue
- Century Laminates Catalogue
- Greenlam Laminates Catalogue
- Formica Laminates Catalogue
- Durian Laminates Catalogue
- Sundek Laminates Catalogue
Laminate Sheets Designs, Prints & Finishes
The typical wooden laminate effect is not the only kind of design that you will find in the market. And no, the glossy or matte white isn’t the only other option either. There are endless colours and digital prints available these days — from natural wood to floral and funky motifs. So, if you want that pretty modular kitchen finish, you know how to get it now!
But to summarise, here’s a list of the most popular laminate finishes:
- Glossy — Suitable for kitchens as they’re easy to clean.
- Matte — For those who don’t like the shine.
- Textured — Popular textures include grainy, linear, etc (see even more finishes here). You can literally feel the texture of these laminates and they’re great for a classy piece of furniture.
- Solid colours — Mostly used on kitchen countertops and bathroom cabinets.
- Digital prints — They make decorating your home easy!
Laminates are widely used as the inexpensive counterparts of hardwood flooring. Laminates are easier to install as these have tongue and groove joints.
Sunmica Care & Maintenance
Not much is required to keep a laminate surface clean. Regular dusting and a slightly wet towel for stains do the trick. Steel wool scrubbers or abrasive cleaners are not very feasible as they can damage the laminate.
Laminates are fairly scratch-resistant and durable. They can withstand wear and tear, heat and moisture to a certain extent. But be cautious about using them around a wet area as they can warp when exposed to water for a long time.
As a layer on top of furniture (tables, sofas, wardrobes), laminates are a preferred option for a lot of us in India, especially since they are an inexpensive option, when compared to acrylic or membrane finishes. If regularly taken care of, you can maintain your Sunmica designs, furniture and flooring for a long, long time!