Laminate Table Tops are fast becoming the most popular choice for restaurateurs, hoteliers and coffee shop owners in the UK. The reason being they offer far more resilience to heat and scratching than their counterparts, also as time goes on laminate producers are finding ways to make them look much more authentic and attractive. We wrote a great post explaining the differences between commercial table tops back in May 2015 and laminates are covered in depth there. But where do they come from, who supplies them and what other options are there in addition to the standard walnut, wenge, oak, white and black laminate colours? In this post, this is what we explore;
UK Laminate Suppliers
1. Egger are probably the largest laminate supplier in the UK and certainly offer the most choice. They have a vast selection of Woodgrains, many of the decors contained within this collection are so lifelike it’s often difficult to tell the difference between them and real wood, especially the ones with textured finishes. However if you are looking for something a little different to wood effect laminates then you may want to explore Egger’s range of Metalic, Textile, Concrete, Ceramic or Granite Effect coverings as these contain some interesting decors as you will see below. Finally if you just want to keep it simple then take a look at their Uni Colours these range from warm earthy tones to bright colour palettes.
2. Formica invented laminates back in 1913, which is why they are often the first company that springs into peoples minds when buying laminate table tops. Originally the material was developed as a new type of electrical insulator before its true properties were realised. Initially the material was made from fabric bound together with resin, this was later replaced by thick layers of paper covered in melamine and that’s when Formica stated getting creative with different colour paper and also printing prior to the melamine coating being applied. These days however the laminates are formed by compressing composite materials under extremely high pressure. Similarly to Egger they have a broad range of colours, woodgrains and patterned finishes with a variety of surface textures.
3. Polyrey is perhaps a less known laminate supplier, especially compared to Formica and Egger. However that’s not to say that that their ranges of high pressure laminates (HPL) are somewhat inferior, in fact that have a great range of decors suitable for all kinds of commercial applications. The company started in the late 1800’s with their headquarters in France producing chemicals used to tan leather, now the company’s focus has shifted to the production of high pressure laminates.
4. Woodlam are a Lancashire based manufacturer and supplier of laminates, they differ to any other company featured on this page because they produce real wood laminates as an alternative to using synthetic materials. The result is a truly authentic looking table top that still encompasses the durability aspects of ordinary HPL tops. Needless to say however that real wood laminates come with a price tag, but this isn’t necessarily a problem for some projects.
The Best Laminate Ranges Available in the UK
Now you know who the top laminate suppliers are, its time to look at which ranges are available. Each supplier has compiled a range of decors and finishes specifially for the UK market, fabricators then manufacture products such as table tops, counters and wall pannels etc. which are then sold to end users. Generally speaking the ranges below are stocked in the UK which negates the need to import them on a project by project basis.
Egger Zoom – this is our favourite range becuase it is the most expansive and is beautifully presented in a folder containing swatches of each finish.
Formica Fundamentals – as the name suggests Formica have pulled together the most popular decors for the UK market.
Polyrey Durion – an interesting range of woodgrains, metalics and coloured laminates all with matching edging.