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Most people would consider the kitchen to be the heart of their home, the place where our first cup of morning coffee awaits, the venue for gossip over tea and snacks, and the main locale for the creation of daily deliciousness! This being said, we all want our kitchen design to reflect our enjoyment of the room while still being a usable, functional space. Modern modular kitchen configurations are intelligently planned with cabinets, corner units and shelving that maximise freeflow movement and provide ample storage for a clutter-free and usable area. Thus, often the core decision one has to make is an aesthetic one: the finish, the design and the colour of the cabinets. And today, we are spoiled for choice with a wide range of available materials, such as laminate, veneer, wood, lacquered glass – the possibilities are vast!
The most popular finishes available today that present a premium look, while still being relatively durable and practical, are acrylic laminate and PVC laminate. Let us then discuss the difference between PVC laminate and acrylic finishes and which might suit your home the best.
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is the third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer in the world. Pre-processed PVC laminate sheets are made by pressing together plastic resins and paper using high temperatures and pressure. The finished PVC laminate sheet is thin and flexible and can be bent without breaking, making it ideal for use in a wide variety of ways – from modern furniture to modular kitchen cabinets – as they are able to fold around edges upto 90 degrees and thus eliminate the need for edge bands or beading. Another major advantage to PVC laminates is their durability: they exhibit resistance against insects, such as termites, are not prone to corrosion or damage caused by
moisture, and are fairly impervious to scratches and stains.
PVC laminates for kitchen interiors come in a wide variety of colours and textures, from high gloss, to matte, to natural wood or stone finishes. A high gloss PVC laminate sheet can even be coated with anti-smudge resins to help it maintain the shine and immaculate look. What is more, with the option of coating your laminate with anti-microbial or even fire retardant resins, you can make a PVC laminated kitchen both cleaner and safer than many other finishes might offer. These advantages come at a fairly reasonable price tag; the PVC laminate sheet price range is budget friendly and usually well below the cost of either natural wood, real stone or even the option of acrylic.
Made of polymer fibre, acrylic laminate sheets have a high durability and are easy to maintain. The finish of the laminate is very similar to lacquer, with a glossy sheen and smooth surface. This high-gloss, modern and sophisticated look is one of the major causes for the popularity of acrylic laminates for kitchen interiors and is the reason it is primarily used as a surfacing material for modular kitchen cabinets. Ranging from vibrant pop hues to muted earth tones, high gloss acrylic laminate sheets are available in a wide assortment of colours and usually come at a higher price tag.
For top-end laminates, the finish is particularly durable, as good
brands usually use cell casting for their manufacture, which makes them highly scratch resistant. Properly installed, an acrylic laminate sheet will not delaminate (which is where the layers peel and separate) or lose colour over the years, and can take heavy use without any noticeable wear and tear. Of course these advantages are to an extent dependent on the acrylic laminate sheet price, as lower end (less than 2mm thick) acrylics tend to yellow over time and are a bit more limited in the finish options that are available to you. What’s more, depending on the cost and manufacturing process, some acrylic laminates may not be very resistant to scratches and marks when subjected to rough usage, and poor handling can have a negative impact on their lifespan.
It’s obvious that both PVC and acrylic laminates have their pros and cons, so when making your choice, it’s best to break things down and compare the difference between PVC laminate and acrylic from a perspective of aesthetics, durability, cost and cleaning/maintenance.
The finish for acrylic laminate sheets is highly reflective with a mirror-like sheen that will bring a super-glossy, high-end look to your kitchen. They are available in a wide range of hues, and one of the major advantages to acrylic laminates is that they will retain their brightness and colour over the years.
Easy to find on the market in a wide range of solid colours and patterns, PVC laminates come in finishes such as matte, textured, glossy and high gloss. While a high gloss PVC laminate sheet does have a similar appearance to high gloss acrylic laminate sheets, they’re not quite the same, and will usually appear slightly less brilliant and more subdued. On the other hand, textured or matte finish PVC laminates – particularly in natural tones, such as
wood or stone – are a great way to achieve a trendy rustic look at a lower price tag.
Not only pretty hard-wearing, acrylic laminate sheet is also water-proof and fairly resistant to heat. While acrylic laminates can be more prone to showing scratches and scuffs, there isn’t really a big difference between PVC laminate and acrylic when it comes to durability.
As mentioned before, PVC laminate sheet is not only hard-wearing and durable, but can also be treated in various ways – from increased moisture and heat resistance to antibacterial and termite repellent properties – making them a safer and more hygenic choice.
Since they’re considered to be a premium finish, acrylic laminate sheet price per square feet tends to be on the more expensive end as compared to other finishes.
PVC laminate sheet price per square feet is generally much more cost-effective and budget friendly.
While an acrylic finish is easy to clean and maintain, when it comes to preserving a sparkling, unblemished look for your kitchen acrylic laminate sheet may demand a slightly higher degree of TLC – this is the downside to a smooth and glossy look. Mirror-like finishes quickly show marks, smears and smudges; easy-to-create imperfections caused by fingerprints, dirt and stains may need you to add frequent cleaning of the cabinet surfaces to your kitchen to-do list.
One main difference between PVC laminate and acrylic when it comes to maintenance, is that PVC is more capable of coping with the everyday wear and tear that a family home kitchen will inevitably be subjected to. They are also easy to clean; wiping the surfaces of your kitchen cabinets cabinets using a soft cloth that has been dampened with a mix of mild detergent and water, is pretty much all that’s required to keep your PVC laminates looking good.
If you still have your heart set on the high-gloss finish that’s the trademark of acrylic laminate but are feeling swayed by the easy-maintenance and budget-friendly convenience of PVC laminate then maybe the perfect option for you is not to choose! One popular design idea is to combine the two in your modular kitchen. For the lower cabinets and drawers that are frequently used and see a high-degree of handling, pick the more durable PVC laminate. Cover the upper cabinets in acrylic laminate; with this, you get the luxurious lustre at a height that not only draws the eye but also reflects lighting, and makes your kitchen appear more spacious, airy and sophisticated. Essentially, by choosing not to choose between them, you can get the best of both worlds!
We hope you have a better idea of what these two laminate options have to offer. But if you’re still confused about the finish for your modular kitchen, there’s no need to worry – Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints is here to help! Reach out to our team: whether it’s finding the latest accessories and décor styles from our curated collection, answering your interior design questions, or guiding you through the big and small decisions that need to be made, we’ll partner with you to create the home of your dreams.
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