Melamine comparison

      September 6, 2000

Q.
I would like to know if there are any comparison tests out on melamine. Which brands are better - Panolam, IDI, etc. Any opinions?



I have found that the better grades of Panolam are far superior to anything else I have tried.

For my basic white I use their "International White" color. I do pay more, but I feel it is worth it.



The two suppliers in my area carry Panolam and Roseburg. I have used both and find no really significant difference. Currently I use the Panolam even though it is a little higher priced, because the Roseburg distributor sometimes runs out of common sizes and I don't want to wait for their truck to come in. So it is really who gives me the best service.


Panolam has an all-pine core, and seems to cut, band, and finish a little better than Roseburg's fir-core product. Let's face it, though, it is, by nature, a hideous material, and it makes little sense to quibble over nuance!


The choice of melamine brands to use is in many ways something you must test in your shop yourself. Many distributors will give you a sheet of material to try. Most manufacturers will give the distributors allowances for this. You must also look at your tooling and the differences in core material. Southern cores tend to be harder on tooling than western cores.

Then you also have to look at the differences between western pine and western fir. Warranties are also something to look at. Panolam is the only company I know of that will put in writing that their melamine will meet NEMA standards for wear, stain reistance, etc. It meets or exceeds all NEMA standards for vertical-grade laminate.

As far as comparisons on paper, there are none that I know of. But the best rule of thumb is: buy what you feel most comfortable with.

I used to sell melamine, machines, and other products to the woodworking industry. I found that a shop that was looking for the cheapest product didn't care what it was. The shops looking for the best value (includes the board and distributor) tried many types/brands before they made their decisions.



Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: General

  • KnowledgeBase: Wood Engineering: Wood Properties

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article