Vertical versus Horizontal Grade Laminate

What the difference is, and when to use which. March 14, 2006

What the difference is between vertical and horizontal grade laminate? I have a lot of jobs coming up with 1" - 1 1/2" radiused corners. Can I use the horizontal grade or do I have to buy a whole separate piece for the edge? I use 3M nf 30 water base adhesive, which works great, but will it work on the radiuses?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surfacing Forum)
From contributor M:
The basic difference is, depending on who the manufacturer of the laminate is, that vertical grade laminate is about 40% thinner than horizontal grade laminate. If you are making tops, you should use the thicker laminate on all edges. Increase your radius to at least 4" unless you are going to heat and clamp the laminate. If you have to have the small radius, I think you will have to use the thinner laminate.

From contributor R:
My Wilsonart dealer stocks edge strips out of the thinner horizontal laminate. They are about 2" wide and 12 feet long. I use these on my edges when I have to do a small radius. Wilsonart is the only one I know that offers this, but others may.

From contributor S:
The grades work like this: Vertical grade is the thinnest and should be used for cabinets or vertical applications; post forming grade can be post formed into fully formed countertops; and horizontal or general purpose grade, also known as flat stock, is very thick and I personally never order it. We use all post forming grade unless we are doing cabinets or fixtures (then we use vertical). The post forming grade can be easily formed around a 11/2 radius when using a heat gun to soften the laminate. A 2 radius can be bent without heat, and you should never need to clamp it if you are using the right glue. A 11/2 radius is the smallest we go for a radius corner on a top with standard overhang and 3/4 build up.