There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a new desk. Size, style, and colour are all important considerations when shopping for the piece of furniture that will be the centrepiece of your office and, quite possibly, your most commonly used piece of furniture.
One thing that often goes overlooked when choosing a new desk is the type of finish. Many people value other factors but don’t consider the finish until the purchase is almost complete. However, choosing the wrong finish can be one of the biggest mistakes shoppers make.
In this article, we will examine the differences between thermofused laminate and high-pressure laminate, discuss the advantages of each, and help you make the right decision for your next piece of office furniture.
Why Choose Laminate at all?
A lot of people may have read the first few paragraphs and asked themselves why they would choose laminate over hardwood at all. This is an excellent question, and there is a very good reason why this choice makes sense in an office environment.
Our post on wood veneer vs laminate explains this in more detail, but the main reason to choose laminate is for durability. Laminate is quite resistant to scratching and gouges which is crucial if you use your desk a lot and want to put forward a professional, clean look whenever someone sits at your desk.
Price is another reason that laminate is very popular when looking for office furniture. Hardwood is much more expensive than laminate which can make non-laminate desks prohibitively expensive. As a less costly and more resistant option, laminate has become the preferred finish choice for most offices.
What is Thermofused Laminate?
Thermofused laminate, or TFL, is one of the most cost-effective finish solutions when it comes to office furniture. The appearance is very similar to high-pressure laminate and, in many cases, people cannot tell the difference between TFL and solid wood.
To create a thermofused laminate surface, the manufacturer fuses a decorative paper sheet designed to look like wood to a solid core made up of particle board. There are few extra materials required for this process which is what makes thermofused laminate less costly than other furniture finishes.
For offices that want stylish, trendy furniture on a budget, then thermofused laminate construction is an excellent choice.
What is High-Pressure Laminate?
TFL is often compared to high-pressure laminate or HPL. The basic process to create these two forms of laminate is somewhat similar with a few notable differences.
Unlike TFL, high-pressure laminate bonds the decorative paper sheet with multiple layers of kraft paper. After this, the layers are adhered to the particle board to complete the process. This high-pressure process creates a durable finish that is perfect for office furniture.
Since more materials are used in HPL, the cost is a little higher than thermofused laminate. Having said that; in many cases, the price of HPL is still lower than other comparable finishes like wood veneer. This makes high-pressure laminate another great choice for many offices and one of the most commonly used finish selections.
Which is Better for Your Desk?
Now that you know the difference between HPL and TFL, how do you make the right choice for your office? There are a few factors that may help make the decision a little clearer.
First of all, there is pricing to consider. Both high-pressure laminate and thermofused laminate finishes are great budget-friendly options that look great without roaming into territory that could be described as “cheap furniture.”
Affordable furniture is excellent; cheap furniture is what you put in a college dorm room. Office desks and workstations are one of the most important places to spend money while furnishing an office to maximize long-term ROI on your furniture investment.
The price of TFL office furniture will often be lower cost while providing very similar quality to HPL. In some cases, light moisture, scratches, and gouges will have more of an adverse effect on TFL furniture while HPL furniture is slightly more durable. This makes high-pressure laminate a better choice in high-traffic offices or offices that may be more prone to collecting scratches and damage.
High-pressure laminate is also more flexible than thermofused laminate. This means that stylish, curved desks that make a statement are likely going to be constructed from high-pressure laminate while thermofused laminate can only be used in desks with straight edges.
Many times, customers will opt for a high-pressure laminate finish simply for the superior durability. However, this does not mean TFL is not a viable option in most office environments. Both are fantastic options that can help you save money without compromising on quality or style.
Comparisons Made Easy
Still wondering whether HPL or TFL is the right finish for your new office desk? Or perhaps you are wondering just how much is a new desk going to cost?
Well look no further. Our Ultimate Guide to Purchasing Office Furniture will take you through the most important factors to consider when buying office furniture so that you can find the perfect solution for your office space.