The global Decorative Laminates Market is projected to expand at a CAGR above 5.5% during the forecast period (2016 to 2024). As a result, the market size may exceed 12 billion meter squares by 2024. Laminated products used as surface materials in wall paneling & on furniture are known as decorative laminates. Besides contributing to aesthetic appeal, they protect furniture from scratches, fire, and daily wear & tear. They provide an impressive finish and also enhance the lifespan of surfaces. Decorative laminates are available in a broad range of colors, designs, and textures to meet the specifications of various end use industries. Raw materials that are extensively used in the manufacture of these laminates are formaldehyde, base paper, phenol, kraft paper, methanol, tissue paper, and melamine.
Low maintenance & installation costs make decorative laminates a widely preferred choice over wooden flooring. Such a trend can propel the overall market during the forecast period. Popularity of decorative interiors in indoor sports clubs, convention centers, and gyms may create opportunities for further growth. Better standards of living and inclination of people towards home remodeling and interior decoration can fuel product demand. However, the availability of low priced alternatives may have an adverse impact on the overall demand for decorative laminates in the near future.
The global decorative laminates market is segmented on the basis of products, applications, and geographies. According to products, the industry is trifurcated into low pressure laminates (LPL), high pressure laminates (HPL), and edgebanding. Since it is derived from kraft paper and phenolic resin, high pressure laminates are considered more sturdy and durable. They are mostly used in applications; such as desktop, countertops, and floorings because of their chemical & fire resistance. The HPL segment is fueled by surging demand for sturdy and sustainable flooring in institutional and residential applications.
Low pressure laminates (LPL) or thermo-fused melamine is mainly used for vertical surfaces. Unlike HPL, low pressure laminates have shorter lifespan. This is the primary reason why the demand for these isn’t as high. However, owing to its low price, this segment attracts greater number of buyers who belong to the lower income category. Interestingly, melamine, an organic compound is used in both LPL and HPL. It is actually the process that distinguishes LPL from HPL. Layering kraft papers with melamine creates melamine laminates. This laminate is then attached to a decorative film, such as a solid color or a wood grain. This is again fixed to a wooden substrate; such as fiberboard.
In the case of HPL, the laminate layer is attached to the substrate at temperatures between 280 & 320 degrees Fahrenheit and under pressures ranging from 1000 to 1500 psi (pounds per square inch). This is done with the help of adhesives. For LPL, the laminate layer is adhered to the particular substrate without adhesives at temperatures ranging anywhere between 335 & 375 degrees Fahrenheit under pressures from 290 to 435 psi. The cost of production of LPL is lesser than that of HPL.
On the basis of applications, the global decorative laminates market is fragmented into wall panels, furniture, cabinets, and flooring. The furniture & cabinets segment holds the largest share in the overall market. The growing trend of ready-to-fix furniture for offices and homes drives the worldwide market. The expanding real estate industry also has a positive effect on demand. Demand for flooring & wall panels in shopping malls, hotels, colleges, hospitals, airports, and offices could further contribute to global demand. The market for ready-to-assemble furniture and floorings is led by China because of abundant supply of raw materials and enhanced manufacturing capacity.
Based on geographies, the global decorative laminates market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. With shares exceeding 46%, Asia Pacific dominated the global industry in 2015. In the same year, China was the largest manufacturer of laminated & ready-to-assemble flooring. This regional market catered to over 30% of the overall demand in 2015. Surging expenditure on residential & non residential construction in India and Indonesia can stimulate regional demand from 2016 to 2024. Furthermore, high disposable incomes in countries, such as India and China will play a key role in contributing to market growth.
Europe is expected to grow robustly during the forecast period because of the presence of a large pool of laminate flooring & furniture manufacturers. The government of U.K. is expected to invest nearly USD 80 billion in infrastructure development in the coming eight years. This may drive regional demand for decorative laminates. The North America market is fueled by demand for customized & sophisticated interiors for offices & homes and rapid industrialization. The booming real estate industry in the UAE and South Africa will positively impact the decorative laminates market in the Middle East & Africa.
Key companies operating in the global market are Roseburg Forest Products, Woodcraft Industries, Kingboard Holdings, Armstrong World Industries, and Kronospan Holdings.
Armstrong World Industries, situated in Lancaster, U.S., is one of the leading firms engaged in the manufacture and design of cabinets, ceilings, and floors. The company boasts of 13000 employees worldwide, with 39 plants in nearly 10 countries. It has earned the LEED innovation credit for having developed sophisticated acoustic design that improves occupant comfort and wellbeing. Its ceiling panels are manufactured locally. Moreover, these contain substantial amounts of recycled content. The company building (located in Pennsylvania) is fixed with exterior & interior lightshelves that allow the passage of daylight into some of the most frequently occupies spaces. The occupancy sensors ensure the use of electric lighting only when the rooms are occupied.
ATI Decorative Laminates, a North Carolina based manufacturer of innovative laminate surfaces, has developed ‘MirroFlex’. The company supplies laminate surfaces to contract & retail markets and to the hospitality sector. A highly enduring product, MirroFlex is a 3D designer thermoplastic panel developed via a proprietary process. This process helps create textured patterns offering more than forty finishes. These finishing resemble metals, patinas, and even wood grain. They are quite affordable and are a better alternative to wall coverings & paints.
Research Support Specialist, USA