Join us as we hear from the 3M™ DI-NOC™ Guru Brent Williams on the use of DI-NOC films as a laminate refresh for your next redesign or remodel project. Let’s get to it!
Laminate vs. 3M DI-NOC Films
Plastic laminate, also known as HPL, is a design material commonly used in high-traffic commercial applications like medical offices, schools, etc. If you walk into a doctor’s office and see those colorful 1990s plastic cabinets, they are usually finished with a plastic laminate.
Architectural films are very different from plastic laminate, allowing for rapid refinishing of surfaces like HPL with hyperrealistic. Unlike plastic laminate, 3M DI-NOC films can be easily removed and refinished without causing damage to the covered surface.
The Problem with Plastic Laminate
Those colorful plastic laminate cabinets in your local doctor’s office need a makeover. Pink and Teal finishes are so “1990’s”, but what can you do? The challenge with plastic laminate is:
- You can’t paint over it without a lot of time, prep, and primers… and even then it’s not a durable finish.
- The surfaces it covers are typically made from a somewhat fragile mix of glue and compressed wood material that can disintegrate if you remove the surface finish.
The fact is, it is easier in many cases to replace a whole cabinet or piece of casework than deal with the challenges and cost of renewing laminate. And unfortunately, due to the glue and toxic chemicals used with laminate, the pieces can’t be easily recycled when replaced during a renovation, so they get thrown into a landfill and replaced with a new unit…sustainability goes right out the window.
Thankfully, there’s a simple, affordable, and sustainable (no landfill waste, anyone?) solution that enables designers, property managers, building owners, and others to refresh laminate casework, cabinetry, and other elements: 3M DI-NOC Architectural Finishes.
Refresh Instead of Replace: The Over-Laminate Solution
With the help of 3M DI-NOC finishes, you can refinish those plastic laminate cabinets by simply applying directly over the old laminate. In addition to that, if the DI-NOC finish you selected goes out of style in 5-10 years, you can easily remove the film and update it with a new DI-NOC finish of your choosing. Doing this saves you time, money and prevents an entire class of surfaces from entering our landfills.
DI-NOC is a Laminate Refinishing Product That Doesn’t Compromise Durability
We know what you’re thinking… Is the plastic laminate more durable than using 3M DI-NOC film over it? The beneficial thing about DI-NOC is that it takes on the surface characteristics of the substrate material it is covering, so DI-NOC over a hard finish like HPL is an excellent use of the product. DI-NOC finishes also withstand harsh antibacterial cleaners. You could place DI-NOC in a container of 100% bleach and nothing would happen to it. Unlike natural materials with porous surfaces, pathogens are unable to penetrate the surface of DI-NOC making it far easier to clean and sanitize. This is a huge plus in today’s world where surfaces are constantly being sanitized to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A great example of this durability can be found in wood restaurant table tops that are being cleaned with surface sanitizers over and over again. The finish of the wood surface deteriorates due to the repeated cleaning, ruining expensive fixtures. However, if these tabletops were refinished with DI-NOC, you would have the same look as new, without any of the damage, and make your surfaces easier and faster to clean.
Fun Fact: DI-NOC was built to be durable, realistic, and removable without damage to the original surface because it was first engineered as the “woody” finish for wood-paneled exterior automotive packages.
Save Time, Resources, and Money with 3M™ DI-NOC™
Using DI-NOC architectural films as a laminate refinish saves resources, time, and project costs. DI-NOC finishes are installed quickly, quietly, cleanly, and affordably in addition to allowing for simple replacement with a different DI-NOC finish when it’s time for a design refresh.
If you’re interested in learning more about 3M DI-NOC film, check out another blog from our guest DI-NOC series or watch our webinar: “Total Transformation: Take any Architectural Surface from ‘Blah’ to ‘Ah” with 3M™ DI-NOC™.”