Check out your local DIY store or online retailer and you will discover a host of different materials available for anyone tackling a home improvement project. From MDF to plywood, there is no limit to what you can use to renovate or build rooms, construct furniture, and upgrade kitchens. But all these materials have different properties and use cases, so let’s take a look at melamine and where/how it can be used in the home.

What is Melamine?

Melamine is an organic compound. When it’s combined with formaldehyde, it forms a highly durable plastic. This plastic can then be used to coat other materials, such as MDF. It’s a type of laminate, but it’s made using low-pressure, whereas a product like Formica is made using high pressure.

What are the Benefits of Melamine?

Melamine has many benefits, which is why it’s so popular.

  • One of the main benefits of melamine is that it is a relatively inexpensive coating for materials such as MDF or plywood. This makes it a good choice for furniture, as you can create an expensive looking wood-effect item with low-cost materials.
  • Melamine is very durable. It doesn’t scratch or mark easily, unlike pine or other softwood, and it is waterproof as long as the surface isn’t damaged and the melamine correctly adheres to the substrate. It’s also shatterproof.
  • Another key selling point for melamine is the huge choice of colours and finishes available. You can choose from wood effect, marble effect, and many other patterns.

All these properties are a key reason why worktops are made using melamine.

How to Use Melamine in the Home

There are lots of ways you can use melamine in the home. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Melamine Furniture

Melamine furniture is very popular. It’s a cheap material and because there are so many different finishes available, it’s not difficult to find a piece that fits your decorative scheme. Most big furniture retailers sell melamine furniture in their cheaper ranges and it’s a low-budget way to furnish a home.

If you like the look of pine or oak, but your budget won’t stretch to solid wood furniture, melamine is a good alternative. Look for a wood-effect finish and at a glance, it won’t look any different from a more expensive piece of furniture. You can also choose a coloured finish for a more interesting look in your home. Blue, yellow, red – whatever takes your fancy. If you want to create a fun, vibrant decorative scheme, melamine has you covered.

Because melamine is so durable, it’s an excellent choice for furniture in kids’ rooms. Most children don’t look after their bedroom furniture and when they are younger, it’s a bad idea to buy more expensive solid wood items. Melamine is resistant to scratches, knocks, and dents, and is waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about your child leaving a glass of water on the chest of drawers and causing ring stains, or digging a hole in the side when they are bored. In addition, melamine furniture is also more lightweight compared to solid wood items, which is an important safety consideration in a child’s bedroom.

Use melamine worktops for your kitchen, home office, or craft room. It’s very hygienic and perfect for kitchens and utility rooms. The waterproof qualities of melamine also make it a good choice for art studies and craft rooms. No need to worry about spilling paint and water, as it won’t damage the surface and can easily be mopped up.

Melamine Shelving

Melamine board is a great option for shelving in the home or garage. You can buy pre-made shelving units in the form of bookcases or storage units or have a go at building your own shelving.

Inexpensive shelving units are readily available from stores like Argos and Ikea. Wood finishes are a popular choice, but for a more modern look, black or whole melamine can look stylish and contemporary. Because melamine is very durable, it won’t scratch and is easy to keep clean. You don’t need to worry about your shelving units suffering dings and knocks when you vacuum around them either.

It is also easy to make your own melamine shelving for the home or garage. CNC Creations can cut melamine MDF or melamine chipboard to size for your shelving project. You can also have melamine cut to size to make furniture, with intricate shapes and patterns available.

Use melamine shelving in your garage to create a tidy storage area for DIY tools, tins of paint, and anything else that needs a home, temporary or otherwise.

Real wood may be beautiful, but in many instances, melamine is a more appropriate choice for the home. If you are looking for a material that’s durable, inexpensive, and available in many different finishes, melamine ticks every box. It’s also suitable for use in commercial environments, such as retail stores and offices.

Claire Preece