When researching in-room furniture options, chances are you’ve come across terms like “melamine” or “veneer” and acronyms like TFL or HPL. These FF&E industry terms help identify the materials used in beds, sideboards, and other casegoods furniture made for commercial purposes. For hoteliers, it’s helpful to know what materials the products you’re purchasing are made from and what all of your options are.
If your hotel is affiliated with a major brand, you’re likely used to corporate FF&E standards, which may have material requirements. If you operate an independent property, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of each material to make the best purchasing decisions for your unique needs.
The four types of casegoods you’ll most likely see in the hospitality industry include:
- Wood veneer
- Cold Rolled Melamine
- Thermally Fused Melamine (TFL)
- High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)
Wood veneer products are most preferable because they are more forgiving, and in most cases, damage to them can be repaired. Some brands require casegoods be made with wood veneer and solid wood trim.
Besides wood veneer, the engineered materials detailed below are your other options. More and more brands are accepting engineered materials due to product improvements and the cost savings they provide.
Cold Rolled Melamine rates lowest on the quality scale. It is manufactured by a press that rolls a pre-glued paper to a substrate. This product is the least expensive and also has the lowest durability due to its low amount of melamine. It is best used for vertical or low-wear applications.
Thermally Fused Melamine, or TFL as it’s often called, rates higher in quality. It is made by thermally fusing a resin-impregnated sheet of décor paper directly into a substrate, which is usually particle board or medium-density fiberboard. The quality of the substrate is key to durability. While this is still a less expensive option, it’s also less resistant to impact, chemicals, and heat. It does, however, provide a consistent finish in a wide range of colors and patterns, is easily cleaned, and is low maintenance. This product is best suited to low impact applications.
Ranked as “best” in terms of quality is High-Pressure Laminate, or HPL. HPL is made by a similar process as TFL, but rather than fusing the décor paper directly to the substrate, the layer of décor paper is fused to multiple sheets of craft paper saturated with melamine resin under heat and high pressure. This product has excellent resistance to chemicals and heat and boasts the highest impact resistance. HPL can be post-formed around curved edges and has excellent durability for tabletops, counter tops, and flooring. Since HPL is more expensive to produce, it therefore has a higher cost, but it is extremely durable. Due to their high resistance to moisture, heat, and impact, brands often require high-pressure laminate tops.
At Guest Supply, we carry an extensive array of casegoods, and our sales team can help you navigate all of your options. They know which casegoods are compliant with your brand’s standards, and they’ll work one-on-one with you to determine the best solutions for your hotel.
To get started, contact us today at 732-868-2200.