• Co-op Concept & Fabrication

Facts About the Materials to Use in Custom Millwork in New York

Choosing the appropriate materials for a custom millwork in New York is one of the critical jobs of millwork specialists. Unlike other interior applications, the decorative surfaces and components for commercial furniture, fixtures, and millwork, are likely to have more material options and combinations. Thus, millwork specialists continue to increase their value when it comes to designers’ options. This is to ensure that the safety, performance, climate, and human-health impacts are not sacrificed while producing great visuals. However, there are instances that these options may result to confusions leading to improper application or budget overruns.


With that being said, make a thorough writing and keynoting of your specifications. Indicate not only the product and supplier, but as well as its unique design and performance characteristics.


Materials such as solid wood, wood veneers, and decorative metals vary greatly in terms of design and performance properties. Millwork and fixtures on the other hand may require specialized installation and even final touches on site.

Let us now discuss the categories of some decorative surfaces featuring a climate-positive impact, common design and material properties, and notes of differences in performance.

1.Climate-positive substances from the inside out.

There are certain composite wood panels like MDF, hardboard, and particleboard that are used in every commercial project. These panels, especially ones manufactured in North America, are naturally climate positive. They go beyond achieving net zero carbon emissions. Thus, it creates a measurable advantage to the environment by removing more carbon dioxide from atmosphere rather than the amount released during production.


Lower volatile organic compounds compared to living wood.

Formaldehyde is an organic compound that has been recognized as one of the safest, strongest, and most cost-effective ingredients such as in resins and glues. The panels used in nearly every millwork project is likely to emit less formaldehyde than you would encounter walking through a forest.


Wood as nature’s perfect carbon sink.

Trees are known to be absorbent of carbon as they grow. The carbon stored in the wood takes up almost half of its chemical makeup, which isn’t released until decomposition. As a result, composite wood panels store more carbon than is released in their production due to the density of wood fiber.


Composite wood panels as a recycled product.

Half of the wood fiber is left over once trees are harvested. That 99% of the leftover wood fiber is then used by composite wood panels. The remaining will be used as a fuel for kilns and for heating plants.


2.Sustainability has always been preferred by clients and consumers.

Extended lifespan and cost reduction are the main reasons consumers are convinced to build a sustainable home. Utilizing sustainable materials for custom millwork in New York means constructing a longer-lasting home with less up-keep and lower maintenance costs.

Sustainability-built fixtures and millwork not only help you save energy but let you live a healthier and more comfortable lifestyle. Firstly, you can conserve energy on a larger scale when manufacturing results to less waste products. Also, materials that are more efficient can conserve your energy at homes, such as eco-friendly heating systems.


3.Design first, material second.

It is highly important that you focus first on the design you want to achieve. The design concept is actually the bigger picture of the whole project that provides direction for everyone on the team.

A unified and cohesive concept of the design makes future decisions easier. It will be less complicated to select the materials that meet your exact specifications when you are geared with the right information.

Firstly, think of the design and texture you prefer. Then, you may start looking for materials based on the performance and durability needed.


High pressure laminate (HPL)

Among the engineered decorative surfaces, HPL is the most familiar and widely used. It is typically applied on cabinet faces, countertops, dividers, and other commercial-grade panels. It is known to offer a wide range of designs and synchronized textures, and huge impact, scratch, and wear resistance. HPL can be glued to substrates in the field and wrapped around the radiused edges of the two sides of a panel.


Thermally fused melamine (TFL)

Just like HPL, it uses the same type of printed décor papers. Décor layer is not glued but thermally fused directly to the particle board or MDF substrate. It creates a homogenous decorative panel as a result. Panels that are TFL-finished have similar scratch and wear resistance as HPL. The density of the substrate may impact the resistance.

TFL can be found on hotel furniture and millwork, cabinet interiors and exteriors, commercial office desktops, retail fixtures and furniture, and storage systems.


3D laminate (3DL)

This type of laminate is known to be thin that can be laminated to carved or shaped MDF panels. It can be pressed to panels with three-dimensional details machined into the faces and edges, as well as panels with irregular shapes.

3DL panels come with thermoplastic surfaces. This is also known to have very high wear and abrasion resistance, with seamless edges that won’t delaminate. Therefore, it makes 3DL panels a great solution for healthcare, education, and retail applications.


Lightweight printed overlays

An extremely thin material usually laminated directly to MDF that comes with high-definition visuals and matte/gloss effect textures.


Compact laminate

Also called as solid phenolic, this compact laminate does not need a substrate. Unlike lightweight overlays, this is thick, extremely durable, and self-supporting sheet of HPL. It is a wood fiber-solid surface material composed of many layers of resin-saturated paper. Unlike acrylic or polyester materials, it is much warmer to the touch and can be fabricated with standard woodworking tools.


Compact laminate has long been used for lab tables, building facades, and toilet partitions. It has been discovered recently to be applied on tables (restaurant/café), school furniture, and ramps especially in skateboard parks.


Comprehensive Benefits

Durability – The lesser the need to replace decorative surfaces, the longer the carbon they store is secluded.

Consistency – You can replace any damaged surfaces with an exact match while ensuring aesthetic uniformity.

Alternative – Allows you to save rare and fragile hardwoods from high-abuse or intense cleaning applications where they will all quickly fail.

Value Engineering – Matching designs across a variety of surface performance levels

Ecological Health – Composite wood panels utilized in these products help maintain healthy forest ecosystems.

Final Thoughts

A successful custom millwork in New York does not only come with a good design but with quality materials used in building it. The overall endurance, durability, and character of a millwork project highly depend on the materials. Therefore, be cautious and particular when deciding for the materials to incorporate. By weighing its stability, aesthetics, maintenance, and cost, you get to take full advantage of them. Co-op Concept and Fabrication is a well-established fabrication company in New York that can absolutely help you with your custom millwork needs.


Contact Co-op Concept and Fabrication now and let’s talk about your ideal custom millwork project.

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