Gone are the days when office furniture used solid hardwood materials. Due to the slow growth of hardwood trees, it can be pretty costly to purchase handcrafted wood desks, shelving units, and other furniture items. Additionally, hardwoods are not sustainable or eco-friendly. So instead, the trend has been to use laminate furniture. While laminate has many advantages, there are a couple of cons. However, one of our manufacturers offers a great alternative at a similar price.
Laminate office furniture refers to furniture materials that use pressure and heat applied to synthetic materials to substrates like particleboard or MDF panels. MDF is a manufactured wood created with wood fibers, wax, and resin materials. Manufacturers press all these components together to produce a material that imitates natural wood and plywood, but it’s even heavier than natural plywood. Nevertheless, when created with the proper techniques, they offer stability, functionality, and of course, great aesthetic appeal, mimicking the appearance of solid wood furniture without the added cost.
The beauty of laminate is that manufacturers can essentially print any decorative design. A wood grain pattern is typically used, but the possibilities are endless.
While laminates are very cost-effective, they have a reputation for not being very durable. The top is a printed design; therefore, a scratch can ruin a surface. Additionally, since the laminate is pressed onto the surface, the surface must be flat. Accordingly, laminate cannot continuously wrap around a surface in a waterfall effect. Often the edges are plain, or a line is seen where the two laminate planes meet.
Nuform Finishes is Inscape’s unique and exclusive work surface and vertical surface application, utilized in the panel and benching systems, tables & worksurfaces, and storage. The difference between laminate and Nuform is that Nuform is a type of thermofoil. Rather than heating and pressing laminate to a surface, thermofoil uses a process to vacuum-seal vinyl onto a surface. Nuform comes in a wide range of finishes from Woodgrain, Stone, Cement, Solid Neutrals, and even Marble, creating an exceptionally modern and sleek look in a more environmentally friendly way. Nuform provides increased impact, scratch, marring, chemical, and abrasion resistance compared to standard thermofoils. In addition, the surface will not fade from sunlight and has a long lifespan. It is also anti-stain and antimicrobial; perfect for the post covid world where people may be switching desks often.
This week we had the privilege of visiting their showroom in Manhattan and learning more about Nuform. Seeing all the variety of applications is a great way to drive inspiration for your office.
Being an environmentally friendly office is becoming more critical through the years. Inscape (including Nuform) won an SCS Global Indoor Advantage Gold Furniture Award and was named a level 3 in Furniture Sustainability Standard.
For worksurfaces, the advantage of Nuform becomes increasingly evident. Nuform allows a tapered edge to the desk, which is ergonomically superior to the traditional 90-degree edge since it provides a comfortable sloped surface that eliminates pressure on wrists. Unlike laminates, Nuform’s seamless edge provides a clean aesthetic eliminating the need for an edge banding where bacteria can penetrate and flourish. As a thermofoil, Nuform can be used for all different shapes and sizes, making a more elevated space.
Inscape’s Nuform is a versatile and cost-effective way to upgrade your office, whether in design or to be more economically friendly. Come see all the various ways Inscape uses Nuform on their furniture. Click here to schedule a showroom tour with us.