Double Sided Melamine Shortage

Date:  March 25, 2021

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Categories:  Behind the Scenes, Kitchen Facelift, Renovating, Tips

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Dopuble sided Melamine shortage

WA has currently a shortage of double sided melamine boards. Cabinetmakers and kitchen companies in the state cannot get their hands on enough substrates for the demand. As a result, customers have to wait, pay double or get lower quality. Read on to learn what to do, if you are currently renovating your kitchen or building.

Postpone the kitchen renovation – if you can

“We are getting phone calls over phone calls because the cabinetmakers don’t have melamine boards”, says Trevor Skeels, Owner and Managing Director of Dianella Polishing. The supply shortage is causing some serious trouble in the kitchen and cabinetry industry. “I am building, what can I do?” is one of the many questions that Trevor gets asked. The answer is not so easy. All depends on your timeframes and how much money you are willing to pay.

Wait if you can

If you have time to wait, the solution to the supply shortage is easy: Wait if you can. If you are planning a new kitchen or a complete kitchen overhaul, our strong recommendation is to postpone the works for a few months or even half a year until the supply issues are sorted out. The double-sided melamine shortage is severe and you will easily pay several thousand dollars more as a result.

What if I build or cannot wait for other reasons

If you are under a tight time schedule and can’t wait until the double-sided melamine shortage is over, you need to talk to your builder and cabinetmaker. Obviously, there are plenty of alternatives to melamine boards on the market, however, no substrate is equal and you want to ensure your builder or cabinetmaker does not simply swap melamine boards for MDF boards without adjusting the design features of your kitchen accordingly.

Differences between MDF and melamine boards

Most often the builder and cabinetmaker will swap Melamine boards for MDF boards. MDF is a cheap alternative to melamine boards. But they are certainly not the same and of lower quality. The difference lies in the smoothness of the finish, the colour of the substrate, and its durability. Three areas in which the melamine boards are superior to MDF boards.

Cabinetmaker choose MDF instead of melamine boards

It may sound harsh, but your cabinetmaker does not care what substrate he uses, let alone how much it costs you to paint it. They can work with a huge variety of boards and they prefer to get a job finished and send off. No-one likes to have a job waiting on the books or a half-completed job sitting around in the factory. As a result, the average cabinetmaker will simply choose MDF instead of melamine boards and get on with it.

Double price for painting

“Normally we paint double-sided white melamine” explains Trevor. In his Wangara factory, Trevor and his team prep and paint the boards that kitchen cabinets are made off. Melamine boards are white in colour all around; MDF is a brown-ish colour, consequently, the MDF needs to be painted from all sites. No-one wants to open kitchen cabinets and face bare brown MDF inside. “That’s why we now have to paint both sides”, explains Trevor. Double painting requires double the work and double the paint – hence it is double the price.

What finish can I choose with MDF boards?

Melamine boards have a very smooth finish and are thus a perfect choice for gloss or satin finish. MDF boards don’t have such a smoother finish and should therefore not be painted in a gloss finish as it is getting the ripple effect. Trevor recommends, “Call your builder and ask what materials they use. If they changed to MDF make sure that you can adjust your finish from gloss to satin.”

Durability of MDF

Another key difference is the finished structure. The MDF boards have a softer structure, meaning that the inside of doors and drawers will get damaged more easily. “Even when it is covered in vinyl wrap, you still see the damage once you remove the vinyl, meaning the substrate is ruined.” The builder does not care, but the homeowner will be spewing, knows Trevor.

What is the alternative to MDF if I cannot wait

“If you cannot wait, there is, unfortunately, no cheap solution”, says Trevor. Regardless of which alternative you choose, you will always be out of pocket a fair chunk. To make sure that your money is well spent, Trevor recommends choosing real wood over MDF boards. These substrates are significantly higher in cost but at least you get a durable high-quality end result.

Got more questions in regards to the  Double sided melamine shortage? Would you like to discuss what is the best alternative for you? Give Trevor a call on 93032176.

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