In the shelving world, the laminate shelf is the best choice for many light duty jobs. Plastic laminate is stain and rust-resistant, cost-effective, and virtually impervious to moisture problems. While other shelves may boast of their strength, the laminate shelf is an excellent solution for storage problems of everyday items.
Laminate Shelf Benefits
In a place like a garage or work shed, there are many items of significant weight to be stored. For these places, the tried and true strength of wood or metal is probably a better choice than plastic laminate. For storing lighter items around the house, laminate is a great material.
Shelf for shelf, plastic laminate is generally less expensive than its wood and metal counterparts. If you need a lot of storage space, the money you save will be compounded for every shelf you install. The savings for really decking out a closet or storage room can really add up.
Laminate shelves can look good, too. Plastic has gotten a pretty poor reputation as an aesthetic building material, but high quality laminate looks so good that some wooden shelves are covered with it. Older plastic shelves were often cheaply made, and truly looked the part. Today’s laminate plastic is pleasing enough to sit next to (or under) items that are meant to be displayed.
For laundry rooms, bathrooms, or other particularly moist areas, laminate shelving can be a blessing. It doesn’t rust, it is resistant to stains, and there’s no worry about water cracks or moisture expansion. As long as you’re not planning on storing a weight set in your bathroom, the shelves will hold up very well, with next to no maintenance.
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Laminate Shelving Drawbacks
Plastic shelves can become permanently warped if too much weight is left in the center for too long. While it is not likely to break, it has a tendency to bend; this makes for a less than stable storage situation when it comes to heavy items.
Unfortunately, laminate is not considered a very luxurious material. No matter how good it looks, or whether it is in a shelf, floor, or any other spot, it is still plastic. Laminate doesn’t add as much value to a home when used in flooring, and the same is true when it is used in shelving. Where a set of wood shelves will be seen as an asset, laminate, no matter the appearance or performance, is still seen as a “quick fix” material.
Laminate Shelf Inlays
Laminate can play a more heavy duty role when it comes to racks of shelves. Many metal shelf racks are made of thin metal dowels or wire. These shelves are easy to put together and can hold a lot of weight, but the large spaces between the metal easily allow smaller items to fall through. A laminate inlay will take care of this problem in a snap. Many different sizes are available to fit many different shelves. You simply lay them down on top of the metal, and you’ve got a surface that will hold a lot of weight, without letting smaller objects fall through the cracks.
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