Today was a busy day for lectures. At 10am we had a lecture with Catherine Tomlin, from the university's library, about reflective writing for our blogs. This was then followed by Sarah's lecture on what makes a successful website.
At 1pm we had a guest lecturer Vic from Egger, on teams to talk to us about their products. This is our second talk from Vic, as there was one before Christmas about the construction of how different types of boards are made up, which she gave us a brief recap of.
The main focus of the lecture was the reproduction of textures. Laminates have a reputation for looking cheap and unauthentic so Vic delved into showing us some examples of the textured laminates that Egger offer and also showed us side by side comparisons of how they look against the real material.
One example of one of the ranges they offer is the feelwood collection as seen below. Not only does the laminate have the pattern of the wood grain printed onto it, it has the texture of the wood too, so where there is the black gauge at the front right, the surface would actually dip in. Its slightly frustrating that due to COVID this lecture needed to be online and we cant actually visit the studio and feel how the samples may compare to a real wood.
As someone who follows lots of luxury, high end residential/hospitality interior designers, I see myself eventually getting into this sector. In this sector you see so many designs using marble or solid wood as it is seen to be desirable to use these raw materials, but this lecture does raise the question that if laminate technologies keep advancing, will it make more sense to use them over the natural materials as they are more cost effective and sustainable.
Vic also spoke of a case study in which a designer had spec-ed some bedsides with a solid marble top for in a hotel room however shortly after the hotel opened they had to be swapped for a laminate alternative as the cleaning staff complained of not being able to move the super heavy tables to clean behind them.
This was a great example of how it is important to spec things which will be practical for day to day use and in the long term, not just because it looks a certain way.
The above slide really encapsulates the main advantages of using companies like Egger. Tim raised a good point too towards the end of the talk about how the antibacterial properties are even more key that ever in light of the pandemic.
Overall the talk has somewhat changed my perspective of laminates. I am still a huge lover of natural materials such as wood and stone as I love their uniqueness HOWEVER this lecture has taught me the importance of ensuring that the material suits its purpose, and sometimes it wouldn't make sense to add a solid slab of marble to a space.
I'm excited for the next Egger talk and in the meantime I am going to read an article reccomended by Vic called "The Morality of Marble" by New York Times and I will try and get into a showroom to get my hands on some samples as soon as its possible!