What are Metallic Laminates?

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  • Written By: Cathy Rogers
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Frequently used in restaurants and lounges, metallic laminates are now trendy for home use, where they provide a contemporary, sleek look. Several manufacturers create solid metal or foil-faced laminates for use in kitchens or other areas. Metallic laminate is most often used on vertical spaces: for backsplashes, to cover cabinets or appliances, or as special accents on drawers. Some metallic laminates can be used on horizontal surfaces.

Metallic laminates are constructed much like plastic laminates, but are topped with a thin layer of aluminum, brass, copper, or stainless steel. They are available in a variety of finishes and textures. Metallic laminates come in titanium, aluminum, iron, gold, pewter, and stainless steel finishes. Within these categories, you can choose satin, striped, herringbone, shiny, or polished looks. Some designers combine glossy and matte metallic looks within a kitchen for contrast.

Common choices for metallic laminates in residential use include silver tones, such as pewter, aluminum, and stainless steel. For neutral metallic laminates, texture adds interest; some are dotted or hammered. Other patterns can include abstract designs or geometric patterns.

Metallic laminates are durable and easy to clean. They can be cleaned with warm water and mild dish or hand soap. Do not use abrasive cleaners on metallic laminates. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean, soft cloth.


Colored metallic laminates come in shades including red, green, and blue. Some have an antique, less industrial look, using warmer tones of copper, bronze, or black. A metallic laminate even exists that resembles the color of green glass.

A peel and stick version of laminate provides the look of metals such as stainless steel, brushed aluminum, or copper. Some plastic laminate is made to look like metal. Plastic laminate is created from numerous layers of plastic coated paper bonded to particleboard with pressure and heat. Although laminate is very easy to maintain, it is susceptible to scratches and is not heat resistant.

Metal backsplash tiles are a popular alternative to metallic laminates and are available in many designs, from contemporary to Old World style. A smooth metal backsplash can provide a place to hang utensils from hooks. Metal backsplashes often complement granite or solid surface countertops.

Metallic laminates are available through manufacturers and from home centers. They sell for about for 6 to 8 US dollars (USD) per square foot, with fabrication and installation priced at an additional 8 to 9 USD per square foot.


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Post 5

I have a green metallic roll that I have used on my kitchen cabinets. I already had a green marble backsplash, so it goes well with the theme of my kitchen.

The metallic laminate has been hammered for texture and antiqued, so it actually looks like marble. The black in the indentations here and there give it that effect.

I had guests over recently who actually mistook the laminate for marble. They thought I spent way more on the cabinets than I did, and they were so surprised when I revealed the secret of the metal laminate.

Post 4

My sister put some metallic laminate on her old refrigerator to make it look new. She bought a silver laminate roll and cut the pieces to size.

I didn’t think it could look as good as it did, but it now looks like brand new. She took a ten-year-old refrigerator and modernized it, just by sticking on a metallic surface.

She told me that she had some laminate left over, so she is going to try to do her stove and her dishwasher to match. It sure beats the cost of buying all new appliances! To me, it looks like it belongs there.

Post 3

@OeKc05 - I’ve seen those type of metallic laminates, and they are really innovative. I’ve only spotted them in businesses that have a lot of money to burn on design, though.

I visited a casino last year, and it had columns covered in red metallic laminate. It did seem strange to me that metal could be bent in a perfect circle like that.

The lamination sheets were cut to be uniform and were arranged in a spiral pattern that made the entire column resemble a licorice stick. I imagine the casino piped thousands of dollars into this design. It must have cost them a good bit just to have it installed, because it had to be done so mathematically.

Post 2

I visited a hotel that had the most awesome metal laminates. Some sort of material woven in and out of the railings on the stairs, and it was covered in shiny metal.

They also had this woven metal laminate on the tabletops in the lounge area. The table itself had several metal bars going across the top, and these sheets of laminate wove in and out of them like basket rattan.

You never really think of metal as something that could be woven. I suspect that another material was woven and bent first, and then the metallic laminate sheets were added to them. Laminates are thin enough that they can be manipulated by a professional.

Post 1

how do we cut a groove in it with out it burning or bending? the router bit does not last. Is there another tool we should use? or just slower speed?

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