Have you ever wondered what goes into making your dining table top? Chances are, probably not. But it’s a lot more useful to know than you may think! Knowing what materials make up your dining table is an invaluable piece of information that will help you in choosing whether the product is right for your home.
Our featured material this week is HPL. HPL is a cutting edge, technical material with some amazing durability points. It is used for a whole variety of finishes such as countertops, tabletops and flooring as its durable qualities mean it can withstand continued everyday use. That’s why we’ve engineered this great finish for a furniture application. HPL has a naturally matt appearance which means it looks sleek and smooth, while its hardwearing characteristics make it a truly high-performance surface material for the home.
So, how is HPL made?
- To create HPL, multiple layers of kraft paper are saturated with a specialist resin.
- A decorative film layer (such as a solid colour or wood grain) is placed on top of the kraft paper before pressing. This creates a sandwich effect which is fused together using extreme heat (that’s temperatures of 280 to 320 degrees Fahrenheit!) under 70 to 100 bars of pressure.
- A clear protective overlay is then used for maximum protection.
What does it look like?
The creation process of HPL results in a smooth satin matt finish. It doesn’t have a reflective shine but it’s not fully flat matt, so it still has a wonderfully light and tactile feel.
How durable is it?
HPL is descendent of plastic making it one of the most durable decorative surface materials for the home. HPL is also available with special performance enhancing properties including chemical, fire and wear resistance. All of these qualities mean HPL is perfect for those messy family mealtimes, special occasions and big get togethers where there’s a lot going on on and around the table. Other finishes such as matt and gloss are fit for everyday use but the extensive creation process of HPL means it is even more strong, durable and resistant to scratching.
HPL surfaces are used in science rooms and school classrooms, so it’ll have no trouble standing up to everyday use in your home!
How do I clean it?
HPL can withstand a variety of common household chemicals such as washing-up liquid or antibacterial spray making it so easy to clean and maintain.
Although incredibly durable, we advise with HPL that you stay away from corrosive chemicals such as descaling agents, oven cleaners, chlorine and acetone. Try to remove these straight away if they spill on the table’s surface. When cleaning your HPL table, never use a steel scourer, scourer pad, souring agent or similar products as this can scratch the surface. A soft microfiber cloth will do just the trick.
How do I use it?
As with all of our dining tables, we advise that you never place hot pots or pans directly on a HPL worktop without a trivet or stand, as this can damage the table surface over time. It goes without saying, but never pull an object with rough or ragged edges across the worktop as this can scratch the wonderfully smooth satin surface.
If your HPL table has an extension leaf, clean the leaf along with the rest of the table to keep it looking a neat and uniform, being sure that it is fully dried before you store it away or place it back in the cradle.
Why choose HPL?
If you’re still not sure if HPL is the right material choice for you, consider these points and whether they would be a benefit in your home.
- It’s strong, smart and durable.
- It has a slight subtle sheen but isn’t highly reflective, making it a great alternative to a high gloss finish.
- It’s such a neutral finish meaning it can be coordinated with a whole variety of other pieces.
- It’s much more scratch resistant than many other materials.
- It’s heat resistant (to an extent).
- You also get a colour fastness under artificial lighting.
- HPL is resistant to household cleaning products and even some chemicals.
- It is also resistant to cracking.
- To an extent, HPL is also impact and abrasion resistant.
- When looked after correctly, HPL is a really hygienic surface.
So there you have it. Everything you need to know about HPL. Have a question? Ask it in the comments!