With more people working from home and spending so much more time in their kitchens over the past year, we have seen a huge surge in the demand for our range of kitchen wrapping films. But why should you choose a proper architectural film for the job, rather than just any old piece of vinyl? There’s hundreds of self-adhesive films out there – we know because we supply a lot of them too – including ones for vehicle wrapping or ones designed for sign-making.
Not all vinyls are made the same and it really is crucial to select the right one for the job. We are going to look at the differences between products in this blog so you can make an informed decision. You want your kitchen to look the best don’t you? Here’s your guide to how to get the kitchen of your dreams… on a budget.
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What is an architectural film?
The beauty of an architectural film is that it has been designed to be hardwearing and durable. It’s construction is multi-layer, meaning it won’t scratch like paint, and it offers a degree of cushioning against knocks. Its impact resistance is the equivalent of a HPL so you know it is tough enough to withstand the demands of kitchen life.
Specialist architectural films such as 3M DI-NOC and Cover Styl’ are typically 200 microns thick – 4 times as thick as a vehicle wrap film or cast signage film. And there’s good reason for that. You wouldn’t want to risk putting a flimsy product on your cupboards to risk damage after a short period of time? Signage and vehicle wrap films are intended for application onto metal and mostly for exterior application.
Fit for purpose
If you’re looking for something to cover wood, melamine or MDF, choosing an architectural film is going to adhere far better and for far longer too – 10-12 years! Compare that to a sign making vinyl that is durable for 5 years and you can start to see the difference. Trying to us a product that has not been designed for a kitchen application is asking for trouble.
Architectural films are designed for use within buildings, which means they also meet all fire regulations too. Any commercial application within a building demands products that meet these strict test standards, and for a reason. You wouldn’t want to compromise safety in your home either, so check the products you are using are fit for purpose.
Another question we are often asked is around the heat resistance. What happens if you put a hot pan on a worksurface wrapped in architectural film. Our advice is to treat a wrapped surface as you would do a natural worktop… but the high temperatures can be withstood using a fit for purpose architectural film.
Finally, what about water resistance and hygiene? This is a huge deciding factor when considering products to be used in a kitchen. You need to trust that any water splashes, dirt or spills are easily wiped and cleanable. Architectural finishes are made from PVC, meaning they can be cleaned with standard domestic cleaning products too for additional peace of mind.
Trust the professionals
Make sure you use a trained installer to achieve a professional finish. There are special techniques that are used to be able to guarantee a sleek finish on corners and edges. The majority of skill is also in the application preparation and guidance on which film to use where. Some finishes are not as conformable as others, but a trained installer will be able to guide you to make sure you get the beautiful finish you’d like.
Kitchen wrapping demands a product that can stretch or conform around corners and edges to provide a seamless finish. Patterns identified as stretchable allow a trained installer to do this – meaning you get a nice neat edge on cupboard edges.
As a business offering wrapping services, its important to remember the message from our previous vehicle wrap blog. The same principles apply for architectural wrapping. Don’t get caught in the trap of buying cheap, or even worse – use the wrong material, to help you make more money. In the long term it will be your reputation, business and long-term future damaged.
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