Our focus on high design, responsive service, and flexible options makes KML Designer Finishes the go-to TFL manufacturer for domestic clients seeking the latest euro trends delivered with faster lead times. KML Designer Finishes leads the high-end TFL industry on the West Coast. We operate 8 presses, producing 4,000 panels a day, in over 800 colors, and 8 designer finishes.
In 2017, Wilsonart acquired KML. Wilsonart, a world-leading engineered surfaces company, is driven by a mission to create surfaces people love, with service you can count on, delivered by people who care. The company manufactures and distributes high-pressure laminate, quartz, solid surface, coordinated TFL and edgebanding, and other engineered surface options for use in the office, education, healthcare, residential, hospitality, and retail markets.
Yes, TFL (thermally fused laminate) and melamine are the same product. Though still in use, the melamine name is more closely associated with early generations of this product that had a generic feel and limited palette. TFL has emerged as the preferred term for modern TFL panels, which often feature textured finishes that enhance hyper-realistic designs. This allows TFL to be virtually identical to traditional wood products and other construction materials at a lower price point and a better-than-carbon-neutral footprint.
In Thermally Fused Laminate panels, the design comes from a melamine-saturated decorative paper (also called décor paper). It could be a wood grain, solid color, metallic, or an abstract design. TFL’s texture comes from steel plates used when manufacturing the Thermally Fused Laminate panels. These plates leave a reverse-embossed texture that can be expertly paired with the design to create a coordinated 3D surface.
In architecture, a finish is an exposed element in a building with both functional and aesthetic purposes. TFL is a popular type of composite panel used in cabinetry, casework, closet organizers, retail fixtures, wall paneling, and more.
In TFL production, the design is a melamine saturated décor paper that is thermally fused to the substrate. It gives the TFL panel its look. The texture comes from customized steel plates that emboss a texture on top of the design during pressing. The texture should be carefully selected to coordinate with the design. Certain textures are customized to the designs with which they are meant to be paired.
Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL), sometimes referred to as thermofused laminate, thermally fused melamine, TFM, or simply melamine, is a composite panel made when a melamine-saturated paper is fused directly to a core like particle board, MDF, or plywood using heat. It’s popular for its lower price when compared to other surfaces. It can be very sustainable and is popular for its many looks, textures, and the way it can coordinate with other composite panels like HPL and 3DL.
TFL stands for thermally fused laminate. TFL panels are composite panels consisting of melamine-saturated décor paper which is pressed under heat to a composite wood board, often particleboard. Durable and color consistent, with better wear, fade, scratch, and moisture resistance than veneers, modern TFL often features hyper-realistic printed designs and embossed textures that compliment the designs.
The same decorative paper is used for Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL) and High-Pressure Laminate (HPL). This allows designers to mix HPL and TFL panels into their projects while keeping a coordinated look. The manufacturing processes differ slightly between these two pane types. For TFL panels, the melamine-saturated paper is thermally fused directly to the core. HPL has an added wear layer for increased scratch resistance and a kraft paper layer to improve impact resistance. HPL uses a glue line to adhere these layers to the core. While HPL is stronger and more durable, TFL is more cost-effective and is very durable when used and specified correctly.
Experts recommend using TFL panels for virtually all vertical applications and many horizontal ones.