Designers told us they wanted more TFL panel options. We listened. Our thermally fused laminate comes in over 800 colors, 8+ finishes, and 10+ core options to meet and exceed the design requirements of any project.
At KML, we are known for our best-in-class, wood-inspired TFL panels. Offering spot-on designs, textures, and a recently improved low-gloss sheen, our thermally fused laminate can easily be mistaken for real wood. And when using recycled materials, our TFL can be much more eco-friendly than standard wood and alternate materials. Our TFL is one of the most sustainable building products available depending upon your spec details.
It might seem strange to start with the substrate since the core of every TFL panel is invisible by design in the built environment, but experienced architects and designers know that TFL’s performance is largely driven by choosing the right core for the application in question. Contact our spec reps for details or if you prefer online research, everything you need for specification is right here.
With over 10 core options, we offer flexibility - and our expert specification assistance will ensure the lasting beauty and function of your project. Particle board and MDF are standard core options because they are reliable, consistent, clean cutting, and offer a smooth surface for the décor paper to adhere to. Need something fire or moisture-resistant? Got it. Something formaldehyde-free? We’ve got that too.
KML invites designers to expand their palette with over 800 décor paper options with looks ranging from woods to solid colors to abstract designs. The décor paper (or design) is what drives the look of your panel. Our melamine-infused décor papers use the same designs as HPL (High-Pressure Laminate), making it easy for designers to mix TFL and HPL as needed in their projects while keeping a coordinated look. For more info on matching the surfaces in your project, see our cross-reference guide.
With so many designs available, we offer more flexibility where it counts to achieve the style you want. Our spec reps will guide you to the color that pairs perfectly with the finish and application you have in mind. If you need to replicate a specific species of wood, we can help with that too.
KML delivers a difference you can feel — eight times over. Our textured laminate comes in over 8 finishes, each with a texture that adds a tactile element, setting KML apart from the average TFL panel. Specialized plates are used to emboss texture directly onto the surface of each TFL panel. A KML spec rep can help you select a compatible texture for your preferred design. Some of our premium finishesare designed to perfectly sync up with specific designs.
Our textures range in character. The rough charm of reclaimed wood, the subtle surface of a lightly sanded hardwood, the deep ridges of exotic woodgrain, the tantalizing touch of linen. Our finishes add elegance and feeling to thermally fused laminate, earning it the right to be described as a truly decorative surface.
We offer a range of eco-friendly substrate options. Offering TFL panels that can be specified with a core made from 100% recycled western pine is a particular point of pride. A pre-consumer recycled product, this core cuts extremely cleanly while delivering amazing environmentally-friendly benefits.
As an FSC Certified manufacturer, we are aligned with the A&D community’s efforts to foster more sustainably. Our TFL products can help you save money, lower emissions, improve efficiency, and design environments that are ultimately healthier for people to inhabit. These are the familiar goals behind the LEED rating system. And yes, our TFL panels can help your project toward LEED certification.
LEED Points Available
Need expert guidance on your specification? If your KML distributor doesn't offer specification support, we can help. Just give us a call. Our in-house experts will guide you to the right texture, color, and core for your project.
Get your hands on the real deal. Our customer care team can create custom samples for you (sample chips or 10"x10" samples available). If you're in a pinch, we can ship samples quickly so you can make critical decisions faster.
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.
Can't find the right partner in KML's network of skilled fabricators? We have good news for distributors, furniture manufacturers, and cabinet makers looking to add efficiency and quality to their production. We make custom components in house at KML. Our Value-Added Department is here to help with custom lightweight components, edge banding, precision cutting and drilling, and fabrication of your all-important machined parts.