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Laminate takes a seat at the table of high design

Consumer Reports News: May 10, 2013 03:08 PM

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It's not the coziest looking chair, but "6 Shades of Grey," the winning entry in a design competition sponsored by Wilsonart, is one of the most inventive uses of laminate you might ever see. Designed by University of Oregon student Katie Lee, the chair will be on display from May 18-21 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.

Laminate has gotten much better looking in recent years, thanks to improved printing technologies that allow for convincing faux metal and wood patterns, as well as bright colors and bold prints. Lee used a repeated triangle motif of laminate tiles and canvas for the arms and back of her prize-winning chair. "I have never seen laminate used in this way," said Alison Pulver DeMartino, Wilsonart Director of Marketing Communications.

Based on our tough countertop tests, the chair should hold up well over time, especially against stains, heat, and high impact. Though if Lee wanted to create the most resilient chair, she would have gone with quartz, the top-performing material in our countertop Ratings, ahead of granite, glass and laminate. But then, a quartz chair might be even less comfortable to sit in.

Daniel DiClerico

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