Wood & Panel

Ralf Olsen

 Monday, January 24, 2022

During interzum Cologne 2011, International Committee of Decorative Laminates Industry (ICDLI) presented a laminates gallery to the world. Some of the most intrinsic pieces of laminates were on display for thousands of awestruck participants at interzum. Mr Ralf Olsen, Secretary General, ICDLI, shared his insight on the diverse range of products and the industry.

Brief us on the current status of the laminates industry across the globe.

Ralf Olsen: After the downfall of 2008, 20 per cent of the decorative laminates industry in Europe recovered faster than we thought at the end of last year. We have estimated that by this year the market in Germany might reach the level of the years before the crisis.

High gloss laminates are increasingly in demand, do you agree with it? What, according to you, can be more effective to make the product more interesting?

Ralf Olsen: Indeed high gloss laminates are still in demand. But we should not forget that on the other hand matt decors are also interesting to designers and architects. In our opinion, this shows that decorative laminates are accepted as variable design and surface element which can be used according to the wishes of the designer.

What is the future of this industry? What are the new projects that we might get to see in the near future?

Ralf Olsen: Decorative laminates definitely will find place in more areas of application. At the beginning decorative laminates were used as surface material, for example in kitchens. Today, they can be seen on facades and walls as decorative element with fire retardant quality if necessary. No one might have thought of that when decorative laminates were developed in the first half of the 20th century. Everything is possible with decorative laminates.

If we have a look at the latest innovation of Resopal and Dekodur their joint venture RE-Y-STONE is an interesting innovation in the field of “eco-HPL” which is completely made of renewable raw-material. But this is only one of the interesting developments made in our industry.

What was your experience at the interzum trade fair?

Ralf Olsen: interzum has shown architects and designers the opportunities decorative laminates can provide to their creativity. Decorative laminates set nearly no limits to creativity in design, surface structure and shape. HPL enables continuously rounded edges to be created. This is of particular benefit in opening up whole new furnishing and finishing possibilities.

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