Melamine is a plastic coating surface for engineered wood materials like This is a type of engineered wood created by taking fine wood fibers and bonding it with wax and resin and heated to form a hard surface. Th... More or Building material that uses three or more thin wood sheets (also known as "ply") with a bonding material to create a very strong board. It i... More. The process to make melamine is similar to Laminate is a multi-layer material known for its durability and used in countertops and flooring. According to Formica, a creator of laminat... More, using paper and resin, but is a more economic alternative.
While melamine is cheaper than laminate, it does not mean it is less durable, but it will depend on what other things are added to it. Lower quality melamine will not last as long as laminate, while thermal-fused melamine could even be more durable than laminate. Melamine can be created to mimic existing textures such as the feel of wood or bamboo, which makes this an attractive budget option.