Materials Used in Our Projects

One of Unique Concepts’ great strengths is our experience and willingness to work with a variety of materials.  And because we work with so many different design professionals, we have the opportunity to learn about a great variety of materials.  Wood veneer and high pressure plastic laminates are the materials we use most often, but we also regularly incorporate glass, metal, natural and engineered stone, solid surface, linoleum, acrylic and polyester panels and even coral into our work.  We don’t fabricate most of these materials, but we take full ownership of the process of making them work with what we are building.

The purpose of this blog is to describe some of the materials that we have worked with and to show how we have employed them.  We’ll only include materials that we have actually used, so this is not intended to be an all-inclusive list.  We don’t consider ourselves to be experts on all of these materials, but we are happy to field questions.  Several of our Case Studies discuss projects in which a variety of different materials were used, so checking those out may be another good way to see how we have used some interesting products.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed and reused wood is quite popular now.  We have found good sources for recycled and reclaimed wood.   In Raleigh we have worked with Raleigh Reclaimed.  They are a good source for live edge slabs, as well as other solid wood options.  Live edge tables can be beautiful, but in our experience, it is optimal if you can select the slab(s) that you want to use, and create a design that works best with that material.  We have also found  company that makes veneered panels from reclaimed European White Oak.  This material has been very popular, and we have used it in a variety of projects.

Occasional table: 60" x 30" x 17"h. Top: live edge oak with butterfly joinery. Base: 4-legs & diagonal bottom stretchers in 1.5" steel box tube: black powder coat finish

Live adge coffee table




Wood Veneers

Basically we are woodworkers, so a large percentage of what we build uses wood in one form or another.  Most often that wood is in the form of veneer.  Check out our Design Resources section for some in-depth information about wood veneer.  A website called “Joe Woodworker” has a great section on veneers.  You can check it out by clicking here.  If you have questions, you are welcome to contact us by phone or email.

High Pressure Plastic Laminates

Our second most frequently used material is probably laminate.  Laminates are available in a huge variety of patterns and colors from a large range of manufacturers.  Some of the manufacturers are well-known names, including Formica,  Wilsonart or Nevamar.  Others, such as Abet or Laminart may not be as well known, but make some very interesting products.

Laminates come in a huge variety of colors and patterns

Laminart makes standard plastic laminates, but also has a product called VeneerArt.  This product features genuine wood veneer with a laminate coating for durability.  We used this product as the main facing material for the Outer Banks Visitors’ Center, which is featured as one of our case studies.