Solid grade laminate (SGL), also known as compact grade laminate, is in most instances, the best material to use to build a toilet cubicle that will stand the test of time.

The material is created by compressing numerous layers of thin Kraft paper, which is then bonded via the use of a thermosetting polymer or plastic. This process forms the qualities of solid grade laminate that set it apart from others, including durability and water resistance.

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About This Guide

This guide will look at the benefits of using solid grade laminate to construct toilet cubicles and other washroom elements.

The benefits of solid grade laminate toilet cubicles

Solid grade laminate panels are waterproof, extremely strong and HBN 00-10 compliant and provide a modern, polished feel wherever they’re installed. They’re ideal for vanity tops, fast-food tables and countertops as well as surfaces in labs and kitchens. They can also be used for cubicles and wall panelling. This flexibility in design and application makes them a top choice for construction projects of all types.

Solid grade laminate has a huge number of benefits that make it suitable for use in toilet cubicles as well as changing cubicles and shower cubicles:

Durable material

Toilet or washroom cubicles in high traffic areas and environments such as schools and colleges are subject to deterioration over time. This deterioration is inevitable but, by making use of the right materials and design, the need for repairs can be minimised significantly. Solid grade laminate is a perfect solution given its inherent toughness and resistance to moisture.

Water resistant

The way in which solid grade laminate is formed makes it completely impervious to water. This makes it a popular choice for wet areas or high humidity areas such as showering or poolside areas. This means maintenance costs are reduced and facilities will not need to be updated or improved as regularly as they might when other, lower quality materials are used.

Impact/vandal resistant

Toilets and washrooms can be tough environments so considering the environment in which the cubicles will be placed is important. Cubicles used by pre-school or primary school children or, for example, in a private gym or health club, will be less prone to vandalism that environments such as public pools or large public spaces, where graffiti and scratching of walls, floors and doors can be common. Solid grade laminate’s extreme impact resistance makes it perfect for more challenging environments.

Easy to clean and maintain

Solid grade laminate is an easy material to clean which makes it perfect for use in toilet cubicles. It can be cleaned with a damp cloth without swelling or deteriorating and, in environments such as toilet cubicles, where cleaning is required on a regular basis, this is a huge benefit. Graffiti can also be removed easily using cleaning solutions without damaging the structure or colour of the solid grade laminate.

Solid Grade Laminate vs Melamine Faced Chipboard

Solid grade laminate is now the primary material used for toilet cubicles due to its strength and durability. Traditionally, melamine faced chipboard was used for the same applications but the material is not able to withstand the same heavy wear and tear as solid grade laminate.

Solid grade laminate:

  • is robust
  • is versatile
  • can be used in a variety of buildings
  • is easy to wipe down and clean

However, the primary advantage solid grade laminate has over other materials is that it is entirely waterproof; melamine faced chipboard is regarded as being ‘impervious’ to water, it will not perform well if constantly exposed to wet conditions.

So, while melamine faced chipboard will work fine in an office or factory environment, it will not be able to perform optimally in environments such as:

  • Swimming pools
  • Campsites
  • Leisure centres
  • Washrooms exposed to the elements

The key disadvantage of melamine faced chipboard is that, when exposed to high humidity, moisture and heavy wear and tear, the edging strips begin to peel away which can effect the overall look of the cubicle. On the other hand, solid grade laminate is made with.

The key differences between the two materials include:

Solid Grade Laminate (SGL)Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)
CostModerately-pricedMuch lower cost but does not provide the same durability
Durability/LongevityCan hold up in areas with demanding and intense use in both dry and wet environmentsEasily damaged
WaterproofingExtremely waterproofWater-resistant, but not 100% waterproof
HumiditySuitable for high humidity environmentsIsn’t suitable for high humidity environments
Materials/CompositionMade with waterproof, fireproof, dense sheets of Kraft paperMade with water-resistant chipboard and laminate faces
Flexibility in machining/Cubicle designFun designs and bright colours are visually appealing
Can be machined to any specification
Can be engraved and digitally printed to meet bespoke project needs.
Flexible materials and manufacturing process allows for versatile designs

Which environments is solid grade laminate suited to?

Solid grade laminate is not only an extremely versatile and robust material so can be installed in a number of locations and for a wide range of applications. However, there are specific areas where solid grade laminate is better suited than other options such as high-pressure laminate or melamine. This is largely those areas that are exposed to water or humidity.


Solid grade laminate’s extreme impact resistance makes it suitable for school environments. The cost of vandalism can be a huge cost concern for many schools so choosing a material that is impact resistant is key to saving costs over the long-term. The material is available in bold, bright colours, which makes washrooms more inviting and encourages children to take better care of their environment.


Solid grade laminate offers excellent hygienic qualities, making it perfect for hospital environments in which regular cleaning and preventing the spread of germs, are essential. The low maintenance qualities and durability of solid grade laminate make it suitable for a sector where keeping maintenance costs low is key.

Shopping centres

Toilet cubicles in shopping centres and other public facilities are vulnerable to vandalism and are likely to be subjected to high traffic. The durable nature of solid grade laminate means that costs can be saved in renovating or repairing cubicles that have deteriorated with use. In addition, it’s easy to clean nature and ability to withstand regular cleaning, mean that graffiti can be easily cleaned and, it’s resistance to impact makes it more difficult to vandalise than other materials.

Other uses:

In addition to being used to form the door and wall panels of toilet cubicles, solid grade laminate can also be used for other washroom elements such as:

  • Shower cubicles
  • Vanity units
  • Sink surrounds
  • Locker units

The benefits of using Panel Systems as a supplier of solid grade laminate

The benefits of using Panel Systems as a supplier of solid grade laminate include:


Panel Systems has a range of CNC machines with 3-axis and full 5-axid, 3D capability. This facility enables us to cut solid grade laminate to align with each design, plan and project. So, whatever shape, space or location is needed, the perfect solution can be provided.

This helps to ensure that installation of a project is quick and that the end product is entirely reliable. When the solid grade laminate panels are delivered to site, they can be slotted into place seamlessly.

Reliability of service

Panel Systems is ISO 9001 approved which is a certification based on the quality of our business management and operations. It means we are able to handle large orders whilst still providing customers with the confidence that we are able to fulfil them on time and to a high standard. Panel Systems is able to guarantee reliability of service with material and CNC machining services under one roof.

Quality of products

Panel Systems has relationships with all major suppliers of solid grade laminate, which allows us to supply a range of high-quality products in order to, meet the needs of every project.

Need More Help?

The Panel Systems team are experts in a wide range of materials and industries so will be able to discuss your project requirements with you to find the best solution. Please get in touch with us to speak to a member of the team.

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