A process and apparatus for heat laminating a light gauge plastic film to a heavier substrate material. The film and substrate are fed between rotating laminating rolls, one of which is heated, the rolls being urged against each other under pressure. Prior to lamination, the substrate is positioned on a supporting surface of hard, flexible material in the form of an endless belt or sheet which passes between the rolls, or a smooth flexible sleeve secured to one of the laminating rolls. During lamination, the substrate adheres to the flexible supporting surface, and the substrate is maintained in engagement therewith for a predetermined time after lamination to permit the same to cool and stabilize in order to prevent the formation of ripples therein. The film may have a decorative coating applied to one face thereof, which is transferred to the substrate at the time of lamination and the film may be optionally peeled off the substrate leaving only the decorative coating applied to the substrate.