Never assume that all solid
surfaces result in the same performance at your facility.
There’s a good reason this assumption may bring grief down the
road: they’re not all made the same way.
There are plenty of batch-made
products in the marketplace, but by working with a reputable
manufacturer, you can be sure to end up with a high-performing,
and highly durable, 100-percent acrylic solid surface.
Durability isn’t the only reason to go with a top-quality
product. It’s also critical to select a product with consistent
color. For starters, this will make it easier to seam pieces
together and create consistent color applications across your
But color consistency also means selecting materials where the
color isn’t just surface-deep, to ensure the product will look
good over the long term. For example, when selecting a product
with a veined aesthetic, check with the manufacturer to see if
this veining is consistent all the way through the material.
There’s another color consideration to keep in mind. Darker
colors are typically going to show more wear, and may
potentially require more maintenance over time as a result. That
doesn't mean you need to rule out dark colors, but do consider
the specific application for which you’re designing.
While lighter colors might generally work better for heavy-use
areas, overall any surface product will show some degree of wear
over time — and that’s OK. The beauty of this material is its
ease of repair. A reputable manufacturer, or a certified support
fabricator that understands the unique needs of the healthcare
environment, will steer you toward a quality solid surface
material that can easily be renewed and repaired.
Of course, when selecting solid surfaces for your healthcare
facility, it pays to look beyond aesthetics. Even though
creating a welcoming environment through color and other design
features can help improve patient satisfaction, infection
control efforts have a far bigger impact. And yes, your solid
surfaces play a role in reducing infection.
By selecting countertops, for
example, with round edges, seamless designs and covered joints,
you’re taking a step toward maximizing the ease and
effectiveness of cleaning practices.
As with anything else, when purchasing solid surface materials,
you get what you pay for. By making low price your first
priority today, you may be setting yourself up for high
replacement costs down the road.
About the Author:
Stephen Finch is North American commercial sales manager for
DuPont Building Innovations. He can be reached at
This post is part of an ongoing
series from the IFMA Health Care Institute. To download the full edition of
Tips, Tricks & Traps to Avoid,