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27.08.2020, 15:39

Choosing the Best Surface for Your Business

Architecture, Interior Design, Construction

In the era of COVID-19, budget and maintenance are arguably two of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a surface for your workplace.

 

Which surfaces fare the best, though?

 

At Geaves Surfaces we often advise designers and clients about key factors they should consider before making any final selection.

 

Surfaces By Cost

If your workplace is due to be remodelled, ensuring that you are getting the best value for money when choosing surfaces is vital. Often you will get what you pay for, and durable surfaces may come with a premium price tag. It will also depend on the use of your space - whether it's an office, a retail space or a residential property you are managing. 

 

Take a look at how some of the most popular surfaces perform in terms of budget:

 

Surface

Average cost per sq ft (£)

Quartz

50-100

Steel

44-54

Granite

40-180

Laminate

20-28

Wood

48-79

 

Granite surfaces can often be found in settings such as high-end retail stores, hotel lobbies and venues - most notably for the luxury finish it imparts. It’s no surprise that it takes the first place position for being the most expensive surface options out of the five listed above.

 

If budget is a priority, then you may not be getting the most from investing in granite due to its high price point. Steel, which begins at an average of around £44 per square foot might be a more budget-friendly alternative, but it lacks versatility and would only be suitable for industrial settings, or in the hospitality sector within, for example, a kitchen or food preparation area.

 

How can you strike a balance between budget, style and versatility of use? Laminate sheets, coming in at the lowest in terms of cost when it comes to surfaces, could be a viable option that fulfils these criteria. They can adapt to all kinds of settings, from desks in offices, schools and even retail shelving. As they are man-made, there are also options to personalise them by colour and finish, giving you control of its aesthetics whilst being mindful of budget considerations.

 

Surfaces By Maintenance 

Ease of maintenance is also a key factor when it comes to finding the most effective surface for your workplace’s needs. With the current climate regarding COVID-19, your premises may also be required to adhere to more stringent hygiene and cleaning processes, so ensuring your surfaces can stand up to frequent cleaning is also a must. Research into workers’ attitudes to returning to their workplaces have found that among their biggest worries, are how clean the office is, with 55 per cent holding this view.

 

When choosing a surface, ensure that it is anti-porous. Porous surfaces can allow bacteria and moisture to enter them, therefore making them more susceptible to damage when exposed to regular cleaning. You should also ensure they are durable, particularly in high-traffic areas.

 

How do the most popular surfaces hold up when it comes to maintenance? We have taken a closer look at their various properties so you can find out more about their various pros and cons: 

 

Surface

Properties

Quartz

Anti-porous, durable, less heat resistant

Steel

Anti-porous, corrosion resistant, durable

Granite

Anti-porous, durable

Laminate

Anti-porous, good heat resistance

Wood

Porous, durable, can stain easily

 

With the exception of wood surfaces, most of the surfaces listed above fulfil the anti-porous criteria, which is a necessity to help you maintain high levels of hygiene in your workplace. Wood surfaces may have that extra durability that you are looking for, but may not be the best option when you look at its susceptibility to moisture.

 

Quartz surfaces, on the other hand, hold up well in terms of strength and being a non porous surface. In hospitality settings or anywhere that may involve exposure to heat, however, quartz may not be as ideal as it is not as resistant to heat compared to the likes of steel, granite and laminate surfaces.

 

A surface that satisfies the ease of maintenance criteria when considering the various surface options out there are laminate sheets. Combined with being on the lower end of the price spectrum, it provides heat resistance and modern technology has also enabled these surfaces to incorporate anti-bacterial properties. With laminate sheets also being anti-porous, they will be able to withstand regular cleaning without damaging the surface or exacerbating stains.

 

Final Thoughts

Considering budget and ease of maintenance is vital for designing any space. When it comes to budget, expensive surfaces do not necessarily mean you are getting the best value for your money in the long-term, and laminate surfaces are a perfect example of a budget-friendly option that performs well in various settings. Surfaces should also be able to withstand regular cleaning, which is why non porous surfaces work best as they do not allow moisture or dust to damage their structure.

 

Ultimately, ease of maintenance and budget go hand in hand - a surface that is easy to maintain will not need to be frequently repaired or replaced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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