Countertop Material Options for Healthcare Dental Office Settings
When choosing countertop material for a healthcare/dental setting you have to look for the essential as nonabsorbent, hygienic and easy to clean. Designers are now taking in consideration of creating a more comfortable setting in a healthcare/dental environment. Countertop materials all have their pros and cons. People have to always consider countertop material that in the long will not cost you money.
A very popular countertop material that has been used for decades in the healthcare/dental environment is laminate. The laminate consists of layers of paper with a thin coating of plastic on top, which is then glued to plywood or MDF (medium density fiberboard). Laminate is resistant to stains which are very easy to clean. It is nonabsorbent that means it’s a hygienic product. What you have to keep in mind if you consider using laminate is if you slice though the top layer, you would have to replace the whole countertop. If you use high heat, laminate can buckle. Laminate is a good consideration depending on the kind of healthcare environment you are.
Solid surface countertop material is becoming very popular in the healthcare/dental setting. One solid surface material is Formica; it’s ideal where hygiene and easy upholding is essential. Formica is very durable, non-porous, and resistant to heat and impact. You can also sand out minor scratches easily. Formica has its precautions also; you cannot place heat over 175º F, extreme heat can damage surface. Cutting on plain surface can cause scratches that are not able to simply sand out, those have to be professionally removed.
Most countertop material that is solid surface are better for the healthcare/dental setting; reason being the surface does not have many places where bacteria can hide. Corian is another countertop material becoming very recognized in the healthcare environment. It’s nonabsorbent and seamless. Corian countertop is better used in the hospital setting; in the emergency room where patients are coming in and out; also in all the nurses’ workstation. This countertop will be damaged if an extremely heated item is placed on surface.
Stainless steel countertops also meets the specification for a healthcare/dental setting; easy to clean, nonabsorbent, durable and very modern looking. Stainless steel countertop is resistant to extreme heat, so you have no problem with placing anything on top. The biggest con in having stainless steel countertop is the noise, metal is noisy. Unless you don’t mind it you are ok. But for a healthcare/dental environment, noise, is not very welcome. Usually the only medical practice that you would find stainless steel countertops would in a morgue.
Considering any of this countertop material or any other, you have to keep in mind which one is the right countertop material you need. Look at the pros and the cons. Keep it simple yet sophisticated, and most important hygienic. There are many different practices in the healthcare/dental environment that each countertop can be of perfect use. So before searching the one for you, take what is important to you; the essential for your practice and how much are you willing to spend on a countertop for your healthcare/dental environment.