Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, designers are more attune than ever to the importance of creating environments that ensure the health and safety of those within them, from monitoring air quality to evaluating the cleanability of high-touch surfaces. And when it comes to commercial spaces, such as hospitals, workplaces, and healthcare environments, designing socially distant, hygienic interiors is a must to keep businesses up and running.
As the market for wall panels and room dividers becomes increasingly saturated, one leader in the field is freeing designers to focus on form rather than function by creating products that put safety first. ATI Decorative Laminates, a North Carolina-based innovator of laminate surfaces for hospitality, contract, and retail markets, sprang into action when the pandemic hit to seek out a protective antimicrobial coating that has since been applied to most of the brand's clear substrate surfaces, including its newest line of room partitions. Deco-Defender protective partitions, which mark the brand's latest innovation as part of the Fusion line, offer designers lightweight, easy-to-move accent pieces in two insert sizes—32 inches by 48 inches and 48 inches by 48 inches—complete with a highly durable stain-, fingerprint-, abrasion-, and chemical-resistant finish.
"Keeping people safe is first and foremost," said Vern Combrink, VP of sales at ATI Decorative Laminates. "We distinguish ourselves by offering a design eye. Our decorative panels give designers the ability to specify a stylish piece that enhances the overall decor of a space, while adding a social distancing component that also happens to be finger-print free and easily cleaned." The Deco-Defender, as its name suggests, also includes ATI's LuxCore Plus translucent FRP panel—an insert that fits into the framed aluminum system to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 and, like all product components, its built to withstand frequent disinfecting with anti-viral and commercial-grade cleaners.
Importantly, ATI Decorative Laminates takes the guesswork out of the specification process, offering designers cost-efficient, 'go to' options when it comes to high-quality protective partitions, wallcoverings, and more. Designers have the ability to customize products, such as the Deco-Defender, with artwork or logos to create a truly original accent while choosing a matte or gloss antimicrobial coating. ATI Decorative Laminates' MirroFlex line of textured wallcoverings and tiles, as well as its Door Skins collection, also passed compatibility tests with a wide variety of disinfectants used to kill the COVID-19 virus without showing discoloration or damage.
"We offer designers the same ATI quality and options they're used to, but now they also have the assurance of knowing they can treat these products with tough antiviral cleaners," added Combrink. "Everyone is investing money in antiviral cleaners and products now, since the liability of not having a clean space is obviously huge, and we make that conversation a bit easier by assuring designers that our products have been proven to withstand frequent disinfecting so clients can focus on keeping their businesses running."