Office Buildings: commonly used surfaces

Goals

To understand the most common types of surfaces (hard and soft) used in office buildings in order to review the type of products that aid in cleaning them.

Early Findings

Hard Surfaces

  • Glass — relatively new for use as internal partitions, "evergreen" as glazing for curtain walls.
  • Wood — there has been a resurgence in the use of wood as a material for walls, floors, counter tops and accents due to an increased focus on sustainability in construction. Additionally, hardwood flooring can be considered "evergreen" due to its sophisticated look and durability.
  • Drywall — as offices move toward open floor plans, the use of drywall for internal partitions has begun to be phased out.
  • Laminate — this is a highly affordable material and comes in a variety of finishes making it a highly used, "evergreen" desk and flooring material
  • Vinyl flooring — this remains a popular material for commercial spaces with high traffic, including offices since it offers long-lasting performance and high resistance to damage.
  • Tiles — tiles are another "evergreen" office flooring material since they are long-lasting and offer a great deal of customization. They will also be found in bathroom spaces,
  • Carpet — broadloom or wall-to-wall carpet is a traditional option but is being replaced by the more convenient modular carpet tiles. Popular fiber materials include nylon, polyester, polypropylene, acrylic and wool.


Soft Surfaces

  • Rugs — in 2020, there is a growing "resimercial" design trend that applies the comforting elements of residential design to commercial spaces, such as corporate offices. A key manner of doing this is by incorporating rugs and throw pillows in common spaces. Common rug materials include wool, cotton, jute and sisal, nylon, polyester and olefin.
  • Office chairs — the most common materials used to cover office chair seats include mesh, leather and fabric.
  • Office couches — office couches have always been popular in reception areas but are increasing in popularity due to the incorporation of more comfortable spaces for employee relaxation. Common materials for couches are rayon, nylon, polyester, linen and cotton.

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