When you’re designing a commercial space, the countertops may be an afterthought. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of this detail. However, high-quality countertops are necessary for every commercial setting. You’ll want to consider several factors as you decide on the right countertops for your space. Think about durability, sanitation and the level of visual appeal needed for each countertop. Consider which of those factors should be your top priority.
Choose commercial countertop materials based on your industry’s priorities. Various materials have different advantages and benefits. In each setting, some countertop material options will be better suited than others. You can get creative with your countertops — use cuts, styles, shapes and colors to promote your desired image. Learn how to determine the best countertop materials for your commercial projects.
Table of Contents:
- Restaurant Countertops
- Office and Corporate Countertops
- Hospital and Healthcare Countertops
- Hotel Countertops
- Retail Countertops
- Commercial Bathroom Countertops
Why Commercial Establishments Need Quality Countertops
It’s important to invest in the best possible countertops for your business in terms of both form and function. High-quality countertops serve practical purposes — more important for some industries than others — but they also help you cultivate the best image for your business. Alongside other elements, countertops contribute to guests’ first impressions.
Forming a Positive First Impression
First impressions matter. When a potential client sees your commercial space for the first time, they notice details and make inferences about your business. This happens quicker than you might realize. Research suggests it can take only a fraction of a second to form a lasting first impression. As a business owner, you want your space to represent your brand values. With the right design elements, you can convey professionalism, sophistication, playfulness, forward-thinking, tradition or any other value.
Every piece of furniture will contribute to guests’ impressions, but countertops are one of the most significant elements. From the reception area and the product display to the bathrooms and the kitchen, you might invite a new guest to multiple spaces. Investing in quality countertops will help your business make a positive impression.
Saving You Time and Resources in the Long-Term
Investing in the right countertops can also save you time and resources later on. Choose a durable, easy-to-clean material. That way, your countertops will be easier to maintain and longer-lasting, saving you repair and replacement costs. Durability and sanitation are critical for the restaurant and healthcare industries, which have to adhere to legal guidelines.
Whatever your industry, your commercial countertops should:
- Help you represent and convey your brand.
- Contribute to a positive first impression.
- Be durable and sanitary enough for their application.
- Last for a long time.
Each industry has a unique set of needs and priorities. Different materials suit different applications best. Keep reading to learn about choosing the right countertops in the following industries:
- Corporate offices
- Healthcare facilities
- Retail spaces
- Commercial bathrooms
Commercial kitchens must adhere to certain guidelines. When designing a commercial kitchen, you have to follow local and state food service codes. In your food preparation and food service areas, your countertops must:
- Adhere to all legal guidelines, including federal, state and local.
- Be washable using normal means. You’ll want a surface that’s easy to keep clean.
- Be durable. They’ll have to face more wear and tear than countertops in other industries.
Uses of Restaurant Countertops
Restaurant countertops are subject to heavy use. In the kitchen, countertops endure chopping, slicing and heavy equipment, as well as leaks and spills. In a bar setting, the countertop has to stand up against spilled beverages and broken glass. A restaurant’s countertops take quite a beating.
What to Look For in Restaurant Countertops
You’ll want to look for a material that’s easy to keep clean and can withstand food preparation. Be sure to meet legal expectations and guidelines for your area. In a behind-the-scenes kitchen, appearance is less important than function, so try not to get hung up on style. On the other hand, if you have an open kitchen or a bar, you might put a little more emphasis on visual appeal.
Common Materials for Restaurant Countertops
The material you choose should depend on your needs as well as your budget. You’ll want to avoid tile countertops, which would be difficult to keep clean in a restaurant setting — the grout will trap dirt and debris. You’ll also want to avoid unsealed granite. Without a sealant, granite’s pores can harbor bacteria. Instead, you might opt for concrete or Caesarstone® quartz countertops. Both are durable, and Caesarstone quartz is especially easy to keep clean. It’s ideal for settings where sanitation is essential.
Office and Corporate Countertops
When it comes to an office or corporate setting, appearance is just as important as function. Unlike the hidden kitchen countertops of most restaurants, the countertops in corporate settings are subject to guest and client judgment. If you’re choosing corporate office countertops, prioritize both function and visual appeal.
Uses of Office and Corporate Countertops
Countertops have several uses in an office building. When furnishing a corporate office, you’ll want to consider your:
- Reception area
- Waiting or lounge area
- Conference or meeting spaces
Guests or potential clients are likely to visit any of these spaces, so appearance is crucial for all of them. It’s a good idea to invest in a sophisticated look and feel for these spaces. This will help contribute to a professional brand image and might help you win more business.
What to Look For in Office and Corporate Countertops
The qualities you look for will depend on the space. Of course, you’ll want to focus on easy cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom. You can get a little more creative when it comes to the reception area, opting for eye-catching shapes and designs. Think about the tone you want to cultivate for your brand. Perhaps you want an image of sophistication, authority or friendliness. You can use your countertops and other furniture to help create the ideas you want to convey.
Common Materials for Office and Corporate Countertops
Though traditional wood desks can look beautiful in a reception area, solid surface materials add a certain level of sophistication and grandeur. In addition, solid surfaces are often easier to clean and maintain than wood. Wood is prone to bending, warping, scratching and wearing. Rather than using wood in your corporate space, you might consider a Corian® solid surface countertop. As a synthetic material, it offers versatility in design. Corian can match your existing decor while adding a touch of style and class. It can also function as a bathroom or kitchen countertop.
Hospital and Healthcare Countertops
Cleanliness and sanitation are the top priorities for hospitals and healthcare settings. Patients have different expectations in these environments — they want to feel assured about sterility. Imagine walking up to a hospital’s reception desk and noticing it looks dingy or dirty. You’d question your health and safety and might even seek care elsewhere.
Uses of Hospital and Healthcare Countertops
Countertops have many uses in a healthcare setting, whether a hospital or doctor’s office. They’re necessary for:
- Reception areas
- Waiting areas
- Food courts and cafeterias
- Individual care rooms
In each of these areas, the countertops need to be easy to clean, promoting a sterile environment. Certain materials serve this purpose best. Unlike other industries, the healthcare industry has to prioritize sanitation over all else. Though visual appeal takes less precedence, sterile countertops can also be beautiful.
What to Look For in Hospital and Healthcare Countertops
Healthcare offices and hospitals require non-porous, antibacterial countertops. If you’re furnishing a healthcare setting, you’ll want to avoid granite and marble. Though these materials can look stunning in a home’s kitchen or office bathroom, they’re both too porous for a sanitary setting. You’ll also want to avoid individual tiles of any material.
Common Materials for Hospital and Healthcare Countertops
The most popular material for hospital and healthcare countertops is quartz. Quartz is one of the least porous countertop materials available, which makes it ideal for sanitary settings. It’s easy to keep clean and it can withstand everyday use. In addition, it has few bacteria-harboring seams or gaps. You can choose from several styles of quartz to fit your design aesthetics.
In the hospitality industry, appearance is everything. Guests expect to see clean, stylish and welcoming elements when they enter a hotel lobby or room. Shabby, cheap pieces of furniture are not an option. Your initial investment in strong, attractive countertops will pay for itself in no time.
Uses of Hotel Countertops
Every countertop in a hotel needs to give off a good impression, from the reception desk to the bar to the guest bathroom sinks. Hotel guests want to feel at home, but they also expect a certain level of luxury. In each of these spaces, you’ll want to use a material that will remain attractive after heavy use.
What to Look For in Hotel Countertops
Durability is key. Hotels host hundreds, if not thousands, of guests during the busy season. Those guests can be rough on surfaces — your countertops might withstand broken glasses, spilled cosmetics, hot hair irons and who knows what else. You need a material that’s easy to clean and resistant to chips, scrapes and heat.
Common Materials for Hotel Countertops
For hotel applications, a sealed granite countertop is always a great choice. Granite has the appeal of desirability and association with luxury. At the same time, it’s durable. Made from a mix of tough quartz and feldspar, granite is resistant to cuts, scrapes, heat and spills. Though you might invest a bit upfront, you’ll spend less on maintenance and repairs. You’ll also be more likely to receive positive feedback and earn more guests.
In retail spaces, creativity and style can help refine a unique brand image. When it comes to your countertops, you can choose uncommon colors and shapes to catch attention and attract your target customers.
Uses of Retail Countertops
Countertops serve some unique purposes in retail settings. Depending on the nature of your business, you might use countertops for:
- Product displays
- Checkout counters
- Customer service desks
- Guest restroom sinks
- Self-serve coffee bars
In a retail environment, visual appeal is an important factor. You want to give your guests the right impression of your business as they shop or interact with your staff. You can choose countertops to help you achieve these goals. The right countertops can accentuate products and contribute to an on-brand aesthetic.
What to Look For in Retail Countertops
Look for versatility and customization for your retail countertops. With the right material, you can represent your brand and show off your products in imaginative ways. Think about your target customer — how can your countertops appeal to that individual? For instance, if you sell fashionable clothes for teen girls, you can use countertops with bright colors and fun shapes to show youth and energy.
Common Materials for Retail Countertops
Corian solid surfaces can be heated and molded into different shapes, including curves and bends, through a process called thermoforming. With Corian, you can achieve waterfall edges, semi-circles and novel designs. This will allow you full creativity when it comes to designing your retail space. You can also repaint Corian to fit your color scheme and better accentuate your products.
Commercial Bathroom Countertops
Commercial bathroom countertops require both practicality and visual appeal. The impression of your business extends to its restrooms, which can help give your business a unique aesthetic.
Uses of Commercial Bathroom Countertops
In most cases, guests spend short stays in commercial bathrooms. Unlike hotel bathrooms, public restrooms are for quick pit-stops rather than full morning routines. For that reason, you might not need to invest in one of the most durable materials like granite. Instead, you can focus a bit more on visuals. This is one area where you can prioritize style.
What to Look For in Commercial Bathroom Countertops
When choosing a countertop for a commercial bathroom setting, look for affordability and attractiveness. Most guests will only pay a brief glance to these surfaces, so a positive first impression is more important than any other factor.
Common Materials for Commercial Bathroom Countertops
Since the visual appeal is the most important thing to consider, choose a beautiful, customizable countertop surface. For instance, you might opt for ceramic tile, choosing a cut and color to match your other design elements. You could pair stylish ceramic tile with a solid surface sink. Solid surface is a versatile, manufactured material. With a solid surface sink, you can mimic the look of high-end materials like porcelain or granite for a sophisticated effect with a lower price tag.
Request Your Free Quote From Henry H. Ross & Son, Inc.
If you’re looking for commercial countertops, keep in mind how important your investment will be in the long-term. The right countertops can help you create a positive impression and signify your brand image. A countertop made from durable, long-lasting material will save you repair and replacement costs, while an antibacterial countertop will help promote health and safety.
As you browse countertop options, It’s a great idea to seek guidance from a professional countertop authority. At H.H. Ross, we’re proud to be one of the most helpful full-service countertop companies. We can support you every step of the way from design to fabrication to installation. We’ll help you pick the right material for your application, then we’ll fabricate it to match your needs and style. Finally, we’ll complete the installation to ensure proper, damage-free placement. Elevate your commercial space with charming, functional countertops. To get started, request your free quote from H.H. Ross today.