High Traffic Commercial Spaces Vs. Your Design
Finding products that can meet the demands of active commercial interiors can be a challenge. And don’t get me started with the issues you face when working on really high traffic interiors. Airports, lobbies, emergency rooms and schools all place very high demands on your designs. Visually, the place might be perfect, but have you chosen products with the integrity to stand the test of time, or will they wind up costing your client more and more for frequent touch ups and repairs?
What To Consider
With so many things to consider when designing for a high traffic commercial interior, paint is one that often gets overlooked. That can cause big problems for you and your client. Cut corners with paint and that beautiful space you designed can quickly looked scuffed up and dirty. Choose right, however, and you could have a beautiful space and happy client for YEARS to come.
The first thing to consider in your paint selection for high traffic areas is the scrub rating. The durability test method that the paint industry uses is the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D2486 Scrub test. In this test, dried paint samples are repeatedly scrubbed with an abrasive brush until the surface of the paint deteriorates. Why should you care? This is almost as boring as watching paint dry.
Simply put, if you choose a product with a low scrub rating, or made of poor ingredients, it’s not going to hold up in your high traffic area, and your design is going to suffer. The lifespan of your project will be very short, and your client will be very unhappy. Make sure to select paint with a high scrub rating and you’ll be good for years.
Of course when designing your interior focus is going to be on the aesthetics of the space, too, rather than just some ASTM D2486 number. You are in LUCK because many of the specialty paints that have high scrub ratings also look fantastic.
A look you might not have thought of that could be a great solution to your problems is multi color paint. Multi color is a great solution for high traffic areas because it not only masks scuffs and stains on your walls, but they also have incredibly high scrub ratings (so you can clean those babies for years). Multi color paints have evolved a lot over the years and many now offer multiple finishes from metallic and pearl tone paints to your classic multi color look.
Check out our multi color paints lookbook for inspiration on how to design your high traffic commercial interior!