23 Apr Operable Partitions Covering Options
It may seem obvious, but operable partitions need some sort of covering on the panels. The covering is the front-facing material that will serve as the “face” of the walls. For most systems, the standard option is a traditional vinyl, which can be colored or stylized to match the needs of the specific space or client. However, many other options are available. Fabric is the second most common covering option, but wood veneer, writable marker surfaces and many other options are also available to suit custom needs. Multiple coverings can also be applied on the panels if desired.
Each option comes with its own benefits and advantages. For example, vinyl is generally the most durable and can even be upgraded in thickness to help prevent damage in abuse-prone and heavy-traffic environments, such as the education and hospitality sectors. For all intents and purposes, vinyl is also the easiest to clean and repair. A wainscot on the lower section where carts or chairs are likely to impact the partition is also a good idea when designing for these environments. In contrast, fabric is a common upgrade for more professional environments such as law firms and other high end establishments. It has a more elegant look, but is more prone to wear and is much harder to clean.
As mentioned above, wood veneers, plastic laminants, mirrors, markerboard and even custom murals or custom vinyl and fabric can be applied. Considerations must be taken into account when deciding what kind of operable partition covering you want to use, so when working with your architect or interior designer be sure to communicate exactly how the space will be used and how you want it to look. Remember that many design professionals aren’t fully versed in all of the available options, so contacting an operable partition distributor or manufacturer in the early stages can be very advantageous to ensure you get what you want and what is appropriate for your space.