Harmonized Surface Design Makes Spaces Sing | Panolam Surface Systems

Harmonized Surface Design Makes Spaces Sing

Published in the June issue of Interiors and Sources.  

Harmonized Surface Design Makes Spaces Sing

Same design across different performance surfaces? Panolam’s been listening.

Let’s say you have an extensive commercial project that requires furniture, cabinets and wall treatments. And let’s say different areas require varying levels of durability. Let’s also say you’ve visualized matching and complementary visuals throughout, and that you don’t have time to hunt for all these coordinating products yourself.

Now, let’s just say “Panolam.”

Panolam Surface Systems’ entire collection of over 500 colors and designs is available in HPL and TFL (thermally fused laminate) decorative panels as well as FRL® (fiber-reinforced laminate) Wall Protection Panels, allowing you to use the same design across multiple platforms. Add matching edge treatments and custom digital printing to the conversation. Now we’re really talking!

Panolam is one of the few companies that produces almost every element of its materials, from the resins that bind the composite wood panels to treating the overlays protecting decorative surfaces. This ensures the consistently high quality and performance behind the brand’s reputation, across all its material solutions:

TFL, created by bonding a printed paper décor layer directly to a composite wood substrate, is the decorative panel design trailblazer. TFL:

  • Delivers the most realistic woodgrain designs and textures available;
  • Offers commercial-grade wear resistance; and,
  • Is one of the most cost-effective surface options because it’s incredibly efficient to manufacture.

HPL is offered in Pionite and Nevamar brands which Panolam has made even better, with:

  • Optional chemical and high wear resistance;
  • Marker Board finishes on any design;
  • Double-sided solid phenolic ThickLam™ panels up to one inch thick; and,
  • ThruColor™ solid-color cores that eliminate the dark line.

FRL uses proprietary fiberglass technology to fortify wall panels against impact damage and is over four times more wear-resistant than its nearest competitor. FRL is:

  • Impact-resistant enough to withstand hammer blows (as well as shopping carts and emergency-room gurneys);
  • Class-A fire rated; and,
  • Chemical resistant.

ZGF integrates art and wayfinding in durable healthcare wall panels

These heavy-duty properties, combined with Panolam’s custom design capabilities, make FRL a go-to solution for world-class healthcare interiors.

“As we were designing the Seattle Children’s Hospital in 2006, we were really trying to change the healthcare experience of pediatric design,” says Kari Thorsen, NCIDQ, LEED and principal at the architecture and design firm ZGF in Seattle.

“We were looking for ways to simplify healthcare interiors as a whole and still satisfy the many distinct demands for these installations: durability, of course, but also ease of installation, ease of cleaning and clear wayfinding. Our goal was to reduce the visual ‘noise’ of bumper rails, panel transition seams, art and signage, and integrate it into one surface that can do everything we need it to, all while creating a visually calming space.

“Panolam’s custom printed FRL panels allowed us to achieve our core principles: decreasing visual clutter while integrating more of the discovery, wayfinding and artwork, on a material that holds up better against impact and wear than anything else we’ve used. The panels we specified for the Seattle Children’s project still look new; other materials in those areas have required replacing.”

FRL panels are adhered directly to existing walls and seamed together edge-to-edge with silicone rather than transition trim pieces, further reducing those visual distractions that are easily damaged by carts and harbor bacteria, viruses, moisture and dirt.

“The ability to print whatever we want gives us a ton of flexibility in our design, and our clients get better branded environments. It’s really been amazing for us and our clients.”


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