Smart Paint for Healthy Hospitals: How Coatings Keep Healthcare Safe & Sanitary
Healthcare facilities are undoubtedly a special building type. From the proprietary equipment that fills its rooms, to the ultra-durable materials that line walls, floors, ceilings and more, every surface in healthcare must be carefully considered to provide maximum cleanability, safety and sanitary properties.
Paint and floor coatings are no exception here.
An experienced coatings contractor (like Custom Coatings) should understand the specific needs of healthcare facilities when it comes to painting time and be able to suggest products and techniques accordingly. But where do you start?
We’ve been spreading paint, installing high-tech floor coatings and freshening up healthcare facilities for more than thirty years. And in that time, we’ve learned a lot about what’s efficient and long-lasting when it comes to using coatings to improve the safety and cleanliness of facilities.
Here’s three things we know and like to pass along to our clients.
There’s a fine line between non-slip and super-cleanable
In the world of industrial facilities full of heavy machinery and man cave workshops full of sharp tools, non-slip floors are par for the course. They’re rough to the touch; epoxy coatings impregnated with bits of silica or other aggregate that ends up in a raised coating that grips shoes and tires. Thing is, it also grips and holds onto dirt. So, this type of flooring while decidedly non-slip is not a good choice for healthcare facilities, where ultimate cleanability trumps non-skid properties any day.
We recommend super-smooth floor coating applications instead. Choose a high-quality poured epoxy coating for high-mess rooms especially; the majority of brand-name products clean easily and stand up to the harsh chemicals needed to ensure sanitary conditions in healthcare. As long as the floor is kept dry, it will hold its traction. Most floors in such spaces are also coved up the walls a bit, removing the possibility of dust and grime getting trapped in sharp corners. Again, a professional floor coating contractor will be able to achieve this very functional detail and ensure your ORs and exam rooms stay clean and fresh from the floor up for years to come.
Accuracy matters when it comes to safety colors
ANSI standards dictate that certain spaces, piping and equipment be painted specific “safety” colors. Safety red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and more are designed by the American National Standards Institute to create a consistent environment of warning and safety in specific industrial and commercial settings. These colors are pretty precise, too; each is assigned a Pantone PMS color number in order to be immediately and consistently recognizable from room to room in a facility, or from facility to facility.
In healthcare, most of ANSI safety color painted items are a bit hidden, but they’re there (and just as important). Peek behind the scenes at a healthcare facility and you’ll likely see green oxygen lines (among other infrastructure). Painters with a keen attention to detail and an awareness of specific ANSI colors can ensure your facility’s sensitive materials are accurately and boldly called out, keeping staff, physicians and patients aware and safe. We’d recommend finding a contractor with experience in this area to make sure this important safety feature is given the attention it deserves.
Safe and sanitary doesn’t necessarily cost a lot more.
For something so specialized, you’d expect the cost of your coating installation to be higher than typical. The reality is, for us, paint is paint, no matter if it’s typical interior, commercial-grade epoxy or Jetsons-esque super-paint that dirt falls right off of. We quote it exactly the same way.
While most painters price per square foot, you’ll find that many price per square foot of floor, not wall space. (And unless they’re painting or coating your floor, that doesn’t make much sense, does it?) Look then, for a quote that prices per square feet of actual wall space. It makes a big difference.
For healthcare painting (and all painting), here’s how we price at Custom Coatings: For basic clean, prep, repair and one coat of paint, you’ll be looking at around $.45-$.65 per square foot on walls that are 10’ or less. Go higher, and the price goes up. The price of paint will affect that – and high-tech paints like the ones mentioned in this article will increase the price a bit, but just know that otherwise, the general cost of putting whatever paint you choose on the wall is the same no matter what type it is.
You’ll also need to account for the hourly rate of the labor if additional work is added after the fact. A price around $45-$50/hr. per worker is pretty much industry rate.
In summary, great paint and experienced installation, plus a clear understanding of the real work and appropriate price of painting in healthcare can be a big help when refreshing or refinishing your practice, hospital or surgery center. To get safe, get specialized – find a professional painting and coatings contractor with the right experience and who asks the right questions. It’s your best bet for creating a truly healthy environment.
Have additional questions? We’re here to help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to fill out a contact form. Want more helpful tips and information on commercial painting for healthcare? Check out our healthcare series on our blog, including articles about enhancing cleaning and safety with Antimicrobial Paints.