A Look at What’s New in Retail and Hospitality Design

Today’s products help create better results
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Sponsored by Construction Specialties, Inpro, Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating, and NanaWall Systems
By Peter J. Arsenault, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP
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Resilient Interior Doors

Swinging doors are common, necessary elements of any retail or hospitality space and are appropriately selected to meet specific functional needs. Additionally, as significant visual components, they can contribute to, or even be the center of, an overall interior design. Essentially, doors and frames are both workhorse elements of a space and a feature that can enhance a design concept. Although doors are not the focus of design in many cases, certain retail and hospitality buildings such as hotels are starting to use more creative door designs to enhance their interiors.

The key to successful door selection in high-use areas is to specify a system that not only looks great but also performs well, holding up to daily use and potential abuse. In that regard, there are several qualities to look for:

  • Doors that are specifically manufactured for high-impact areas and are clad with ultra-durable coverings for demonstrated protection.
  • Attention to door edges, since that is where most door damage occurs. Some are specifically manufactured to feature rounded, replaceable stiles and edges for extra protection. Better yet, some carry a warranty against damage for the lifetime of the door.
  • The covering on doors can be specified to be bacterial and fungal resistant.
  • Some doors are made of PVC-free material, can be Cradle to Cradle Certified, and can help to contribute toward LEED v4 credits.
A life-cycle comparison of different types of doors.

Image courtesy of Construction Specialties

A life-cycle comparison of different types of doors shows that over a 10 year period, 500 wood doors in a facility would cost $800,000 more to buy and maintain than protected doors and frames.

While all of these attributes help with the performance of the door, designers no longer have to sacrifice aesthetics for durability. They are available in a broad range of colors and patterns, and they can fit seamlessly into any design concept. In addition to extensive standard design choices, some products also allow architects to display any image, pattern, photograph, etc. on a door without compromising durability.

Using protectively coated doors helps keep entire openings looking like new over time. A life-cycle cost analysis comparing wood doors to protected doors showed that a facility can benefit from substantially less cost over time by using the protected doors. This tested durability means that the intended aesthetic of any space will hold up, even in high-traffic areas like utility rooms and housekeeping areas.

Mike Delin, senior manager of product marketing with Construction Specialties, says, “We know hospitality architects and designers are looking for long-lasting products with enough style options to meet their complex design needs.” That is why the industry is so robust with durable product offerings to fit seamlessly into the vision for any space.

Cutaway graphic and photo of solid-core wood doors.

Image courtesy of Construction Specialties

Protected solid-core wood doors can be specified with reinforced surfaces and easy to replace door edges, all of which fit into overall design schemes.


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Originally published in Architectural Record


A Look at What’s New in Retail and Hospitality Design
Buyer's Guide
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