infection control

Dupont Corian Dental Office CaseworkThe healthcare industry has long understood the necessity of reducing the spread of bacteria by minimizing the use of porous materials. For years the healthcare industry has utilized Plastic Laminate (PLAM) casework because of the cost effective traits. Solid surfaces such as Corian ®, Durasein ®, Krion ®, LG HI-MACS ® and Avonite ® may cost more upfront; however, this material is virtually future proof.

Casework has traditionally been made of Plastic Laminate clad MDF with PVC glued to the edges. Some of the shortcomings of PLAM casework is the lifespan before adhesives start to fail, the durability of laminate materials and the lack of positive aesthetics. Once the casework is damaged or begins to come apart, it is no longer suitable for healthcare without the risk of harboring bacteria. No health system wants to find out that the loose PVC edging on a piece of casework is spreading bacteria. PLAM is traditionally made using square or rectangular shapes which limits the creativity of design. Today health systems are looking to assist people with ailments as well as being known as a leader in design.

Solid surface material is ideal for the healthcare industry. Solid surfaces are non-porous making it resistant to bacteria growth. Solid surfaces are easy to clean and because there are no layers, it will not separate. Solid surface is easy to repair, long lasting and can be thermoformed into any shape. At ASST, we have 20 years of experience fabricating casework for the healthcare industry. If you want to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria and wow your customers with the design, solid surface is the obvious choice.

If you want your next project to stand the test of time and “wow” your customer, let ASST help you out. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.

Flush Mount SinkWhat is a flush mounted sink? A sink whereas the edge is flush with the top. There are different ways to mount a sink. Sinks can be top mounted, under mounted, or flush mounted. A sink that is glued or braced to the top of the counter creating an overlap is top mounted. This type of sink can be simply dropped in, glued and caulked. It can also be dropped in, fastened with hardware underneath and caulked. Under mounted sinks are glued under the counter or mounted with hardware. Flush mounted sinks are also glued under the counter. The counter is then cut down to fit the dimensions of the sink.

In all commercial environments reducing the risk of bacterial infection is essential. Mitigating the risk of bacterial infection is most essential in healthcare, education and laboratory environments. Since up to 80 percent of a bacterial cell’s weight is water, a sink is an ideal place for bacteria to propagate. Traditional top mount or bottom mount sinks leave a lip. This lip combined with moisture is a perfect environment for bacteria to lurk. Designing and building sink tops and bowls that promote bacterial growth can be a liability for the customer.

Flush mounted sinks are seamless, reducing the risk of bacterial growth, and aesthetically pleasing. The sink and top act as one continuous surface. This seamless design allows for a chic look and a healthy environment. ASST fabricates and installs these solid surface flush mounted sinks for commercial environments.

Call us today for your next commercial solid surface flush mounted sink project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.

Childrens National Medical Center - solid surface interiorProper care for solid surface should always follow the guidelines set by each individual manufacturer. Manufacturers have their own recommendations. Follow these guidelines to avoid incorrect cleaning procedures that could potentially void a warranty. It is also important to first identify the specific finish level that was applied to the solid surface before you start any cleaning procedures.

Commercial facility maintenance crews may not realize that determining the finish level is the most critical part of the cleaning process. Solid surface can be finished to four different sheen levels: matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Each finish level has specific requirements for care. Matte finish is the most popular because it has a low sheen and requires the least maintenance. Satin requires a bit more care and semi-gloss and gloss require a certified fabricator to maintain the finish. If manufacturer guidelines are not followed by facility maintenance personnel, costly refinishing may be required by a certified solid surface fabricator to correct the problem.

ASST takes the maintenance of our solid surface product seriously. We supply manufacturer maintenance recommendations to all customers to ensure clear communication with regard to specific product care. As a general guideline, regular daily cleaning can be done with warm soapy water, ammonia-based household cleaner, or a dedicated countertop cleaner. Be sure to use a soft cloth lint free cloth especially for semi-gloss and gloss finishes. To prevent hard water marks, rinse and wipe completely dry after cleaning; clean up spills before they dry. To remove hard water marks, use a product formulated for this task. Lime-A-Way is one such product that can remove these stains. For disinfecting surfaces, diluted bleach (5 Tbsp. of bleach to 1 gallon of water) is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for disinfecting surfaces. Removing blotchy appearance or fine scratches can be achieved with an non-abrasive cleanser such as Softscrub with a wet sponge, buffing in a circular motion. Semi-gloss and gloss finishes can be cleaned with liquid soap and water. A white Scotch-brite pad can be used to remove stains using circular motions. Semi–gloss and gloss finishes however may require a certified fabricator to remove serious scratches and whirl marks. Remember that working with a certified fabricator like ASST means having access to experienced professionals who will assist in keeping your solid surface investment looking great!

First impressions always count. Be sure to call us for your next project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.

Modular Vanity SystemDesigning restroom spaces that are both attractive and durable is a challenge. Properly designed public restroom facilities can enhance the experience for those who use and maintain their appearance. Restrooms in public spaces must meet the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Studies have shown that proper design and planning reduces both queuing issues and facility vandalism.

Traditional plastic laminate vanity countertops and drop-in china sink bowls provide an opportunity for moisture to destroy a particle board substrate. This creates an optimal environment for bacterial growth. We have all witnessed restroom countertops with laminate surfaces that have swelled from exposure to water.

To address this common problem, ASST developed a wall hung solid surface vanity system. The 30” wide modular units utilize a sturdy aluminum and polyethylene support structure with a removable solid surface front panel. The front panel is removable allowing for easy access to plumbing. The Modular Vanity system™ is available in 30” wide increments and includes a solid surface top, backsplashes, side panels and your choice of an integral mounted sink. The system is available in all solid surface sheet products such as Corian, Avonite and Staron. Without wood that can rot and grow mold, the system is perfectly designed to handle rigorous public restroom environments.

Get a solid surface vanity counter solution that will last for your next project.  Call us today for a project specific price quote at 717-630-1251 x305.

Infection Control and Prevention Using Solid Surfaces in Healthcare FacilitiesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approximately one in 25 hospital patients acquire at least one infection during their stay. These findings are alarming and have triggered an urgency to address the issues surrounding patient acquired infections. Facilities managers and infection control practitioners (ICPs) are aware of how bacteria and mold grow in and on horizontal and vertical surfaces. It wasn’t until recently that sinks, countertops and wall cladding were studied as potential sites for the spread of disease.

Plastic laminate finishes on healthcare casework and wall cladding have seams and exposed edges that can harbor bacteria. Laminate is actually compressed paper; while it is dense and may appear to be non-absorbent, it is porous and will absorb moisture over time. If caulking around a sink or other seam location deteriorates, water will penetrate into the laminate and the substrate below. The substrate is usually wood or particle board. Wet wood will harbor bacteria, especially Aspergillus fungi.

A solution to these problems can be found by utilizing solid surface which inherently inhibits bacterial growth. By creating a seamless, nonporous surface where pathogens can’t grow, solid surface can help with control issues and maintenance. Solid surfaces such as Corian, Avonite, LG or Krion can survive the impacts, nicks and cuts that ruin most wall surfaces. It is renewable, repairable and reusable. If the solid surface is damaged it can be repaired onsite, saving labor costs and resources. While warranties may vary from manufacturers, some will guarantee the material for as long a ten years.

Solid surfaces have proven superior performance in healthcare applications such as wall cladding, casework, countertops and more. Let us ASsiST you protecting the health of others with our custom solid surface fabrication. Contact us today for a quote.