Greenfield doesn’t recommend wooden surfaces for furniture for the same reason. Shellacking it with a clear finish isn’t a quick fix, either. “A laminate over wood can wear away, and there’s the potential for infection,” he said. Instead, he suggests other solid materials that resemble wood and are close enough to the real thing that people cannot tell the difference.
Explore This IssueNovember 2015
Keeping bacteria at bay also makes a difference when selecting floor coverings and wall treatments, said Bruce Puffer, president of the design firm Professional Interiors in Plymouth, Mass. “There have been improvements in surface materials for flooring, and [practices should consider] using seamless floors for a greater sensitivity to bacteria,” he said. Carpets used to be more common but are less so today, he added. New paints that resemble ceramic make surfaces easier to wash and are also more durable than traditional latex paint.—CA