A little bit of metal can make a big impact.
From light fixtures to coffee tables, metal can be found in almost every room of a hotel. Manufacturers and designers typically choose metal since it’s more durable than other materials, and has the potential to last for years if taken care of correctly. Materials like wood, fabric, and leather furniture often require more maintenance. Metal is far more resistant to standard wear and tear and is stronger and heavier than wood and plastic furniture, meaning it can survive the longest – a key advantage for hotel operators. We have some Metal 101 for you to consider for your next project.
Types of metals
There are five main types of metals used in the hospitality industry: aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, and wrought iron. Aluminum can sometimes be confused for stainless steel, but is lighter and more affordable. Aluminum is commonly used for outdoor furniture, like outdoor chairs by the pool. Stainless steel, though more expensive than aluminum, provides a polished look to furniture and fixtures, like accent tables and sinks. Because of the chromium, stainless steel doesn’t oxidize or corrode and is generally low maintenance.
Brass is typically used on lighting and fixtures such as curtain rods and sink faucets. It provides an upscale look while being also relatively low maintenance. Solid brass can be costly at a per-unit price, while plated brass is more budget-friendly. Copper is another type of metal used to finish lighting and sinks. Wrought iron, providing a generally rough surface, is typically found on fireplace accessories, rustic beds, and lighting.
Types of metal finishes
Taking a metal and converting it into a usable material and design can come in different forms. Typical metal finishes include antiqued, brushed, hammered, polished, and satin.
- Antiqued – makes the metals appear historic by darkening or tarnishing its appearance
- Brushed – a matte finish that looks like faint brushstrokes on metal
- Hammered –small indents are cut into the metal, as if it’s been pounded
- Polished – creates a mirror-like surface
- Satin – similar to brushed and polished, this finish is smooth, matte, and polished
Finishes that provide a matte or glossy look are produced through the use of powder coating. While the preferred finishing method is subjective, a powder coat is known to be slightly more durable than other methods.
Another option for finishing is through electroplating, which provides a much stronger coat than paint. Electroplating is a decent option to use in environments where temperatures change drastically and are able to coat furniture and design elements evenly, even those in unique or odd shapes.
A newer method of finishing metal that’s gaining popularity is Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). In this process, metal is vaporized in a vacuum, then deposited on another metal or alloy. Because this coating occurs at the molecular level, it creates a high-performance, corrosion-resistant finish that can be used in a number of applications from faucets to marine fixtures.
The value of metal in hospitality
Metal can be the perfect material for any type of design need or element in your next hotel, from the patio to the dining rooms and the lobby. Caring for metal is easy – no chemicals needed; just dusting and soap and water. Metal is weather and flame resistant, and can typically meet your vision regardless of budget size.