How to Choose the Right Locker Material
When planning out your construction project, you want to get every detail correct — right down to the lockers your customers and staff will be using to keep their belongings safe.
How do you determine what material will work best for the lockers in your space, though? One component to consider is the environment your lockers will be occupying. Will they be subject to moisture? Do you need them to be easy to clean and be able to withstand heavy use?
To help you decide what locker material will work best for your gym, pool or other area, here are the four major options available for locker construction.
When you hear the word “locker,” you might think back to the metal lockers that lined the hallways in middle and high school. Since they cost the least initially, metal lockers generally are the go-to option for schools on a budget. If every student in school needs a locker, costs can add up quickly, so a school board generally opts for the traditional and most affordable option.
Metal lockers can offer your gym a great option if you aren’t looking to make a substantial investment compared to other choices. They stand up to moderate or heavy use depending on the kind of metal, and they are the usual go-to option for most situations.
When it comes to types of metal for your locker room surfaces, you have two main options:
- Powder coated steel
- Stainless steel
Powder Coated Steel
Powder coated steel gives you the best option if you are looking for affordability and durability. Through a process of adding a finely ground pigment and applying resin to the steel, you both color and strengthen the material. Thanks to this application, you can get the metal in almost any color, which gives you a wide variety of options to match the aesthetics of your locker room.
Another benefit of powder coated steel is its light weight. It is highly durable, but it’s still easy to install, maneuver and replace if necessary.
Powder coated steel could be the best option for you if:
- You value affordability but still want great performance.
- You want something that requires relatively little maintenance.
- You have an average amount of foot traffic.
- Your facility doesn’t experience a lot of humidity.
- You’re looking for something both durable and lightweight.
Stainless steel costs a bit more, but in return, you get a longer lifespan and more durability. This benefit will prove helpful in locker rooms that see a lot of traffic and use. The honeycomb core enables stainless steel partitions to be lightweight, but they are still extremely sturdy and able to withstand continuous, and occasionally rough, use. Its non-porous surface also makes it easy to clean and maintain, which will help you keep your locker room shining for years to come.
This locker material can also resist rust and corrosion more effectively than powder coated steel. The inclusion of metals like chromium in its composition plays a significant role in this material’s ability to hold up, even if you have a swimming pool or sauna. That extra moisture won’t damage the stainless steel.
Stainless steel can withstand even aggressive use as well. You can buff away any scratches or scuffs and effectively clean away any graffiti. The material maintains its shine and luster due to its simple upkeep, and the brushed steel color also adds an air of refinement to your locker room if you’re aiming for a polished, clean look.
Another added benefit to stainless steel is that it can be recycled and reused once you’re done with it in your locker room area, so it is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly option.
Stainless steel might work best for your space if you are looking for a material that:
- Stands up to high volume and occasionally rough use.
- Maintains its stellar appearance for years to come.
- Can handle the moisture of a pool or sauna environment or when patrons store wet objects in the locker.
- Is easy to clean and maintain.
- Is a greener option.
A lesser-known option, phenolic lockers are a hardy, sturdy option for a high-volume gym. The process of making a phenolic material begins with injecting sheets of kraft paper with a thermosetting resin. The surface layers receive an injection of melamine-based resins and then get bound by heat and pressure to create a homogeneous material.
The sheets get dyed and then are cured by light. Through this process, the product’s color becomes UV resistant and long-lasting. The dying process makes the material durable and able to accommodate a vast array of styles due to a wide color selection.
Although it’s hard to believe since the original materials are paper, the final product becomes a hard, dense, heavy material you can rely on for years to come. Its design makes it easy to clean both expected dirt and grime and unexpected vandalism, such as graffiti.
HDPE Plastic Lockers
HDPE plastic lockers require little maintenance even with regular use. It is made from a moisture-impermeable, non-porous material, so lockers constructed from HDPE plastic will never rust, delaminate or corrode. While they may be a larger initial investment, they will generally not require much maintenance in the years to come. They are highly durable as well.
The material absorbs and disperses impact, making dents caused by regular use, and even intentional abuse, almost non-existent. Additionally, the whole plastic is colored, not just the external coat, so it is virtually impossible to notice scratches. They retain their structural integrity and appearance for years.
Dirt, markers and paint are easy to wipe away and clean because the surface is impermeable and non-porous. Overall cleaning and sanitizing are also easier and more effective because of these features of the material.
Materials for Locker Room Partitions
Once you decide what type of lockers you need, it’s time to start thinking about your locker partitions.
Every aspect of your locker room deserves the same attention to detail. Choosing the right materials for locker room partitions is no different. That’s why we proudly manufacture our products in America with the care and quality you need in your new locker room.
If you want your locker room to look its best with prices you can afford, contact us today to learn more about how One Point Partitions can get the job done right. We’ll teach you how to choose locker room partition materials and get you the answers you need to get started.