CHAPTER 9: INTERIOR FINISHES
Protective resilient fall zones under interior climbing equipment in ac-
9.3 Types of Finish Materials
cordance with the Handbook for Public Playground Safety, US Con-
sumer Product Safety Commission of 10 stitches per 25 mm, anti-mi-
crobial feature, and 1800 mm minimum wide goods with non-PVC back-
The following sections contain guidelines for finishes for floors, walls, and
ceilings, and discuss issues to consider when selecting finishes.
Add additional protection for gypsum wallboard, such as veneered plas-
ter, impact resistant wallboard, fiberglass wall covering or some other
9.3.1 Wall Finishes:
means to "toughen" otherwise vulnerable surfaces in high use areas
Paint: Interior paint must be non-toxic and comply with Green Seal's
such as multi-purpose rooms and corridors.
standard for "Paints," which includes VOC content limits of 50 grams
per liter (flat) and 150 grams per liter (non-flat), as well as restrictions on
9.2 Color and Texture
the harmful ingredients listed in Appendix E. Exterior paint must comply
with GSA Federal Specification TT-P-2846 which requires that paint
Both color and texture have a great impact on children. The sense of
contain a minimum of 50% post consumer waste paint taken from com-
touch is directly related to cognitive development, and color has far-reaching
munity collections. In addition, it must be lead and chromate free as
effects which influence behavior. While cool colors tend to have a calming
defined by Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines
effect, and warm colors tend to create warmth and excitement, a consistent
and must not contain any of the EPA 17 chemicals.
extreme of either in a center is not desirable.
Creation of a wainscoat is important to protect surfaces.
Glazed coatings: Appropriate for wet areas.
9.2.1 Use of Color:
Decorative, scrubbable eggshell, minimum paint or linoleum wainscot
The overuse of a strong color scheme should be avoided, as this may
should be used instead of vinyl or other wallcoverings where possible.
result in over-stimulated, excited behavior. The predominant color above
Textiles on vertical surfaces within reach of children are not recom-
the level of the wainscot should be neutral and, in general, achieve a
mended, but work well for surfaces such as bulletin boards above
reflectance of 80% or greater. Stronger, more vivid colors with reflectance
of 65% may be applied on one wall in corridors and along the rear walls of
Glazed Ceramic tile: Appropriate for wet areas such as toilets and kitch-
classrooms (opposite windows). Bear in mind that children's clothing is
ens. Ceramic tile is durable, non-porous, and very cleanable, especially
usually much more colorful than that of adults, and their toys and art add a
if grout material is epoxy. Sound deflection can be a problem with this
great deal of color to the environment. Therefore, little "color statement" is
required on the part of the designer. Do not use primary colors on walls.
Display surfaces: Chalkboards, marker boards, or magnet boards may
Too little color is better than too much in an environment where children will
be provided as a wainscot up to 900 mm or higher. Display systems
spend a great deal of time. Avoid complex patterns on walls and floor
requiring tacks are not allowed and tape may damage finishes and is
coverings. Select colors appropriate to the activity, using color cues to
not allowed. The baseline amount of space available for display for
identify particular areas. Warm (as opposed to bright) hues are preferred,
each classroom will be 2400 mm long and 900 mm high. GSA will
when appropriate. Once the color scheme has been selected as part of
provide "art waxer" equipment which allows children's art to adhere to
the design effort, it can be changed only with the approval of the RCCC.
finishes without clamps, tacks, or tape.
Mirror: Provide shatterproof mirror surfaces, particularly in crawling and
9.2.2 Use of Texture:
toddler areas. Provide grab bars in front of mirrors for infants and tod-
Provide a variety of textures on surfaces within reach of children, especially
dlers. Mirrors shall be safety glass, acrylic, or reflective metal. Baseline
for infants and toddlers. Utilize soft textures whenever possible, especially
amount of mirror space for infants and toddlers will be 1800 mm long,
in quiet or sleeping areas to promote relaxed and quiet behavior. Hard
450 mm high per classroom.
textures are more appropriate for large motor activity areas where livelier
Use 5/8" Water Resistant (W/R) type wallboard ASTM C630 in all toilet
behavior occurs. The use of subtle, varied, natural textures is highly
rooms, utility rooms, and kitchens.
encouraged as they are soothing and interesting to children.
PBS-140 - July 2003