A materials guide for the veterinary facility


Materials guide for veterinarians

Materials guide for veterinarians

BDA Architecture/Wayne Usiak & Associates

9016 Washington St. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 871125

(505) 822-0282

A materials guide for the veterinary facility

Interior finishes are among the most difficult and controversial areas of animal hospital design and construction. The following list of materials, some guidelines and/or limitations for their use, and a partial list of manufacturers are provided for your use. While these materials are proven performers, success in your design and construction projects will depend on several factors. Local representation of the manufacturers; trained, available craftsmen; and competent local dealers are all essential to success. Proper material selection, appropriate substrate and preparation, and correct installation practices and accessories must also be considered. Manufacturers listed are not necessarily the only acceptable proprietors and they are not receiving my personal endorsement, but they have been used successfully on previous projects. You are welcome to contact me at any time for additional information or opinions on these or other materials and suppliers. — Wayne Usiak

Wall finishes

The least expensive and easiest to apply wall finish is paint. Paint finishes range from acrylic latex and enamel to epoxy. Paints have the added advantage of being easily repaired or changed in color. Their major disadvantage is durability. Most are easily scratched, particularly when applied over gypsum board, the most common wall substrate. In paint application, substrate preparation is always a key issue, as wall flaws usually telegraph through, and successful bonding relies on correct preparation.

Vinyl wall coverings should be classified as Type II to be suitable for veterinary facilities. These wall coverings are scrubbable; durable; relatively scratch resistant; and come in a wide range of colors, textures, and designs.

Sheet plastics (acrovyn, kydex) are up to 1/8" thick solid sheets typically sold in 4-foot-wide sheets that are 8, 10, or 12 feet long. They are glued to the wall and provide excellent scratch and impact resistance. Up to 50 colors (all solid) are available.

Plastic laminates can be applied directly to the wall or to wood sheets and then to the wall. They are offered in numerous decorative options and are highly durable.

Ceramic tile can be purchased with glazed, matte, or porcelain finishes. It is very durable, moisture resistant, and design flexible. Tiles are available in 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 4 x 4, 6 x 6, 8 x 8, and 1-foot squares.

Fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) board is available in 4-foot sheets that are 8, 10, or 12 feet long. It is roughly 1/16" thick and is usually a pebble texture surface. Colors are typically white, beige, and gray; a full line of corner and edge trims are also available. It is often used in commercial kitchens because of its durable, readily cleanable, hosable surface finish.




Paint on concrete block

prime coat



  • block filler with sealer finish coat
  • Sherwin Williams 
  • vinyl acrylic latex paint

  • (normal use) 
  • Pratte + Lambert 
  • epoxy paint (wet areas)
  • Paint on gypsum board 
  • same as above 
  • general: 
  • acrylic latex semi-gloss

  • or eggshell 
  • mild moisture resistance: 
  • one part ester epoxy 
  • wet or abrasive resistance:
  • two part catalyzed epoxy 
  • contaminants (urine, etc):  
  • polyamide epoxy

  • chlorinated rubber 

  • moisture cureurethane
  • Vinyl wall coverings  
  • Type II 
  • Vicrtex Koroseal 
  • Sheet plastics  
  • .028-.125 thick, 4' x 10' sheets or 4' rolls 
  • Acrovyn

  • Kydex
  • Laminates
  • low pressure (melamine) 
  • generic 
  • high pressure  
  • Formica Wilsonart 
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