The food service industry and high-security businesses like banks have been using sneeze guards and reception partitions for decades. After the 2020 pandemic, many other businesses, hospitals, clinics and even retail stores began installing custom sneeze guards and glass partitions. If you’re interested in adding or replacing partitions at a commercial facility, here’s what you need to know.
A glass partition or sneeze guard can be as simple as a piece of Plexiglass mounted to a salad bar or a pane of tempered glass separating multiple people standing at a department of motor vehicles counter. Partitions can be:
- Fixed – These are usually sneeze guards that are fixed into place in restaurants and municipal buildings where people are standing close to each other.
- Free-standing – These moveable partitions may be mounted in a frame or on rollers so they can be moved and reconfigured as needed.
- Surround style – When full coverage is needed, two or three partitions can be used to create a protective “box” around a food service area or reception desk.
Partitions are available in different types of glass, depending on what type of protection is needed.
- Tempered – Safety is always a consideration when working with glass, and tempered glass is the gold standard in shatter-resistant glass partitions. It can withstand the wear and tear of movement when moveable partitions are needed.
- Low iron tempered (ultra-clear) – When crystal clarity is a must, low iron tempered glass is the clearest option available. Without iron, there’s no slight green tint to the glass, which makes it nearly invisible.
- Plexiglass – Less expensive than other types of partitions, plexiglass is a good option for temporary partitions or situations where a partition needs to be installed quickly and inexpensively.
- Polycarbonate – This glass alternative looks just like glass but it’s actually a high-performance plastic. It’s the same lightweight material used in eyeglass lenses, and it packs more strength than glass into a lighter, thinner material.
- Bullet resistant – Places of heightened security like banks, police stations, municipal buildings and hospitals are best served with bullet resistant barriers. This is also an option for convenience stores and businesses in high-crime areas.
Types of Openings
Also called speak-through windows, openings in glass partitions are used to help people hear each other. These openings are also used when documents or other items need to be passed from one side to the other. Openings aren’t needed if people can speak or reach over the partition, but they’re helpful in surround-style partitions.
- Circle – If only a small opening is needed to improve communication, a circle is a good choice and can be fitted with a stainless-steel grate or decorative screen.
- Rectangular or Dealer-Tray– When people need to exchange documents or larger items, a rectangle opening is typically cut into the partition at counter level to facilitate moving paperwork and materials back and forth.
Whether it’s a restaurant with a busy buffet, a bakery display case, a community bank or a medical clinic, there are many facilities that use clear partitions. Our team has decades of experience installing all types of custom sneeze guards, and partitions. We can help you choose the right solution for your business. Schedule a consultation today!