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School Lockers Ranked by Durability, Longevity, & More

When it’s time to replace the lockers in your school, you’ve got a lot of options to consider. You may be thinking of using the same type of lockers, but you should really know how they stand up to the other materials that are available. You’ll want to choose a material that will be durable, long-lasting, and low maintenance. There are a few options to think about before making the decision.

The Types of Lockers

Lockers can be made from a variety of materials, but they’re mostly found as metal, plastic, and even wood. However, there are different types of plastic that can be used for lockers. Each material has their distinct advantages, but some are better than others.

  • Steel lockers are the traditional go-to for schools. They’re easily painted, strong, and reliable. However, there are a few downfalls with this material because they can easily rust and get dented.
  • Wood has been a trusted material for building since the dawn of the human species. Wood looks great, feels good, and provides a secure compartment. Still, wood isn’t impervious to water and other factors.
  • Laminate lockers are highly durable. They feature a wooden interior with a plastic laminate exterior. Unfortunately, the laminate exterior can peel off, leaving the wood exposed.
  • Phenolic plastic is strong, reliable, and easily customizable to fit any design pattern or décor. Its interior features a kraft paper core.
  • High-density polyethylene is a solid plastic made from recycled material and provides a strong and solid structure.

How These Materials Rank

While all of the previously listed materials are great for lockers, there are a few factors that may sway your decision. Let’s see how these materials rank in a few important categories.

Durability

Lockers are meant to be durable, considering that they’re meant to hold and protect belongings. While most of these materials are durable, there are a few that don’t hold up to the rest. Most notably, wood lockers can lose their durability when they become waterlogged. Steel lockers can actually dent when slammed or pushed hard enough. Laminate, Phenolic, and HDPE plastic are the most durable lockers in this bunch.

Longevity

When you choose your lockers, you’ll definitely want to pick a long-lasting material. Out of all these choices, HDPE plastic offers the most longevity since it’s warranted for 25 years. Phenolic plastic can absorb moisture and sprout mold. Laminate can peel and its core can be chipped. Steel lockers can rust, requiring some considerable maintenance.

Cost-Effective Maintenance

Another major factor to consider is low-cost maintenance. Steel lockers tend to need fresh coats of paint throughout their lifespan. When the kraft paper core of Phenolic plastic absorbs moisture and grows mold, they usually need to be replaced. Laminate lockers can lose their protective coating, leaving their wooden interior exposed to the elements. HDPE plastic, on the other hand, can stand up to humidity and moisture, doesn’t require repainting, and its hinges remain intact over the years.

Now that you’re familiar with how these locker materials rank, you’ll know which ones would be right for your school. Want to learn more about how to go about choosing your school’s lockers? Check out this eBook, How to Choose Lockers for Your School, from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

Determining the Lifecycle Cost of Lockers: Metal vs HDPE

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When you’re choosing the lockers for your school or facility, there are a variety of factors at play that you need to consider, not just for the immediate future, but for the long term. Choosing the right material for your lockers is crucial if you want to have functional storage compartments, but you’ll also want durable lockers that’ll last the years so you can get the most out of them without having to ensure a costly replacement years down the line. Making the right decision can end up saving you the costs for replacements and even maintenance. Learn more about the lifecycle cost of your lockers and the difference in cost between metal and HDPE lockers over time.

Choosing the Right Materials

Metal lockers have been the standard for a long time due to their durability, but they’ve received some criticism over the years because of the constant upkeep and maintenance that they require. Lately, some facility managers have been gravitating toward HDPE (high-density polyethylene) lockers because of the low-cost maintenance, durability, and their longevity. But in order to make the decision, you need to learn the benefits of both materials.

Metal Lockers vs HDPE Lockers

Both metal and HDPE lockers provide a strong construct that can last a long time and perform effectively for years. However, as most facility managers have learned, metal lockers are actually susceptible to a variety of factors and issues that can result in costly and recurring maintenance. HDPE requires very little maintenance over the years, resulting in less costs and a longer lasting material.

Metal lockers are susceptible to mold growth. Whether it’s in the locker room, or a lengthy corridor, moisture and humidity will cling to the metal. Over time, unsightly mildew will begin to sprout, resulting in a foul smell and a drop in air quality. Ridding the lockers of mold and mildew can be a costly and repetitive endeavor.

HDPE materials, on the other hand, are made of solid plastic. Mold can’t penetrate its thick construction, and its exterior is impervious to humidity and moisture. HDPE lockers are also resistant to impacts, scratches, and dents, and even graffiti can be eradicated with a simple wipe.

Benefits of HDPE Lockers

There are numerous benefits to choosing HDPE lockers over metal ones. The most obvious is cost. Metal lockers require a lot of maintenance and upkeep over the years, whereas HDPE lockers don’t require extensive repairs of cleaning. In a study conducted over 20 years, HDPE has been proven to not only last longer, but require less maintenance. Within two years, HDPE lockers are less expensive than metal lockers.

Because of the low cost of maintenance with HDPE lockers, you don’t have to repaint them. This has the added benefit of keeping VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emissions out of your facility’s air. HDPE lockers are also less noisy than metal lockers, without the loud clanging whenever the lockers are shut. If you’re looking for low-maintenance, cost-effective, and long-lasting lockers, then HDPE is one of your best options.

 

Want to learn more about the benefits of HDPE lockers? Read The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Can your Lockers be Durable and Still Look Good?

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When it comes to installing new lockers, you have many choices as far as available materials. While metal lockers are believed to durable and reliable, their design lacks visual appeal. And while plastic lockers have a new-age design, people have the misconception that they aren’t as strong as metal lockers. So can lockers be durable and still look good?

Contrary to popular belief, you can have durable and good-looking lockers for your facility by choosing HDPE plastic lockers, such as Scranton Products’ Duralife lockers. Continue reading so you can learn just how Duralife lockers are superior to metal lockers in both looks and durability. Read more