Reception desks tend to be standard office desks, usually with the addition of a raised shelf to at the front of the desk to accommodate people as they walk into an office.
Reception counters, on the other hand are specifically designed pieces of office furniture which tend to be higher than normal office desks and can probably accommodate more than one receptionist. You see them in many buildings - as well as normal offices they can be found in hotels, sports centres, airports etc.
You need to be careful when choosing a reception counter. Bespoke reception counters can be purchased, but as these are designed and built for the specific application, they can be expensive and can take a very long time: 6-8 weeks is normal. Obviously, they can be tailored to your exact requirements, for example a specific wood veneer or designed to fit in a precise space, but the costs are likely to run into many thousands of pounds.
Bespoke Reception Counter
Next on the list is the modular reception counter. These are made up from standard units, for example 90cm straight units, 90-degree corner units etc, and can be tailored to many different spaces. The modular approach leads to significant cost savings and can look almost as good as a bespoke solution. Additionally, they offer increased flexibility as requirements change, for example they can be extended to accommodate extra reception staff. There are often a wide range of finishes available, but while the product may be standard, they are often built to order and have a delivery lead time of about four weeks from approval of drawings.
Modular Reception Counter
When specifying and buying a reception counter you must take account of the Disability Discrimination Act, which requires that you make adequate provision for disabled people. This may require you to have a low area of the reception counter to be able to assist wheelchair users.
When choosing reception counters, you must pay careful attention to the materials and the finish. Many people think that a real wood veneer finish is the best - it will almost certainly look better from new, but requires a fair degree of maintenance to keep that look. Also, it is likely to be significantly more expensive that the alternatives. With modern techniques, a man-made finish, like Melamine or HPC looks nearly as good and will be much cheaper. Also, they require much less maintenance and are very resistant to scratching, hot coffee cups etc.
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