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What is the difference between antimicrobial and bleach cleanable?

Antimicrobial:  Antimicrobial materials (fabrics or surfaces) are treated with or infused with one or several of a variety of substances (antimicrobial agents, chemicals, etc.)  to keep microbes such as bacteria and fungi from flourishing within its fibers or from growing on the surface of a material.  Antimicrobial substances will not kill or impact viruses in any way.

Bleach cleanable:  

  • Fabrics:  Bleach cleanable is a term applied to solution-dyed fibers, where the dye has been mixed throughout the fibers rather than being topically applied to the surface alone. Certainly, these fibers are more bleach resistant but not necessarily totally bleach-proof.
  • Surfaces: The ability to clean or wipe a surface down with a bleach solution without affecting the color or durability. Bleach cleanable surfaces include: Formica Infiniti
Which antimicrobial and bleach cleanable fabrics are approved and graded in with Hightower?

Hightower Graded In, Approved Antimicrobial & Bleach Cleanable Fabrics:

Hightower is pleased to have graded-in partnerships with five leaders in the fabric industry. Review a list of graded in and approved* fabrics, that are specifically antimicrobial and/or bleach cleanable. For additional graded in and approved fabrics, please contact our Project Management team at [email protected]

*Testing of fabrics is ongoing at Hightower and this list is subject to change. Please reference our fabrics section for more information on our process.

Where can I find Hightower’s Care and Maintenance instructions?

Click here to review Hightower’s general care and maintenance recommendations.


Why do we recommend using pre-approved textiles?

We believe the specification process should be as easy and streamlined as possible, all while achieving the highest possible level of quality. The truth is, not all fabrics perform well on all products, given individual design lines and upholstery processes. We want to make sure that the Hightower products you specify look their best. Our Pre-Approved Textiles list was created to do just that by providing recommendations for textile application based on our experience with textiles on our products.

How do I test a new fabric?

We consult with the leading textile companies to review new products as they are released to determine which Hightower products will upholster well with each of the unique fabrics.

We are also happy to test fabrics as requested. If you would like to include a fabric in our review process, please send your request to [email protected].

You can also make a testing request directly through your Project Manager.

What contributing factors determine yardage requirements?

Yardage requirements are based on the use of 54 in. wide plain goods.

Fabrics of narrower widths and / or which involve matching repeats will require additional yardage. Please contact Hightower Project Management for specific details at [email protected].

Hightower’s fabric application default is railroad. Stripes will be applied vertically unless our customer indicates otherwise. In the absence of specific cutting instruction, Hightower will cut fabric at its own discretion following these guidelines.

What is a Fabric Group?

The majority of pre-approved fabrics are assigned to a "Fabric Group" specified to a product set determined by Hightower. Please download the Fabric Groupings Overview here.

Not all products belong to a specific group - if you are looking for a product not shown in this "Fabric Groupings Overview" please visit the product's page for detailed textile information.

What are Hightower’s graded in fabrics?

Camira is an award-winning textile innovator designing and manufacturing upholstery and vertical surface fabrics across pure wools, wool-blast fiber blends and recycled polyesters.

KnollTextiles was the first company to address the fabric needs of the commercial interior. Today it is one of the largest textile suppliers in North American with products developed for a wide range of industries.

Ultra Fabrics has five decades of polyurethane craftsmanship behind them, continuing to reshape the world of animal-free performance fabrics - one surface at a time.

Carnegie is a creative company that designs and manufactures innovative textiles. With options in performance as well as plant-based, bio-based and sustainable textiles.

Luna was founded in San Francisco in 1994 to introduce a new style to commercial interiors. Since then, Luna has become an award-winning textile innovator designed for corporate, hospitality and healthcare settings.

What are the recommended care instructions for your graded-in fabric partners?

Hightower is pleased to have graded-in partnerships with five leaders in the textile industry. Each manufacturer takes great care and consideration in their products. Each has specific cleaning and manufacturing details that are important for you to be aware of. We’ve listed some resources below, yet we recommend you refer to their website for the most up to date information. 



Knoll Textiles




Can you tell me about Hightower’s leather?

Hightower Leather is partnered with the leading international tannery, who has earned a reputation serving the most demanding clients, and Hightower sales associates have decades of experience working with complex commercial and residential projects.

Our partner factory has perfected the tanning process over the past 75 years.  ISO 9000/9001 certified.

What are the sustainability attributes of Hightower’s leather?

Hightower Ecosoft is tanned with a chrome-free process, with $7 million invested in water-treatment improvements.

What is the lead time for leather hides?

Leather delivers within 4-7 business days to anywhere in North America.  Extensive inventory is stocked in all colors.

What are the 3 types of Hightower leather?


  • Soft and pliable semi-aniline leather.  Outstanding comfort combined with excellent durability and an extensive colorway makes it very suitable for public environments.  Visible insect bites and scars from healed wounds add to the elegant quality of the leather.
  • Ecosoft Colorway


  • Has a sturdy structure and a distinct character.  It is a semi-aniline leather with an extensive colorway.  The leather is durable and suitable for public areas.  Visible insect bites and scars from healing wounds add to the elegant character of the leather.
  • Avenda Colorway


  • It has a grain that varies in structure and offers outstanding comfort.  It is aniline leather with all the distinct features of a natural hide.  Madrona is a great option for residential applications.
  • Madrona Colorway
What are the Care and Maintenance Instructions for Hightower’s leather?  

Elmo Leather care instructions can be found here.



What types of laminate options does Hightower offer?

Hightower laminate options include: Formica Infiniti, Formica HPL Laminate and Wilsonart HPL Laminate.

How do you clean the various laminate options?
  • Formica Infiniti Laminate:  Formica Infiniti laminate has built-in antimicrobial surface protection, yet it does not have any anti-viral properties nor does it kill viruses.  Infinity laminate is also chemical resistant.  The use of bleach, ammonium chlorides, and other antimicrobials will not harm the surface. Please reference Formica’s Use & Care document for specific cleaning recommendations.
  • Formica HPL Laminate:  Standard Formica HPL is not antimicrobial. However, it is non-porous and very easy to clean using mild soap & water, and commonly found multi-surface cleaners such as Formula 409, Fantastic and Windex, etc. No abrasive cleaner is recommended. Bleach will remove color immediately and deteriorate the melamine surface over a short time. Please reference Formica’s laminate cleaning document for specific cleaning recommendations.
  • Wilsonart HPL Laminate:  To clean Wilsonart HPL, use a mild soap to clean the surface with warm water and wipe dry.  Prolonged exposure to bleach will cause discoloration. Click here for more cleaning details from Wilsonart.
What are the different edge types on laminate?
  • Self-edge:  A matching laminate edge that is adhered to the sides of a top to match the laminate surface.  Provides a clean aesthetic but it is not the most durable option.
  • ABS Edge Band:  A highly resistant laminate strip or band that is applied to the raw edge of the laminate top using adhesive.

    ABS edging is produced from a plastic material named (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). ABS shares most of PVC characteristics, but ABS is of lighter composition (lower density), does not include chlorine in its composition and is not flame retardant. ABS edging is 100% recyclable (thermo-disposable).
  • Exposed: The edge is left uncovered by a laminate or PVC edge band.  It exposes the substrate material.
What are the guidelines for custom laminates orders?
  • Minimum order of 6 tables at a 10% upcharge.  
  • Please reach out to your Project Manager for custom laminate approval.


What are the different wood finishes Hightower offers?
  • Soaped:  A soap finish is similar to an oil or wax finish in that it is so thin on the wood it appears like no finish at all. Soap also resembles a purely wax finish in that it adds no color to the wood; oil finishes add a yellow/orange coloring.  It is the closest to raw wood and the most natural of finishes.  Coasters are recommended.  Will take on red wine stains or other similar substances that spill on it.
  • Lacquered:  Water-based lacquer is more durable than most other kinds of finishes while the nitrocellulose types form a protective film that can withstand a lot of abuse.  Lacquer absorbs into the wood to form a better and long-lasting bond. 
  • Painted:  The application of paint to a wood’s surface.  
  • Stained:  The application of stain soaks into a wood’s surface whereas paint sits on top of the surface and does not penetrate.
How do you clean wood surfaces?
  • Wood surfaces are neither antimicrobial nor bleach cleanable. 
  • See Hightower Care and Maintenance instructions here for specific details on how to care for wood finishes.


Can powder coats be used outdoors?

Powder coats are not recommended for outdoor use.  Powder coatings that are applied to metal products exposed to the weather will inevitably degrade over time. A number of conditions, including those found in nature, will contribute to shortening the life of this type of protective finish.

How do you clean metal with a powder coat finish? 

Avoid Harsh Chemical Cleaners. Powder coatings can be damaged by harsh solvents. A number of commercial cleaning products can cause damage to these types of finishes. Once the finish has become damaged, it is much more vulnerable to fading, staining and failure of the finish itself. When harsh chemical cleaners are used on powder coated surfaces, the life expectancy of the finish can reasonably be halved.


Is Cork antimicrobial and/or bleach cleanable?
  • Cork has natural antimicrobial properties that have shown to reduce bacterial growth.
  • Cork will fade with the application of bleach.  It can also degrade the material over time.