“Back to school, back to school to prove to dad that I’m not a fool.”

It’s that time of year again – schools and universities across the nation are opening their doors, or will soon open their doors, to new and current students, faculty, professionals and professors. But what is the one place they all like to congregate, socialize or nourish their noggin – the cafeteria!

In the spring of 2015, Surface Link was needed to repair multiple Avonite, solid surface countertop cracks on two buffet stations in the Crimson Commons Dining facility. Something interesting about this dining facility is that it is a temporary cafeteria at the Harvard Business School, which was completed in just three months with the help from Kitchen To Go. After a year of use by hundreds of executive education participants attending Harvard, the countertops and buffet stations were worn and experienced some failures. Each buffet station had three countertop cracks, and each of those cracks originated from the corners of the cooktop cut-out. The main reason for these cracks – exposure to extreme temperatures. To go the extra mile, we installed our patented, HOT FRAMES™ to protect the countertops from future failure.


SurfaceLink Patented HOT FRAMES™ Installed

Surface Link Patented HOT FRAMES™ Installed

This time around, our services were needed at the Mount Auburn Hospital, which is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School (HMS). According to U.S. News, Harvard Medical School is the #1 Best Research Medical School in the United States. And where do these caregivers of tomorrow complete their residency? Mount Auburn Hospital. So how does Surface Link play a role in helping one of the nation’s leading teaching hospitals?

The Mount Auburn Hospital cafeteria offers well-balanced meals, which nourishes the caregivers of tomorrow and the hospital patients they care for. However, the cafeteria countertop stations were in serious need of repairs and restoration. Instead of replacing all the damaged countertops in the hospital cafeteria, which would have been an extensive project, Mount Auburn Hospital hired Surface Link to repair almost every food service countertop in the cafeteria!

We sent our technician, Chet from Massachusetts, to repair multiple cracks in the solid surface countertops of the hot food and toaster stations. There were a total of three countertop cracks originating from the soup wells, two solid surface cracks originating at the corners of the hot food buffet station, and one large crack located on toaster countertop. The largest crack was approximately 20 inches long! As you can see, and what we see in most of our cafeteria repair projects, is that almost all buffet line countertop cracks occur around or near hot wells. This means that all cafeteria countertops were likely exposed to extreme temperatures on a daily basis, which caused the cracks.


Overall View of the Mount Auburn Hospital Cafeteria Stations

Overall View of the Mount Auburn Hospital Cafeteria Stations

Our technician, Chet, inconspicuously repaired, strengthened and sealed all cracks by using extra countertop material from the countertop of the toaster station. But the countertops didn’t just need repairs, they needed to be protected from future failures and cracks, and we had the perfect solution! We installed our patented HOT FRAMES™, which we customized to fit the soup well and toaster stations.

What exactly are HOT FRAMES™? Surface Link’s patented HOT FRAMES™ are designed to decrease the risk of cracking on commercial food service countertops. The insulated stainless steel frames are customized to fit all hot wells, steam trays and other types of food service counter equipment.  Each frame is integrated with a specially adapted thermal installation barrier to reduce the transfer of heat.

What are the benefits of having our HOT FRAMES™ installed?

  • It insulates countertops against future cracks or failures
  • Gets rid of messy silicone
  • Improves cleanliness and appearance
  • Can be installed under the existing frames

How can we get Surface Link’s patented HOT FRAMES™ installed? Each countertop project is different. Since not all countertop cut-outs are the same size or shape, we will customize the HOT FRAMES™ to fit your cut-out per your request. Want to learn more? Give us a call and discuss your Commercial or Residential project with one of our friendly estimators. Our estimators will provide a free, over the phone consultation.