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Commercial Flooring News

Turn A Floor Into A Work Of Art

Naomi Cole, segment executive at Tarkett, looks at the role of flooring in bringing art into healthcare:

STRONG evidence suggests that access to, and involvement in the arts can help promote health and
wellbeing. More and more Health Trusts are integrating the arts into their healthcare services and environments for the therapeutic benefit of patients and staff.

Often this includes commissioning bespoke flooring designs to enhance specific areas of a healthcare facility. It may be a giant snakes and ladders board in a children’s waiting room that alleviates boredom, or it could take the form of a more abstract colour-coordinated design that aids wayfinding around a large building.

In smaller, local facilities such as GP surgeries, walk-in clinics and dentists, bespoke flooring designs give an opportunity to engage the local community with ideas on improving general health and wellbeing. They can be used to create a focus and discussion point in waiting rooms and treatment areas, as well as providing visual interest. The clever use of artwork, including flooring designs, can help to improve the public image of the hospital and instil trust in the quality of care provided.

The best healing environments incorporate good architectural design, access to outdoor spaces, natural daylight and appropriate art installations. These elements combine to decrease stress on the patient and their family, as well as care providers.

Patients often feel a loss of control on entering hospital, but the presence of art has been shown to reduce stress, loneliness and the perception of pain. This, in turn, can lead to shorter hospital stays and less need for medication, representing significant financial savings for the NHS Trust.

Art installations, whether on the walls or the floor, can also contribute to a better working environment for professional care providers, enhancing job satisfaction and improving performance. Communication between patients and staff is usually better, meaning patients are more likely to adhere to their treatment and achieve better health outcomes.

There are a number of standard flooring design elements available today, such as geometric shapes and abstract patterns as well as a variety of themes including space, seaside and fairgrounds. But with the use of modern laser cutting technology, it’s now possible to re-create virtually any bespoke design, even down to details as small as 3mm in diameter. Large scale designs can also be achieved by dividing the flooring into modules. Each module is then numbered and cross-referenced on a floor layout plan for ease of installation

on site.

Many hospitals are now developing art programmes in collaboration with local artists and healthcare professionals to help create and maintain an environment from which patients, staff and visitors can all benefit emotionally, physically and aesthetically. Laser cutting technology allows even the most intricate designs to be accurately created in the flooring, releasing the full potential of this large surface area as a canvas for

creative expression.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.