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Commercial Flooring News

What Went Wrong?

Asking the right questions can help get great results with refurbishments, says Peter Daulby, Altro’s technical services manager: 
CONTRACTORS are regularly asked to advise on product selection for refurbishment projects.
All too often, the refurbishment is needed because something didn’t go right first time round, possibly because unsuitable products were selected and installed. However, customers don’t always make sensible choices – especially if they’re under pressure to deliver for an unrealistic budget. Unfortunately, we’ve seen time and time again that cutting corners on product selection leads to a lot of hassle further down the line – otherwise known as ‘you get what you pay for’.
Here’s our guide to getting it right for refurbishment:
Durability: If the floor is being replaced sooner than expected, find out why. Look at any damage caused to the existing flooring and work out what caused it.
Did it fail to meet expectations? Was that because it was subject to tougher conditions that it was designed for? If so, recommend safety flooring with extra resilience and resistance to mechanical and physical damage.
Choose material with a sound warranty and you should be looking at years of service from your floor, choice of colour is very important as well. There might also be simple steps the customer can take to reduce future damage – basic maintenance such as replacing ferrules on the legs of metal furniture in schools or choosing different wheels for trolleys in other environments.
Cleaning and maintenance: Sticking with maintenance, look at how the floor was cared for.

Cleaning regimes have a huge part to play in the appearance of flooring and the way it performs. There can be some very simple solutions – we have end users comment about dirty swirls on the floor, which turn out to be cleaning solution they’ve failed to rinse away.
Failure to follow recommended cleaning regimes is a very real problem. In this situation, easyclean flooring with PUR technology may well be the answer, but make sure the customer knows ‘easyclean’ does not mean ‘no clean’ – we’ve yet to invent that miracle flooring. Full cleaning guides for all our products are available on our website.
Performance: Replacing a safety floor that’s lost its slip resistance? One of the biggest issues in the flooring industry is safety flooring that’s anything but – slip resistance just on the surface layer which wears through in a few years.
After all, if safety flooring has been installed, it’s because slip resistance is needed. Manufacturers supply information about the slip resistance of a floor covering using an R number or a pendulum test value – sometimes both.
The R number used in Europe and the UK, indicates the performance of a floor covering in the ramp test (DIN 51130). R numbers range from R9, where the angle is 6deg to 9deg, through to R13 where the angle is greater than 35deg.
The pendulum test – recommended by the HSE for the assessment of slip resistance of flooring in the UK – is entirely different to the ramp test. The pendulum test measures the co-efficient of friction (COF) between the heel of your shoe and the floorcovering.
It does this by swinging a rubber slider over a set length of flooring in a controlled manner. This provides a slip resistance value (SRV), also referred to as a pendulum test value. An SRV of 36 or above represents a low slip risk.
The pendulum test can be carried out in situ to test slip resistance over time – it’s a great way to check slip resistance and performance over time. Always ask the flooring manufacturer to provide results of performance over time to avoid costly mistakes.
This is essential now in healthcare environments where the latest regulations insist on regular testing of slip-resistance. www.altro.com

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