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Best In Class

A variety of flooring is used in education:

Altro Wood Safety flooring was used in a £70k refurbishment project at St Christopher’s School, Letchworth, Hertfordshire. The school has different Altro products already installed throughout the premises, including vinyl and resin floors and wall cladding.
St Christopher’s estates manager, Lee Varley, said: ‘The dining hall floor was timber, but as part of the new build we needed an alternative that met several key criteria. There is a lot of timber in the building, so wanted to retain the wood feel by using a floor that looked like wood.
‘There is a potential for spillage of food and drink in the dining hall, so we had to ensure that the new surface was practical, hard-wearing, safe underfoot and easy to clean. It is also important to the school that where possible we use local companies and suppliers, so Altro was a clear choice.’
Altro Wood Safety is a wood-look, sparkle-free safety flooring that replaces Altro Timbersafe II.
The new palette in 12 designs reportedly enables mood to vary from cool and classy for spas and hospital receptions, to warm and nurturing for the hospitality and care sectors. The sparkle-free finish makes it suitable for dementia settings. The lighter shades are designed to create the impression of space in school halls and canteen areas with low ceilings. The range has Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR Technology for long-term cleaning and maintenance performance.
Altro Suprema II safety flooring was installed in the staff dining area. This product comes in 40 colours and is suitable for areas where safety flooring isn’t normally found, or where light colours are traditionally used.
The flooring was installed by The Cambridge Flooring Company, which has been installing Altro products for over 20 years.
CFS Carpets offers an extensive range of carpet tiles and broadloom suitable for the education sector. The company has over 20 different carpet tile ranges said to provide something for everyone whether it’s a high end specification or value engineered to a budget.
A recent projects involved 1700sq m of Concept structured loop pile carpet tile fitted into St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School. The new Concept range, in solution dyed polypropylene, comes with a seven year guarantee. A sample folder displaying the modern colour pallet is available on request.
As with Concept, all carpet tile ranges are stocked by Carpet and Flooring in high volumes with a next day UK delivery service.
Desso is partnering with Asthma UK to highlight that fine dust can be a trigger for some people with the condition. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is of the utmost importance as we spend more than 90% of our time inside. Asthma is one of the conditions associated with poor IAQ, affecting 5.4m people in the UK including on average two children in every classroom. Almost two thirds of children with the condition have had an asthma attack at school.
Working under the ‘Great Indoors’ banner, Desso is educating specifiers on how to choose flooring that can make a difference.
Highgate School in London wanted a robust, low maintenance carpet tile to help optimise pupil productivity, improve the acoustics and reduce vertical sound transmittance between classrooms. Working with project architect Christian Natterodt from ORMS they installed 500sq m of Desso AirMaster carpet tiles with SoundMaster backing throughout the new extension.
AirMaster patented technology is reportedly eight times more effective in capturing and retaining fine dust than hard flooring and four times more effective than standard carpets (Based on tests by independent German test institute GUI, with Desso AirMaster versus standard PVC hardfloor and versus standard structured loop pile carpet).
Carpet tiles with Desso SoundMaster backing are designed to optimise sound absorption and insulation offering up to 100% improvement in acoustical performance compared to standard carpet designs.
Forbo Flooring Systems reports that its Tessera Circulate and Arran carpet tiles were specified at a new £750k centre at Christleton High School, Chester, housing the school’s library, state-of-the-art ICT suite and resource room.
Over 310sq m of Circulate, with its bold, contrasting, sharp geometric lines, organic curves and tonal blocks of colour was installed. Pirouette, a deep purple and violet colourway was selected for the library and ICT suite, whilst Whirlpool, a blend of rich blue shades, was used in the resource room.
Nigel Watts, director of Brian J Watts Flooring, a member of the CFA, said: ‘As this is a random lay batchless carpet tile, we were able to complete the job within one week, thanks to us not having to follow any directional rules. That reduced installation time and generated less fitting waste.’
Tessera Arran, a richly textured tile with a linear theme, was specified in the grassy green colourway, Kiwi, for the staff room to complement furniture and to add an injection of colour to the space.
All Tessera carpet tiles manufactured in the UK now contain more than 50% recycled content, showing Forbo’s commitment to creating better environments.
Gerflor supplied over 8,000sq m of Tarasafe slip-resistant vinyl safety flooring for one of the first, flagship, projects of Scotland’s £1.25bn Schools for the Future programme. Costing over £37m, the Lasswade Centre in Bonnyrigg serves 1,500 pupils and also provides a new home for the town’s sports and community facilities.
Stephen Home, senior architectural technician, at Glasgow architects Cooper Cromar, explained: ‘The flooring had to be high quality, long-lasting and easy to clean. We have used Gerflor on previous jobs. They’re a trusted company and very helpful, so we brought them in on this and got good advice.’
Tarasafe is inlaid with mineral crystals for a light, bright appearance, and with a tough PVC wearlayer, it is also impregnated with Sanosol fungistatic and bacteriostatic treatment for optimum hygiene and easy maintenance.
As the crystals are made of mineral, rather than Carborundum particles (which can make floors appear duller), Tarasafe is 100% recyclable, a positive factor in the project acquiring BREEAM certification. The mineral crystals reportedly weigh less than before, making it easier and faster to fit, while knife blades stay sharper for longer.
Also specified was Gerflor’s SparClean treatment. Designed to form a completely smooth surface between the mineral chips, it doesn’t impair the anti-slip performance, but eliminates dirt traps.
MacGregor Flooring Co, Hamilton, a member of the CFA, laid the flooring at Lasswade Centre.

Contracts manager Crawford MacGregor said his men had noticed the Tarasafe improvement.

‘When you see these things on press releases you look at it and think ‘OK’, but the guys definitely noticed the difference. They always need a sharp blade to do a good job and they’re not changing them as often.’
Granwax Granguard, a specialist finish, was used by the contractor Traditional Flooring to refurbish the floor in the assembly hall at St Philips Church of England Primary School, which is housed in a beautiful Victorian building in Southport.
A wide range of activities takes place in the hall from sports and celebrations, to other extracurricular and creative pursuits. The maple floor was last refurbished 30 years ago.
Alan Ray, md of Traditional Flooring UK explained, ‘We undertook this project to provide a safe and friendly environment for the children. The flooring was genuine parquet wood block and it needed to be completely uplifted and reset. This accounted for the 10 day turnaround. First we carried out a full sanding using all grades to remove the deep scowl and score marks left by a previous sanding that was not professionally done.’
The contractor chose Granwax Granguard for its ‘superb tractional strength’. The product is designed for surfaces subjected to extremely heavy wear such as sports halls and restaurants.

It is said to function as the ultimate barrier against staining and abrasions, while being economical to maintain, leaving the floor looking newer for longer.
While maple is stronger than other woods, Granguard reportedly enhances its durability and preserves its natural tones. This reportedly gives the floor an attractive appearance and creates a warm environment.
Heckmondwike Supacord carpet with inlaid bespoke logo mats were chosen for an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ Academy in Norfolk to create a new identity and help it become a ‘World Class’ learning establishment.
Ormiston Venture Academy, which replaced the former Oriel High School in 2010, required 2,600sq m of Supacord fibre bonded carpet and three bespoke logo mats as part of a £8m refurbishment and new-build extension.
A new entrance plaza provides the focal point for the new academy. Heckmondwike FB was required to reinforce the school’s brand identity by producing a bespoke flooring design incorporating the school’s logo and colours.
The robust properties of fibre bonded carpet, which will not ravel or fray, meant that contractor B & K Systems could cut the Supacord carpet on site to create a complementary flooring design.
Supacord in Steel Grey was used in the corridors and in some classrooms. These Supacord colours reportedly create a neutral base for bright vibrant furniture to be added. Said to be widely specified in secondary schools, these colours are claimed to have a positive effect on pupils’ mood and concentration.
On projects like this, where sustainability is important, Supacord has been assessed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and has gained a BRE Global A+ environmental rating for use in school buildings, offices and retail outlets.
Itec supplied Marseille 752 flooring from the Concept Wood PUR luxury vinyl sheet flooring range for St Clare’s Catholic Primary School.
The original floor in the entrance corridors and craft areas of the classrooms had become difficult to clean and maintain. Local flooring contractor Rob Eels, md of Henry Ashe recommended the Itec product which reportedly features an attractive finish, 4m width rolls and the Invisiwelding method.
He explains: ‘Vinyl flooring joints are susceptible to split and wear, especially in schools which often use rotary and other mechanical cleaning machinery. This product helps us to reduce the number of joints to prevent problems and help extend the life of the floor.
‘The 4m widths are especially useful in corridors, where skirting to skirting flooring is possible without side-on joins. Using the Invisiweld cold welding method for seams produces a strong yet discreet joint, perfect with the grain of wood look flooring. He adds: ‘Invisweld achieves the visual effect of a seamless floor, which is subtle and more pleasing to the eye.’
Rated very heavy commercial usage and featuring PUR Hyperguard coating, Concept Wood PUR collection is suited for schools where spillages are common as it can be cleaned quickly and easily. The flooring also features R10 slip restraint to reduce the risk of slips and falls.

Furthermore, it is 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life.
Junckers 14mm Ash was specified by Powell Dobson Architects for the new Cochrane building at Cardiff University. Over 1000sq m of the Junckers flooring was installed in the building which houses the School of Medicine, one of the largest of its kind in the UK.
Junckers solid hardwood floors are described as hardwearing and suitable for high traffic areas of a building housing over 3,000 students and staff.
The timber is said to add a natural warmth and beauty to the walkways and circulation areas of the central atrium.
nora flooring was specified for the University of Ulster Coleraine Campus, Co. Londonderry. Reported to be frequently used in schools worldwide, norament 926 crossline flooring was installed in the canteens on the campus.
norament 926 crossline comes in 16 colours and features a subtle 3D texture, inspired by hand-crafted woodcuts. It is made from high-quality rubber and carries the Blue Angel certification for low emissions.
nora rubber flooring is said to provide an attractive appearance, preserved for many years thanks to the durability and wear resistance of the resilient material. nora flooring also benefits from low VOC’s for a superior indoor air quality.
Rawson Carpets supplied Felkirk and Starquest carpets tiles as specified by ECE Architecture and installed at Northbrook College Broadwater Campus, in Worthing, West Sussex.
Rawsons worked closely with the main contractor, Morgan Sindall and flooring contractor R Sees Flooring of Ongar in Essex to ensure that deadlines were met for the second phase of the redevelopment to be handed over on time.
Felkirk fibre bonded velour, sheet and carpet tile come in 22 stock colours and are said to be suitable for schools, universities, offices, commercial institutions and private sector buildings.
Starquest carpet tiles, in 100% BCF polypropylene Meraklon are available in either loop or cut pile and have 12 colourways.
T&R Floor Covering Distributors offers a wide range of flooring for schools and college sport and classrooms, including safety vinyl sheet flooring from Polyflor and Kährs Activity and Multisport wood floors. All products are available from extensive stock, for standard two-day or next day delivery, by request, and are offered alongside a range of flooring accessories, installation and maintenance products.
Polyflor safety flooring ranges for the education sector include Polysafe Arena PUR, a new collection in 12 high clarity designs, reflecting current trends whilst offering sustainable wet slip resistance. Polysafe Arena PUR conforms to European safety flooring standard EN 13845, being fully compliant with HSE guidelines and UK Slip Resistance Group Guidelines (2011).
Wood options include Kährs ‘all-in-one’ Activity range, a traditional sports system, claimed to cut installation time by half. Available in FSC-mix Beech, Hard Maple, Oak and Oak Mocha, all floors are crafted with integral shock-absorption and reinforcement properties, eliminating the need for battens and fittings. Kährs Activity range complies with both DIN and new EN Standards and all designs have a durable satin lacquer prefinish, for easy maintenance. Other options include the 22mm Multisport range, plus designs from Kährs Original, Supreme, Avanti, Spirit and Linnea ranges.

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