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Class Floors

Flooring in educationneeds to with stand the patter of many children’s feet:

Altro Walkway and Aquarius safety flooring were installed at Bedford Modern School as part of a programme to convert outdated squash courts into a modern fitness studio.

More than 500sq m of flooring was installed to existing timber and newly laid screeded subfloors in the school’s sports centre to construct new changing rooms, showers and circulation areas.

Walkway is a 2mm safety flooring designed to provide lifelong slip and abrasion resistance. Said to have excellent durability, it also has built-in chemical and indentation resistance, and a life expectancy of around 15 years. It is offered in 24 colours.

Aquarius, also 2mm thick, is designed for areas that can be wet and dry, such as the changing rooms. It is also said to be suitable for barefoot and for any type of shoe from hard and soft soled to rubber and trainers. It is described as offering a rich palette of warm and friendly colours with non-sparkle and non-chipped variants available.

Paul Carrington of CFA member Neofloors, responsible for the installation, said. ‘We cooperated with the main contractor to meet a tight budget, but also to finish on time.’

Altro products previously installed at Bedford Modern include Suprema for a new extension and MondoSport in the initial renovation of the sports hall.

Desso was called in to help in the redesign and refurbishment of the Sheppard-Warlock Library at the 170 year old Liverpool Hope University, reportedly the only ecumenical university foundation in Europe.

Project architect Gareth Williams explains: ‘The key design principle was to pick up elements from the existing building forms. It creates linearity and links the spaces in a thought-through way.’

The University wanted its high standard of teaching reflected in the quality of facilities, the materials and fixtures and in the flooring.

Gareth continues: ‘We wanted to delineate the space through less conventional means with colour coding on the floor. It was important that the colours didn’t dominate but accentuate.’

Desso’s Neo tiles were used for colour coding the different areas. Magenta was used for administration; red was used for the help desk and blue for media, while its hardwearing cut pile carpet tile, Torso, was laid as the main pathway through the new entrance of the library using warm tones of greys and silvers. Sand Stripe complimented Torso in the book and study areas.

Vision of Lines range was installed in the café, offering a blend of patented technology and design, said to create a relaxing ‘hotel like’ atmosphere.

F Ball and Co says its Styccobond F74 is a moisture curing polyurethane flooring adhesive for securing carpets, vinyl and rubber flooring, as well as artificial grass. It is reportedly widely used within schools where floors are subject to high levels of wear and tear.

B & P flooring contractors used Styccobond F74 to permanently bond artificial grass to the sand/cement walkway leading up to nursery buildings at Highfields Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent. The ramped walkway was previously covered with rubber mats, which were reportedly a trip hazard.

F74 is also claimed to be resistant to water, oil and grease, making it suitable for outdoor installations.
Flowcrete UK states that its Green Floorzone package creates a sustainable and complete flooring solution for the education sector. The system encompasses every aspect from substrate through to final floor finish, with the option of energy-saving underfloor heating and noise reducing acoustic layer built-in.

Suitable for school new build and refurbishment projects, this single-source, single-warranty floor build-up programme includes choices in resin floor finish. Resin options include durable and attractive products for corridors, hygienic Flowfresh flooring for kitchens, the composite FlowSport system for sports halls and heavy-duty epoxy systems for maintenance areas.

All seamless resin floor finishes are supported by Isocrete floors screeds range with a new formulation free from Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), and manufactured from a high percentage of recycled raw materials.
Isowarm UFH system is claimed to offer energy efficient savings of up to 30% compared to conventional heating systems with no hot surfaces to injure school children. Isocrete Acoustic Foam is designed to reduce sound transfer between floors – of benefit for multi-level schools.

Green Floorzone can tie in with the concept of standardised school design packages with Flowcrete offering to meet the requirements of pre-set budgets, without compromising on quality.

Alan Dean, md of Flowcrete UK, says: ‘The services of Isocrete Project Management can be involved to ensure the flooring installation is completed to the highest standards, on time and on budget.
Itec supplied 4,500sq m of Silento Botticelli 698 hardwearing acoustic flooring areas for 340 en-suite bedrooms in new student halls of residence at the University of the West of Scotland.

Offering 18dB of sound insulation, the Silento range is reportedly suitable for such multi-occupancy buildings.
It is designed to help absorb excess noise created in high-volume environments, including sound transfer between rooms and floors. It is claimed also to reduce ambient noise created by the general hustle and bustle of busy student life, such as conversations and electronic equipment.

Delivering a wood appearance, the flooring features a bushed wood grain look. Silento Botticelli is protected by HyperGuard + PUR, and so is also said to be easy to clean and maintain.

The flooring was installed by Harndec Flooring.

Kährs supplied two wood flooring products – Oak Siena and Reflex Oak Activity Floor – for installation at Jesmond Gardens Primary School, a new 2,055sq m establishment designed around principles of transformational learning. The floors were specified and installed by Reflex Sports in the main hall and open plan ‘class bases’.

Jesmond Gardens is designed to encourage the use of personalised, independent learning approaches. Abundant natural daylight, along with modern, quality furnishings and Kährs tactile wood flooring are said to provide a fluid, welcoming and airy learning environment.

Each Kährs product was chosen for its specific performance features. Reflex Oak Activity is a DIN and EN compliant sports floor that has integral shock-absorption and reinforcement properties and which features Kährs glueless Woodloc joint.

The FSC-mix boards were installed directly onto the school hall’s subfloor, eliminating the need for additional battens and fittings.

Oak Siena, laid throughout the central hub and class bases, is a three-strip wood floor with an even grain and a durable satin lacquer prefinish. It features an eco-friendly multi-layered construction, providing enhanced stability as well as additional acoustic

Mapei says virtually all of its products used in the education sector carry the GEV Emicode certification for low emissions of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).

Latexplan Trade, a self smoothing, protein and ammonia free levelling compound from Mapei is reportedly widely used in this sector. The two component product is claimed to consistently achieve over 30N/sq mm compressive strength.

nora supplied noraplan stone, noraplan ultragrip, norament 926 grano, norament 926 grano stairtreads, nora stair angles, skirting and stringer for installation at the new Suffolk One Sixth Form College which caters for 2,200 students.

The installation of nora rubber floorcoverings reportedly helps to reduce the sound within this building by up to 20db. The company’s large range of rubber floor coverings and colours reportedly worked with the furniture as well as the building’s design and the college branding.

Using contrasting blues to create different areas and subtle greys to lighten classrooms, the floorcoverings reportedly create an innovative and exciting learning centre.

nora claims its ‘environmentally compatible’ floorings, adhesives and screeds contribute to clean air. Capitalising on its Blue Angel certification for low VOC’s, the company offers a comprehensive system incorporating flooring, adhesives, screeds and dpms, all carrying the Blue Angel environmental award.
nora System Blue is designed to assure the technical functional capability as well as low emissions of the whole flooring system.

Polyflor supplied loose lay vinyl tiles from its adhesive-free SimpLay collection for installation in Avril Robarts Learning Resource Centre at Liverpool John Moores University.

The SimpLay tiles in Limed Concrete and Black Concrete were installed by Rowelay Flooring of Bootle and incorporate a sweeping walkway design.

They were reportedly specified because they allow easy access to subfloor services and could be installed directly over the existing floor, ensuring minimum downtime and disruption to students.

George Gardiner, minor works project manager at Liverpool John Moores University, explains: ‘The Avril Robarts Centre is an important area for students and we needed a floorcovering that we could install quickly, with as little disruption as possible, and that could be lifted up for access to services under the floor.’

Featuring a 5mm gauge and 0.7 wearlayer, SimpLay is described as meeting the demands of the toughest commercial spaces while offering flexibility to highlight specific floor areas and easily change the floor design if required.

The product features a PU surface treatment to assist ongoing maintenance and reduce lifecycle cleaning costs. SimpLay allows access to underfloor heating and cabling while the thicker gauge facilitates a 9dB sound impact reduction.

Schlüter tile products were installed in the atrium of the new £77m Sandwell College, in West Bromwich, which caters for 10,000 full and part-time students and 600 staff.

With so many people passing through the atrium every day it was vital to protect the tiled surfaces. The product chosen was Schlüter-Ditra uncoupling membrane designed to neutralise cracks and prevent movements from the screed being transferred to the tiles.

Ditra is described as a proven solution for uncoupling and bonded waterproofing, allowing for the absorption of lateral movement in each direction. Its uncoupling effect is said to neutralise tensions between surfaces, whilst also providing a high load resistance.

Also used were Schlüter-Dilex movement joints, said to offer secure edge protection for surfaces subjected to high mechanical stresses.

A wide variety of profiles are available in various material combinations, depending on the mechanical or chemical stresses expected on the covering.

Finishing threshold strips from the Schlüter-Schiene range were also installed. These are designed to protect the outer edges of ceramic and natural stone floor coverings from mechanical impact.

Schlüter-Reno series threshold strips are said to create a smooth transition before adjoining floorcoverings at different heights, protecting the exposed tile edge.

All profiles are available in different heights and finishes such as brass, aluminium, anodised aluminium, stainless steel V2A and brushed stainless steel and contribute to the aesthetic and lasting appearance of the floorcovering. The products were installed by Cladding Components, Leamington Spa.

Uzin L3 Gold Moisture Control system was used to install the new floors at Joseph Swan Academy, Gateshead, after the school was damaged by a flash flood.

The entire ground floor had to be renovated including 25 class rooms, corridors and the sports hall. The flooring contractor reportedly chose Uzin products due to their fail safe installation systems, but the main factor was speed, as the project had to be completed during the summer holiday.

The contractor only had nine weeks to remove, repair and dry out the damaged floor before installing the new floorcoverings. Even though the drying process took three weeks the flooring installation was completed on time. This rapid system also saved the school time and money on labour costs.

Allan Fuller, head teacher said, ‘The new flooring and all associated materials such as screeding brought the school back to life, breathed new life into tired corridors and worn out classroom carpets.

The finish and look of the flooring materials are first class and I can testify to their durability and style.’

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