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Fit For Purpose

Flooring in healthcare locations needs to satisfy a variety of different needs:

CFS Carpets offers a wide selection of healthcare carpets. As well as the extensive range of contract carpets and carpet tiles, CFS Carpets has a range of impervious backed broadloom carpets that are rated heavy contract, suitable for the healthcare industry.
Featuring plain and patterned designs and a wide colour bank, these ranges are said to be competitively priced and reportedly have excellent cleaning properties and a 10 year guarantee.
Hanbury Care Design, featured on this page, has a ‘modern’ colourbank. A matching plain range is also available. The company has sample folders of all the healthcare ranges along with a selection of other healthcare flooring solutions.
CFS Carpets is part of Carpet & Flooring, one of the UK’s largest flooring distributor. Large stocks of all ranges are held and deliveries can be made within 24 hours to mainland UK.
Flowcrete UK supplied high performance flooring for installation at a new hospital in Bristol by Polydeck Resins. The project, at the state-of-the-art Brunel building, won the Large Project of the Year Award at the FeRFA (Resin Flooring Association) annual awards.
Part of a major redevelopment at Southmead Hospital in the north of the city, the Brunel building is due to open in May. Built by Carillion plc, the facility will be home to the accident and emergency department, as well as specialist centres such as neurosurgery, renal and orthopaedics.
The building required an innovative, hard-wearing flooring system combining style and safety with cutting edge sustainability credentials.
The choice was Flowcrete’s Peran STB, a hygienic system, which boasts high scratch, impact and abrasion resistance. It is described as a durable, decorative topping, which is easy to clean and provides a seamless finish.
It is also said to allow for rapid installation, vital for the project in Bristol. Polydeck Resins had just eight weeks to complete the 4,000sq m installation to particularly strict tolerances.
The project was completed on schedule to provide a modern, environmentally-friendly finish designed to stand the test of time.
Alan Dean, md of Flowcrete UK, said: ‘It’s great to have played a part in a development that will give the people of Bristol some of the best health facilities in Europe. The system has properties which combine a decorative, colour-stable finish with high scratch and stain resistance.
‘The product is so hard-wearing that it’s perfect for high-traffic areas such as a hospital and, with patient safety such a key design factor, it offers hygienic and slip-resistant qualities.’
Kurt Singleton, business development manager for Polydeck Resins, said: ‘The finished floor is absolutely stunning and looks very well in the new development.
The Brunel building will be one of the most environmentally-friendly facilities in the country and we are happy to have played a key part in it – and that the project secured the FeRFA accolade.
‘We were asked to deliver Flowcrete’s Peran STB to over 4,000sq m in various high trafficked areas with 3,600 linear metres of coving topped with stainless steel trim. Due to the cold temperatures on site, the floors had to be laid in heated zones with installation on each room completed by two specialist teams.’
Forbo Flooring Systems provided a combination of Eternal and Surestep vinyl products for a £6m Neighbourhood Health Centre in Anfield, Liverpool, as part of a community engagement project.
The aim of the design team – Galliford Try, LSHP and IBI Taylor Young architects – was to build a health centre that the local community would be proud of, that would be sustainable in design, with facilities that would last a long time.
The flooring had to be durable, easy to clean and hygienic. Aesthetically, the architects wanted floorcoverings that would help to create a fresh, vibrant and warm environment for patients and visitors to the centre.
Forbo’s Eternal Marble and Eternal Wood project vinyl products in contrasting colourways were used in the corridors, staff rooms and main patient areas.
Eternal reportedly benefits from a R10 slip resistance rating and a PUR Pearl finish, which makes the floorcoverings easy to clean and also guarantees long lasting performance and appearance retention even in heavy traffic conditions.
For washroom areas in a facility that serves a large number of elderly and vulnerable people, a tough slip resistant floor surface was required. Forbo’s Surestep Original safety project vinyl (R10) was specified for its durability and lifelong slip resistant properties.
Gerflor says its new Mipolam Cosmo can be delivered to site in 48 hours. Designed for heavy traffic areas in healthcare, education and other busy environments, Mipolam Cosmo offers low potential for slip (>36 wet) when tested to BS 79762:2002. It’s also said to be easy to maintain and provides outstanding stain resistance.
Gerflor has combined the hard-wearing Mipolam Cosmo with its patented Evercare surface treatment. The use of Evercare is claimed to set new standards in low maintenance and reportedly provides a high level of stain and chemical resistance.
For example, blood and common chemical stains, including iodine, can be easily and hygienically removed with a mop and water with a dash of mild detergent, according to the company.
Evercare is also said to provide excellent scratch and scuff resistance and no waxing or polishing is needed during the product’s lifetime, ensuring cost savings on maintenance time and materials.
Independent testing at SATRA established this smooth vinyl flooring performed to in excess of >36 (wet) on the pendulum test, giving low potential for slips.
Gerflor technical services manager Andy Sedman comments: ‘If maintained properly Evercare doesn’t deteriorate so the slip performance remains constant during the product’s lifespan.’
Competitively priced and presented in 18 colours, Mipolam Cosmo is lighter in weight than before for easier handling and installation. It comes in 2m width rolls, or 608sq mm tiles (minimum order of 500sq m), with 11 of the 18 colours in roll format available for delivery in 48 hours.
The product is also said to be 100% recyclable and comes with an A+ BRE generic rating, very low VOC emissions and meets HSE guidelines for fire safety standards.
Gradus supplied and fitted a series of stair edgings with LED lighting for the new ICAP MediCinema at Guy’s Hospital in London, the sixth of its kind in the UK. Installed and operated by registered charity MediCinema, and funded by ICAP and the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity, with the support of the health sector and the film industry, it offers a fully digital, 3D cinema experience, providing patients and their relatives with a colourful new social space within Guy’s Hospital.
The charity specified Gradus ATNG71L illuminated stair edging fitted with white Continuity LED lighting systems for staircases in the auditorium. These help to enhance safety by providing visitors with clear step edge definition when using the stairs in the dark.
Gradus ATNG71L comprises a hardwearing, aluminium channel with an 8mm gauge and comes with a choice of slip-resistant PVC inserts – Interior, Xtra-grip and Xtra-grip Plus. It also incorporates a PVC-u tube that houses the LED lighting and fits securely into the channel.
The Continuity LED lighting system, providing continuous linear lighting, is created using a fibre optic rod that is end-illuminated with high intensity LEDs available in four colours – blue, green, red or white. With the effect projected along the length of the stair edging rather than towards the screen, it is subtle enough for use in 3D cinemas. Continuity can be used on steps up to 12m in width and its sealed system is designed to provide resistance to moisture ingress such as soft drink spillage.
Stephen Moore, ceo of MediCinema, comments: ‘Thanks to the generosity of suppliers and supporters, the launch of the ICAP MediCinema at Guy’s Hospital has been a huge success. The Gradus stair edgings with LED lighting make it easier and safer for patients and visitors to enter and exit the MediCinema, while helping to enhance the big screen experience from an aesthetic point of view.’
Lynette Bowden, product manager for Gradus, added: ‘We’ve been involved with the charity for a number of years, supplying product for the UK’s first MediCinema, which was built at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1999.’
Itec Atom flooring has reportedly given the The Limes Orthodontic Practice a light and professional setting that is said to be low maintenance and extremely durable, delivering a safe and practical solution for staff and clients.
Dr Pietersen, founder of the Limes explains; ‘In essence, we needed a new floor for the practice that was easy to look after and also good to look at.’
With 100sq m fitted throughout open plan treatment areas and corridors, the natural mineral look of Atom in Dust 690 provides a harmonious transition throughout the practice. Featuring Hyperguard+ PUR reinforcement, Atom is said to have a low maintenance surface that can be intensively cleaned to deliver a safe surface, including R10 slip resistance.
Tough durability against high traffic and marking from furniture was another key factor, as Dr. Pietersen notes: ‘In some surgeries a few chairs had to be removed which left the flooring underneath marked, so it had to be totally replaced and we wanted to avoid this happening again. The Limes also experiences high footfall, so we required a floor that would stand up well over time.’
As part of Itec’s commercial decorative collection, Atom has a Class 34 Commercial Very Heavy performance rating as well as EN242 furniture leg resistance making it ideal for the busy location of The Limes.
BRE A+ rated in health environments; Atom is 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life, making it an ideal choice for specifiers and designers looking for a sustainable long-term flooring option. Dr. Pietersen concludes: ‘I am very happy with the finished floor, all of the qualities required have been met.’
Polyflor Forest fx PUR collection of wood effect sheet vinyl floorcoverings featured extensively in Hywel Dda Health Board’s new Mynydd Mawr Rehabilitation Unit at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli.
The single storey extension marks an investment of £870,000 by the health board and opened in October 2013. Installed by a CFA member Swansea based Artisan Flooring, over 500sq m of Polyflor products were used in the project including Forest fx PUR to bedroom and circulation areas, Polysafe Hydro to en-suite bathrooms and Polysafe Modena PUR and Vogue Ultra PUR to utility rooms.
Elderly patients on the rehabilitation unit are cared for by a multidisciplinary team who work closely together to enable them to regain the best possible level of health and independence. It is therefore essential that the new specialised care unit provides a safe and pleasant environment that promotes wellbeing.
Julian Wheeler-Jones, capital projects manager at the Trust commented ‘the appearance of the floor has a significant effect on the feel of the environment and usability of the area. Forest fx is durable with a homely appearance and is highly suitable for our specialist facility’.
Forest fx PUR was selected for the core living areas of the development after extensive analysis using the King’s Fund Environmental Assessment Tool developed in collaboration with NHS Trusts and funded by the Department of Health to support the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy.
The Forest fx PUR collection of contemporary and creative timber designs suitable for use in healthcare installations, developed and presented in a practical, resilient and hygienic construction.
The product also features Polyflor’s established cross-linked polyurethane reinforcement (PUR) providing a low cost, polish-free maintenance regime for the lifetime of the product.
UK manufactured and 100% recyclable via the Recofloor scheme, Forest fx PUR achieves an individually certified BRE A+ Rating in major use areas such as healthcare, based on a lifecycle analysis approach over a building life of 60 years.
Tarkett flooring is helping an NHS hospital to reduce trips and falls in its dementia ward. The choice of flooring follows trials conducted by the University of Portsmouth.
Its Hip-Hop Flooring Study discovered that installing Tarkett’s Omnisports flooring was likely to reduce the injuries suffered by older people when falling over due to its shock-absorbent foam backing.
The Omnisports range is commonly used in sports halls but it was found that the same shock-absorbing properties that help prevent injuries to sports users also benefits dementia patients and the elderly at risk of falls.
As a result of the study, Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust installed 1600sq m of Omnisports Training 5mm flooring in the treatment bedrooms of the hospital’s four acute wards, which care for frail, older patients.
TV broadcaster and patron of the Alzheimer’s Disease Society, Fiona Philips, officially opened the renovated wards in January.
Julie Windsor, patient safety lead, Older People and Falls for NHS England, said: ‘New guidelines set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that more needs to be done to improve the built environment of care facilities including hospitals with a view to improving patient safety.
‘The research by Portsmouth University showed Tarkett flooring performing favourably compared to other flooring types.
‘We opted for 5mm flooring as the 8mm is slightly too thick to install in corridors where the pushing of heavy objects and patient beds can mark it.’
Omnisports Training 5mm flooring comes with an R9 slip resistance rating and shock-absorbent foam backing also reduces noise, helping to create a quieter, calmer environment for patients.
Another important factor for hospital and care environments is the range of 32 designs. Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust opted for a classic oak finish.
‘Colour, design and pattern are incredibly important in flooring for dementia wards. Too bright and high glare finish can confuse older people and designs that are too busy with solid lines or heavy repeat patterns can be daunting,’ said Julie Windsor.
‘The classic oak design selected is reassuring and homely; it creates a calming environment that ensures patients feel safe and stay in their rooms.
‘The Hip-Hop Flooring Study has been pioneering research that we expect will provide a blueprint for future studies, and not just in flooring.’
Finance for the renovation of the wards was provided by grant from The Department of Health.
Steve Urwin, Tarkett UK marketing manager, said: ‘The results of the Hip-Hop Flooring Study is major evidence of the benefits of Tarkett’s slip-resistant, shock-absorbent, safety flooring.’
Dementia care is one area Tarkett has specifically focused on and has issued a supporting guide in collaboration with health experts from across Europe.
Steve explained: ‘The guide, Designing Alzheimer’s Facilities, covers flooring, lighting and acoustics and is an essential tool for specifiers and architects when designing dementia care facilities.
‘Dementia, and in particular Alzheimer’s, is a major public health concern and by 2030 will likely effect 65m people.’
Tremco Illbruck supplies adhesives and other surface preparation products for the installation of floor finishes for facilities such as hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries.
Given the 24/7 regime at many healthcare facilities, issues such as toxicity, odour and speed of application must all be taken into consideration.
SF105 is the recommended choice for the installation of PVC and PVC backed floorcoverings, with the off-white emulsion normally being spread using a 5mm x 1.5 mm notched trowel to give an open time of 10 to 25 minutes, depending on ambient conditions. Once the adhesive has ‘tacked up’, the flooring should be rolled with a 68 kg roller.
Elsewhere in waiting rooms and offices, carpet tiles are also often specified as they offer reasonably low maintenance with a warmer aesthetic.
SF200 Carpet Tile Tackifier is a white water borne single component liquid adhesive which reportedly dries to form a permanently tacky film.
Although it has a multitude of applications, it has been specifically formulated to facilitate the release bonding of most carpet tiles as well as some grades of PVC backed tiles and thermoplastic hot melt backed tiles.
This tackifier is said to be suitable for use across non-porous surfaces including raised metal computer access floors, while it can further be utilised as a primer on dusty surfaces.
Tremco illbruck offers full technical support for its wide range of flooring products including detailed technical literature and a recently improved website.
Contractors and consultants can also call on the advice of the company’s experienced field sales managers to address any applications in the leisure, hospitality and healthcare sectors.
Upofloor presents its LifeLine as a new type of PVC and plasticiser-free floorcovering. First launched in 2004, the product is said to offer an innovative, eco-friendly alternative for users seeking high performance, whilst ensuring personal safety. The range is developed for heavy commercial applications, including hospitals, clinics and care homes. As well as offering an ‘ethical’ surface option, in a wide range of designs, LifeLine is also classified in the highest wear resistance group T. Its impermeable ionomer surface is designed to repel dirt for easy maintenance.
The product is manufactured in Finland from natural minerals and thermoplastic polymers that are said to be entirely free of PVC and plasticisers. They are also reportedly free from chlorine and other halogens. Tests carried out by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) found no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The floor surface and colour is designed to withstand strong chemicals without any alteration in appearance while it does not act as a substrate for bacterias, such as MRSA. The floorcovering is also said to have good fire resistance properties and is 100% recyclable.
The range encompasses four collections: LifeLine CS monochrome-style sheet flooring in 48 tones; LT Luxury Tiles in 12 wood-effect designs and 50x50cm Tiles featuring a chip pattern for areas subject to extremely high traffic.
Seven tile designs are also available in sheet format, within the LifeLine Forte collection. All formats are 2.0mm thick and can be mixed and matched to create a multitude of designs.
Ultra Floor reports that its Prime IT AR, acrylic emulsion primer, Level IT super30, rapid set levelling compound and Feather IT smoothing compound were used in part of Dulwich community hospital in London.
Flooring contractor Blackheath Flooring, based in Dartford, recently completed subfloor preparation and flooring installation of 440sq m of vinyl throughout the ground floor corridors, reception and Seldock waiting area of the hospital. The work was completed over four weeks within tight time-frames.
Ultra Floor Prime IT AR is an acrylic emulsion primer for use on porous substrates. It is said to help reduce the absorbency of the floor and improves the adhesion of cementitious underlayments. It was used in this project to prepare the surfaces before levelling with Ultra Floor Level IT super30, which is described as a fast-track niche product.
The two-component product reportedly sets in 30 minutes and can be overlaid in just three hours! There is no requirement to add water. The product’s formulation is said to be free from ammonia and protein, creating a very low odour material suitable for confined areas as well as open, suitable for schools, hospitals and leisure centres. The product is also designed to compensate for shrinkage and is polymer modified, adding to its high performance and compatibility.
Ultra Floor Feather IT smoothing compound was used to touch up and skim the corridors. It is designed to ‘make light work of patching many different surface imperfections such as ridges, uneven trowel marks and cracks’. It includes finer fillers for a smooth finish, whilst increased polymer provides greater flexibility. The product is claimed to be so smooth that it can be rolled by hand into a scroll without cracking, debonding or deforming!
Downtime had to be kept to a minimum as the work had to be completed during weekend evenings when the hospital was quieter. The leveller was applied on the Friday night with flooring installation taking place the following day. Level IT super30’s fast set time meant these parameters were easily achieved.
Neil Rose of Blackheath Flooring commented that Ultra Floor products were ‘great to work with’. He revealed that after the work was completed, an accident occurred on site where a large safe perforated an area of newly refurbished flooring, causing irreparable damage to the vinyl covering. However, there was absolutely no impairment to the latex underneath. The vinyl was peeled back and new covering re-laid without the need to re-apply the leveller.
Ultra Floor is a brand of the Instarmac.
Uzin products were used to install 25,000sq m of Altro Suprema safety flooring and over 3,000sq m of Altro Aquarius wet area safety flooring at the new emergency care centre at the £110m Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Being a hospital, an environmentally friendly and low emission flooring installation was required. CFA flooring contractor member Veitchi chose Uzin and Altro products to ensure that VOC’s were kept to a minimum.
The new facility brings emergency and unscheduled care services in Aberdeen under one roof and provides 350 inpatient beds to replace ageing accommodation at Aberdeen Royal infirmary.
Uzin PE 360 was first used to prime the floor, before PE 540 was mixed with Uzin NC 150 levelling compound and then applied to create a flat substrate.
Uzin KE 2000 S and WK 222 adhesives were then used to install the Altro safety flooring. Veitchi used a ‘just-in-time approach’ to ensure the project was completed on time and the final finish was exceptional.
Skirting at the new birth centre at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) was installed with the use of Uzin WK 222 contact adhesive, chosen to ensure that VOC’s were kept to a minimum, maintaining the healthy indoor environment in the new birth centre.
The RIE is home to the biggest maternity unit in Scotland with over 6,000 babies born every year. The new birth centre has been created to give mums more choice about the birth of their babies.
WK 222 is claimed to be the first solvent-free contact adhesive to be awarded an EC 1 classification for being totally solvent-free and guarantees low emissions.
The product reportedly not only meets the highest requirements on occupational safety and environmental protection according to the hazardous substances ordinance, but also meets consumer demands for protecting a healthy indoor environment.
WK 222 can be applied using the same method as traditional solvent based products and is described as a powerful contact adhesive. As a neoprene based product, it is said to give exceptional performance, with a short open time and is ready for immediate load-bearing.

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