Luxury Vinyl Tiles – Just What The Doctor Ordered
Paul Barratt, commercial sales director at Karndean Designflooring, discusses the key considerations in specifying new or replacement flooring in healthcare locations:
WITH steady footfall, wheelchair use and people frequently coming in from the outside, floors in hospitals and healthcare buildings have a lot to deal with on a daily basis.
Such a demanding environment can create a long list of criteria for a new floorcovering, but there are some essential considerations for contractors. These environments need a highly practical floor which is easy to clean and maintain, both for hygiene and aesthetic reasons.
A floorcovering which can be cleaned quickly without a complicated regime is key, so that any spillages can be mopped up efficiently and, should any damage occur to a plank or tile, a simple replacement can be carried out with minimal fuss or disruption.
Flooring is a main component in any scheme and creating a welcoming atmosphere is important in a hospital, residential home or doctors’ surgery.
New developments and refurbishments place greater emphasis on choice of finishes, textures and furnishings as contractors understand the need to make these areas calm and inviting.
Designflooring for healthcare: Specifiers are realising that flooring like LVT are a good choice for creating a durable, hygienic and welcoming environment in hospitals, care homes and day centres.
Whilst sheet materials are used for operating theatres and other sterile areas, the patient and visitor oriented rooms can benefit from the warm and inviting tones of wood or stone effect flooring which can make the space feel less stark and clinical.
There are many practical benefits to using designflooring in communal areas, bedrooms, corridors and waiting areas. It is quiet underfoot and has a durable wear of 0.55mm – 0.7mm allowing it to withstand the wheels of hospital beds and trolleys.
Care homes have traditionally been fitted with carpet. The fibrous nature of this material can harbour damp from spillages, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
Designflooring can help to control bacteria hotspots, giving staff an easy to clean surface making infection control as simple as possible. From waiting areas and corridors to family rooms and private wards, designflooring gives designers the freedom to combine style and functionality to create practical, workable and beautiful healthcare spaces.
By mixing the textures and colours of two or more luxury vinyl tiles, designers and hospital managers can implement zoning in large open spaces such as waiting areas, as well as using strips of colour to create path finding systems along corridors.
Careful planning in the design and preparatory stages of an LVT installation can offer thermal and acoustic benefits to care homes and hospitals of all sizes. With suitable subfloor preparation, transferable sound can be reduced by up to 21dB.
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.