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Commercial Flooring News

Refurbishments That Look & Sound Good

Naomi Cole, segment executive at Tarkett, gives sound advice on refurbishments:

REFURBISHING is a great way to give any room a fresh new look, whether it’s a quick coat of paint for a bedroom or a complete re-fit for a store or office. The flooring can make a big difference to the visual appeal of any space. Simply replacing tired or dull flooring with a bright colour or bold pattern will instantly transform a room, often making it feel lighter and more spacious.

But with careful planning, even more sensory appeal can be created. Opting for a high performance acoustic flooring, for example, can contribute to a more tranquil environment. In private housing, an acoustic floor is a good option for children’s bedrooms and playrooms. But it’s particularly useful within multi-occupancy buildings and social housing, where a common complaint among residents is one of ‘noisy neighbours’.

All new buildings, whether single or multi-occupancy, must meet specific standards for noise reduction. This is achieved through structural elements including wall and floor constructions. But most housing stock in the UK is over 20 years old and, in many cases, the building structure will not meet today’s high standards for acoustic performance. So installing acoustic flooring as part of a refurbishment can help reduce the transmission of impact sound between dwellings. But it’s not just housing that can benefit from acoustic flooring. With the demise of the Building Schools for the Future programme, many schools are choosing to refurbish their existing facilities. Younger children are especially vulnerable to poor acoustics since their listening and language skills are still developing. Being in a classroom with up to 30 other noisy children can make it hard to hear what the teacher or other students are saying.

The use of more impact sound absorbing materials can help to control noise levels, and as the floor is one of the largest surfaces. Acoustic flooring can also be used in libraries, corridors and school canteens where noise is likely to be an issue. Healthcare facilities should offer a calm, peaceful environment where patients can rest and recuperate. Excessive noise from footsteps and trolleys in busy wards and corridors can increase stress levels and may mean patients need more pain relief. An acoustic floorcovering contributes to a healthier environment making patients happier whilst improving staff comfort and morale.

Acoustic flooring can help create a more pleasant shopping experience in busy stores and retail outlets too, especially in main traffic zones and sales areas where footfall is highest. Offices may also find workers more productive when impact sound is controlled, particularly in today’s large open-plan environments. Vinyl and linoleum acoustic flooring come in a wide variety of colours, designs and patterns, including wood and stone effects. These are suitable for areas where a more natural finish is required, such as private housing, care homes or retail stores. They provide a hardwearing, low-maintenance solution, with thermal insulation and extra comfort underfoot.

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