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Tips On Making Schools Both Stylish & Safe

Karen Burman, marketing product manager for Gradus, looks at how carpet tiles and flooring accessories can
help make an education environment stylish and safe: 

COLOUR and design are hugely important when specifying floorcoverings for an education environment.

As for carpet, neutral and natural colourways remain popular, as they do not date easily and will not look out of place in several years. The trend in schools, colleges and universities is for mid to dark tones of grey to be used with bright accent colours. Linear designs are often mixed with plainer patterns and textures to create floor schemes.

Colour and design is often applied within a school, college or university to emphasise different areas and zones, such as breakout areas, walkways and reception areas.

This ‘zoning process’ not only helps differentiate these areas, but can also help to create an interesting design statement. Highlighting different areas within a building can also help with navigation and circulation to benefit safety.

Careful choice of colour and design in an education interior can also aid learning by providing a positive environment to engage students attention, increasing their concentration and productivity. Carpet tiles also offer good acoustic performance, helping to reduce noise levels in busy learning environments.

Flooring accessories, meanwhile, ensure floorcoverings are finished neatly and safely.

This is vital on stairs, areas experiencing heavy traffic and posing the highest risk of trips and falls. This is compounded when young people are running, playing and texting on stairs, further increasing the risk of accidents.

Stair edgings create slip-resistance at the step edge to help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls on staircases in line with the guidance in BS8300+A1:2010.

Stair edgings also define the edge of steps in line with Approved Document M (ADM) of The Building Regulations 2000, which covers the access to and use of public buildings such as schools, universities and colleges. It states: ‘People should easily be able to appreciate where to place their feet by highlighting nosings and avoiding open risers’.

Stair edgings should visually contrast with the surrounding floorcoverings by 30 points on the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) scale to meet the recommendations in ADM and BS8300+A1:2010. All Gradus carpets and stair edgings have LRVs for specifiers to achieve the correct contrast.

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