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Flooring used in healthcare must take account of patients’ needs:

Altro supplied its Wood Safety flooring in two colours for Green Pastures Care Home which provides care for residents who have dementia.
Durability, cleanability and slip resistance were vital for the safety of the residents at the 60 bed care home.
The flooring was installed in the lounge and entrance of the care home. Designs were brought to life by Ideal Flooring, who installed two colours from the range side by side, creating a wide arch detail within the flooring – and demonstrating the design flexibility of Altro Wood Safety.
Anthea Speich, business manager at Green Pastures Nursing Home, said: ‘Altro’s flooring has transformed the foyer and lounge of our care home.
‘The different tones have demarcated the dining area from the lounge area, and created a space which is easier for our residents with dementia to understand. The look is cleaner, more modern and stylish, as well as being easy to maintain.’
Forbo supplied 590sq m of Surestep Wood Decibel flooring for a 20-bed rehabilitation ward for older adults, as part of the Beaconsfield East Dementia Care Project.
The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust reorganised and refurbished the ward creating four-bed bays, single rooms and additional reception, sensory zones and utility service areas, all of which have been fitted with Surestep Wood Decibel in Natural Oak.
Georgia Burt from GBS Architects commented: ‘We wanted to create a dementia-friendly environment to enhance the healing experience of patients and their carers. Forbo’s flooring was specified for its non-reflective and slip resistant properties, important criteria for people with a visual impairment and a high risk of falling, but also for the natural warmth of a wood finish.’
Christopher Knight of The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust agreed:
‘The product is comfortable without compromising on safety underfoot, which is great for a project like this where frail, elderly patients might fall unexpectedly.
‘We also chose this product due to its acoustic properties to help reduce noise of footfall and equipment being manoeuvred over the surface area of the ward.’
Forbo’s Surestep Wood Decibel provides R10 slip resistance and 17dB impact sound reduction. With aluminium oxide particles in the wearlayer to provide sustainable slip resistance and maintain the clarity of design, it meets both the Health and Safety Executive and UK Slip Resistance Group requirements.
The PUR Pearl finish makes the floorcovering easy to clean and its lasting performance guarantees that the aesthetics will stay in prime condition, even under heavy traffic. Heckmondwike FB  has expanded its fibre bonded Pure Care range with the addition of the new Jet colourway, introduced to enhance its appeal for healthcare environments, sheltered housing and university accommodation.
Abby Chandler, commercial manager for Heckmondwike FB, said: ‘Our Pure Care range is popular for care homes and for sheltered housing, because of its durability and performance.
‘We added the new Jet colour in respond to extra demand for greater choice in carpet for healthcare environments.’
Pure Care is a robust carpet range said to be suitable for different care and residential environments as it is extremely robust and offers high stain resistance.
Available in 4m widths, it is described as easy to install and offers low installation costs. Its robust impervious backing and is also said to be bleach and stain resistant.
The range is also antistatic and offers anti-slip properties, as well as passing all relevant flammability tests.
As part of Heckmondwike FB’s fibre bonded carpet range, Pure Care reportedly features outstanding thermal properties, so conserves heat and offers excellent acoustic properties to reduce noise pollution.
Polyflor provided over 500sq m of its Forest fx collection of wood effect sheet vinyl flooring for Warrington Hospital’s £1m Forget Me Not ward.
The ward, which was opened earlier this year, was designed to create an environment that encourages relaxation and stimulation for patients who need expert care and are also living with dementia.
Installed by Jepsons in Darwin, Forest fx’s authentic reproduction of wood styles were laid in the reception, corridors, patient meeting zones and a special quiet room to aid reminiscence; developing a homely and natural feel that patients are comfortable with.
The installation features a blend of Forest fx’s lighter Oiled Oak design balanced against the stronger Rustic Oak colour to achieve a differentiation between patient meeting points and the more general walkway areas.
Lee Bushell, building surveyor at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust, commented: ‘As a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, the Trust is committed to carefully selecting surfaces that are conducive to a homely feel in a dementia-led space and contribute to an overall positive ambience for patients.
Polyflor’s two Forest fx colours specified on the Forget Me Not Ward are high clarity designs said to contribute aesthetically to the calm, homely and natural looking environment we wanted to create at the outset.’
Tarkett flooring has been installed in West Lane Hospital, run by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) as part of a £13.8m redevelopment project that will care for young people from across the North East.
As part of the work, the former low secure Westwood Unit is being refurbished to create a new 14 bed assessment and treatment facility for the current Newberry Unit to relocate to.
Tarkett’s Tapiflex Excellence 65 in Natural Oak was specified for use throughout the unit.
Paul Foxton, head of capital projects and development at TEWV, said: ‘We’ve worked closely with patients to develop a facility that will have a homely a feel as possible.
‘Tarkett flooring chosen for the unit helps us move away from the traditional institutional look but without compromising on any of the hard-wearing qualities we needed.’
Tapiflex Excellence 65 vinyl flooring is made with a transparent 0.65mm wearlayer. This is said to make it resistant to indentation, abrasion and tearing.
It reportedly also cleans easily thanks to its added TopClean XP PUR surface treatment; while its high-density acoustic backing is claimed to significantly reduce noise with a performance rating of 19dB.
‘To speed up recovery times we need patients to feel as calm and relaxed as possible, a noisy floor acts as a disturbance so an acoustic floor that reduces noise was a must. And being easy to clean and suitable for use with underfloor heating means it ticks all the boxes,’ said Paul.
The new unit gives patients more room, new furniture and colourful artwork on the walls helps complete the homely feel.
Available in over 100 colours and 13 designs, Tarkett’s Excellence 65 is described as well suited for the health and aged care sectors.
Upofloor PVC-free flooring has been shortlisted in the FX International Interior Design Award 2014, which recognise the very best global interior products and projects.
Upofloor’s ethical resilient range is a finalist within the surface category, which includes just nine brands chosen from around the world.
Manufactured in Finland, Upofloor PVC-free is described as completely free from PVC and plasticisers.
It is said to offer an eco-friendly and stylish flooring option, whilst providing high performance and ensuring personal safety.
Over 70 different designs are available, across four collections, from chic, on-trend monotones to rustic wood-effects. Designs can be mixed and matched to create a multitude of additional bespoke surface options.
Upofloor PVC-free comprises natural minerals and thermoplastic polymers, and is free from VOCs, chlorine and other halogens.
It can reportedly withstand strong chemicals without any alteration in appearance making it suitable for heavy commercial applications, from school to hospital.
It is classified in the highest wear resistance group T and its impermeable ionomer surface repels dirt for easy maintenance.
In addition, it doesn’t act as a substrate for bacterias, such as MRSA, it has good fire resistance properties and is 100% recyclable.
Uzin products were used to install over 1600sq m of safety flooring in the Cystic Fibrosis Unit at Nottingham City Hospital.
The flooring contractor, CD Northern, a member of the CFA, selected Uzin products to ensure that the highest health care and environmental standards were upheld.
The new £6.6m cystic fibrosis centre opened in April 2014 was designed to create of a ‘home in hospital’ to make patients feel comfortable during the long periods they spend in hospital.
Some areas had to be built up with Uzin NC182, a rapid drying repair compound to allow the installation to be handed over on time.
Uzin L3 Gold moisture control system was then used to protect the floor from residual moisture in the substrate before the floorcovering was installed with KE2428 multi-purpose adhesive.

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