Modern healthcare design is about creating homely, relaxed environments for patients, staff and visitors. The choice of floorcovering can have a major impact on the ‘feel’ of a hospital.
Research studies conducted internationally shows that floors can even aid in the healing process. It therefore stands to reason that flooring is considered a major factor in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare environments.
Within the healthcare sector two factors have largely influenced our expansion of solutions: the ever more important environmental sustainability; and multi-functional use. Vinyl flooring offers one of the best environmentally sustainable options in flooring and, because it comes in a sheet form, welded to form an impervious surface, it also offers the complete hygiene solution which is critical in the healthcare environment.
“We have the expertise, experience and flooring solutions for almost every conceivable area within the hospital,” says Tandy Coleman-Spolander, Marketing Director of Polyflor SA. “Our vinyl floor range is known and trusted because we are able to offer a wide variety of performance characteristics suitable to different healthcare environments”, she says.
Colour and design
“These are the keys to achieving a positive contribution to patient care. We see an increasing number of designers and architects selecting contemporary colours, as well as stone-, marble- and wood-effect designs to create a warm yet modern and timeless effect,” Tandy says. “Neutral colours with bright accents continue to be a popular trend in modern hospitals, creating a cheerful yet dignified atmosphere.”
Polyflor advisors consult with the architects and designers to find the right solution to meet the design and function required for each area of the healthcare facility.
Specialist floors for specialised areas
“Different locations within a hospital, clinic or surgery have distinct flooring requirements, dependent upon their use and activity”, Tandy says. “However, one requirement they all share is the need for the complete floor to be visibly clean, including all edges and corners. A clean floor is a healthy floor, but hospital floors must be easy to clean and maintain, yet at the same time be able to withstand continued heavy foot traffic, as well as the abuse from trolleys and beds that are continually being moved around.”
Hospital floors must also be non-slip and able to prevent slips and falls by patients, visitors and busy staff. Wet rooms, such as bathrooms, must be slip-resistant, and specialised slip-resistant solutions are available to ensure safety in these areas.
Areas where there is sensitive equipment that could be damaged by static require a special electrostatic-dissipative solution. Static accumulates in our bodies and in the environment around us. It is caused by friction, especially at high altitudes and in hot and dry conditions.
While a static charge may give a person a small shock and be uncomfortable, it is detrimental to equipment which could be very costly to replace. “ESD flooring dissipates static therefore ensuring it does not accumulate,” Tandy explains.
Best value flooring solutions
“Budgets are often tight in many new-build or refurbishment projects and it is therefore important for our clients that their floor remains in excellent condition throughout its entire life. They also want the cleaning process to be as cost-effective and straightforward as possible,” Tandy says.
Polyflor believe they provide “best value” flooring solutions by offering high quality and high performance, combined with low-maintenance products that can generate significant lifecycle cost savings.
“The excellent durability and attractive appearance of our PUR ranges in particular makes this the ideal floor for ward environments. They feature a low-maintenance polyurethane reinforcement (PUR) which protects the floor and facilitates a lifelong polish-free maintenance regime. Independent tests have demonstrated that the growth of bacteria is inhibited by this product,” Tandy explains.