Over the next few months, schools and universities across the country will begin to shut down for the ever-anticipated summer holiday. This period not only allows staff and pupils to relax and refresh, but it is the perfect opportunity to undertake school refurbishment programmes. Read on to learn why flooring plays a key role within the design of education buildings and the benefits of choosing fast flooring solutions…
Whilst the flooring may only be one aspect of a school renovation, it is the largest surface area in any building and as such, it plays a major role. Not only can they affect the appearance and ambience of the learning environment, but chosen carefully, they can also be used to create different working and/or socialising zones.
However, choosing commercial flooring for schools can be a complex challenge, as the UK education sector encompasses an exceptionally diverse variety of buildings, each with its own set of design challenges. From tiny village primaries to high-tech purpose-built Academies, the requirements vary enormously - and even within an individual school, different classrooms and facilities all require their own flooring solutions.
Fortunately, though, the continuous development of adhesive free flooring solutions means there is now a 'fast fit' solution for most areas of an education estate, which will allow projects to be turned around swiftly, with minimal downtime.
Need for Speed
Perhaps the first benefit of adhesive-free flooring is the speed it offers. Many products can be laid straight onto the subfloor – or even the existing floor – avoiding time-consuming preparation works. Without the need for adhesive, they can reduce installation time by more than 50%! Floors can also be walked on immediately after installation is complete too.
As well as saving time, eliminating adhesive means that the installation is free from the usual constraints associated with glues, such as lingering odours, noise, dust, and VOCs. So, opting for an adhesive free solution will contribute positively to creating a better indoor environment and improve the wellbeing of staff and students.
Reuse and Recycle
When the time eventually comes to replace an adhesive-free floor, it is easy to remove it without subfloor damage. The absence of adhesive residue also makes the flooring ideal for reuse, as well as being suitable for recycling.
Available in a range of sheet, tile, and plank formats, as well as designs from natural wood and stone effects to bright and bold colour pops, there are fast flooring solutions available to suit the needs for all school refurbishments.
Quieter circulation spaces:
Corridors take a pounding from foot traffic, so floorcoverings need to be extra tough to withstand the daily onslaught. Durability, slip resistance and sound reduction are the key things to consider when choosing solutions for these noisy, busy spaces.
Our Modul'up adhesive free vinyl offers excellent dimensional stability and 19 dB impact sound reduction. Installed without the need for adhesives, tackifier or double-sided tape, it is ideal for high traffic applications, as it is easy to clean and provides outstanding indentation resistance. What’s more, the range is also available in over 90 colours and designs, meaning this an option to suit all interior designs!
Learning and working spaces:
Students go to school to learn, and the perfect classroom is an environment where they can feel comfortable, safe and inspired. Carpet tiles are often the go-to option for classrooms thanks to their modular format and natural acoustic properties, which can lower the impact noise in these spaces and avoid disturbances.
Achieving impact sound reductions of between 22 and 30 dB, our Tessera carpet tiles are renowned for their aesthetic styling, as well as their outstanding performance in the most demanding and heavy traffic environments, such as classrooms.
Our Flotex flocked flooring plank and tiles is also another solution suitable for learning spaces, as they combine the appeal of a textile floor covering with the hygienic practical advantages of a resilient one. Both options are also available in a wide range of colours and designs and can be installed using tackifier for a quick and easy installation or with IOBAC MagTabs if installed on raised access floors.
Areas where safety is important:
As well as at the entrances, safety also needs to be considered in other heavily trafficked or potentially hazardous areas, such as kitchens, dining areas and washrooms. In these areas, a Health and Safety Executive compliant safety floor covering should be considered.
Our new Surestep Fast Fit which is a genuine >36 safety flooring, has been designed for demanding commercial environments, where a quick turnaround and minimal disruption is required, but where slip resistance is also a priority.
For the refurbishment of Edinburgh College’s busiest campus, its FM team called upon Forbo Flooring Systems’ Modul’up adhesive free sheet vinyl for its unique ability to be installed quickly and easily, while reducing downtime and disruption to day-to-day college life – as the floor covering could be walked on immediately after installation.