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Choosing Floor Coverings

Our Top 5 Tips for Multi Occupancy Buildings
Floored It Blog Series
March 2021

Forbo's Top 5 Tips on Flooring for Multi Occupancy Buildings

Multi-occupancy buildings are becoming increasingly common, particularly across Britain. Whether it’s the rise of student accommodations or the growth of private rental and build to rent properties, this form of development is more popular than ever before. As such, it’s now important for architects and specifiers to have greater knowledge of how to choose floor coverings within multi-occupancy buildings, to ensure they are selecting the right solution. Here, we detail our five top tips for choosing floor coverings.


With such high demand for multi-occupancy buildings at the moment, design value is right up at the top of priorities for designers when evaluating different flooring solutions. Ultimately, as much as tenants care about performance, they are also concerned about how their flooring looks and won’t be scared to let you know if they don’t like it.

Fortunately, by opting to work with a recognised industry-leader, such as Forbo, architects and specifiers will have access to an extensive range of design options, colourways and textures, which will enable them to pull off any design goal.

Allura Decibel 8WHA04 Rustic Harvest Oak


Much like their name suggests, multi-occupancy buildings can end up housing large numbers of people. As a result, we understand that durability must always be your first concern when looking to specify a floor covering. In fact, specifying a less effective floor covering in high-traffic areas represents a false economy and will likely necessitate regular refits following its installation. Therefore, if you want to limit the risk of having to replace floors regularly and deliver a solution that your client is happy with, look towards a high-quality solution, which is capable of dealing with even the heaviest of traffic, while also being easy to maintain.

At Forbo, we believe that durability goes together with design and as such, we ensure that all our solutions are capable of standing up to daily wear and tear, even in busy environments.

In particular, innovative solutions, such as our Allura Luxury Vinyl Tile range have been engineered to withstand continued use in multi-occupancy environments while still delivering the high end look and feel that occupants ultimately desire.

Acoustics & Well-being

Historically, some individuals may have been put off living in multi-occupancy buildings over concerns about excess noise. In the past, this has been a real challenge for building designers to deal with, but new acoustic flooring solutions are making the problem much easier to manage.

Nowadays, acoustic luxury vinyl tile solutions, such as Allura Decibel are able to deliver a perfect balance between aesthetics, high impact sound reduction properties of 19 dB and exceptional residual indentation performance. In turn, this impressive acoustic performance could help occupants to lead healthier lives, both physically and mentally. Indeed, in the last few years, a growing body of research has linked levels of excess noise with serious health problems, as well as greater levels of stress. As such, specifying acoustic floor coverings is an important factor that should not be overlooked.

Forbo's Allura Decibel 8WAU44 Warm Authetic Oak

What’s more, it is reported that 21 million people in the UK suffer from allergies . As such, specifiers should also look to choose products that have been awarded the prestigious “Seal of Approval” from Allergy UK, such as our Flotex and Marmoleum collections, as with the correct cleaning regime, Flotex and Marmoleum will not harbour allergens or house dust mites.


Across all types of building developments, concerns over sustainability are greatly rising as those designing them strive to deliver ever “greener” buildings. Fortunately, with the correct floor covering, architects and specifiers can effectively reduce embodied carbon within buildings and positively contribute to reducing the associated carbon footprint of a development.

In fact, some solutions, such as our linoleum brand, Marmoleum, are already being produced in a carbon neutral manner (cradle to gate) - without offsetting. This is a big deal and really helps to set our products apart from others available on the market. Simply put, the CO2 produced in the extraction, transportation and manufacturing process of Marmoleum is balanced by the removal of CO2 through the growing of it’s natural ingredients such as flax, jute and rosin.

CO2 neutral Marmoleum from cradle to gate

As the industry becomes increasingly aware of the impact our choices can make to the environment, careful consideration needs to be given to the specification of building products, including the flooring.
As such, by choosing Forbo’s Marmoleum, specifiers can rest assure that they are investing in a genuinely environmentally friendly solution. In fact, using Marmoleum on a 10,000m2 project, could equate to a 66,200kg/CO2 saving, when compared to a PVC vinyl floor.

Entrance Systems

Every great building has a great entrance. Therefore, it stands to reason that those specifying floor coverings in multi-occupancy properties should always consider the importance of installing a high-quality entrance system. With so many people moving through these buildings’ entrances, it’s essential that they are designed to easily remove dirt and moisture from the bottom of soles and treads of wheels. This will not only reduce the risk of trips, but it will also help to prolong the life of interior floor coverings too.

At Forbo, we believe that one of the best ways to plan an entrance flooring system is to take a zonal solution approach. Using this approach allows you to utilise a number of different solutions, each capable of performing a unique, but important function. Additionally, some solutions, such as our Coral Duo product are capable of handling the entire task on its own. The solution, which retains 10% more dirt in the first few metres than any other textile entrance flooring solution on the market is an ideal choice, even for the busiest of buildings.

Coral Brush Blend

Coral Brush textile entrance system

Marmoleum Terra 5804

Marmoleum natural linoleum flooring