Flooring in schools isn’t just a necessary part of a building’s fabric; it can help create the ideal learning environment in which children can thrive.
Health and safety standards are another prime aspect when it comes to floor selection. A non-slip surface is essential to minimising falls and potential injury. Even wet flooring, caused by outdoor-to-indoor foot traffic or spillages, should remain non-slip. In densely-populated interior spaces, such as schools and higher education establishments, hygiene is paramount. Infection and disease can spread like wildfire in such areas, therefore flooring that is smooth and easy to clean is critical.
When it comes to design, school flooring should be selected for its inspirational qualities as well as its practical properties. The colour of interior walls and floors, for example, is scientifically proven to affect people’s mood and behavior. Red is known to inspire anger and aggression whilst shades of green can instill a sense of calm and tranquility. Patterns or logos can be incorporated into modern flooring design, presenting an opportunity for schools to display its motto or a particularly inspiring image.
In schools, it’s possible that each floor will have a different set of requirements depending on the area of learning. A woodwork class, for instance, might be suited to a surface specifically designed to withstand heavy machinery, whilst flooring highly-resistant to corrosive liquids would be ideal for a science lab.
Traditionally, the default flooring materials specified for educational facilities have been vinyl or linoleum sheet flooring. Compared to polyurethane resin floor systems - which are widely used in northern Europe - the lifecycle of sheet materials is short, generally lasting between five and 10 years before being consigned to landfill.
In contrast, Sika's (polyurethane) ComfortFloor® system has a lifecycle of 40 years. Of its many benefits, Sika ComfortFloor® - in the event of damage – can be seamlessly spot repaired, rather than replaced. Unlike sheet materials, which have joints where bacteria can build-up over time, ComfortFloor® super-smooth finish facilitates a rapid and simple cleaning regime, minimising the threat of germs and infection-spread. Resin systems are also extremely simple to install, in a process that takes just three days to complete.
As the 21st century proceeds, so the demand for epoxy resin flooring, with its abundant qualities, will increase. Its new technologies are helping take flooring to exciting places in terms of design without compromise to its core properties – smoothness, strength and durability for the safety and comfort of youngsters during their school years.