The choice of flooring material is crucial in a healthcare setting because it can have an impact on the health and safety of the residents.
Be it hospitals or acute care facilities, the demand is for flooring materials
that can withstand extremely challenging environments and that can comply with the stringent quality requirements.
Not an easy combination to seek. But there are many different types of flooring materials that strike the right balance between all the requirements in a healthcare facility.
The biggest challenge in a healthcare facility is to maintain the hygiene level at all times. The flooring material must be 100% anti-microbial. And being impervious to water and moisture is one of the most essential requirements. Because a damp and moist flooring can be breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew. In addition to this, the flooring must not trap particulate matter like skin debris, dirt or other pollutants. Last but not the least, the flooring material must be free of PVC-VOC.
Stain resistance is a much desired quality in a flooring material for a healthcare setting. Due to the prevalence of a wide range of staining agents, the potential of the flooring getting stained is extremely high.
A healthcare facility will have both dry areas as well as areas that can potentially get wet. For example, bathrooms, kitchens, foyers and corridors. The flooring material should be non-slippery or must be designed to provide maximum traction. You can always apply non-slip treatments in specific areas. But as a rule of thumb, slippery surfaces are not an ideal choice for healthcare settings.
The design and colors of a flooring
are always overlooked. But in a healthcare setting, where there may be residents with impaired vision or those whose depth perception may be altered due to medications, it is crucial to have a flooring material with bright patterns and colors that helps them navigate safely and also helps to define potential hazards clearly.
Most healthcare settings demand flooring materials that are comfortable to the touch. In addition to this, many healthcare facilities are switching over to radiant heating systems. So, a flooring material that is a good conductor of radiant heat is always considered to be an asset. Not only does it keep the place warm, but it also helps reduce energy consumption by retaining the heat for a longer time period.
Healthcare facilities also demand crack and impact resistant flooring. The movement of heavy medical equipment can always result in an accidental impact which may damage the flooring.
Despite the best preventive measures, accidents can occur in a healthcare setting. Hence, it is always recommended that you opt for flooring that has extra support and padding that can cushion the inevitable falls or slips. Some worthy contenders are cork, rubber and carpet. With some research, you can easily narrow down on a flooring material that is a perfect fit for your healthcare facility.