Medical Flooring – What You Need To Know
Choosing the right kind of medical flooring ensures a safe, clean and attractive environment for patients, guests and staff. Here’s a look at what you need to know about medical flooring.
Medical environments – such hospitals, general practices, dental surgeries and aged care facilities – have a strict set of requirements when it comes to floors. Medical flooring needs to be durable and hard-wearing, but also extremely hygienic as well as attractive and professional. Let’s take a more look in-depth look at some of the things you need to know about medical flooring.Types of Medical Facilities
Hospitals – Hospital flooring in particular needs to be of a very high quality, must be durable and provide a superior level of hygiene control.
Aged Care – With the increasing needs of our ageing population, there is a high demand for the growth in aged care facilities Australia-wide. These facilities have unique needs and product requirements to provide the comfort and safety required by their elderly residents.
Dental Surgeries – Dental surgery flooring needs to meet a few key requirements in order to sufficiently cover all bases when it comes to health and safety including hygiene, traction and visibility.General Requirements For Medical Facility Flooring Hygiene
Medical flooring should provide excellent level hygiene control. This means using waterproof materials in order to prevent bacteria growth and mould or mildew spreading. Keeping the air clean is also a big issue. The most suitable flooring solutions are those that are PVC-VOC free and that won’t trap particles of skin, dust, dirt or other pollutants like carpet will.Traction
Traction underfoot is a crucial element of medical flooring to help ensure they are as sturdy as possible. Any medical space that could possibly get wet should be treated to minimise the chance of slippage.Visibility
Good visibility is a key issue in medical environments for two reasons: first of all to ensure that cleaning and maintenance is as easy as possible, and secondly to help identify obstacles or potential hazards. Bright, colourful and variegated floors are your best option.Suitable Types of Medical Flooring
Overall, vinyl is the most suitable choice for medical flooring. Vinyl is one of the most reliable and versatile options for flooring across a number of different industry sectors, and in healthcare, it is the optimal choice for hygiene, traction and visibility.
There are two main types of vinyl flooring:
Sheet vinyl is made from coloured vinyl chips which are ‘welded’ together under pressure and heat. It is stored as large ‘sheets’ and rolled out on top of a surface then heat-welded into place. This process makes sure that no dirt or residue can be trapped under the surface, ensuring the surface is stable and residue will not disrupt its integrity – very important for medical flooring.
Plank vinyl is manufactured the same way as sheet vinyl, only it is cut into strips, or ‘planks’, to be laid. Depending on the desired style and finish, plank vinyl can have a photographic layer that can be added underneath the surface to mimic wood, tiles and other materials. Modern vinyl finishes are very convincing. Plank vinyl is cheaper to install that sheet vinyl and is an excellent option for many different medical spaces including hallways, surgery rooms, rehab centres and aged care spaces.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nat Stringer loves floors