Floors are sometimes an afterthought when hospitals are designed. However, in the hospital environment, floors are unsung heroes. Much is expected from this seemingly invisible aspect of the hospital that is often not given much consideration. Flooring plays a huge role in the daily life of the hospital; it is expected to be non-slip, look natural, be easy to clean and have a long lifespan. User fatigue should be prevented for staff as they work 12 hour shifts; it should stand up to heavy equipment and take constant around-the-clock punishment. Preventing the spread of hospital acquired infection by inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms is also a key expectation from flooring.
Technological advances regularly improve quality and durability of flooring. New products routinely replace old surfaces as old hospitals are renovated and new hospitals are built. One current trend in hospital flooring that is gaining popularity is rubberized flooring. This substance offers a long life along with strength and low maintenance. It is also slip-proof, decreasing the occurrence of injuries sustained from falls. The reduction of potential injuries creates a cost savings by decreasing hospital liability and eliminating the pain and suffering associated with a fall.
Rubberized flooring does not require waxes or special finishes; it saves labor costs and reduces the amount spent on janitorial supplies. It also has sound dampening qualities that help produce a quieter peaceful environment conducive to recovery. One potential drawback of this flooring surface is that it could be two times the purchase price of other traditional flooring options. However, the higher cost will be recovered by the low cost of maintaining the surface throughout its lifespan. Another potential drawback of rubberized flooring is the appearance of it being dirty even when it is clean due to the texturing of the surface. This is indeed a minor drawback when compared to the benefits just discussed. A much longer lifespan along with an increase in staff satisfaction, less slip and fall accidents and the reduction in hospital acquired infection make this a smart choice for hospital flooring in 2015.
The other top flooring choice for 2015 is linoleum, which is making a comeback, offering anti-microbial properties and non-slip surfaces. The current trend in hospital décor is homelike and warm, in which case you might want to consider the luxury vinyl tile floor LVT. Luxury vinyl tile is also customizable and available in a variety of colors and textures. A natural color palette is being used in patient rooms and common areas utilizing the look of warm natural wood flooring providing a softer feel. A homelike décor is comforting as the patient recuperates in a seemingly familiar environment. This simulation of a homelike ambiance is soothing and promotes healing.
Patients and their families are more knowledgeable these days about how hospitals can spread infection. They are also more demanding about the environment they are being treated. Flooring can be a source of patient satisfaction and generate long term cost savings by helping to eliminate work place accidents, fatigue, and microbial propagation. Consider taking advantage of these advances in healthcare flooring design.
To make the best possible decision for your healthcare facility, contact the flooring professionals at Commercial Flooring & Interior Concepts, Inc., based out of Eatontown, NJ. Take the guess work out of what flooring surface will meet your commercial needs while enjoying the most cost-effective choices and staying within your budget. Our experienced staff will ask all the right questions to arrive at all the right answers.
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