Two of the sectors we service that were significantly impacted over the past 18 months of the pandemic are school and senior home facilities!
When selecting a floor for senior living or school related spaces, it is most important to determine the potential issues and hazards each space will encounter. Facilities like yours include mechanical rooms, kitchens, resident rooms, bathrooms, dining areas, lobbies, corridors, gyms and more. Each one of these areas have different requirements. Be sure to consult an expert that can identify these factors and make the right recommendations.
When building or renovating facilities such as a senior living or school facilities, you want to be sure you are considering factors that positively affect health, safety, comfort, and long-term savings.
One of the biggest challenges for facilities is how to balance cleanliness and mobility with a feeling of comfort and home. Choosing the right flooring for each area is crucial in ensuring residents and students are both happy, healthy, and safe while protecting the facility owner from risk.
Here are some critical features of floor design every school and senior community or assisted living facilities should consider:
Colour – Consider contrasting floor colours with those of the walls and doors to make navigating easier for residents and students. Finishes are a key factor too. Typically, a matt finish is recommended to reduce glare.
Texture & Material Compatibility – texture is key to reduce risk of slips and falls especially in areas where the floor may become wet. Consult with your flooring expert to determine the level of texture for any given space. While a high texture is more, the level of cleanability will be reduced. Finding the perfect balance for physical safety and hygienic safety is key. Another factor to consider is mobility problems seniors and or students can face when walking from one type of surface to another. Installing seamless floors with minimal transitions can be a perfect solution to avoid these issues.
Sanitary & Easy to Clean – Now more than ever, sanitary design is key in senior living and school spaces. Seamless walls and floors that are not only easy to clean but also slip resistant present no challenges for a thorough cleaning. This saves staff time and effort, keeps your facility looking spotless, and most important in preventing microbes from growing. With poured-in-place, nonporous, seamless floors, bacteria have no place to harbour and grow, unlike traditional flooring.
Chemical Resistance – Cleaning chemicals used throughout the facility and in food service areas like student cafeterias can break down a floor. A chemical resistant, bleach-resistant flooring system will save you from failures that hinder safe and efficient operations and result in increased spending for repairs or replacement.
Stain Resistance – Medicines, food and drink spills, and other organic and chemical materials can cause stains around your facility. Stained floors look unclean and unsightly and are a poor advertisement for your business. Employees, prospective residents, the residents themselves, and their visitors want to enter a building that looks cared for and sparkling clean, not neglected. Stain resistant floors are a vital part of your interior design.
Durability – A durable floors is key for schools, senior and assisted living facilities. Equipment, furniture, and other items are constantly being moved, placed, or even dropped in these environments. High traffic, busy spaces like yours need floors formulated and installed to last. Not only are floor failures costly but they are also disruptive. Consider your students, residents and the difficulty that comes with unsafe flooring areas, or the efforts required in re-routing them until the area is fixed.
Wear Resistance – Wear resistant floors will hold up under the constant foot, walker, and wheelchair traffic your space will certainly encounter. When floors wear down, they look dull and unattractive and can become hazards for both slips and falls as well as become further damaged where they are no longer able to be kept sanitary by cleaning.
Acoustic Efficiency – When choosing a resilient flooring system, an added benefit to ergonomics is acoustic efficiencies. Not only is acoustic design important for making a pleasant living environment but will be important for residents who are hard of hearing and for the staff who are communicating with them.
Wayfinding – With resinous flooring, any number of directional markers, designs, or colours can be achieved right within the floor as part of the installation. In addition to wayfinding applications, any design can be incorporated into the floor of your facility, for instance a logo can be displayed at reception or the lobby entrance.
A flooring installation where students or residents are present requires flexible scheduling, so as not to disrupt your day-to-day operations.
Now that we’re ramping up the economy again, be sure to schedule your required floor maintenance with us to ensure your business is fully operational for later this fall!
When in doubt about the best course of action, consult with our team for recommendations on how best to proceed. Sentinel Polymers Better Work program ensures that we have the crews, the training, and the years of critical experience to provide you with the right solution for your unique needs.
For more information on our Better Work program, please access the link below.