There are many facilities that can only carry out refurbishment work during their closing hours, which is why you’ll often see work being carried out throughout the night at shopping centres, or during the day at bars and restaurants.
For schools, the vast majority of work is carried out during periods of shutdown, such as during the Easter holidays for smaller projects and during the summer break for large projects.
One of the largest, and arguably the most important area of a school to refurbish is the floor, as this must provide a safe space for hundreds of pupils and staff on a daily basis. But which flooring options are suitable for school environments? Let’s take a look.
Durability is a common requirement in all areas of a school’s flooring. When installing a floor, the idea is that it will stand the test of time, so when a refurbishment is needed, the new choice absolutely has to last. This is one of the reasons why resin systems have become a popular choice among school designers.
For classrooms, where there is likely to be dragged tables and chairs, dropped items and high footfall, abrasion resistance is imperative.
As well as being durable however, classroom flooring can also be decorative. This outlines an added benefit of resin, which has great design flexibility.
Take this classroom above for example. A vibrant epoxy resin flooring system was utilised to provide a smooth yet visually stimulating floor for the young pupils.
Similarly to classroom flooring, canteen flooring will need to withstand high footfall and the movement of tables and chairs, but there are other challenges that it will need to withstand too.
One such challenge is the increased likelihood of dropped food and drink. It is because of this that the flooring solution chosen would need a high level of chemical resistance, as regular exposure to the natural and artificial sugars present in most food and drink can lead to the deterioration of a lesser floor’s finish.
In the canteen kitchen, temperature resistance would be a key requirement to stop floors failing in the presence of hot ovens and cool storage areas. Draining would also need to be incorporated into the floor to allow spilled substances and cleaning fluids to be washed away.
For added hygiene, polyurethane flooring systems with incorporated antibacterial additives can be specified, which help to inhibit the growth of most types of harmful bacteria, when used alongside a regular cleaning regime. To increase the ease of cleanability, coving can be used to bridge the gap between the floor and the walls.
In leisure centre facilities, slip resistance is a major concern especially around swimming pools. This site needs to remain safe and as germ-free as possible.
Warm, wet locations are breeding grounds for bacteria. It is because of this that seamless flooring solutions should be specified so that, during cleaning, germs cannot hide in joints and gaps in the flooring.
Sports hall flooring is entirely different. This requires a specific flooring solution that is durable, yet slightly flexible to accommodate the increased chance of pupils tripping or falling down whilst playing sports.
There are several options that can be used here, including composite and joint free surfaces that provide a cushioned effect and are able to support demarcation for sport pitch line markings.
Demarcations can also be utilised in hallways. In such spaces, the line markings are often a different coloured resin, rather than traditional line markings.
Demarcations have been used in the image above to highlight the safest path to walk on, and highlight where doorways are, or other areas of potential collisions!
As well as being safe, corridors can also get away with being more decorative. Although exposed to daily foot traffic, a hard wearing flooring solution would withstand these encounters, leaving the floor’s finish looking its best and presenting a welcoming environment for those moving around the space.
The vast majority of flooring solutions outlined in this post are also available in fast-curing systems, meaning that refurbishment projects could even be carried out to strict deadlines, such as during the night when schools are closed.
If you would like any further information on the suggestions outlined in this post, please leave a comment below and our flooring experts will get back to you.