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From the floor up

Paul Rogers, Technical Services Manager at Amtico, discusses the role flooring plays in helping keep buildings clean and safe, while improving the overall look and feel of a space

Redesigning the office environment is no easy feat, and facilities managers now face a complicated array of considerations. Creating a clean and safe space is always the priority, but it also has to be welcoming and have an inviting feel. Choosing the most suitable flooring can help with the maintenance and cleanliness of a building and contribute to occupants’ wellbeing. However, the type of flooring used in office environments can often be overlooked, despite it playing an incredibly important role.


With maintenance and cleanliness higher on the agenda than ever for facilities managers, flooring needs to deliver on many levels. However, the first few steps people take into any building are critical to the performance of the flooring. This is because there is a tendency for people to instinctively wipe their feet before stepping onto the floor when entering a premises. That’s where entrance matting can help keep the building clean, while also enhance the aesthetics and practicality of the flooring.

Entrance matting is designed to offer hardworking functionality and understated style. It has a tough and resilient barrier, protecting the surrounding floor by trapping excess dirt and moisture at the door. Not only does this safeguard the aesthetics, it also plays a critical role in terms of safety and helping to reduce slips and trips. The matting features reinforced scraper fibres which remove excess grit and moisture from shoes as visitors enter a building, protecting the adjoining flooring from potentially damaging particulate matter.


Beyond the entrance, Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) lead the way, offering a solution that is available in a wealth of colour palettes and patterns. Indeed, LVT is one of the most popular types of flooring due to its versatility and hardwearing surface, presenting a commercially attractive alternative to other flooring materials. It also meets a multitude of requirements throughout a building while providing a cohesive look, for instance, non-slip, safety designs in the reception area, to products with noise-reducing backing layers in work spaces. This versatility helps meet the demands of the space, and its occupants, without compromising on design.


In open-plan workspaces, sound disruption is arguably a pressing issue for occupants, indeed, FMs might consider flooring options that offer enhanced sound reduction benefits and contribute to a peaceful and productive environment. At Amtico, we understand the need to reduce noise without compromising design aesthetics, so we developed Amtico Acoustic, an enhanced 1mm PVC foam backing layer that works across standard planks and tiles in our Signature, Form and Spacia collections. It enhances the LVT to reduce sound transmission by up to 19dB between floors.


The process of changing flooring can give a space a new lease of life, but the latest developments in floor coverings can also help with the control of bacteria. For instance, Amtico’s Signature 36+, Spacia 36+ and Form LVT collections encompass antimicrobial technology. Such a feature has been scientifically proven to resist the growth of potentially harmful bacteria and fungus between cleaning schedules. This built-in hygienic protection has clear benefits, not least of all improved wellbeing for a commercial building’s occupants, but also the additional ability to improve a building’s hygiene levels.

When it comes to LVT cleaning procedures, there is the potential for confusion, so it’s important to note there is a difference between ‘day-to-day’ and ‘deep’ cleaning. The product’s hard surface makes it easy to remove loose dirt or debris, while liquids are unable to permeate the tiles and planks as easily as other materials, such as laminate, ensuring it is less susceptible to mould and bacterial growth. Daily sweeping or vacuuming should be incorporated into floorcare routines, including areas with entrance matting, as a simple way to ensure hassle-free day-to-day maintenance. This can also be paired with occasional manual mopping using a neutral cleaner. For larger or more open spaces such as reception areas, using a scrubber dryer can be more productive and cost effective for soil and light mark removal; at Amtico, we recommend fitting the scrubber dryer with a red or blue 3M nylon scrubbing pad (or equivalent).

When it comes to flooring, the choice is varied. However, by taking a fresh approach to the specifications available and opting for LVT, office buildings will not only benefit from superb slip resistance, ease of cleaning and improved hygienic benefits, they can also adopt improved aesthetics from a variety of planks and tiles in a wide range of colours and finishes. The right choice of floor product – provided with a generous commercial warranty – goes a long way in terms of meeting the practical needs of the office and its occupants, while ensuring durability, long-lasting performance and, importantly, comfort.

About Sarah OBeirne

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