In addition to classroom learning, schools and campuses serve many functions, including sports activities with fields and gyms, way-finding in hallways, meals in cafeterias and for some, even theater. Each element requires its own flooring solutions. The flooring of an educational facility needs to be cohesive with the rest of the interior design.
Flooring can enhance classroom learning environments by using colors, layouts and finishes that promote positive student behaviors, effective teaching, and classroom safety. The right hallway flooring needs to be durable enough to stand up to heavy foot traffic while gently navigate students and faculty through a facility. Cafeteria flooring must be easy to clean and withstand rolling loads, while entryways must be warm and welcoming to students.
Recommended Flooring for Educational Facilities
Vinyl: Many schools are turning to innovative hard-floor materials such as LVT (luxury vinyl tile) because they provide a design feel for a budget friendly cost. New age vinyl is extremely durable and can be installed in nearly every application – cafeterias, corridors, entrances, bathrooms, classrooms – cutting down costs on both installation and maintenance. LVT can withstand heavy foot traffic and can come pre-treated for infection control so it is ideal for high public areas. It is designed to match various color schemes and often has digital graphics applied to it, allowing it to take on a natural appearance like stone or wood.
Many school gymnasiums today are moving away from expensive wood floors to durable, padded resilient (typically vinyl or laminate) flooring that’s styled to look and feel like a wood gymnasium floor. This material saves money and can last up to 25 years if installed and maintained properly.
Linoleum: Linoleum is a resilient flooring option that shares many of the same qualities of vinyl. It is stain resistant and easy to maintain. It can also be installed over padded underlay to create a soft, safe surface for kids to play. The difference is that linoleum is an all natural product that does not emit any toxic materials, making it completely safe for children.
Carpet: Carpet is a common choice for nursery schools, day care centers, and anywhere you find small children on a regular basis. Carpet provides a soft and safe environment for kids to play and learn in. It comes in tile form as well, which can help with the maintenance and create a unique design to stimulate creativity, and also inspire activity. It also makes the perfect place for nap time.
The drawback to carpet is that it is susceptible to stains and isn’t easy to maintain. Liquid can also penetrate the under padding, where it can start to form mold and give rise to a host of nasty microorganisms. There is some water resistant carpet in the market that can help to alleviate these problems to some extent, and steam cleaning on a regular basis can help keep the area free of contagions.