07 October 2015
The healthcare sector is facing some serious challenges. One in five people in Flanders is older than 65 And the shortage of beds in retirement and nursing homes is ever increasing. A significant part of the existing infrastructure is also becoming outdated. It is vital that we address the need for a wide range of renovation and new construction projects in order to face the challenges created by our ageing population. A quality care environment starts at the bottom: with durable, easy-to-maintain, and affordable healthcare flooring, custom designed for the healthcare sector.
As the inventor of laminate flooring, Pergo has gained unparalleled expertise in the contract market. With commercial laminate, parquet and vinyl flooring, Pergo offers a wide range of solutions to cater for the specific needs of private and public projects.
"The healthcare sector is an important market for Pergo," stated Chris Lievens, Project Sales Manager at Pergo. "With its strict requirements related to hygiene, durability, design and ease of maintenance, our expertise really sets us apart from the rest. Our extensive R&D team is constantly developing new products and techniques. This results in flooring that provides the perfect answer to the needs of both healthcare providers and their dependants. The stain resistance of Pergo vinyl flooring, for example, is in a league of its own."
Whether it concerns a hotel, a shop, or an office, each project requires custom flooring. But what is the perfect flooring for a sheltered accommodation or a retirement or nursing home? "Of course there are some obvious priorities, with hygiene at the top of the list," explained Chris. "Wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs are breeding grounds for bacteria. Floorboards or tiles with a sealed surface prevent microbes from becoming attached. An additional benefit is that you need less cleaning agents to clean the floor."
Wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs are breeding grounds for bacteria. Floorboards or tiles with a sealed surface prevent microbes from becoming attached.
A second key aspect, which is closely related to hygiene, is ease of maintenance. Chris: "People should not only think of a protective top coating with good resistance against dirt. The click connection between boards or tiles is a detail that is often overlooked. These grooves act as a magnet for dust and dirt. This makes a solidly designed click connection crucial. When the boards fit perfectly, moisture penetrating the floor is not an issue - whether it concerns a spilled drink or soapy water."
"It is important to provide stable flooring for people who are less agile," Chris continued. "Cheap laminate flooring can be slippery and dangerous. Developers that want to create a safe environment should pay attention to the slip-resistance value when selecting flooring."
For people who are less agile it is important to provide stable flooring
The international standard DIN 51130 prescribes how to test the anti-slip properties of flooring. Flooring is divided into several categories, based on that test. The R-value - a number between 9 and 13 - represents the level of slip-resistance of the flooring.
Wheelchairs, rollators and crutches are a scourge for any type of flooring. Swivel wheels can leave nasty marks and an inferior floor will soon be dented and grooved. "This is why Pergo has developed the TitanV protective top coating," Chris explained. "This multi-layered technology provides supreme protection from wear and tear, dents, marks and scratches."
There are a number of less obvious factors that also play a part when selecting flooring for a healthcare environment. A floor can for instance create a calm and serene atmosphere. The construction of a floor and correct application of sub-flooring can minimize footfall sounds and other impact noise. The use of natural, matt designs provides a homely feeling. Visual elements can also be integrated into the flooring through colour coding or guide lines to help visitors and residents find their way.
The healthcare sector is facing serious budget cuts and funding for renovation and new construction projects is limited. This makes durable and easy-to-maintain materials very popular. But the right choice of flooring can reduce costs in other areas too.
"Many healthcare facilities have traditional ceramic tiled floors," Chris said from experience. "It takes a lot of time and money to remove a floor like that. If you want to install a new floor on top of that you have to deal with a very limited construction height." Pergo addresses this issue with a type of vinyl flooring with exceptionally low construction height, without compromising on strength and stability. Together with a unique click system - the patented Perfect Fold V - installation is quick and cost effective. In this manner Pergo is also contributing to a sustainable future for our healthcare sector.
Contact us without any obligation to learn more about how Pergo can help improve your next renovation or new construction project.
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