Ask the expert: with Forbo Flooring

By Garry Bateman, Head of Technical Sales and Support, Forbo Flooring Systems

Q: What are the latest trends in flooring in student accommodation? Can it help us differentiate our campus?

A:  Student accommodation needs to create the ‘home away from home’ and both students and parents have high expectations. Research has shown that students, particularly those from overseas, want ‘comfort rather than quirky’ so universities need to consider floor coverings that are functional, comfortable, easy to maintain and robust. Cheaper floor coverings often can’t stand up to the thrashing students give them.

Accommodation rent costs can range from £300 a month for a student room and en suite to £1,000 a month in London for a studio with a kitchen. Students paying these high rents demand better quality finishes and as a result, our luxury Westbond fusion bonded carpet tiles have been specified by quite a few campuses. In most accommodation, corridors need to be durable and stylish. Tessera’s random lay and batchless ranges, Mix and Circulate, have been used extensively as they are easy to maintain and any damaged tiles can easily be replaced without having to hold attic stock.

Social areas are now frequently zoned and sensory so a student lounge will be divided into a games area, quiet area, Xbox area etc and here is where Forbo’s Flotex has proved very popular thanks to its robustness and ease of cleaning and maintenance.

With universities competing to attract students, using standard products in a creative way can be a major differentiator. For example, wood effect flooring such as Forbo’s Allura range of LVT is very popular and when it’s laid in a herringbone fashion, it looks original and more expensive. Other universities are moving away from wood and using products such as Forbo’s marmoleum and acoustic vinyl ranges to provide colourful floors. For those looking for true differentiation, Flotex Vision allows universities to create floor coverings of photographic quality but with the functionality and durability needed in student accommodation.

For more information on suitable flooring for student accommodation, please visit

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