Floor coverings: Time is ticking

When it comes to refurbishing educational establishments, ‘downtime’ is often a pressing issue. Therefore, floor coverings that can be installed quickly and easily, without disrupting daily operations, is key, explains Lewis Cooper, segment marketing manager for education at Forbo Flooring Systems

Specifying floor coverings for colleges and universities can be a challenge, as not only must the chosen products contribute to an inspiring and motivational interior, but they must also meet the practical necessities required. What’s more, as buildings are commonly open for long hours, often around-the-
clock, renovation works can cause disturbance to students, staff and visitors alike, as well as disrupt the daily operations of the working building.

With this in mind, adhesive-free solutions offer an unrivalled choice for applications where a quick turnaround is required to minimise disruption. Products can be fitted over existing floors or over subfloors with minimal preparation, in many cases, allowing work to be completed during half term breaks, over the weekend, overnight or even whilst the premises are still in use. Due to the fact that the installation is completely free of adhesives, the floor is ready to be walked on immediately after it is fitted, and facilities can resume as normal.

As installation is free from the usual constraints associated with adhesives, this will also result in less noise, dust and odours, contributing positively to creating a better indoor environment and improving the wellbeing of occupants. Finally, when the time eventually comes to replace the floor, the floor covering is easy to uplift and the product can be re-used again elsewhere or recycled at the end of its life, as there is no adhesive residue on the back of the material.

One such example of an educational establishment looking for a speedy refurbishment was Edinburgh College’s Granton Campus; a modern, practical and accessible building packed with state-of-the-art facilities that sees 1,800 students and staff come through its doors every day. Opting for Modul’up adhesive free sheet vinyl from Forbo Flooring Systems’ Fast Fit range, the unique floor covering was fitted whilst the college was still in use.

Dave Keen, estates services manager at Edinburgh College, said: “Our Granton Campus has been open for 14 years and the carpet tiles that were originally laid in the main circulation areas and walkways were becoming increasingly dirty and difficult to clean. As the building is open 50 weeks of the year and seven days a week, we therefore needed to find a flooring solution that was quick and easy to install whilst the college was still open.

“We chose the Medium Grey colourway from the Modul’up Cement range, as the contemporary concrete design provided a fresh, clean and modern look. The team at Gordon and Halliday Flooring completed the work during normal college hours, while students and staff were on site. This was done with minimal disruption to daily operations and the fact that the floor could then be walked on immediately after installation really was a great advantage for us. With there being no adhesives, this eliminated the emission of dust and odours, which was particularly important for the wellbeing of all that use the building.

“We are absolutely delighted with the results and my cleaners are extremely happy with how easy the floors are to clean, too. With the help of Forbo and Gordon and Halliday Flooring, we have designed an interior scheme that will work for Granton Campus now and into the future.”

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, where colleges and universities may be hesitant to have tradespeople on site for too long, adhesive-free products, such as those from Forbo’s Fast Fit range, means that fitters will be required on site for less time and they can be in and out of the building quickly and safely.

For more information on Forbo’s Fast Fit range, including Modul’up, please visit: www.forboflooring.co.uk/fastfit or to find out more about Forbo’s work in the education sector: www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/education

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