RESIN flooring systems are suitable for many different environments, from low trafficked areas to the most aggressive, because of their excellent performance characteristics and their ability to provide a seamless, hygienic and slip-resistant floor.
The advantages of resin flooring over any other solution include durability, hygiene, sustainability and cost-effectiveness over time.
Resin flooring is available in several different types basically corresponding to differing thicknesses. Choosing the correct flooring system has always been the key factor in ensuring all the client’s requirements are met from the chosen system.
The selection process should always include an exchange of information between the client and the resin flooring manufacturer and/or the specialist contractor.
Any particular site issues or requirements such as loading, trafficking, slip resistance, as well as cleaning and maintenance, should be discussed to ensure the client has an understanding of how the resin flooring system will perform and which resin system would be the most suitable.
The Resin Flooring Association, FeRFA, promotes the use of a classification system to assist specifiers. This is now the basis of the relevant British Standard, BS8204-6.
The different resin types are defined from Type 1 to Type 8, based on the applied thickness of the resin system. The thickest type is greater than 6mm and is effectively impervious, for the heaviest loading and trafficking.
The FeRFA classification system allows a cross-reference between products from different manufacturers, irrespective of brand names, and provides useful guidance when selecting a resin flooring system.
A change which has taken place in recent years has been the increasing popularity of resin systems beyond their historically strong base in the manufacturing sector, where resin flooring provides high performance and durable flooring in the most rigorous of processing environments.
Manufacturers’ continuing investment in technical development and innovation is now resulting in resin flooring systems that offer impressive durability and wear resistance, together with aesthetic and design appeal.
An example of this trend is the latest comfort flooring, or ‘liquid vinyl’ systems, which are growing in popularity, particularly in the commercial sector. These systems offer the comfort properties typically provided by cushion vinyl, but with the added benefit of providing a seamless hygienic and easy to maintain floor. It’s these types of performance characteristics that have influenced specifiers and clients to choose resin flooring systems over alternative flooring options.
Health and safety in any workplace environment is of paramount importance, but in food and drink processing and preparation areas, where spillages and washing down are a regular occurrence, it is essential to maintain the highest standards to avoid accidents.
In these environments, seamless resin flooring can make a positive contribution to the health and safety regime in terms of hygiene and slip resistance. Correctly specified and applied, resin flooring is well proven as providing the required levels of slip resistance in wet, dry and contaminated conditions.
The process of selecting the appropriate flooring system should always account for the functional needs of the floor finish, the substrate on which it’s to be installed, and the aesthetic requirements. To assist the specifier, there is easy access to information and guidance when choosing a flooring system.
The best place to learn more about resin flooring and its application is via the FeRFA website www.ferfa.org.uk. The website has been developed to provide the most comprehensive source of information on the correct selection process, as well as guidance on specialist applications, where properties such as chemical resistance, static dissipative and slip resistance are required.
Information on resin flooring is also available within a series of RIBA CPD approved FeRFA Guidance Notes which cover a wide range of useful topics, and are free to download from the website.
A key influence in choosing a flooring system is its environmental performance. Seamless resin flooring provides a sustainable option in that it meets the low carbon agenda for construction to reduce waste.
Resin floors always fit the space for which they’re intended, since they’re created in situ, so there is no material waste. Also assisting the environmental agenda, FeRFA operates a recycling scheme, enabling the resin flooring contractor to recover and recycle waste packaging material used on a project.
The installation of resin floors is however a specialist skill area and FeRFA fully endorses a qualified workforce through the achievement of NVQ Level 2 and above.
As the training provider for the resin flooring, screeding and surface preparation sectors, FeRFA runs apprenticeship schemes, supervisory and contract management training, as well as one-day upskilling courses.
A qualified workforce raises standards in the industry and gives the client the assurance and evidence of the contractor’s ability to undertake the work involved.