Karndean: A healthier, more practical alternative

Matthew Speck is commercial sales director of Karndean Designflooring

FROM childhood through to young adulthood, we spend a significant amount of time in education environments, and the general wellbeing and academic achievement among students can be positively or negatively influenced by their surroundings.

Schools, colleges, and universities have a lot of factors to consider when determining what flooring they should have, including the health and safety of students, staff and visitors, durability, comfort, and function of the space.

Finding a floor that can tick all these boxes, while at the same time adding vibrancy to the aesthetics, will contribute to an efficient school design where students are safe and happy.

School canteens, science labs, and art classrooms are prime examples of spaces where the optimal floor would be straightforward to clean and maintain due to regular spillages, durable with the ability to cope with heavy footfall and furniture, and have a high slip resistance rating to avoid tripping or slipping accidents.

Karndean Designflooring is ideal as it’s quick, easy and inexpensive to clean, which will enable the school to uphold the highest standards of hygiene, and all our products come with an R10 slip resistance rating, so contractors can specify Karndean with confidence, knowing it’s suitable for use in an education environment.

A growing number of educational institutions now need to provide anti-allergen environments for their students. Our realistic wood and stone effect ranges have a low volatile organic compound rating and our adhesives are free from harmful emissions.

Carpets and many textile floor coverings harbour dirt and dust mites which are eventually released into the air, and this is why Karndean is a more practical and healthier alternative, especially for general classrooms.

Unnecessary noise inside or outside a classroom can distract students from their studies which will have a negative impact on their education, so the right flooring may require excellent acoustic properties. Our first rigid core collection, Korlok, has our highest performing acoustic qualities to date.

Featuring a pre-attached acoustic foam backing, Korlok can reduce noise transfer to rooms below up to 19dB without the need for separate underlay making it ideal for multi-storey schools, and it will help to quieten the general noise of the teachers’ and students’ footsteps around the classroom.

The limitless design capabilities of Karndean enables contractors to create spaces that suit the individual needs of the users. Gone are the days when corridors are dark and monotonous, and classrooms are plain and dull – schools, academies and colleges now look for designs that are exciting and interesting to inspire their students to want to learn and enjoy their education.

A well thought out floor design can also help students and staff orientate themselves by providing a sense of perspective. Zoning out areas that have different functions by combining the contrasting colours and textures of our wood and stone designs will help with wayfinding, while also maintaining a modern style.

Ideal for situations like these is our creative Kaleidoscope collection, which offers six geometric shapes that can be cut in several colour combinations across our established wood and stone designs and arranged in endless design patterns. The collection also features block colourways, giving designers the ability to contrast bright colours against wood and stone for added visual interest.

There are no limits to what can be achieved with Karndean in terms of a stylish design and intricate detailing – schools and education spaces can even request a special finishing touch in the form of a logo or bespoke design. Not only is Karndean a practical and resilient choice for schools, colleges and universities, it can help create a safe and inspiring educational environment in which students can flourish.

Additionally, all our floors benefit from our K-Guard+ surface protection system which provides a hygienic and durable finish that will protect the floors for years to come.