Floors for paws

FROM traversing the aisles of retail outlets to sleeping soundly on the floors of local pubs and cafés, there’s no denying the influx of furry, four-legged patrons in commercial environments. According to the PDSA, 49% of UK adults own a pet, which includes 8.9 million pet dogs. As consumers, we’re gravitating more towards businesses that cater to our canine companions and of course, more pets mean more vets.

Selecting the most effective flooring surface is the foundation of designing pet-friendly interiors. Sharp nails, shedding and the occasional ‘accident’ are clearly issues that can affect multiple flooring types. At the same time, the choice should offer plenty of comfort underfoot to the human and non-human users. The following are pet-friendly priorities to consider for commercial flooring.

Comfort
Animals can benefit from the comfort underfoot that comes with thicker flooring solutions. Solutions including Altro Orchestra and Altro Serenade can also provide sound reduction in multi-level facilities and areas with heavy foot traffic, where there is a low risk of a slip.

In areas that can’t be closed for refurbishment, Altro have floors that can be installed without adhesive, which bring further benefits such as cost saving and no adhesive odours.

Durability
Broken and chipped tiles can be a health hazard for pets in several ways. Rigid, uneven surfaces can painfully dig into feet with a single misstep, while harmful bacteria can evade cleaning, flourishing within cracked areas and get into pets’ paws. It’s important to choose flooring with proven durability that can withstand constant heavy foot traffic from shoes and paws without damage or surface erosion.

Slip resistance
Whether they’re sprinting between rooms or leisurely strolling down a hall, pets needs to have the proper traction to avoid slips that could cause an accident, or injury to pet or human. Surfaces with a thick layer of wax or polish can be the equivalent of an ice rink to anything walking on four legs. Where appropriate, safety floors allow both pets and owners to properly grip the ground beneath them.

Stain and moisture resistance
Accidents happen, and if your floors are susceptible to staining and moisture, the evidence can linger for years to come. Porous carpets and tile grouting can absorb moisture, trapping surface stains and compromising hygiene in the process.

Flooring with any exposure to pets should be impervious to liquid penetration and resistant to surface staining. We can help with specifications so that you can select the right floor for the right area – including guidance on stain resistance.

Maintenance
Low-maintenance flooring is suitable for areas subjected to shedding, spills and accidents. Soft surfaces are notorious for absorbing pet residue. Floors that are impervious to liquid penetration are easier to clean and prevent hair and dirt being trapped under the surface.

‘Innovative solutions for a modern practice’
Case study: Bärenwiese Veterinary Practice, Germany
This modern vets in Germany wanted to create a friendly atmosphere. With state-of-the-art treatment rooms for examinations and operations, an ultrasound room, a dedicated dental surgery and an in-house laboratory, as well as a recovery room, the floor and wall surfaces needed to match the high-quality facilities. As well as the clinical areas, new floors and walls were needed for the offices, public areas and toilets.

Altro Ensemble was chosen for office and public areas, a modular flooring system said to be in a warm, appealing wood tone. ‘We’re excited about the great colour of the floor. It has excellent sound insulation and offers visitors and employees a high level of comfort,’ says Saskia Czempiel-Bartels, vet and manager of the practice.

Says Altro: ‘Adhesive-free Altro Cantata was chosen for the treatment rooms and the operating theatre – coordinating with the practice colours to create a harmonious environment. In addition, it’s easy to clean and works perfectly with Altro Ensemble and Altro Whiterock White hygienic walls system.

‘To incorporate a splash guard into the room design, the practice management chose Altro Whiterock for the wall behind the washbasins in the treatment rooms and toilets. It was also used for the walls of the operating rooms. Welded with Altro Cantata flooring, it creates a sealed, watertight system, suitable for areas where safety and hygiene are paramount.’

‘Bright, fun and fit-for-purpose’
Case study: Doodley Dogs, West Sussex
An innovative crèche for dogs in Storrington, West Sussex, used Altro Whiterock Chameleon to bring the outside in.

Doodley Dogs is the first business of its kind to work as a drop in crèche for dogs. Founded by Jane and Amy Hatcher, they developed the Doodley Dogs concept based on extensive experience as one of the UK’s leading dog behaviourists. For the crèche they wanted a funky and fresh approach to walls instead of using plain white, but with it being easy to wipe down and hardwearing.

‘Altro Whiterock Chameleon was the perfect choice for the crèche. Doodley Dogs was familiar with Altro, already having Altro Suprema installed at their crèche sites,’ says the company.

‘We had a mini refurb about four years ago and installed Altro Suprema flooring in our franchises. Then, during the big refurb we did loads and loads of research, but nothing could beat Altro Suprema, so we had the same Altro floor put in all areas,’ said Jane Hatcher, co-founder, Doodley Dogs.

Says Altro: ‘Altro Whiterock Chameleon is a glossy, vibrant and vividly colourful wall cladding. Altro Whiterock Chameleon is available in 16 high impact, high-design shades to add a little bit of affordable luxury to a range of environments. Offering all the benefits of Altro Whiterock, Altro Whiterock Chameleon is very durable, with a smooth, watertight, wipe-clean surface.’

The company continues: ‘Design-led Altro Suprema has been developed in consultation with colour consultants, architects and end users to reflect design requirements and interior trends. Ideal for large public spaces, Altro Suprema has Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR Technology for ease of cleaning, making it possible for designers to specify light colours in areas they previously would not have dared to.’

Since the initial installation, further work using Altro Whiterock has been carried out giving the quiet areas and puppy rooms a bright pleasant place to leave pets to be cared for.

‘Stylish and practical’
Case study: Cromwell Vets
The Cromwell Veterinary Group is one of an elite group of practices around the world to celebrate over 100 years of veterinary care. The Huntingdon practice had built a new extension and as veterinary operating theatres are demanding environments it required a specialist flooring solution to deal with possible contaminants and prevent against slips and falls.

The practice needed floors, walls and doors that would support a hygienic environment but also be durable and look good.

Altro Fortis Titanium wall protection sheets were fitted along with Altro Fortis door-sets.

Says Altro: ‘The solution provides a durable and impact-resistant solution for busy areas. Altro safety flooring provided a safe and hygienic solution for operating theatres, and was also selected for the clinical operating rooms.’
www.altro.co.uk