Contract Flooring Journal (CFJ) the latest news for flooring contractors

Home> Forbo Flooring Systems <Fighting the spread of infections using flooring

Fighting the spread of infections using flooring

As one of the largest interior surfaces in any building, there’s no better place to start with infection control than the flooring. Here, Lewis Cooper explores further.

INFECTION control is extremely important in hospitals, helping ensure vulnerable patients, visitors and staff are protected from healthcare associated infections. As one of the largest interior surfaces in any building, there’s no better place to start with infection control than the flooring. Here, I’ll explore further.

With about 1,300,000 people seen by the NHS every day1, it’s no surprise bacteria and germs can be found on many healthcare building surfaces, from walls and floors to sinks and door handles, making it very easy for infections to quickly spread. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how the spread of infection can become a vicious circle.

One way to combat this, in addition to regular and comprehensive cleaning schedules, is through the use of antibacterial surfaces and materials, that can actively help inhibit the growth of bacteria. These materials can be vital to reducing the spread of infection and hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

Starting from the floor up is a great place to begin. With flooring solutions for these requirements in mind, there are various options on the market – however, none is as suited to the challenge as linoleum. Despite being invented over 150 years ago, linoleum still meets modern healthcare standards and remains a popular solution, being a resilient and naturally bacteriostatic floor covering.

Add to this linoleum’s impressive environmental credentials, and you have an extremely effective and sustainable flooring system.

Manufactured using up to 98% natural raw materials, including linseed oil, pine rosin, wood flour, jute and limestone, linoleum is one of the most sustainable flooring solutions on the market today. In fact, Forbo Flooring Systems’ own brand of linoleum – Marmoleum – is actually certified as climate positive (from cradle to gate) without offsetting.

Meaning the CO2 removed from the atmosphere during the growing of its natural ingredients exceeds the CO2 produced in the extraction, transportation, and manufacturing processes.
In addition to this, linoleum has 30 times lower total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) than the European norm and CO2 emissions that are 50% lower than any other resilient floorcovering.

This means it can contribute to healthier indoor environments, with some brands of linoleum even having been awarded the prestigious ‘seal of approval’ from Allergy UK.

More appropriately for healthcare environments, linoleum has inherent antibacterial properties, owing to the natural raw materials used in its production. This means linoleum floorcoverings can actually inhibit the growth of some infections, such as C Difficile, Norovirus and MRSA – all infections that can be found within hospitals – without the need for additives or surface treatments.

As mentioned before, healthcare environments are busy places, requiring floorcoverings that are suitable for high traffic application areas and that offer enhanced durability.

Products installed in these applications should also deliver excellent dimensional stability, as well as having the capability to withstand the traffic demands that hospital floors are regularly subjected to. Linoleum can once again deliver on all of these requirements.

In terms of durability, many linoleum floorcoverings have a ‘topcoat’ lacquer which makes the floorcovering resistant to wear, tear, stains and scuffs, resulting in reduced cleaning and maintenance needs. This also means the flooring can be left installed for years without needing major maintenance or replacement, resulting in less downtime or disruption over the floorcovering’s service life.

Forbo’s Marmoleum is naturally bacteriostatic, with one study by the University of Glasgow finding Marmoleum is uniquely suitable for a range of environments where hygiene and control of bacteria such as E coli or MRSA is an everyday concern.

Marmoleum is also an Allergy UK approved and dimensionally stable floorcovering, manufactured with a protective topcoat: Topshield pro. An advanced two-layer water-based surface finish, Topshield pro protects the flooring and helps to maintain its appearance year-on-year.

Recognising the industry shortage of skilled linoleum installers, Forbo has also recently partnered with the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) to run specialised training courses to upskill fitters in the installation of its Marmoleum. As part of this, the manufacturer is offering fitters who complete the course with a tool and goodie bag to support their newly learnt skills.

To find out more information about Forbo’s Marmoleum, visit:
www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/marmoleum or view FITA’s courses and book your spot on the Marmoleum course, here:
Lewis Cooper is segment marketing manager for healthcare from Forbo Flooring Systems
1 https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhsbirthday/about-the-nhs-birthday/nhs-in-numbers-today/

Please click to view more articles about

Stay Connected




Popular articles