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Improving infection control one step at a time

CREATING the right interior design for care home environments can make a fundamental difference to the patients and staff that use the building. As such, gone are the days of the stereotypical, clinical designs with heavily patterned finishes. Instead, designers are opting for finishes that can help to create a home-like atmosphere.

With this in mind, contractors will continue to be tasked to choose floorcoverings that can add to this comforting environment. However, while this is an important factor, it is also vital that you choose products that can help to keep buildings hygienic and prevent the spread of infections.

What’s more, as the UK government announced care-home residents can now have more named visitors, the number of people entering a care home will increase. This means care home floors will not only be subjected to more dry and wet soiling, but bacteria and viruses could also be walked into the facility on the soles of shoes and treads of wheels.

Therefore, choosing resilient or hygienic textile floorcoverings, which won’t harbour bacteria and can be easily cleaned, are highly recommended.

For example, for areas that require a soft aesthetic, such as bedrooms and living rooms, flocked flooring is perhaps one of the best options as it offers the warmth, underfoot comfort and tactile appeal of carpet but is very durable and easy to maintain.

In fact, owing to the upright fibres and impermeable PVC backing, flocked flooring can be cleaned right down to the base of the flock; dry soiling is easily removed using an upright vacuum cleaner, and tougher stains can be removed with standard carpet wet cleaning machinery and steam cleaners.

With ultra-low VOC emissions, zero phthalates and having been awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval, Forbo’s Flotex flocked flooring collection covers all grounds in creating homely and better indoor environments. It also has excellent slip resistance and acoustic properties, delivering up to 22dB impact sound reduction.

Another Allergy UK approved solution is Forbo’s Marmoleum collection, which is the ideal resilient floor covering for areas such as corridors and communal areas. Naturally bacteriostatic, Marmoleum has been independently proven to inhibit the growth and spread of infections such as Norovirus, MRSA, Acinetobacter baumannii and C Difficile, contributing to a healthier, more hygienic environment.

Thanks to Topshield, its water-based polymer surface finish, Marmoleum is not only easy to clean and maintain, but it has lasting appearance retention, which in turn lowers the cost of ownership – perfect for when budgets are tight.

There are many products available on the market, which can help you create hygienic care homes, but by liaising with a reputable flooring manufacturer that can provide guidance means you can rest assured that you have chosen the correct solution.

To find out more about Forbo’s portfolio for the care sector, which includes options for designing dementia-friendly interiors, visit

Donna Hannaway is head of marketing UK & Ireland at Forbo Flooring Systems

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