Safety flooring – typically made from vinyl with additional grit – offers a non-slip flooring solution suitable for a wide range of applications. Designs vary from stone and wood to marbling.
Most, if not all, safety flooring types must achieve a minimum of R10 on the slip-resistance testing. This is a health and safety standard set to ensure the welfare of everyone in the workplace. There are different types of safety flooring, so it is important you invest in the correct type of flooring to eliminate slips and falls in your workplace.
Where Should you Install Safety Flooring?
Safety flooring is manufactured and intended for use in commercial/work spaces. The non-slip properties, as well as the durability of it, make it the default choice for medical/hospital environments, schools and educational establishments, as well as retail units and other areas that see a high level of footfall. Safety flooring is also used in industrial areas where heavy items and/or machinery are present because of its stability.
Safety vinyl is commonly found in many leisure centres, toilets, care homes, offices, and kitchens because it not only helps to keep employees based on-site safe, but also all visitors (such as customers) who may be on the premises.
What are the Benefits of Safety Flooring?
As the name suggests, safety flooring is designed to keep people safe. It does this in several ways, the most prominent of which being that it is anti-slip which reduces the risk of trips, tumbles and falls. On top of this, safety flooring has anti-bacterial properties and it is exceptionally easy to mop/wipe clean which is why hospitals, schools and other public areas opt for it.
Aside from the practical aspects, vinyl flooring offers, another big advantage is that it can replicate the look of wood and tiles, but it has a lower price point and requires less maintenance.
What is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)?
Luxury Vinyl Tiles mimic the appearance of traditional floors like hardwood, ceramic tiles and stone, and they also replicate the durability and scratch-resistance of them, too. As well as this, they are waterproof which makes them a popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms and commercial/public spaces.
Not only is LVT a flexible alternative to sheet vinyl, the realistic wood look allows you to indulge in the premium look of natural flooring but without any of the problems of wood. If you like the look of wood but don’t want to commit to the maintenance of it, LVT is a good solution.
Different Types of LVT
Glue down LVTs are secured down with a strong glue adhesive which means the tiles won’t move or slip, resulting in a sturdy, hardwearing floor that is built for longevity.
This is more of a permanent installation and, unlike other options of LVT, the subfloor must be flat, smooth and dust-free before starting any installation. Any imperfections in the subfloor could affect the performance of the top floor covering.
Loose lay LVT is often hailed as a great problem solving solution for commercial settings. Much like regular LVT, loose lay LVT has many desirable qualities, including its substantial, tough wear layer. Loose lay LVT is equally as low maintenance as traditional LVT thanks to the UV-cured finish. You can find many colours and format options to suit most design needs.
In order to achieve a smooth and taut finish, loose lay LVT will require the use of some adhesive, although is considerably less than what is required with normal LVT.
Even though loose lay LVT is relatively thick, a flat and flawless substrate is still required because gaps, divots, wide seams and differences in height will be identifiable. For this reason, it is important to repair substrates to reach a flatness tolerance.
It is important that the substrate beneath is solid, sturdy, and weightbearing. Soft substrates like cushioned vinyl sheets, carpet or rubber that has been recycled may be problematic for installing loose lay vinyl on top of because of the increased amount of deflection.
Click vinyl flooring doesn’t require the use of adhesives during the installation process (referred to as floating installation) which makes it exceptionally easy to lay. An underlay is usually required.