For 39 weeks of the year, schools are amongst the busiest buildings in the UK. With, on average, 910 pupils per school, the flooring installed throughout the buildings has to be hardy enough to withstand a large footfall, yet easy to install, without impacting on the academic calendar and strict budgets.
Here, Lisa Tomlin, CEO of CFS, provides four top tips for specifying flooring in an education setting:
Make sure you time your flooring installations to coincide with school breaks. This will cause as little disruption as possible to students and the day-to-day running of school life. Our busiest times for education installations are Easter and the summer holidays due to the extended breaks during this time, so it would be beneficial to schedule any specification of products for maintenance or refurbishment ahead of this time.
2. Wear and tear
Whether you work on a preschool or a University, education establishments experience a very high footfall and this is something that must be taken into account when considering appropriate flooring. Choosing a robust floor covering that can withstand increased footfall is paramount to ensure not only that the flooring remains in peak condition for as long as possible, but that it does not become damaged and prove a health risk to students.
Moreover, classrooms are incredibly busy, often subject to paint, ink and liquid spills. Having tiled carpet or LVT installed prevents the need to replace the whole roll of flooring if a small section is damaged, which is an important consideration for both budgets and logistics in a public sector building.
3. Style and colour
As well as being robust enough to withstand a class of 30 children, flooring in schools has to be stylish enough to impress and complement the established branding or school colours. By using carpet tiles, an accent colour can be incorporated into floor design, giving a nod to colours associated with the school, without being too overbearing.
It is of paramount importance that you use a quality installer when replacing the floor coverings within a school. Even when using a top-quality product, using the wrong installer can result in an inadequate and potentially unsafe installation. We suggest using a recommended installer with experience in education installation to make sure your project is completed on time, and to budget.