Floors & Flooring Tread lightly

Robust floors are essential for tenant safety. Barry Eagle of GripClad offers advice on picking the right type of flooring for high-traffic areas.

and requires low levels of maintenance throughout its lifetime. Heavy footfall contributes to the gradual wear of floorings, and as defects develop, the risk of injury increases. However, opting for a solid material such as concrete is one way to address these concerns. Easily shaped thanks to its fluid state and extremely robust, concrete is a popular option for high-traffic areas.


Concrete For communal spaces, concrete is an ideal alternative to wood, vinyl tiles or carpets, and when combined with steel rebar it can withstand wear and tear from vehicles for years. Furthermore, concrete is a very low cost solution that’s highly customisable and can be poured into any shape. However, facilities managers should look to take an extra step to ensure

longevity of the material by applying a protective coating. The application of such coating safeguards the surfaces against breakages or stains and enables the material to better endure heavy foot traffic. This is of particular importance if concrete is used in external areas, as it can begin to spall and crumble when exposed repeatedly to water.

rivate landlords and housing associations are responsible for the welfare of their tenants, and so it is vital for specifiers to choose a flooring solution that not only provides safety, but is also reliable

Resin Another option for high-traffic areas is resin flooring. Epoxy and polyurethane resin floors can be layered over existing flooring to provide a safe, anti-slip surface that is easy to maintain. This versatile type of flooring also offers hard-wearing quality finishes for both internal and external spaces. Moreover, resin flooring inhibits bacterial growth as there is no grouting, seams or joints, thus contributing to a hygienic environment. Resin floors can also be used to protect concrete floors while

providing an attractive, high quality finish designed to keep floors clean and odour-free. However, while resin floors are considered broadly slip-resistant, a textured finish should be considered for communal areas, where spillages are common, in order to mitigate the risk of slips. Installing a resin floor can also take longer compared to other types of

flooring as the base floor requires thorough cleaning to remove any grease, oil or solvents before the resin coating can be applied. Since resin doesn’t “breathe” once it cures, any moisture trapped below the surface may necessitate refinishing of the floor if bubbling or buckling in the flooring material occurs. | HMM July 2017 | 41

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