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achieved between the floors and walls, and between doors and walls. However, if this isn’t possible, it is essential that optimum contrast is achieved between the two critical planes, such as the floor and wall. The adjoining flooring must be tonally similar in order to reduce the risk of falls, which means the flooring LRVs should be within eight degrees of each other (although less is better). The transition strips should also match the tones of both flooring surfaces, with an ideal difference of no more than three degrees of LRV. If the contrast between the floor coverings is too great and the transition strip contrasts too much – or if it is a highly reflective trim – then this could be perceived as a step and result in ‘high-stepping’ and potential falls, or even deter people from passing through. When it comes to the actual design of the floor coverings, it is vital that a glossy or sparkly floor is avoided, as it could be perceived as a wet surface. Flecked flooring could also convey spots, while logos etched into the floor could be observed as an obstacle. As such, a matt finish with a simple, plain design is preferred. With this in mind, the design of a building becomes as vital as the bricks and mortar that it’s built with. Because of this, Forbo Flooring Systems has partnered with The University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) to review over 1000 floor finishes; assessing their suitability for use in dementia-friendly environments. This includes assessing and rating them in accordance with their dementia design principles.


Many healthcare facilities and sites are now starting to explore dementia-inclusive design – and one example where the flooring has played a large part is Erskine Park, a care home in Bishopston. Spanning three storeys, floor coverings were used in a variety of colours to easily distinguish each floor of the building for the residents, and to help them identify their own floor and apartment. Colours were used to distinguish the floor levels: green tones on the ground floor to represent leafy grass; a shade of orange on the first floor to represent earth; and a blue shade to represent the sky, and help residents recognise that they were on the top floor. The key is that flooring for these types of environments needs to be simple, as well as being practical and hygienic.


Mark Jackson is key account manager, Care Sector, at Forbo Flooring Systems


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK ADF APRIL 2018


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