Medical Construction & Design

JAN-FEB 2015

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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pieces of equipment are used, such as operation suites, labs and treatment spaces. This fl ooring, which is available in various thicknesses and can either be heat or cold-welded for seamless installation, is harder to repair in-house, especially if used in sheet form or in a complicated pattern. Additionally, fl oor prep is very strict, as it will not let the slab breathe once it is installed. In order to be warrantied, the subfl oor must not only be cured, but it also needs to meet minimum tolerances and meet the moisture content requirements. In facilities where waxing is the norm, rubber fl ooring can cause challenges as it cannot be waxed. The wax can cause discoloration and deterioration of the rubber product. If not cared for properly, some manufacturers will not stand by their warranties. Linoleum fl ooring Linoleum fl ooring is another option for healthcare facilities. One of the oldest products in the building marketplace, some of our country's historical buildings and churches have utilized linoleum. While some clients love this product, others have not had as much luck. This product comes in tile and sheet goods, though the look of the product is not as mainstream as some other options, contributing to it not being used more often. However, linoleum has the benefi t of getting harder as it ages, releasing its natural oil into the product and enabling it to self-heal if cut or gouged. Linoleum fl oor prep can be more forgiving as subfl oor imperfections can read through, but are disguised by the pattern and matte fi nish. Promoted as a non-wax product, linoleum can be waxed, but in-house facilities will require some training in installation for replacement. Epoxy fl ooring Epoxy or poured fl ooring options are gaining popularity. Some clients are standardized on a poured resin fl ooring type for toilet rooms and wet applica- tions. This product is seamless and can have an integral base to help with water containment. This product can have a grit integral to the product to help with slip resistance for patient care spaces. The fl ooring can have many dif erent looks from solid colors, to fl akes and specs to mimic traditional terrazzo. Cleaning is very easy for this product. Routine mopping will clean most dirt of these fl oors and oc- casional deep steam cleaning or polishing may be required depending on fi nal fi nish. Carpet One fl ooring material that often receives a bad report card from health facilities is carpet, but it has come a long way. Car- pet, historically, was known to absorb smells and stains, be bad for roller traf c and ugly-out quickly. However, with the more prevalent use of carpet tile, in-house facilities crews can repair, replace and spot clean easily. Upkeep is often just vacuum- ing with occasional spot cleaning using a dry extraction method, which is less dis- ruptive to the surroundings, causes fewer odors and is better for the life of carpet tile than hot water extraction. Carpet back- ings, which are no longer jute or woven, are often vinyl or PVC-like products that create a water barrier from the back of carpet fi bers to the fl oor so spills no longer sit beneath the carpet creating odors. Ad- ditionally, most of the fi bers and backing materials are anti-microbial and solution dyed, preventing damage or discolor- ation from harsh cleaning chemicals. As with any industry, the specifi c healthcare use must be considered as part of the fl ooring decision process. A designer will work with each client to determine the best product, or combination of products, to specify, as well as assist, in facilities department education to manage the long life of the product and ensure the manu- facturer's warranty requirements are met. One strategy to involve many stakehold- ers during a major fl ooring decision is to test the various product options onsite. Laura Morris, AAHID, LEED AP BD+C, IIDA, Lean Green Belt, is a principal and senior interior designer with Array Architects. She can be reached at lmorris@ or 610-270-0599. Phil Carey represents Spartan Surfaces and can be reached at or 215-356-6169. From Left: Rubber fl ooring, installed at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Ohio, can aid in reducing leg fatigue, as well as be versatile for intricate fl oor patterns. > Vinyl composite tile is appropriate in an outpatient, ambulatory setting where cleaning can be scheduled after hours, and not disturb patients and staff. > Luxury vinyl tile comes in a variety of patterns and widths. At Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell in New Jersey, several complementary patterns add interest to the space and provide wayfi nding at important junctures along the journey. MCDM AG.COM | JA N UA RY/ F EBRUA RY 2015 | Medical Construction & Design 41

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