Have you ever been in an incredibly loud classroom? Did the children suffer from distractions in that classroom due to excessive noise?
As teachers and parents, we want the best for our children and an environment conducive to learning. Children spend a lot of their lives in classrooms, and not only do we want them to achieve academic success, but we also want them to remain happy and healthy.
Years ago, classroom flooring was asbestos tile. Asbestos tile is not in use anymore, and abatements and removal are always at the top of capital improvement plan lists. The question is, after removing the asbestos tile, what is appropriate to put in its place?
Considerations For Education Flooring
There are several considerations for education flooring. It is essential to consider the users (teachers, custodians, administration) and get their feedback. Involve this group in the flooring selection process. The facilities department will need to understand what is involved in cleaning and maintenance and the frequency. Flooring is a significant investment, so the facilities team will need to be trained on proper floor care to maximize the investment.
What spaces need flooring? A gym floor is very different than a classroom floor. When discussing the cafeteria flooring, is it only the cafeteria or a combined room such as a “cafegymatorium. “ Gym flooring is better suited to wood or rubber flooring, while hallways may be better suited to tile.
The answer to this question helps determine what type of flooring will hold up to the use. We will focus this article on classroom flooring.
Focusing on classroom flooring, it is clear sound is a priority – or technically reduction of sound. Options include carpeting, tile, and linoleum.
Carpeting is an excellent option for noise reduction in the classroom. A classroom with carpeting is easier for hearing and concentration. Broadloom carpeting is perfect for this type of space because it also traps dust and allergens. Broadloom carpeting is available in square tiles or on a roll.
A commercial luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is another option if you prefer to stay away from carpet. These tiles can have a finish that helps to minimize scratches and are pretty durable. Commercial LVT will hold up well to chairs and heavy furniture being used and moved around. Vinyl Composition Tiles (VCT) is also an option for heavy traffic areas.
Health considerations when selecting classroom flooring include allergens that lead to allergies and asthma, respiratory irritants, and toxic chemicals. Additional considerations are which flooring is the most healthy for students and staff in a pandemic.
Ability to Clean and Maintain
Maintenance of flooring is a significant issue. Most school districts have had to reduce custodial and maintenance staff to allow more funding to be funneled directly to the education of the students. Therefore, school districts are taking advantage of cleaning efficiencies whenever they can.
What is the difference between each flooring style and cleaning and maintenance? What actions need to occur daily, weekly, monthly, or annually?
When your school district decides to make flooring changes, it is crucial to work through these considerations, with the greatest at this point being the pandemic.
Mannington Commercial flooring can assist you with your education flooring needs. Contact us now to start the conversation.