Antimicrobial, Antibacterial, and Bacteria Resistant Flooring
Whether for residential, commercial, industrial or specialist flooring, the importance of antimicrobial, antibacterial and generally dirt and germ resistant flooring solutions is more important now than ever before. In light of the global pandemic, a spotlight is being placed on the ways in which we can protect ourselves from the invisible threat posed by contagions and bacteria.
Flooring which has high levels of foot traffic as well as those within our own homes, comes into contact with a myriad of microorganisms, much of which is harmless but certain environments and circumstances require a proactive approach to managing our exposure to this. The inclusion of high grade antimicrobial or antibacterial flooring is one of the ways that the health and safety of workers, customers and family members can be ensured.
Although we write this in a time of extreme circumstances posed to the global community in light of Covid-19, specialist flooring has been a mainstay of the flooring industry for many years. Some of the biggest flooring brands across the world have dedicated many years and significant resources into the development of some of the best quality flooring solutions to address the needs of the many industries requiring high levels of bacteria resistance. From spas, leisure centres and restaurants to health facilities, care homes and laboratories - the list of environments benefitting from antimicrobial and antibacterial flooring is endless. Locations which experience heavy footfall from the general public have utilised the incredible technologies created by flooring manufacturers and the brilliant characteristics and properties of specialist flooring for a long time and in recent years we have seen a growth in the residential sector considering these options for rooms of the home.
Bacteria which are found on flooring surfaces are not only a threat to our health but can also cause odour, staining and ultimately the degradation of flooring, therefore the additional benefits far exceed the primary purpose of such hardworking flooring. Every flooring project is unique and at Hamilton flooring we value the importance of understanding the needs of individual spaces, therefore we would always recommend contacting one of our professional flooring installation experts who are able to provide advice and give appropriate recommendations suited to your flooring requirements and budget. In the meantime, we will briefly introduce you to the world of antibacterial and antimicrobial flooring solutions and some of the amazing products which Hamilton Flooring work with.
What is the Difference between Antibacterial Flooring and Antimicrobial Flooring?
The simple answer is that both have the properties to inhibit the growth and spread of certain microorganisms such as bacteria, however antimicrobial flooring provides a wider scope as it can act as an antibacterial and antiparasitic product. Antimicrobial flooring is generally flooring which is created with added agents which shield and prevent the growth and spread of bacteria, fungus, parasites and viruses as well as mold, mildew and algaes - even some worms!
Floors with added antimicrobial agents are generally better protected than those which are covered with an antibacterial agent, as it defends against a much broader range of damaging organisms. Furthermore, manufactured antimicrobial flooring tends to have a top coating which provides a bacteria resistant barrier. This is not to say that antibacterial flooring is not effective. It is often the case that flooring types which can not be manufactured with antimicrobial materials will benefit from antibacterial coatings, particularly in cases where the flooring type is a natural material such as natural stone or tile.
What are the Benefits of Antimicrobial Flooring?
Beyond the protection against the growth and spread of microorganisms, there are additional benefits to antimicrobial flooring. Both manufactured and coated antimicrobial flooring is highly durable and easy to clean as well as being harmless to animals - making it perfect for the home as well as commercial environments. It is not always something that residential clients think of but there are many reasons to choose an antimicrobial floor in the home, it’s not just something for commercial and health industry spaces!
Antimicrobial flooring is non-allergenic and also protects against common household allergens such as mold and mildew, it also has low to no VOC emissions. Flooring which is antimicrobial tends to be man-made (unless you are covering your floor in raw copper!) and as such is normally designed with additional characteristics such as water resistance, anti-slip technology and resistance to common corrosives.
Examples of Antimicrobial Flooring Options
There are so many options available for your antimicrobial flooring solutions, here are just a few examples to get you inspired.
PolyFlor Forest FX PUR
Forest fx is the durable vinyl sheet with a natural wood appearance. This collection contains various wood designs with intricate grains and natural colourways, making it indistinguishable from the real thing. PolyFlor's Forest FX collection has been developed specifically with commercial applications in mind and it is perfectly suited to education, healthcare, office, retail and leisure sectors. Featuring a polyurethane reinforcement (PUR), this product is incredibly easy to maintain and clean for improved cleaning and maintenance plus it boasts R10 slip resistance and a BRE Global environmental A+ rating. Although specifically developed for commercial flooring solutions, we think this flooring option is so stylish it would look perfect in a residential setting, especially in rental properties, holiday homes, care home settings and in the harder working rooms in your home like the kitchen or utility space.
Forbo Marmoleum Striato Collection
Forbo Marmoleum and Flotex products are scientifically proven to prevent the growth and spread of infections such as MRSA, Norovirus, C Difficile and E Coli, making it a popular choice for the health sector. Marmoleum helps to contribute to a healthier environment in locations which require extremely high levels of hygeine and cleanliness. Forbo's Marmoleum is constructed from natural raw materials which contribute to its bacteria inhibiting property, Linseed Oil being one of the dominant materials supporting this characteristic. Most importantly, the anti-bacterial properties of Marmoleum will not diminish over time.
Forbo reports that ' Independent testing by the University of Glasgow has proven that Marmoleum has a unique suitability for a diverse range of environments where hygiene and control of bacteria such as MRSA or E. coli is an everyday concern'.
Forbo has also developed Flotex which is a unique, electrostatically flocked flooring solution which provides additional comfort and acoustic properties which are normally associated with carpet - whilst retaining the anti-bacterial properties, eas of maintenance and durability of vinyl. Flotex has the same bacterial prevention properties as Marmoleum which protects against the development of fungal growth and associated odours. Both Marmoleum and Flotex products are British Allergy Foundation approved due to their hypoallergenic properties and resistance to bacteria and dust mites.
There are many options within the Marmoleum and Flotex collections in terms of colour and design. The Marmoleum Striato collection provides contemporary designs with linear aesthetics in neutral tones which are a perfect backdrop to modern interiors. Striato Original and Striato Textura both respond to the trend for tactility and tonal finishes, Striato Colour emphasis the bright and striking interiors that can be created using Marmoleum.
Altro Walkway 20
Altro is known for its safety flooring and Walkway 20 is hugely popular. With 2mm thickness safety flooring and 44 colours available it is compatible with Altro XpressLay colourways allowing for the ranges to be combined for a seamless look when areas have different requirements. This range has more of a commercial feel whilst managing to also be contemporary and stylish - a hard balance to maintain! This flooring solution is very well suited to healthcare and hospital environments as well as schools, leisure facilities, fast food restaurants and so much more. Hardwearing, durable, anti slip and stylish are the order of the day with Altro Walkway.
Specialist Flooring Solutions at Hamilton Flooring
Hamilton Flooring has almost 3 decades of experience in the flooring industry, we offer a full range of flooring services from residential to commercial and industrial. If you are looking for specialist flooring solutions pertaining to antimicrobial and antibacterial floors, please contact one of our team for more information.
Unless otherwise stated, Images are used for illustrative purposes and do not represent work untaken by Hamilton flooring - examples of work completed can be found in our Gallery