What’s the score
 with a resin floor?

The Healthcare environment requires a variety of performance criteria from its chosen flooring. Due to the complexity of trafficking and use of the areas involved, differing types of flooring should be selected to suit specific environments within a hospital building. However, the most important factor is the hygienic properties of the flooring and its ability to be cleaned and maintained.

Seamless resin floors have a proven track record of over 40 years in the strictest of hygiene environments, namely the food industry.

What is Seamless Resin Flooring?
Resin flooring is applied in situ to a prepared concrete surface either as a flowing or trowelled mortar or as a surface coating. A polymerisation or curing process then takes place to produce the final synthetic resin finish. Large areas of seamless flooring can thus be installed without the need for any joints other than where there are movement joints in the base concrete. The lack of joints is beneficial since such recesses are more difficult to clean and risk harbouring harmful bacteria. The fully cured Resin flooring is impervious, non-absorbent, washable and non-toxic. 

Typical floor areas in the healthcare sector could be split into public and private, or more likely to be front of house and back of house such as reception areas, waiting rooms and corridors; wards, staff rooms, stock rooms; theatres, X-ray rooms, intensive care units; laboratories, mortuaries and kitchens, canteens, plant rooms.

With the wide range of conditions to be encountered, it is important to identify the specific environment in each case to choose a suitable flooring material. To give good service, the flooring material must satisfy all the mechanical, chemical, physical, biological, and practical requirements of the user:

 

Mechanical – to support machinery and to withstand impact and abrasion;
Chemical – to be resistant to (and protect the substrate from) chemicals to be encountered;
Physical – to withstand temperature changes (thermal shock) and prevent ingress of contaminants;
Biological – not to support biological growth;
Practical – to be easy to clean, to be hygienic, to be slip resistant, to be aesthetically pleasing, and to be durable.

Resin floor finishes
The types of resin flooring systems available and their area of use are described in detail in FeRFA’s RIBA CPD Approved Guide to the Specification and Application of Synthetic Resin Flooring (freely downloadable from www.ferfa.org.uk)

Innovation in product manufacture has led to the introduction of a new range of decorative resin flooring systems. Colour, texture, flexibility and design are now key considerations, with products available to suit every design concept, from attractive terrazzo to contemporary creations. Slip resistant or anti-static/conductive versions of all these categories may also be available for use in sensitive areas such as operating theatres, X-ray suites and laboratories. Comfort flooring or liquid vinyl resin systems have been growing in popularity in recent years. These types of resin floors are generally a modified FeRFA Type 5 flow applied system, comprising a primer, a flow applied ‘body coat’, optional surface sealer and may include a rubber underlay and associated adhesive and pore filler.

This type of resin flooring aims to offer the user the comfort properties typically provided by cushion vinyl, with the additional benefit of providing a seamless hygienic floor. Comfort flooring is monolithically bonded to the substrate and therefore removes the need for welded joints. Resin flooring can also be overlaid at the end of its life span unlike vinyl which needs to be removed and disposed of.

Comfort flooring at York

A comfort flooring system proved to be the ideal choice at York Hospital where it was used in an operating theatre as well as in the wards. The comfort floor resin system provided a seamless, hygienic and noise suppressing floor which is easy to clean and maintain.

Resin flooring and coving was installed at the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building, part of the Great Ormond Street £250M redevelopment project. On this project, the functional and decorative elements of resin flooring were required, where a hygienic and durable resin floor was installed in the new kitchen areas, and decorative seamless resin terrazzo was chosen for the play area and restaurant.

As with all floors, good housekeeping and the correct cleaning regimes are important, but a dense, seamless, resin flooring will facilitate easier cleaning, and many manufacturers offer systems with antimicrobial properties based on nanotechnology, specifically for use within the healthcare environment.

Joints are a point of weakness on any floor, not only from a design point of view, but also from a hygiene and maintenance point of view. Seamless resin floorings therefore have an edge over other types of flooring since joints can be kept to a minimum. By contrast, ceramic tiled floors may have more than 10m of joints per m2 of area. The minimum requirement for joints in resin flooring reduces the possibility of mechanical breakdown and facilitates maintenance. As a consequence, there are resin floors in arduous environments still giving good service after 15 to 20 years.

Conclusion
The healthcare environment presents a very wide range of diverse requirements for any flooring system. Often regulated under tight budgetary controls, it is important that the correct selection is made to provide a cost effective and practical solution. The high cost of reinstalling a floor, in terms of disruption, inconvenience, and loss of practical use of a sensitive area such as an operating theatre, makes it important to get the floor right the first time. This requires a thorough understanding of the environment, the best possible design, and the choice of the most suitable product for the job. Resin flooring has demonstrated over many years its capability to satisfy the most demanding requirements, and makes the ideal choice for any healthcare environment.

The installation of resin floors is also a specialist skill area, and for this reason FeRFA fully endorses a qualified workforce through the achievement of NVQ Level 2, leading to a FeRFA ID Badge and the CSCS Blue Skilled Card and above. Details of skilled and experienced contractors can be found on the FeRFA website www.ferfa.org.uk

FeRFA

FeRFA, the Resin Flooring Association represents resin flooring product manufacturers and specialist contractors, and allied trades. Established in 1969, FeRFA currently represents over 60 UK based companies, and has established Codes of Practice for each of its member categories. It takes an active role in promoting resin flooring and in developing both national and international standards, and has recently received an award for two of its technical guidance documents.
Presented by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) the Growth Fund Recognition Award was given for FeRFA’s best practice guidance on Measuring and Managing the Level of Slip Resistance provided by Resin Floors and Static Controlled Flooring.

Further information
Tel: 01252 714250
lisa@ferfa.org.uk
www.ferfa.org.uk

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.