Areas like classrooms, cafeterias, libraries, and hallways need flooring that provides the right support for students and staff as they use them throughout the day. These areas can experience a high amount of traffic, and the right flooring will provide better comfort while offering easy care and maintenance for school staff.
How to Determine the Right Type of Flooring Throughout a School
Schools, students, and parents will generally have different perspectives on what determines the right kind of flooring. Teachers and students might focus on comfort level and how flooring looks, while administration will be concerned with hygienic qualities and how long it will last. Maintenance staff will want to know how easy the flooring is to take care of, while parents may have concerns about how new flooring affects indoor air quality at the school. Each of these perspectives is important, but it can be overwhelming to address them all when considering which flooring options are best throughout a school.
A good starting point is to first understand what kind of activity will take place on the floor. Whether a school is replacing old carpet or other flooring, adding new rooms, or building an entirely new facility, there are options that can accommodate each of the perspectives described above.
Commercial and Decorative Flooring for Common Areas
Epoxy flooring like Action Herculan IG is great for locker rooms, restrooms, hallways, cafeterias, and other common areas in a school. This commercial flooring is extremely durable and is ideal for high-traffic areas. Action Herculan IG is also seamless and nonporous, so there’s nowhere for nasty germs to hide, no way for moisture to get into or beneath the flooring and is very easy to clean and maintain.
It’s also aesthetically pleasing and provides anti-slip features. Different sheens and color combinations are available, allowing for some design flexibility to support school colors.
IG also utilizes low-VOC epoxy, meaning it can be installed over existing surfaces while students and staff are in the building without the risk of breathing harmful contaminants.
Commercial Flooring for Classrooms and Other Areas
School teachers are on their feet much of the day, whether in front of the class or walking the aisles to help students. A floor with inferior support can take a toll on their feet and joints, so both teachers and students will appreciate Action SL Comfort below their feet. This system features a cushioned, elastic polyurethane top layer and a strong, two-component polyurethane secondary layer for ultimate comfort and performance. With 14 different color choices, it can also enhance the aesthetics of a classroom to help make a more inspiring learning environment. It’s also very hygienic, easy to clean, and looks great despite high traffic usage.
One shelf of books can equal a surprising amount of weight. Multiply that times rows of stacked shelves and the weight can become extreme, requiring a strong flooring that can withstand the load and provide support. School libraries will benefit from the look and performance of Action SL Ultra, which offers peak performance and durability with its Herculan resin layer, while also being hygienic and very easy to maintain. It’s also an Ecospecifier product, making it a great choice for any school’s green building initiatives.
While some school libraries use carpeting for their flooring, carpet easily shows wear and dirt and is more difficult to maintain. It can also harbor allergens and bacteria, which can affect students who spend hours studying in the environment. The softness of carpet can also make heavy bookshelves unstable compared to harder surfaces. Carpeting in a school environment has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, meaning the expense and downtime for installation is not simply a one-time occurrence. Conversely, the seamless and hygienic Action SL Duo can last a lifetime and offers superior support to shelves of heavy books. Similar to SL Ultra, this flooring also includes a Herculan resin layer for enhanced durability.
Though libraries are considered quiet spaces, there can be a lot of movement throughout them as students enter the area and peruse aisles looking for the books they need. Action SL Duo provides the strength, comfort, and great aesthetics needed for the library environment. It’s solvent-free and environmentally friendly, making installation less disruptive than flooring that requires evacuation to complete due to higher VOC levels.
Schools looking for a bit more aesthetic character with their flooring should consider Action SL Deco, which, like Ultra and Duo, also features a Herculan resin layer for ultimate durability, while offering additional color and flair in its appearance. Deco is also seamless, hygienic, and easy to clean.
When it comes to areas like a library, which demand accessibility as part of education, SL Deco is also solvent-free and environmentally responsible and can be installed without having to evacuate students and staff throughout the installation process.
Maple Floor Systems for Stage and Theatre
School auditorium stages might not get as much daily use as other areas of a school, but that’s no reason to overlook their need to support a variety of physical activities, from dancing to moving furniture and other props.
Action Floors’ anchored resilient or floating stage flooring systems provide the right shock absorption to help protect the joints of student performers, while offering uniformity, area deflection, and vertical deflection that also supports the aesthetics of the theatre.
Project Highlight: A Custom Solution Utilizing Action 33 Blue and SL Comfort
Some areas can involve a variety of needs within a confined space. Take the above example – a picture from a project at College Hill Presbyterian. This was a very unique situation where a children’s play area and reception area called for the great shock absorption of Action 33 Blue. However, there was a bathroom in between these areas that had a thicker ceramic tile previously installed. To save costs, the school wanted to install new flooring over the top of it but running 33 Blue throughout the entire area would have created a raised portion where the ceramic tile was, creating a trip hazard and poor appearance.
Instead, SL Comfort was suggested for the bathroom area. It has the proper thickness and durability to cover the ceramic the tile while being low enough to match the height of the thicker Action 33 Blue system in the adjoining areas. Because both flooring systems use the same urethane, they could be joined seamlessly. Ultimately, this saved the school some money by not tearing out the old tile, and the floor looks and performs great. Custom solutions for unique situations can provide optimal quality by accommodating every need without compromise.
The Best Flooring Systems Throughout a School
These are just some examples of the types of flooring systems that fit particular performance criteria. Contact us to learn more about the variety of commercial, synthetic, or maple flooring systems that can fit your school’s budget and needs.