School Flooring Matters

This article was originally published by American School & University.

In education facilities, from preschools and K-12 schools to colleges and universities, most decisions are made with the well-being and development of students in mind. A positive learning atmosphere contributes to student happiness and productivity, so using sustainable products with efficient maintenance profiles can play a big role in achieving a healthful space.

Architects, designers, facility managers, principals, superintendents and other building officials typically do not consult students directly to see what their preferences would be for a renovation or expansion. However, there are products that can please students’ senses and help them develop in a healthful and prosperous environment.

Maintenance Challenges

One major component of the material selection is the flooring’s cleaning requirements and how efficiently it can be maintained given limited manpower and time. Some rubber floor coverings can be maintained without applying any waxes or finishes, an attractive benefit for schools looking to save on labor time and costs:

  • In areas such as entranceways and corridors, floors are cleaned on a regular basis, whereas in other areas like classrooms and laboratories, maintenance can be sporadic, leaving those spaces dirty and in need of attention.
  • Classrooms are busy areas that endure frequent changeover of students and teachers. With desks, chairs and other obstacles present in classrooms, achieving a clean floor is a great challenge. Often, classrooms are cleaned thoroughly only during semester breaks or the summer because many floor coverings require the time to clean, strip, buff and wax the flooring—a process that can take days.
  • Corridors receive more maintenance attention, because they can be cleaned more frequently and without having to displace any furniture. Whether it is an atrium in a student union building at a university or a main hallway in a populated high school, corridors are highly trafficked areas that need to possess the durability to hold up to heavy footsteps and tracked-in elements.
  • Cafeterias and food-service areas require a clean profile in education facilities. Not only are they busy areas that experience a lot of frequent changeover, but also the likelihood of food and drink spills makes having a proper floor covering that much more crucial.
  • The importance of cleanliness in areas such as classrooms and cafeterias cannot be understated, but in education settings, there may no area more imperative to keep clean than laboratories. In biology and chemistry labs, students and staff conduct experiments and projects with potentially volatile chemicals. It is essential to find a maintenance regimen that will limit the amount of toxins and VOCs introduced into the air, as adding waxes and chemicals into labs for maintenance purposes can possibly affect the outcomes of experiments.

Read the full article here to learn more about cleaning and maintenance in education facilities.

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