When it comes to fitting out a medical, dental or veterinary practice, it’s crucial that you make the right flooring choice. As well as government standards, there are many factors that come into play when ensuring that your flooring is practical, viable and long-lasting. Below we have outlined the main points to consider before deciding which flooring option is best for you and the needs of your practice:
Australian Standards and Slip Resistance
One of the first and most important things to consider when it comes to choosing your flooring is the Australian Slip Resistance Standards which are put in place and “require that the floor surface achieves a minimum coefficient of friction of 0.4 in wet and/or dry conditions”. The flooring that you opt for must meet these minimum requirements in order to comply with health and safety standards. What’s more, slip resistance is even more of an important consideration when fitting out a veterinary clinic as you have to be able to provide sufficient traction for a range of animal paws. In this case, flooring made of concrete, resin or medical-grade sheet vinyl is your best option for examination and surgery rooms.
How Green is it?
In 2020, all businesses including those in the healthcare industry are making huge moves towards sustainable design and building practices. In fact, the Australian Dental Association states that all dental practices “should ensure their facilities and activities are environmentally responsible”. When it comes to flooring, some options are much more energy-efficient than others like linoleum which is made from all-natural and renewable materials, and sheet vinyls which are also highly renewable products. What’s more, you can include insulation or heating under your flooring which will not only make your practice more sustainable but will also bring down your energy bills. It’s a win-win!
Flatlay or Coving?
You should also consider whether you would like to install your flooring laid flat or if you would like to have it coved against the wall instead of having skirting boards. Cove roll has the added benefit of being easier to clean and prevents potential water damage to joinery in the event of any water leaks from dental chairs, as well as the build-up of any grime and bacteria. This is especially important for dental and medical treatment rooms and sterilisation rooms.
Resilience is key when it comes to selecting flooring for your practice or clinic. While you want your flooring to be aesthetically beautiful, it must also be able to withstand the heavy foot traffic that will occur – particularly within a busy dental practice or medical clinic. It’s important to note that your flooring choice must be able to cope with potential chemical spills in clinical areas. A commercially rated product choice is essential for longevity.. In addition to sheet vinyl and linoleum, commercial-grade carpet tiles and vinyl plank flooring are popular choices for non-clinical areas, with the advantage of having to replace only damaged/soiled pieces if required, not the entire floor. There is a huge range of options and colour choices to enhance every fit out.
Is it Easy to Clean?
Speaking of maintaining a clean environment, the flooring in your practice or clinic needs to be easily cleaned. With so many people coming and going as well as the need to meet both the public and the government’s health and safety expectations.. This is an even more crucial consideration when it comes to fitting out a veterinary practice as animals are prone to accidents, especially in unfamiliar environments. Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for the longevity of the product and to maintain your product warranty.
What are Dentifit’s Top Recommendations?
- Linoleum & Sheet Vinyl: Linoleum is a very popular choice when it comes to the clinical areas of practices that we fit out. Most likely because it’s so durable, stain-resistant and environmentally friendly.
- Concrete: Concrete flooring is one of the most resilient flooring options out there as well as being one of the most natural materials available. Be aware that when being used in a veterinary clinic concrete flooring must be sealed to close any hidden pores.
- Carpet Tiles: Commercial quality carpet tiles are available in a huge range of patterns and colours and provide acoustic value and warmth to a room
- Vinyl Plank: Versatile, durable and commercial quality provides the appeal of natural timber flooring without the maintenance.
At Dentifit, our long history of completing Dental, Medical & Veterinary fit outs has given us the ‘know-how’ when it comes to selecting the right design, materials and supplier when it comes to building your brand new practice or clinic. Our team of fit out specialists can advise you every step of the way from your initial consultation right through to opening day. To learn more about our services, get in touch with us today!