6 Durable Options for School Flooring Materials
From budgets and safety to durability and style, there are several things you need to think about when shopping for school flooring materials. The flooring used in schools needs to meet several functional requirements while still looking nice for students and staff.
Here’s what you need to know about school flooring materials:
Requirements of School Flooring
High-traffic resistance, moisture resistance, and cost-effectiveness are the three most significant factors to consider when designing a school floor.
High Traffic Resistance
School floors have a lot of traffic. A school’s floor must endure foot traffic from the student body and faculty every single weekday. A flooring type that isn’t durable is likely to fall apart very quickly – definitely not something any school wants to deal with.
Durability is essential for several other reasons, too. High levels of daily foot traffic means school floors are messy. A floor must withstand daily maintenance and should be easy and uncomplicated to clean.
School floors take a lot of abuse. From spills in the cafeteria to arts and crafts to overflowing bathrooms, there are many opportunities for the floors to get wet, so moisture-resistant flooring is a must.
Safety will always be a consideration when choosing school flooring materials. Slips and trips are pretty common in schools, so some slip resistance is probably ideal.
Schools are generally underfunded and don’t often have the resources for renovations. For that reason, the flooring material needs to be cost-effective and fit within a reasonable budget. In addition, schools have to replace flooring quite often, so the replacements must be reasonably priced.
6 Durable Options for School Flooring
The following six flooring materials are some of the most popular types of floors in schools:
1. Vinyl Plank
Vinyl plank flooring is a beautiful alternative to hardwood. It’s affordable, durable, and water-resistant, making it an ideal flooring option for schools. In addition, vinyl planks are long-lasting and are available in many designs.
Vinyl plank is also incredibly easy to clean and simple to repair. If one plank is damaged, simply remove it and replace it with a new plank. Vinyl is also great for noise absorption, which can be important in a school setting.
2. Rigid Core Vinyl
Rigid core vinyl provides many of the same benefits as vinyl plank, except it’s even more resilient. In fact, the planks are entirely waterproof. For that reason, rigid core vinyl is a terrific choice for bathrooms, cafeteria, locker rooms, and any other parts of the school that might need to endure water.
Like vinyl plank, rigid core is a breeze to maintain and good for noise absorption. It’s a bit more expensive than vinyl plank, but that’s only because of its extra layer of water resistance.
Laminate has been a longtime favorite for schools. It’s incredibly cost-efficient and durable. In addition, its ease of installation makes installation costs much lower, which is an added benefit for schools on tight budgets. Laminate also comes in various attractive styles, so it’s sure to impress students and staff.
Laminate comes in five different AC ratings. The higher the rating, the more durable the floor. Schools will want to choose an AC4 or AC5 rating to make sure the laminate can withstand the daily foot traffic.
4. Porcelain Tile
Porcelain tiles come in many colors, sizes, styles, and textures. What makes porcelain such a popular flooring choice for schools is its durability. Porcelain tiles are scratch and stain-resistant and work well in wet areas. They’re dense and hard, making them a long-lasting and attractive option for schools.
Schools will need porcelain tiles with a PEI rating of 4 or 5. They’ll also need to skip any polished finishes because they can make the tile slippery, which is a huge hazard in a school environment.
5. Carpet Tiles
Carpet tiles are a great soft flooring option. There are numerous styles on the market, and they’re simple to install. Carpet tiles are a great solution, because you can simply remove and replace the ruined tile if one gets stained or destroyed.
Carpet tiles are surprisingly durable. Many varieties naturally resist soils, stains, and fading. As a result, carpet tiles are an ideal flooring for school classrooms, especially those for younger kids who sit and play on the floor and are more prone to trips and falls.
6. Engineered Hardwood
Engineered hardwood is the most expensive option on the list. However, it’s a durable, water-resistant option that is the perfect choice for schools that want the look of natural hardwood floors without all the maintenance drawbacks.
Schools will want to choose engineered hardwoods with several layers and an HDF core for maximum durability.
How to Get the Best Deals on School Flooring Materials
When deciding on the best school flooring materials, there’s no shortage of viable options. Schools can even mix and match materials. For instance, they might choose carpet tiles for the classrooms, laminate for the hallways, and rigid core vinyl or porcelain for the bathrooms.
Ultimately, the perfect flooring type will come down to budget, student body size, and the school’s general goals. There are plenty of options available.
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