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Wiltshire School Safety Flooring

Safety flooring at Wiltshire school

Occasionally, customers use our talent pool to the full. This proved beneficial when handling a wide variety of flooring requirements at one of Wiltshire’s best known independent schools.

The Dauntsey’s School at West Lavington, near Devizes, was established in 1542. Over the years it has become one of the finest co-educational schools (11 to 18 years) in the south, with a broad and balanced curriculum providing excellent exam results. These high standards are reflected in the meticulous upkeep of the campus. The tasks requested of us included fitting new carpets and carpet tiles in various departments and in staff accommodation, wood parquet repair (somewhat unusual) in the main reception area and the replacement of safety flooring.

For this case study, we concentrate on one of the larger projects: replacing safety flooring in the girls’ and boys’ toilets, shower areas, and changing and locker rooms.

Safety flooring (with edges often capped and coved forming a containment area) is a commonly used hard floor where slippage and spillage may occur. It also eliminates corners where dirt and contaminants can accumulate. Cleaning is therefore far easier. Safety flooring can be seen in care homes, hospitals, laboratories and commercial kitchens. It is a heterogeneous material that is tough and resilient. It usually contains aggregates, silicon carbide or similar within the wear layer. This gives a highly durable, stain and skid-resistant surface. It can also stand up to extremes of temperature and heavy foot traffic. It is therefore an ideal flooring for the environments mentioned. The materials chosen were Altro Walkway and Aquarius. The main colour was Blizzard.

To uplift and lay the new floor it was necessary to remove the toilet cubicles, sink fronts, related sanitaryware and lockers before we started. A big thank you must go to the school’s maintenance team for their efforts at this time. The old safety floor was then removed with the aid of a tile /

floor stripper (1). Following cleaning, the floors were primed (2) and then latex (3) to give a totally flat and smooth surface. They were then left to completely dry (4).

The next stage was glueing the capping to the walls and coving to the walls and floor (5) and then trimming to fit (6). The rolls of safety flooring were then cut to size, placed in position and rolled back to allow for the pressure-sensitive adhesive to be applied progressively to the latex floor (7). After becoming tacky, the safety floor was laid in position (8), the edges glued and trimmed (9 & 10) and tucked into the capping. All joins were then heat-sealed using a thin strip of vinyl fed through a hot-air welding gun (11). The surplus was cut level with a special knife (12). The result was a totally sealed floor ready for the cubicles and sanitaryware to be installed and interior decoration to be completed (13).

All 320 sq. meters of safety flooring were laid over a period of 3 weeks during the summer holidays. Not everything was plain sailing but the outcome was pleasing.

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