When it comes to choosing building materials in the healthcare sector, there are four factors that outweigh all others: sterility, safety, durability, and recently—tranquility. In the past two years, hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices have experienced a heavy patient load and increased scrutiny, leading them to choose their remodeling materials differently. If you are a manufacturer who supplies large and small healthcare locations, your sample displays and material selections may need to be updated to reflect the following healthcare flooring trends.
Maintaining sterility within a medical office is always going to be the top priority, and with expectations for around-the-clock cleaning having been set, seamless, low-maintenance materials are a must. Members of staff want to be able to get in, clean a room in very little time, and move on to the next location. Any flooring that requires special care, or has seams or grooves, is a non-starter for this application.
Slip resistance, wax-free flooring is key in a medical setting. Whether patients enter with rain-dampened shoes, or staff are treading over freshly-sanitized sections of floor, hospitals and clinics must be able to rely on non-slip flooring.
Although hard flooring was always the most common choice in medical facilities, the pandemic has made it nearly universal. The acoustic and tactile benefits of softer flooring have been overshadowed by a need for durable LVT and seamless vinyl sheet flooring, particularly dryback.
Because dryback can be installed in a flash, costs less than plank flooring, wears like iron, yet carries the visual appeal of wood flooring, there aren’t any significant drawbacks to deter healthcare locations from choosing it. We predict that sheet vinyl will continue to dominate in the medical setting over the next 5 – 10 years.
As awareness of the importance of mental health has burgeoned over the last decade, even corporate hospitals have begun to consider the impact their décor has on patient comfort. While, of the four we’ve listed, this factor is certainly the least important for most healthcare facilities, it has influenced remodeling across the country.
If a hospital can choose between a highly reflective, austere, white floor, and a luxury vinyl that brings the warmth and tranquility of wood, or the upscale feel of soft dove gray into their space without sacrificing any of the above priorities, odds are they’ll opt for a more aesthetically pleasing material.
In children’s wings, hospitals have begun to choose flooring with vivid hues and interesting patterns. Having observed how much children respond to visual cues in their environments, medical locations are using this natural tendency to help kids feel more comfortable and content while visiting the pediatrician or staying in the hospital.
Therefore, we do suggest that manufacturers consider the optics of the flooring options they present on their sample displays and in their portable sample choices.
If you are updating your flooring samples this year, reach out to us. At Exalt Samples, we will collaborate with you to create beautiful sample displays and durable portable sample binders. Our goal is to help you place your best hospital flooring offerings front and center. After all, your success in business is how we measure our own!