Checklist for selecting flooring
- Identify your needs
- Identify your likely contaminants
- Conduct a risk assessment
- Understand your risk
- Select your floor
- Install your floor
- Maintain your floor
Wet environments: where you can't afford to slip up
We have been specialists in high quality safety floors and hygienic wall cladding systems for wet environments for more than 30 years. Our solutions have been developed to help prevent slips in areas where people are often at their most vulnerable and the risk of a slip is very high. They also help promote hygiene, minimising opportunities for bacteria growth and improving cleanability.
Most buildings have wet environments that will be used by a wide variety of people: that’s a lot of individuals to keep safe
Wet environments are not just about water; it’s also what we use in those areas, including shower gel and shampoo. The slip risks that these contaminants create are potentially dangerous and could cause serious accidents. Slips and falls aren’t the only consideration in wet environments. Indoor humidity and poor cleaning can lead to build-ups of bacteria and mould, which can impact health as well as the appearance of the rooms.
Our safety floors and wall cladding solutions for wet environments can be used independently, or together, to create the environment that you need.
Staff who look after residents or patients in wet environments, as well as cleaners, also have a risk of a slip and the law says they need to be protected.
“The floors specified for barefoot areas should have good slip resistance in wet conditions for both shod and barefoot users”, Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone affected by their work, so far as is reasonably practicable, which means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the risk in terms of money, time or trouble. This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks.
When looks count
In the places people call home, whether permanent or temporary, a comfortable, welcoming and attractive look matters.
Altro Pisces and Altro Whiterock Satins offer contemporary shades that suit any domestic environment. Altro Pisces has a soft-look finish that is more homely than traditional safety flooring.
In care homes, the bathing experience is an important part of a resident’s routine and plays a role in making that person feel safe and relaxed. Colour is a way of achieving this, creating a warm, comforting and homely environment.
For environments that demand luxury, such as high-end hotels and spas, Altro Whiterock Satins is the ideal choice. Its smooth, high quality look and variety of shade combinations create the look that visitors would expect: a real wow factor. Altro Pisces then completes the look, with the reassurance that users are safer from the risk of slipping.
We can recommend colour combinations for both safety floors and Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding that are appropriate for people with dementia and achieve the right Light Reflectance Value differences to meet legal requirements.
Creating unique environments
Altro Whiterock Digiclad, which reproduces photographic images or vector art, is a stunning way of creating wet environments with impact. Its beauty is that the choice of image is yours so it can match any decor or theme.
Its beauty is that the choice of image is yours so it can match any decor or theme.
It also helps achieve different purposes, from being a talking-point to helping people with visual impairments or dementia to recognise the room they’re in. With hard-coat technology providing scratch-resistant properties for added durability, Altro Whiterock Digiclad offers the ideal solution for long-lasting art in busy environments.
For guidance on designing for dementia, click here.
Use materials that can look clean. The symbolism of cleanliness is important here as well as the normal hygiene requirements. People feel much better about themselves when in places that show evidence of being cared for by being clean.
Health Building Note (HBN) 00-01, General design guidance for healthcare buildings
Did you know?
The World Health Organisation says that building owners need to ensure proper building construction and maintenance to meet their responsibility for providing a healthy workplace or living environment free of excess moisture and mould.
No one wants to wash, swim or change in a dirty environment, but what about the contamination that’s not obvious?
If safety flooring isn’t cleaned properly, a hazardous level of dirt and contaminant build-up can accumulate on the surface, potentially increasing the risk of a slip to as high as one in twenty. In a wet environment, the effects of a slip or fall could be devastating.
A build-up of bacteria on floors or walls can lead to mould growth, the effects of which range from exacerbating allergies to respiratory problems. Older people and children, as well as those with existing health issues, can be particularly affected by this.
Altro Aquarius and Altro Pisces contain Altro Easyclean technology, which requires a less stringent cleaning regime and offer unrivalled low dirt pick-up.
The lack of studs on Altro Aquarius and Altro Pisces also makes them easier to clean as there is nowhere for limescale to build up
Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding has a stain-resistant, wipe-clean surface that is
watertight and impervious
even when installed over tiles. As it’s a fully-bonded system with fully sealed edges, abutments and jointing systems, not only are liquids unable to penetrate but there is nowhere for bacteria to go. This means it can be cleaned easily and effectively.
Using these solutions together creates a complete, impervious system.
The dirt on tiles
According to the Ceramic Tile Federation, 65% of all tile installations are fixed incorrectly, leading to serious problems – especially in showers.
It’s difficult to be sure that water-resistant adhesive and epoxy grout have been used, and if they haven’t, water could seep through to the substrate behind and cause structural damage. Poor fixing and grouting can also provide multiple areas for bacteria growth.
There’s no grout involved in our products and the finish leaves dirt and bacteria nowhere to hide. When up to 20% of a tiled surface is grout, there are real risks to health and safety.
Ceramic tiles with standard grouting absorb significant amounts of water, compromising hygiene; Altro Whiterock doesn’t absorb a drop.
An impervious, complete solution. The perfect partnership
Choosing the right floors or walls is one thing but a complete floors/walls solution means no one part of the installation will let you down; you can rest assured that it is all up to the task.
Altro Whiterock Satins has been designed to fit together perfectly with Altro Aquarius or Altro Pisces, forming a sealed, watertight system for enhanced safety and hygiene. This integrated system includes welded jointing, coveability and compatibility with drainage. This means: installation is easier, there is no need to worry about joined surfaces ‘parting company’ and the system will require less maintenance.
The integrated system
- Totally sealed, hygienic system
- Impervious, non-absorbent and washable
- Withstands extremes of hot and cold temperatures (+60°C to -30°C)
- Coved junctions between wall cladding and floors create an impermeable seal, which is easier to keep clean
- Sound investment – designed to maintain performance and retain appearance for up to 20 years
Did you know?
The lifetime cost (over 25 years) of Altro Whiterock is 20% lower than ceramic tiles. This is because ceramic tiles produce maintenance problems that Altro Whiterock doesn’t, such as staining, grout cracking and individual tile failure. And because Altro Whiterock creates fewer issues, there is less need to spend time and money inspecting surfaces.
Specialist solutions for safer wet environments
Altro Aquarius is a specialist 2mm safety floor for wet and dry areas and for any shoes and bare feet. In a practical sense this means it protects users in real situations in real environments. Whether someone is walking into a wet changing room with their shoes on, or stepping back into the room barefoot after a shower, the level of protection is the same.
Altro Aquarius achieves a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of ≥50 and Class B to DIN 51097 for barefoot use and provides optimum lifetime sustained slip-resistance in its recommended areas of use. Altro Aquarius performs against a range of contaminants typically found in wet environments.
It also has a high resistance to chemicals, retaining its look and performance for longer
With a range of 20 shades, Altro Aquarius offers design flexibility whatever the project.
Designed for wet and dry, shoes and bare feet with a PTV of ≥50 (Slider 96), Altro Pisces has all the safety benefits of Altro Aquarius. What makes Altro Pisces different is its soft-look finish in 16 nature-inspired shades. This makes it ideal for home-from-home environments, including home adaptations and student accommodation. This domestic, high-end feel also makes it the perfect choice for spas, including the swimming pool surround and sauna.
Altro Pisces has a soft-look finish which is achieved by blending tiny beads in three different shades,evenly distributed into the floor, on top of a base colour. The result is the consistent appearance you would expect and want from domestic interiors.
Altro Whiterock hygienic cladding system is a complete system of compatible walls and doorsets. It is constructed from the highest quality virgin-grade PVCu, with a tight molecular structure that prevents the ingress of moisture and odour, making it a great alternative to ceramic tiles.
Its stain-resistant, wipe-clean surface makes it a lasting, attractive and easy to maintain option for wet environments
Altro Whiterock Satins is available in a range of solid, decorative, satin shades, enabling you to create the exact ambience needed.
For artwork that can be part of an impervious solution for non-clinical wet environments, Altro Whiterock Digiclad, our durable wall cladding created using photographs or vector art, is ideal.
Did you know?
You can hire one contractor to install the entire system, as the components are compatible and are made to be installed together. Many contractors are trained to install the Altro system, saving you time and money and giving you peace of mind, that the installation will be done correctly.