Advice for architects, specifiers and builders on using color and pattern and choosing the right backing material when specifying carpet for schools. Plus, information about the new generation of pre-applied adhesives.
Titled, “These Factors Drive School Carpet Success,” the article describes how “carpet is a better choice for schools than most commonly used flooring materials.”Earlier blog posts looked at carpet’s contributions to sustainability, health, comfort and safety, and acoustic performance. Today: advice for specifying carpet.
“Achieving A+ specification
Beyond being specialists in all of the topics addressed above, those specifying carpets in schools must know what they need to discuss with the flooring consultant. What is the image they want to portray? How important are acoustics, durability, maintainability, health, safety, and comfort underfoot? This knowledge plays a critical role in choosing the best color, pattern, and backing system. Additional factors to consider include:
• Colors and patterns. Colors and patterns are more than just aesthetic accessories. They are also performance features. For example, high-traffic, administrative-office areas are served well with multi-colored carpeting because it hides those inevitable stains that can't always be treated right away. In settings such as schools with large windows where the threat of stains and fading from sunlight run high, look for manufacturers that incorporate protectants into the carpet fiber during the manufacturing process.
• Backings. Choosing the appropriate backing system is critical to providing long-term high performance. Carpeting in high-traffic areas, such as school hallways, should have a backing that offers lifetime performance warranties covering edge ravel, delamination, and tuft-bind loss. An appropriate backing/fiber combination also can provide cushioning properties for people prone to foot pain, such as teachers. Moisture-prone areas, such as foyers, cafeterias, and school sick bays, require backings that ensure tuft-bind integrity and delamination protection, even in wet conditions. Walk-off tile, used at points of entry, can offer a flexible, maintainable solution to protect the carpet.
• Adhesives. Wasteful glue buckets, messy transfer papers, inefficient downtime, and costly procedures can create a sticky situation with traditional carpet adhesives. Fortunately, several new technologies-from pre-applied adhesives to adhesives that enable carpet to be installed directly over existing flooring-can make installation a breeze.
Installers can even skip the step of applying adhesive altogether by choosing a carpet tile that features a pre-applied adhesive. Since the adhesive is part of the carpet construction and applied during manufacturing, off-gassing and waste is eliminated as these tiles can be picked up and put down repeatedly without losing adhesion.
Considering all of the facts about carpet and schools, it is clear why progressive school systems prefer carpet. Today, carpet is the choice for education flooring. The advantages it offers over other options are numerous, from health and safety benefits to underfoot comfort for teachers and students alike. As carpet-and the research behind it-continues to evolve, it will offer even greater benefit to the education environment, teachers and students alike.”