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National Trust floored by refurbishment

23 September 2013

When the National Trust inherited an old building in Pembrokeshire, the plan to create an outdoor activity centre meant a major refurbishment to include the extra facilities required

As a part of this, choosing the right furnishings was crucial to ensure the decor was brought into the 21st century, as well as being practical and durable. Therefore, a range of floor coverings from Forbo Flooring Systems, including Flotex and Floorink were specified as they ticked all the right boxes.

The vision for the inherited building involved a large outdoor centre where schools could attend for a week, with pupils taking part in activities such as canoeing, rock climbing and walking. Kelvin Gillard Business area manager at Forbo Flooring said: “With pupils using and staying in the facilities week upon week, the flooring had to be able to withstand a daily onslaught of foot and wheeled traffic, as well as being hygienic.

“Another key objective of the flooring was that it had to be suitable for wet cleaning, because the children would be bringing in mud and dirt from their outdoor activities, so the centre required a soft textured floor covering that was also very easy to clean.”

The tough and hardwearing benefits of Forbo Flooring System’s Flotex collection of flocked hybrid floor coverings, make it suitable for this project, particularly with its washable properties and added tactile comfort of a carpet. As a result, 300m2 of Flotex HD Vector in Quartz and 200m2 of Flotex Classic Montana in blue and red colourways was installed in the corridors and public access areas.

Flotex, which combines the practical elements of a resilient flooring with a soft finish, is completely waterproof and benefits from Sanitized, an anti- microbial treatment that offers constant protection against bacteria. Crucially, it is also one of only two floor coverings to have been awarded the prestigious Seal of Approval from Allergy UK, as it will not harbour house dust mites or pet allergens – offering the perfect combination of comfort, hygiene and practicality to meet the visitor centre’s needs.

With part of the National Trust building listed, the brief required a way of bridging the gap between the heritage of the site and the new contemporary décor that was to be introduced. Floorink, a unique vinyl solution which offers state-of-the-art bespoke digital printing capabilities, provided the perfect platform to showcase a very large map of the old estate in the floor area of the visitor centre. Manufactured from commercial grade vinyl, the flooring provided the durability required for the heavily trafficked centre, whilst providing maximum visual appeal.

Throughout the rest of the refurbishment, Forbo’s Westbond Flex carpet tiles in Tutti Frutti, were specified for the sleeping accommodation within the centre to create visual interest through the bright mixture of coloured yarns. Forbo’s loop pile construction Tessera Teviot carpet tiles in Saxe Blue were placed throughout the living areas to provide the durability needed for heavier traffic conditions, whilst the efficient slip resistant floor covering, Surestep Star safety vinyl, was specified within the bathroom and wash areas.

In order to help safeguard the appearance of the interior floor area from moisture and dirt, Forbo’s Coral Duo entrance matting system was also installed in all entrance areas of the centre, which provides protection to the floor coverings and was the perfect solution for the shorter entrance areas around the centre.

Kelvin concluded: “Forbo’s large portfolio of products meant that the National Trust were able to come to us for all the flooring needed throughout the centre, from solutions to prevent slips and falls, to flooring that provides that home comfort feel – eliminating the hassle of using more than one supplier.”

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