Primary school classrooms go from calm to chaos and back again throughout the day. The floor you choose contends with constant use from 30-plus pairs of feet, activity debris and chair-scraping. It needs to support quiet learning, tired feet, act as the occasional seat and play its part in creating an inspiring space to work and learn in.
With a wide variety of activities taking place in the classroom, a sink is a common feature, making splashes and spills and therefore slips, likely. With so much going on, it’s not always possible for teaching staff to spot or wipe spills straight away. So, what’s the alternative when you don’t need a safety floor throughout the entire room?
Installing Altro Suprema around the sink area means you can reduce the risk of a slip to one in a million in that space. With 40 shades to choose from, it’s easier to match the rest of the floor, or deliberately contrast with it to remind pupils that it’s an area they need to be careful in. In case of large splashes, we recommend having a mat to wipe feet on when stepping back into the rest of the room. When it comes to specifying a smooth or safety floor, we recommend referring to your risk assessment.
Prepping and cooking hundreds of meals, all to be served within an hour, or less, means school kitchens must operate efficiently and quickly, without compromising on safety. As staff work to get multiple dishes ready, there’s no time to worry about oil splashes or food debris on the floor, which increases the risk of a slip accident. Once prep and service are over, clean-up and next day prep means there’s no rest for staff feet, so a floor solution that can take the burden of a day spent standing will be welcomed.
Altro Stronghold 30 is a specialist safety floor with our highest rating for slip resistance that reduces the risk of a slip to one in a million, even with contaminants such as greasy water, oil and food debris. Its 3mm thickness offers comfort underfoot and also provides impact sound reduction, muffling the noise of dropped pans and trays.
School kitchen walls are regularly spattered with sauces, juices and grease and knocked with tins, pans and trays. They need to be easy to clean and impact-resistant, two things that tiles are not.
Altro Whiterock hygienic walls system has been a market leader for over 35 years. Grout-free, impervious and resistant to impact, it resolves the issues associated with tiles, plus is backed with up to 20 years’ guarantee and ongoing technical support from Altro. It is also fully compliant with fire standards. Altro Whiterock White is Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approved and is made from a high-quality, food-safe PVCu polymer that can handle temperatures up to 60°C, supporting the required hygiene standards. For a classic look there is Altro Whiterock White but if your kitchen can be seen from the adjacent hall, there is Altro Whiterock Satins and Altro Whiterock Chameleon, both designed to create a lasting impression.
With no time for staff to constantly monitor the state of the toilets, the floor needs to prevent slips from sink splashes, walked in water and any little accidents. It has to be easy to clean, whether a quick wipe or the thorough end-of-the-day clean.
At primary school age, hand hygiene is not top of mind when visiting the bathroom. School toilet walls need to be easy to clean and play a role in reducing the number of places bacteria can lurk. With grout present and cracks common, tiles will not support effective hygiene and maintenance.
Altro Whiterock Satins is a hygienic walls system that can be wiped clean. As it’s grout-free and impact resistant, it doesn’t present the same issues as tiles – plus it’s quick to install and backed by lengthy guarantees. It also gives you the benefit of ongoing support from Altro’s technical team. With multiple satin-finish shades, there’s plenty of room for design flexibility, making it easy to match or complement the flooring and fittings.
A primary school hall masquerades as gym, restaurant and conference room. A versatile space needs a versatile floor that can handle changing needs, look good and provide a comfy seat! This key area for a school can’t be out of action for long; quick and straight-forward installation over an existing floor, or over new concrete saves time and worry.
Altro Wood adhesive-free meets each need: a slip risk of one in a million for those lunchtime water spills; 14dB impact sound reduction to keep outside noise out, inside noise in, and to lessen foot and chair noise within the room; comfort underfoot to go easy on jumping and dancing feet, and on little bottoms; 12 wood-look shades to create a warm, comfy look; and no adhesive, halving installation time, with no associated adhesive odours.
The main hall is the hub of the school, home to assemblies, PE, lunchtime, PTA meetings and much more. It needs to inspire pupils and represent the school to parents and visitors.
Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom) enables a school to put its own stamp on its main space. Choose from the school logo or photographic images of the children playing sport, or of local landmarks, to inspire knowledge and pride: the possibilities are endless. In addition to photos or art, this walls system can be used to support wayfinding, featuring signage or instructions. And, as needed for this busy area, Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom) is durable and has scratch-resistant properties, ensuring the walls look good for the long-term.
Primary school libraries are no longer the intimidating, quiet rooms they once were but, as a space where story-telling comes to life or a pupil curls up to enjoy their first novel, there’s a need to reduce noise distractions.
Altro Orchestra is an acoustic floor, offering 15dB impact sound reduction: it limits noise from footsteps and chair movement within the room, plus the room below. Along with its acoustic benefits, its 2.85mm thickness gives staff comfort under foot, and a warm, comfy feel for anyone sitting on the floor. There are multiple shade and patterns option to choose from including linen-looks that resemble carpet, with none of the hygiene and cleaning concerns.
Staff areas are well used; lots of feet, chairs, desks so the floor needs to be durable. As a space used for work, meetings and well-earned breaks, it needs to look homely and feel comfortable: the floor plays a central part in creating a space where staff are happy to be. With staff areas in constant use, installation or refurbishment needs to be quick and easy.
With 12 wood-look choices, 14dB impact sound reduction and comfort under foot, plus a one in a million slip-resistance assurance, Altro Wood adhesive-free provides a decorative, yet safe and durable solution. With no adhesive, it also has the benefit of minimising downtime – halving installation time - and no adhesive-associated odours during and post installation.
The Equality Act means there is an obligation to make reasonable provision and adjustments for disabilities, meaning that disability ramps may be needed to give a safe, reliable, easy to maintain entrance to a room. The potential for a slip on a ramp is increased by the fact that it’s a sloped surface so this is a key consideration when choosing a floor. A safety floor that can cope with regular wheeled and foot traffic is a must. To support those with visual impairment, the ramp surface should contrast with surroundings so that the change in surface or gradient is clear. More guidance on disability access ramps can be found in Building Regulations Approved Document M and Approved Document K.
Altro Stronghold 30 offers our highest level of slip resistance, so you can rest assured that, with Altro Stronghold, users can move independently and safely. Fourteen colour choices make it easy to find a shade that contrasts with the surrounding flooring.
The department for children, schools and families’ publication Building Bulletin 100 (BB 100) is a design guide for improving fire safety in schools, covering new and existing buildings. It specifies the minimum fire resistance of doors in terms of integrity (minutes) when tested to BS 476 pt.22:1987 clause 7. The required ratings are different in different areas. Altro doorsets have an FD30 and FD60 rating, making them suitable for areas with this requirement.
Altro Whiterock hygienic doorsets are faced with PVCu, making them tough and impact-deflective, but also hygienic and low maintenance. They are available in all shades of Altro Whiterock White, Altro Whiterock Satins and Altro Whiterock Chameleon, to match or contrast the adjacent walls. Altro Fortis doorsets and Altro Fortis door protection are hard-wearing, impact and scuff-resistant where needed most. If you want the look of Altro Whiterock on one side, with the toughness of Altro Fortis on the other, that’s no problem. Both options are available with a vision panel to comply with fire door requirements and are wipe-clean.
Find guidance on communal spaces in primary schools here.