United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Construction
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Construction
Transport

Wellbeing

Wellbeing definition: the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

Can Altro floors, walls and doors contribute to making you comfortable? Yes. Read on for details of our comfort underfoot and acoustic ranges.

Healthy? Yes. Specify them to create hygienic environments. Our total hygienic system offers huge advantages over carpet, paint and tiles; it is HACCP approved and designed to promote hygiene and be easy to maintain.

What about happy? What makes you happy in the workplace? Well designed environments, installed with minimal disruption, great aesthetics, incorporating biophilia, LRV design principles, zoning for breakout areas, easy wayfinding and navigation.


Designing for hygiene

The Altro total hygienic system overview

To create a total hygienic system which is proven to be easy to clean and maintain, we recommend installing vinyl flooring combined with wall cladding and doors as required.

System overview

  • Hygienic floors, doors and walls systems with unrivalled industry-leading guarantees up to 25 years. We were established in 1919 and you know our guarantees will stand the test of time
  • Easy to clean floors, doors and walls -  dirt sits on the surface rather than penetrating the whole pile on the carpet, the substrate on a damaged painted wall, the grout or cracks on tiles
  • Steam cleanable with high chemical resistance for disinfecting floors and walls (tested with up to 1,213 chemicals for proven performance)
  • Altro floors, doors and walls have impervious, hard, level, non-porous surfaces with no hiding places for microorganisms, which can lead to the growth of viruses and bacteria
  • Proven effective with detergents. No need to vacuum prior to wet cleaning (unlike carpet / carpet tiles) and the release of the contaminant is quicker
  • Altro floors feature Altro Easyclean Technology
  • Altro are a recommended supplier of vinyl and resin floors and floor accessories on the Department of Health’s ProCure22 Framework for NHS and social care construction schemes in England. This follows our appointment in 2018 as a recommended supplier of wall and door systems, including the Altro Whiterock and Altro Fortis systems; this means their hygienic credentials meet the strictest requirements for infection control and critical care
  • Altro are the only walls manufacturer on the P22 supplier list to have been awarded DSDC accreditation and we are the only walls and doors manufacturer to have HACCP approval for wall, door and floor products

Altro have a number of partnerships with leading associations working with them to provide the ranges needed in real world environments. Contact us to find out more.

The Altro system compared with carpet tiles / carpets

Do your current surfaces meet your hygiene requirements and give the reassurance you need?

The recent global pandemic has thrown the spotlight on the hygienic properties of diverse materials and how they can contribute to maintaining safe premises for all users. You may well currently have carpet or carpet tiles installed, let’s take a close look at the hygienic properties of these surfaces and Altro alternatives.

The issues caused by carpet tiles / carpets

  • Carpet tiles / carpets are usually made of materials such as nylon polypropylene or organic porous materials including wool and jute; all of these are highly absorbent and are designed to trap dust and dirt, therefore make cleaning more difficult 
  • Carpet tiles are frequently cleaned with a wet extraction unit and tend not to be impervious; the result is that the water from the wet clean can go through the carpet tile and its backing, reaching the subfloor and affecting not just the subfloor itself, but also the adhesives and services underneath, for example electrics and data cabling
  • Some carpet tile manufacturers advise that pile soft carpet tiles / carpets can only be cleaned at up to 50° C max; viruses are killed at 56° C according to US National Library of Medicine
  • Carpet tiles / carpets are designed to be vacuumed and not cleaned daily with the detergent required to clean viruses– you cannot vacuum up bacteria and viruses
  • Having vacuumed, in order to kill any virus you need to wet clean the carpet /carpet tiles with detergent daily at 56° C. This daily process is required because the virus remains active for 24 hours on this surface. Cleaning therefore becomes more costly in terms of time and money, while requiring a long time, possibly several hours, to dry; this means your surface can remain damp for hours each day after cleaning, providing the potential for yet more ideal conditions for the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses
  • Over-wetting, compared with recommended wetting amounts in the cleaning process, can cause carpet tiles to curl, be prone to fast re-soiling, the growth of mildew and the occurrence of odours
  • Detergents can stain carpet tiles / carpet easily and need to penetrate properly to clean fully
  • Cleaners who may be inexperienced with detergents may over-apply them, potentially leading to a residue remaining on the fibres attracting fast re-soiling
  • Some carpet tiles can take 12-24 hours to dry fully when steam cleaned, during which time they cannot be walked on; if you absolutely have to walk on them, it is recommended that you wear plastic bags on your feet

Some carpets / carpet tiles feature impervious PVC-backing to offer protection in care homes against incontinence. While this backing can help protect the subfloor from becoming contaminated from any spillages, it can have the negative affect of the carpet / carpet tiles retaining dampness, requiring a stringent cleaning process

The Altro system compared with painted walls

The chances are you have many painted corridors and spaces across all your buildings. Let’s examine how paint performs where hygiene is critical.

The problems with paint

  • Paint is only microns thick and therefore easily damaged. Plasterboard under paint tends to be weak and absorbent and easily dented or damaged, particularly below waist height where walls can be prone to knocks and scrapes, or subject to cracks from building movement. These damaged surfaces can harbour and provide breeding grounds for microorganisms more readily than undamaged, smooth surfaces, as they are more porous
  • Emulsion paint is not designed to be wet cleaned; it can come away when cleaned with water, a process which is exacerbated when cleaned with the detergents required to keep an area hygienic. This results in patchiness, reducing the overall aesthetic appeal of an area and requiring further maintenance
  • The World Health Organisation has proved that the Covid 19 virus will live for 72 hours on a hard surface, such as paint, therefore necessitating regular detergent cleaning, which can damage this type of surface   

Specific comparison of our system against paint

  • Our wall cladding is 2.5mm thick, guaranteed for up to 20 years
  • It is impact-resistant and impervious. Altro Fortis wall protection will protect your wall and substrate from bumps and scrapes
  • Even though our wall cladding is a hard surface, it is easy to clean, even with detergent, up to 60° C
  • The colour runs through the thickness of the product for aesthetic durability
  • It is fully bonded and will protect the substrate, even when knocked or bumped into, giving nowhere for microorganisms to hide and breed, either on the surface or behind the sheet itself as there are no voids

The Altro system compared with tiles

Do you choose tiles for spaces including wet environments? The tiles themselves and the grout do not support the need for hygiene and ease of maintenance as you might expect.

The problems with tiles

  • Grout can become porous with age and harbour microorganisms, providing breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses
  • Grout is difficult to clean, making it even harder to remove microorganisms. It can also shrink and cause gaps between tiles, providing perfect areas for microorganisms to multiply
  • Grout and tiles can stain when cleaned with detergents
  • Grout gets dirty and becomes discoloured from certain detergents, soiling and the build-up of body fats
  • If grout is stained / discoloured, the aesthetics are spoiled. If an area of grout is replaced, it can look dramatically different from the rest. Equally, if a damaged tile is replaced, unless there is another from the same batch to replace it, there will be a visual colour difference

Specific comparison of our system against tiles

  • Altro floors and walls are durable and hygienic, with life expectancies of up to 25 years. They provide seamless, impervious and impact-resistant surfaces, which provide low maintenance for life
  • Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding has a smooth, non-porous and easy to clean surface, which comes in sheets to provide coverage from floor to ceiling. A fully bonded and watertight system, it gives microorganisms, bacteria and vermin nowhere to hide.  It is simple to keep clean: it’s easy to wipe, steam or power-wash clean; any risk of moisture and / or water ingress is avoided for the life of the product, so there’s no need to worry about the risk of water damage.  Combined with Altro doors and Altro floors it creates an impervious system that meets the hygienic requirements of even the most critical care environments
  • There is no grout required with our wall and floor systems so you avoid all the maintenance problems associated with it
  • For smaller areas such as washrooms, toilets and kitchens, Altro Whiterock Splashbacks are the hygienic alternative, available as kits in a range of sizes to suit most hand wash basins and vanity units, or custom-sized for the perfect fit
  • Giving you the flexibility to coordinate or contrast, you don’t have to compromise on the design options afforded by tiles, as Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding and Altro Whiterock Splashbacks as well as Altro vinyl come in a vast array of colours and finishes complemented by colour-matched sealants and weldrods

Materials to promote hygiene

We specialise in hygienic, seamless and easy-to-clean / disinfect solutions, which are designed to work together as an integrated system comprising flooring, wall cladding and doorsets.

Walls

Altro walls are CE marked, 2.5mm in thickness and 100% watertight and impervious.

Altro Whiterock is Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approved and is made from a high-quality, virgin-grade, food-safe PVCu polymer that can handle temperatures up to 60°C. It meets all current European Union (EU) Directives on health and hygiene. This makes it particularly suitable for use in commercial kitchens and areas of critical hygiene.

The Altro walls system is designed to be fully bonded to the substrate to ensure you always get the best hygienic, robust, long-term solution. Inferior systems may use gunned or ‘dot and dab’ adhesive. This practice can leave a gap which traps bacteria between the sheet and the wall, undermining hygiene performance and also giving bugs somewhere to hide! Be aware that when temperatures change, the wall sheet can expand and contract. If sheets are applied using gunned or dot and dab adhesive the sheet can show surface rippling or even de-bond.

Our walls are designed to be thermoformed for optimum hygiene.
Top tip - This benefits you most at your vulnerable touch points: around window reveals, wall-mounted equipment, doorframes / doors.

Top tip - a specific hygienic alternative you may never have considered…
Hospital corridors - Designing a more hygienic alternative to bump rails
Beds, wheelchairs and trolleys can bump into walls, damaging painted surfaces. You may currently have bump rails installed. These present hygiene challenges of their own: with more edges, ridges, nooks and crannies they are harder to clean and maintain.
A more hygienic solution is to install an Altro Fortis wall cladding sheet, horizontally, across that part of the wall which receives the most knocks, enabling you to protect the whole wall with a floor to ceiling installation.

  • Altro Fortis Titanium - dense, impervious wall protection. Resistant to bumps. Lightly textured yet easily cleanable surface, camouflages scuffs, keeping the wall area looking better for longer. Available in a choice of colours to blend in with existing decor

Top tip - For a quick fix, in areas such as education, restaurants, hotels, care homes and offices, you can overclad tiles with our hygienic wall cladding sheets; they are fully bonded for no gaps and voids, providing optimum hygiene. As the sheets are fully bonded, they provide impact resistance, which is of particular value in areas which may include hoists to help with bathing or other equipment.

  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom) - print your own serene image as a feature wall to enhance wellbeing or use to communicate instructions. Available with hard coat protection
  • Altro Whiterock wall designs – Altro Whiterock wall designs –natural wood, metal, stone and linen designs on an Altro Whiterock hygienic wall sheet, creating a biophilic focal point, without compromising on durability. Now weldable for complete hygienic solution
  • Altro Whiterock Satins – vast choice of shades in satin finish to choose from, ideal product to complement Altro Whiterock wall designs
  • Altro Fortis – wall protection with a textured finish, in shades to complement Altro Whiterock Satins

Doors

Our doorsets are clad in our hygienic wall cladding for optimum hygiene.

There are fewer joints on our hygienic doorsets than on standard commercial doors, as they consist of a thermoformed, integrated unit; making cleaning and maintaining hygiene easier.

Top tip - Achieve optimum functionality and flexibility with our hygienic doorsets: you can choose Altro Whiterock for hygiene on one side of the door and Altro Fortis for bump protection on other side of the same door.

The furniture on all our doorsets is hygienic and easy-to-clean; vital as door handles can harbour microorganisms.

Floors

Vinyl is naturally hygienic. Vinyl is inert and does not encourage the growth of bacteria in the way some natural materials do. It is used as a standard for the medical industry because of its inherent hygienic properties; 25% of all medical products containing plastic are made with vinyl.

Used in our floors, vinyl is highly durable, non-porous, non-shedding and has very high impact resistance; preventing the cracks and chipping that can trap bacteria.

Top tip - a specific hygienic alternative you may never have considered… As hand sanitisers are being installed across buildings in their thousands, there’s one thing to remember: they are not kind on carpets. They are problem-free with our flooring: hand sanitiser can be left on our flooring and not cause erosion. Vinyl is resistant to alcohol as well as 1,213 chemicals. The same is not true of carpet tiles or even linoleum. Select a slip-resistant vinyl to go under hand sanitiser stations for optimum safety.

We offer vinyl floor solutions for your whole building. Here are just a few highlights…

  • Altro Wood adhesive-free – biophilic designs, ideal in areas where people spend several hours working, living or learning, 14dB impact sound reduction and comfort underfoot, adhesive-free installation for minimum downtime and cost savings. Slip-resistant floor
  • Altro Cantata – refreshed range. 14dB impact sound reduction, adhesive-free installation for minimum downtime and cost savings. Smooth floor
  • Altro Stronghold 30 – safety and comfort underfoot in kitchens
  • Altro Aquarius and Altro Pisces– keep all users safe in wet environments in bare feet and in shoes
  • Altro Orchestra with 15dB or acoustic Altro Serenade – designer options, perfect where you need to make a great first impression in reception areas and public spaces

Maintaining hygiene

We work with leading cleaning experts to ensure that our solutions are hygienic and easy to maintain.

Take a closer look at our system...

Altro walls and doors, combined with Altro safety or Altro smooth floors, create an impervious and easy to clean system that meets the hygienic requirements of even the most critical care environments. Altro walls and doors can be cleaned by wiping, steam cleaning or power washing – it’s as simple as that. No grout to trap dirt, and impact-resistant, so none of the issues associated with cracked tiles or damaged paint.

Altro resilient floors feature Altro Easyclean technology to make cleaning regimes easier. It gives them additional scratch and abrasion resistance, helping maintain their look. With safety floors, preventing damage to the floor helps ensure they can perform, preventing slips. Altro Whiterock is the only globally Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certified PVCu wall sheet, and our walls and floors system is one of the few worldwide to achieve the certification. This means they are approved and can be trusted for use in food preparation areas.

Choosing Altro vinyl flooring, hygienic wall cladding and doorsets reduces cleaning and maintenance time over alternatives such as tiles, paintwork and carpet tiles. In fact, the likelihood of carpet tiles harbouring dirt, germs, hair, skin and other contaminants means they have been banned by the NHS in clinical areas, and are not recommended for food outlets.

As well as reliable, robust solutions, you have our support before, during and after installation for any technical queries through a dedicated Technical Services team.

Three key facts about cleaning our impervious system

  • You can scrub Altro walls and doors thousands of times without damaging them
  • You can steam clean Altro floors thousands of times without damaging them
  • They will not fail, the surface will not get compromised, they are designed to work together as a hygienic system guaranteed to perform for up to 20 years

Maintaining hygiene has become top of everyone’s agenda. Here are some examples of where it matters most…

Care homes - Picture the scene: elderly residents walking down the corridor, manoeuvring round the dining table, getting in and out of bed. Staff rushing everywhere. Visitors bearing gifts. Everyone moves around the care home, spilling things on the floor and bumping into walls and doors. Carpet tiles and carpet do not support the easy maintenance of hygiene – nor do painted walls!

Regular disinfecting is vital; meaning more rigorous and frequent cleaning with stronger chemicals, which won’t stain surfaces, is required and surfaces which tolerate these demands are requisite.

Hospitals - A hospital never rests, people and equipment are forever on the go; so the need to clean and maintain hygiene is constant. Wheelchairs, beds and trolleys are manoeuvred, thousands of feet pace the corridors, bringing the outside in. Maintaining hygiene is about more than being easy-to-clean; resilient surfaces on floors, walls and doors are paramount in the fight against infection.

Education - From pre-school to university, those learning unavoidably come into close contact with each other; therefore, maintaining hygiene is vital. Students of all ages, but particularly the very young, sit on the floor. Moving around classrooms and building inevitably means that hands reach out for walls and doors for support. So for easy maintenance, think vinyl flooring and hygienic wall cladding for where people eat, sleep, learn, play and wash.

“I think the floors are super easy to clean. I have worked in many kitchens in my career, and this is the first time I’ve worked on a floor that is so easy to clean. With a tiled floor, I often experienced having to scrub for half an hour to get the floor clean.”

Hotels and restaurants – Research indicates that guests return to dine or stay in premises which they perceive to be clean and hygienic. So from dining areas to ensuites, bedrooms and kitchens, keep guests and your staff safe and happy with easy to clean hygienic floors, walls and doors.

Offices – The perception of clean surfaces in offices, including canteens, kitchens, bathrooms and working spaces, is not only a key indicator of how hygienically the premises are maintained, but also goes a long way to making staff feel valued and safe, contributing to their mental wellbeing. Removing materials such as carpet tiles and installing wall cladding over painted walls, is a great start in creating a hygienic environment for all.

We have a lot more information about cleaning. Please visit our cleaning section for our latest tips and to check out our cleaning guides.

Read more about maintaining hygiene across sectors here.

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Designing for minimal disruption

Changing a small space or whole area, can cause disruption to those who live, work or study in the building.

There is a straightforward way to take the disruption out of rapid space reconfiguration.

Combine adhesive-free flooring with hygienic wall cladding.

How to change your flooring fast!

If you want to alter your flooring to

  • Change the functionality of an area
  • Create flexible, multi-purpose spaces
  • Change the colours / patterns to aid a one-way system
  • Create zoning and boundaries
  • Refresh the design for improved cleaning, hygiene and wellbeing

then here’s an easier way to do it…

Use Altro adhesive-free flooring to save you up to 50% installation time and 35% costs

Closing a busy space for a lengthy period is not an option, so by installing an adhesive-free floor the work can be completed quickly so that traffic flow is uninterrupted.

Here’s the process

  • Remove your existing flooring, such as carpet tiles or old lino / vinyl
  • Ensure the floor is free of any remaining debris
  • Install an Altro adhesive-free floor direct over the substrate without any need to use a levelling compound, damp-proof membrane or adhesive – saving you up to 50% installation time and up to 35% costs (see below)
  • Weld and walk on the same day
  • No need for wet trades
  • Minimal disruption for you, get everyone back to normal faster

What if you don’t want to remove your existing flooring?

You can lay adhesive-free flooring over it and remove it without damaging your original floor when you wish to.

A customer of ours in Denmark has recently overlaid their lino flooring with Altro Cantata, as they believed the lino would not stand up to the new volume of hand sanitiser being spilled on it. The reasons for overlaying your floor with adhesive-free flooring may be many, but you’ll end up with one successful result!

We have three adhesive-free ranges to choose from

Altro Cantata colour Willow Tree

Altro Cantata

- smooth floor, newly refreshed range

Altro Wood adhesive-free colour Imperial Walnut

Altro Wood adhesive-free

- biophilic safety floor

Altro XpressLay colour Lupin

Altro XpressLay

- safety floor

Want to know more? Adhesive-free technology in a nutshell…

  • Halves installation time, minimises downtime - depending on substrate condition: a 200m² corridor can be laid in two days compared with four days with an adhered floor covering, with an approximate 35% cost saving
  • Up to 14db impact sound reduction and comfort underfoot
  • With 15-year life expectancy and 10-year guarantee you needn’t fear that an adhesive-free product will let you down
  • Helps you meet sustainability goals – environmental credentials: sustainable option - 100% recyclable post-consumer


See what Anna Carrier at The Lawns Care Home has to say about her adhesive-free installation

  • Sustainable wellbeing – easy to clean, hygienic solution
  • Easy maintenance - an adhesive-free floor is a great problem-solver. Subfloors will stay clean from adhesive; and easy access to the subfloors for maintenance or repairs means less damage to floors and walls
  • No adhesive-associated odours, which is vital in a hospital or care home, with areas which cannot be closed; therefore, keeping disruption and distress to users to a minimum
  • Save money – save costs on disposal by diverting your waste from landfill or recycling the floor and reusing it somewhere else
  • Provides the same low residual indentation as adhered flooring
  • Can be used for kit-cutting to aid wayfinding and navigation in the same way as adhered flooring

How to change your walling fast!

Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding can be installed directly over tiles or a painted wall.

  • It requires no grout so you avoid all the maintenance problems associated with it and time required to grout in the first instance
  • It comes in sheets in different size options to provide coverage from floor to ceiling, or just a partial wall covering, as required
  • For smaller areas such as washrooms, toilets and kitchens, Altro Whiterock Splashbacks are available as kits in a range of sizes to suit most hand wash basins and vanity units, or custom-sized for the perfect fit
  • It can match or contrast with our doorsets and is complemented by colour-matched sealants and weldrods for speedy finishing which doesn’t compromise on aesthetics

We have developed our complete technical systems guides to give you information about installing our floors, walls and doors in specific environments, all in one place.

Find out more

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Wayfinding and navigation

Directing people to keep them safe

Why are they such a hot topic now?

Effective traffic management through a building has always been a key design element, but it has now become a top priority as we continue living with the challenges of Coronavirus. You could well be having to redesign your environments; allowing for efficient route finding and one-way traffic, while minimising the chances of people getting lost and thus spending more time than necessary in your buildings.

It’s vital to choose the right materials so you don’t compromise hygiene

As you consider how to achieve this, it is good to bear in mind the advantages that our products offer over some other materials. If you use printed overlays for wayfinding and navigation, you may find they are damaged when cleaning; what’s more they are often not heat-resistant and can’t be disinfected as part of a rigorous cleaning regime. The same is not true with our products, which can be steam cleaned at up to 60°C and which offer a more permanent solution to wayfinding and navigation via our kit cutting service or custom walls printing.

Where might you want to incorporate wayfinding and navigation to their best advantage?
Here are some examples…

Care homes – Guide visitors and remind residents how to get to lounges in the most direct way. Highlight the route from bedrooms to dining areas, so that those who may have dementia can follow familiar reminders.

Offices – Direct employees and visitors along a way-way system to meeting rooms and canteens. Education – Guide pupils, students, staff and visitors along the most direct route to key areas including libraries, halls and dining areas. Encourage people to follow a clear one-way system by making it obvious and even fun, reducing the risk of their getting lost!

Hospitals – Colour code routes from reception to different departments, reducing the risk of patients, who might have mobility issues, ending up in the wrong part of the building or visitors getting lost.

Hotels – clear signs from bedrooms to lifts, stairs, dining rooms and spas etc, will help eliminate unnecessary wandering and keep guests satisfied that their need for reaching somewhere fast has been considered.

Top recommendations

There are different ways you can choose to achieve effective wayfinding and navigation

  • Use colours to indicate routes and reinforce new one-way systems around the building
  • Complement or contrast colours on our walls, doors and floors to aid navigation
  • Custom print your image or communications on walls with Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom)
  • Use our kit cutting service in floors for aesthetics or wayfinding / navigation

Signage is another key consideration. Communications can be printed directly into our hygienic wall cladding, Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom), featuring a hard coated protective layer to ensure no compromise in performance, or incorporated into flooring with our kit-cutting service.

Typical messages you might want to include are

  • One-way system in operation
  • Queue in this direction
  • Respect social distancing
  • Wash your hands
  • Please use the complimentary hand sanitiser
  • Please wear a mask in this area

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Zoning

Creating peaceful and welcoming areas for all

Combining good design with hygiene

Coming together safely has rarely been in such focus nor taken on such importance.

When it comes to the design, you will need to combine good aesthetics, to create the right mood, with elements to reinforce social distancing and safe areas away from the main flow of traffic.

Keeping everyone safe - your choice of materials is key to maintaining a hygienic space

Not all materials perform in the same way nor offer the same longevity. You’ll be looking for surfaces which are cleanable, hygienic, safe, robust and chemically-resistant, but also, warm, familiar, comfortable and attractive.

Where might you want to create discreet zones? Here are some examples…

Care homes – Design peaceful areas for visitors to sit with relatives away from resident lounges or corridors, or staff areas for carers to take a break.

Offices – Within an existing space, create team, break or brainstorming areas.

Education –Create smaller study zones, staff break areas or quiet zones in libraries, by zoning off part of a space. Picture the student union and make it more atmospheric with individual zones for smaller groups of friends. Classrooms can benefit from zoning to separate out play or activities from reading areas.

Hospitals – Nurses on a 12-hour shift need somewhere to unwind, you can design a distinct area for just that. When it comes to patients, zoning can be used to separate areas for waiting for treatment or to talk to patients or staff, away from the main flow of traffic.

Top recommendations

Use the flooring to create safe, communal zones by changing the colour, pattern or weldrod of the flooring to indicate a separate area and appropriate gaps to maintain social distancing. You could even include signage in the floor utilising our kit cutting service.

You can achieve this with all our products, but here are some of our customer favourites for this

Think about where you put your chairs. As people get up and down and where chairs can bump and scrape the walls, you may want to pay particular attention to maintaining the integrity of your walls, by protecting them with our hygienic wall protection, Altro Fortis Titanium.

If you don’t have chairs right up against the wall, we have other options to create calm and welcoming spaces

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Biophilia

Design tips to promote calm, reduce stress, encourage learning

Incorporating the colours and patterns of nature for significant health benefits

We have an attachment to nature as our body is synced to the natural environment around us. It’s called biophilia. It means we are more likely to resonate with colours which are linked to nature.

This can help with calming the mind in busy work lives, reducing stress and anxiety, and promoting psychological recuperation.

Where can you use biophilic principles to best effect? Here are some examples…

Hospitals – Calming biophilic designs and shades are frequently chosen in hospitals to promote recovery and sleep; making them ideal in wards. They can reduce anxiety in waiting or outpatient areas. They create a peaceful environment in staff rooms and offices, enabling staff to recharge their batteries. They are often the colours and designs that greet you as you first enter reception, contributing to a sense of calm when you may be feeling stressed.

Care homes – Biophilic designs are frequently specified in visitor lounges and reception areas, to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere; in dining areas to make eating a relaxed and pleasurable experience; and in bedrooms to calm the mind and promote sleep. They can also contribute to making staff offices a calm place to work.

Education – Classrooms often incorporate wood designs on the floor and scenes of nature on the wall for two main purposes: to promote calm among excitable children and stimulate learning. These designs carry on into dining and play areas where calm is also desirable. In universities, biophilic designs are a favourite in libraries and halls of residence bedrooms to create a suitable environment for individual study; and are also to be found in dining, general circulation and visitor areas to create a welcoming mood.

Offices – For anyone who spends many hours indoors each day, bringing the essence of the outdoors in via images and colours of nature is vital in maintaining a positive mood; this is why biophilic designs are becoming increasingly popular in large, open-plan offices, staff rooms and kitchen areas. Not only do they contribute to calm working environment, but they can help reduce stress too.

HospitalityHotels incorporate biophilia into bedroom designs, to create the right mood and help achieve a good night’s sleep! All customer areas, such as salons, spas, reception and dining areas can benefit from the mood created by biophilic designs. Restaurants create an ambience of comfort and peace with biophilic designs, which can contribute to the stimulation of appetite.

Retail – Not only will biophilic images create a more positive mood for retail staff who spend their working day indoors, it will enhance the experience of shoppers, encouraging them to spend longer in your premises.

Top recommendations

Many of the flooring shades we offer are deliberately drawn from nature, with Altro Pisces, our specialist safety floor for wet environments, and all the ranges in the Altro Wood collection being great examples of this. Altro Orchestra is available in designs featuring the calming neutral tones of nature.

When it comes to walls, as well as using shades of Altro Whiterock Satins or Altro Whiterock Chameleon, to create a more natural feeling, Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom)is often chosen to display your own choice of photographic images of nature. Altro Whiterock wall designs brings you a choice of wood patterns, making it easy to bring the harmony of outside in.

Many of our most popular shades are natural ones: woods, greens, blues, floral shades. Use our visualisation options below to picture your space in biophilic hues and see what a difference they make. By using these shades you can make the spaces areas where people want to work, while contributing to wellbeing.

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Acoustics

Reducing noise to support stress-free environments

Reducing sound is more than just a “nice to have” – it promotes the health of your staff and service users

Noise levels from people and noise pollution from equipment and devices reverberate over sound-reflecting hard surfaces, extend over distances and linger; consequently, they can have a serious impact on the wellbeing of everyone.

A positive sound environment occurs naturally outdoors; our ears are tuned to the natural environment, and the sky absorbs noise. We need to create the same indoors, absorbing or diffusing noise to help support a stress-free environment.

Designs that have good acoustics, along with natural light and ventilation, help create a positive, therapeutic atmosphere.

Where can acoustic floors be used to best effect? Here are some examples…

Commercial kitchens – Whether in a restaurant, hotel, hospital, university, school or care home, they have one thing in common: they are really noisy! Trolleys clatter over the floor bearing loads of wobbling crockery; plates are loaded and unloaded in dishwashers; food processors blitz away and chefs need to make themselves heard above all this reverberating noise. Acoustic and impact sound reducing floors can help reduce noise significantly to enhance the wellbeing of all those who work here.

Hotels – Nothing disturbs a good night’s sleep more than the sound of other guests moving about in the room above yours or wheeling their suitcase past your door at midnight. Acoustic flooring will help reduce sound transmission between storeys and adjacent rooms and increase sound absorption along corridors to keep your guests coming back for some peace and quiet.

Care homes – Improve the chances of your residents sleeping well and not disturbing each other by incorporating sound reducing flooring into your corridors and bedrooms. They are also beneficial in visitor lounges, to enhance that sense of privacy.

Education – Libraries, student accommodation, study areas, drama studios, music rooms, dining rooms and playrooms; all spaces that either demand quiet up front or would benefit from minimising noise transmission to other areas. Our floors can reduce impact sound transmission not just into adjoining rooms but also to other storeys.

Housing – Reduce tenant complaints about noisy neighbours next door, above or below them, by installing appropriate sound absorbing floors.

Hospitals – Peace and quiet aid recovery and protect privacy, so surfaces which contribute to them are essential across many areas of a hospital, including: intensive care or wards where resting and sleep are vital to patient recuperation; corridors where the sounds from trolleys and wheelchairs can be a constant source of distress; consultation rooms in which private conversations should not be overheard.

Offices – Office equipment, people on the move and conversations can all make noise levels so loud as to make offices a stressful working environment – not good when you spend the best part of your day there. Create a more positive working environment with less noise pollution in open plan spaces, communal areas and meeting rooms.

Retail – No-one like a noisy shop. Retail therapy by its very nature demands quiet for it to count as therapy and create the right atmosphere; thereby providing not only a more peaceful environment for staff, but also one in which shoppers will linger.

Top recommendations

Our 19dB vinyl acoustic floor, Altro Serenade, contributes to the impact sound reduction of noise in buildings by

  • Reducing impact sound transmission
  • Increasing sound absorption
  • Reducing sound reflection

Where noise reduction is needed to reduce in-room sound and transmission of noise you can also consider

If this isn’t enough, don’t forget that you can combine the floor of your choice with impact sound reduction underlays. Altro 1101 and Altro Everlay B offer sound reductions of 18dB and 20dB respectively.

Visualise your options now!

Choose our new Insta-space software, which lets you upload your own picture and view our solutions in your own space

Take up our offer of free specialist training (and get some RIBA CPD points if you need them)

To learn more about our solutions and acoustics, ask your Altro Consultant about attending our CPD Designing for wellbeing: effective sound reduction.


Comfort underfoot

Prevent health problems and save you money

The right floor helps prevent musculoskeletal problems and improves productivity

Many hard-working staff spend the whole day on their feet. Not only can a person’s level of comfort be impacted but ultimately musculoskeletal problems may arise.

It has been reported that a more comfortable, ergonomic flooring material can contribute to reduced chronic pain, including that from musculoskeletal conditions and improve productivity, as well as the quality of a person’s work.

Take a moment to consider this: the NHS in England spends £5 billion each year on treating musculoskeletal conditions! This clearly indicates the scale of the problem.

Where can floors providing comfort underfoot be used to best effect?
Here are some examples…

Hospitals and care homes - Nurses and carers can work 12 hour shifts, walking 4-5 miles per shift. This presents a real need for comfort underfoot in corridors, wards, bedrooms etc. to reduce their chances of developing chronic pain and to provide a more comfortable working environment.

Education – From nursery teachers to university professors, those who teach are on their feet for hours each day, whether standing behind a lectern, walking as they teach around the form or moving from class to class along the corridor. For those who stand still or walk miles, comfort underfoot is a must.

Hospitality – In hotels and restaurants cleaning and waiting staff are not only on their feet for many hours per shirt, but they walk miles carrying heavy laundry or trays of food. Chefs stand for hours in the kitchen, while receptionists need to keep smiling as they welcome guests, standing behind the desk. You can reduce their risk of developing serious musculoskeletal problems with the right flooring.

Retail – an eight hour shift standing in a shop can cause musculoskeletal problems, the chances of which can be reduced with the right flooring; which also serves to provide a more comfortable environment for customers underfoot, encouraging them to spend longer in your premises.

Top recommendations

We feel passionately that floor surfaces need to provide comfort underfoot while maintaining ease of movement.

Our floors provide the required level of comfort without the drawback of residual indentation and rolling load resistance, which can be a problem with softer floors to such an extent that you can’t easily move around heavy equipment. The following floors are designed provide comfort and low residual indentation

  • 3.9mm Altro Serenade is a great solution for well used spaces that still need to look good and welcoming
  • 2.6mm Altro Orchestra is available in designs varying from calming neutrals reflecting tones of nature, to vibrant shades for design flexibility
  • Altro Wood Comfort is also 2.85mm and offers great biophilic aesthetics
  • Altro Cantata and Altro Wood adhesive-free, both 2.4mm thick, also provide comfort underfoot with adhesive-free technology – great for rapid space re-configuration

Visualise your options now!

Choose our new Insta-space software, which lets you upload your own picture and view our solutions in your own space

Take up our offer of free specialist training (and get some RIBA CPD points if you need them)

To learn more about our solutions and acoustics, ask your Altro Consultant about attending our CPD Designing for wellbeing: effective sound reduction.


Light Reflectance Values

Designing to improve quality of life

Enshrined in the Equality Act it’s vital to understand how LRVs work

Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) measure of the amount of visible and usable light reflected from a surface when illuminated by a light source. They are used to establish how much light a colour reflects or absorbs when designing a space. LRVs are measured on a scale of 0 to 100: 0 is black and reflects no light; 100 is white and reflects all light. All other colours sit somewhere in-between.

The British Standards’ code of practice (BS 8300-2:2018) states that to meet the access needs of disabled people – a requirement of The Equality Act 2010 – when you consider the needs of the visually impaired, there must be adequate visual contrast between adjacent surfaces. The standards recommend an LRV contrast of at least 30 points.

Designs that have good acoustics, along with natural light and ventilation, help create a positive, therapeutic atmosphere.

Clear LRV points indication to make your life easier

Every material we offer has an LRV clearly marked out of 100 points, so you can easily meet your requirements for a 30 point differential between adjacent surfaces such as floors and walls, without compromising on your design.

We include many colours in our ranges with varying LRVs to give you options: select similar LRVs where you wish to aid movement or choose contrasting LRVs to discourage it, while maintaining the 30 point differential.

Where can LRVs be used to best effect?
Here are some examples…

Hospitals – Incorporate similar LRVs, to aid movement from wards to bathrooms or along corridors to treatment areas. Contrast more by increasing LRV differential to dissuade patients and visitors from entering staff or private areas.

Care homes – Make the journey to a bathroom or lounge safer by designing with similar LRVs or use more contrasting ones to dissuade those who may have dementia from leaving the building through emergency exits.

Education – To help the visually impaired navigate safely around university to their accommodation or the library, consider incorporating similar LRVs into your designs. To discourage entry to staff and other areas, select LTVs with a greater contrast.

Hospitality – In hotels and restaurants you can help the visually impaired navigate around dining areas, through corridors to rooms and from bedrooms to ensuites by incorporating similar LRVs into your designs.

Retail – Aid effective and safe movement around your store, taking in the aisles through to the tills and exits with similar LRVs. Discourage movement into staff and storage areas with more contrasting ones.

Top recommendations

The HBN offers guidance on providing the correct levels of light for people facing dementia and visual challenges. In our experience natural daylight is preferable, after all we all feel better in a light, airy atmosphere. Using lighter shades of our floors or walls such as Altro Wood Bleached Oak or Altro Whiterock Satins Orchard can support this and are a great alternative to plain white, which looks clinical.

Harsh lighting and some LED lights can create false impressions about the environment such as the perception that the flooring is wet when it isn’t, resulting in uncertainty and possibly falls. Choosing sparkle-free flooring helps avoid this: we offer a wide range of sparkle-free options across our product portfolio.

Our main sparkle-free flooring options include:

Visualise your options now!

Choose our new Insta-space software, which lets you upload your own picture and view our solutions in your own space


Food production and HACCP

Safety and hygiene with HACCP approval

What is HACCP?

HACCP stands for 'Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point'. It is an internationally recognised and recommended system of food safety management. It requires every food preparation area to be covered by a documented risk assessment focusing on identifying the 'critical points' in a process where food safety problems (or 'hazards') could arise and how you could eliminate the risks of these hazards.

 

Hazards include microbiological risk through contamination, which can be transmitted through staff or poorly maintained fittings or equipment. Other risks include chemical, physical or allergenic risks, caused by ingredients, food handling or equipment and fittings such as floors, walls and lights. HACCP is a legal requirement in Europe as part of the “EC Regulation 852/2004 on the hygiene of food stuffs, Article 5”.HACCP is a way of managing food safety hazards. Food safety management procedures should be based on HACCP principles.

What does this mean for YOU?

You can contribute to your HACCP conformity and reduce your hazard risk by selecting products that are approved by HACCP International. Altro’s floors and walls are HACCP approved and are listed on HACCP’s internationally published list of endorsed products.

Choosing our products means you are choosing from a food safe supplier. Selecting HACCP approved products like ours will not only give you peace of mind, but save you time and hassle too, as inspections will be kept to a minimum.

Now is the time to review your kitchen surfaces to make sure they give you the level of hygiene you need, coupled with safety for all users.

HACCP approval

You can’t afford to take any chances when it comes to hygiene and food safety. You can keep your food production safe with our hygienic surfaces.

"Altro products are one of the few worldwide flooring and walling products to have achieved HACCP International certification for non-food services and supplies, which means that they have been assessed by a third party and found to be satisfactory and hygienic for use in a food environment.

Both the flooring and walling products from Altro offer the seamless and impervious solution which means that there is nowhere for bacteria to hide, as well as being easy to clean, both important issues in the food industry.”

Top recommendations

Floor

  • Altro Stronghold 30 - keeps staff safe, with our highest slip-resistant rating of (PTV >55, R12) even with common kitchen contaminants such as grease, oil and flour, reducing your chance of a slip to one in a million for the lifetime of the floor.

With 3mm comfort underfoot and 10dB impact sound insulation, it makes busy and noisy kitchen environments more comfortable for staff. Altro Stronghold 30 can withstand temperatures from -30°C to +60°C so you can use it throughout the kitchen, including in freezers and it comes with a wide colour choice

Walls

  • Altro Whiterock wall sheets are grout-free and can be welded to provide a smooth, joint-free surface. Installed with moisture-tolerant adhesive AltroFix W139, there will be no gaps between wall and sheet, giving bacteria, mould and vermin nowhere to hide

Doors

  • There are fewer joints on our hygienic doorsets than on standard commercial doors, as they consist of a thermoformed, integrated unit; making cleaning and maintaining hygiene easier. The furniture on all our doorsets is hygienic and easy-to-clean; vital as door handles can harbour microorganisms.
  • Altro Whiterock hygienic doorsets – available in colours and finishes to co-ordinate with your walls

Visualise your options now!

Choose our new Insta-space software, which lets you upload your own picture and view our solutions in your own space

Take up our offer of free specialist training (and get some RIBA CPD points if you need them)

To learn more about our solutions and acoustics, ask your Altro Consultant about attending our CPD Designing for wellbeing: effective sound reduction.


Aesthetics for general mental wellbeing

The design of your spaces is key in reassuring all users – and particularly staff - that you have considered their mental wellbeing as carefully as their physical safety. Aesthetics not only create the right environment but also are vital in calming and alleviating anxiety and stress and can also promote healing.

This section will deal with aesthetics for general mental wellbeing.

Designed with you for real world applications

Only perfect harmony in its technical functions as well as in its proportions can result in beauty.

We take the design of our products seriously. We spend many years developing them internationally both with you and design consultants to ensure they resonate with local tastes; this is why we are able to offer such a broad yet relevant palette, in the knowledge that we have provided you with enough choice to make a personalised design statement for your environment.

Were you aware we offer all this?

  • Colour – Pastel, primary, neutrals, naturals. Hundreds in total to choose from
  • Finish – Gloss, satin, matt. Smooth or textured
  • Pattern – Linen, stone, wood, weave, chipped, flaked, solid matt colour, sparkle / non-sparkle, terrazzo
  • Texture – Perfectly smooth or lightly textured
  • Custom – Bespoke colours available for floors, doors and walls, subject to minimum order quantities, or custom print your image or communications on walls with Altro Whiterock Digiclad
  • Kit cutting in floors – for aesthetics or wayfinding / navigation
  • DSDC accredited floors and walls ranges for specifying for dementia
  • Format – Sheets, rolls, LVTs, kits, resins. Endless possibilities. Take our LVTs as just one example: modular sizes you can mix and match to create unique patterns utilising colour and design. Get some inspiration with Altro Ensemble
  • UV stability for lasting good looks

Selecting the right palette

We renew our palettes regularly to make sure they continue to inspire you and are suitable for the sectors in which you work.

We’ve developed some online tools so you can have a play with our ranges and colours and see what they would look like in your space.

Visualise your options now!

Choose our new Insta-space software, which lets you upload your own picture and view our solutions in your own space


WELL

Launched in 2014, the WELL Building Standard™ is the world’s first building certification that focuses exclusively on human health and wellness.

WELL is a ‘human-centred’ approach to building design based on seven years’ of scientific, medical and architectural research. It provides architects and designers with guidelines on how to make a real and measurable difference to how we function within our urban spaces. WELL notes different concepts to consider and fulfil in the scope of a design including: air, light, comfort, innovation and mind. Depending on how many of the criteria within these concepts a project fulfils, there are three certification levels available: Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Products cannot be WELL accredited

WELL requirements cover the performance of materials, not the performance of individual products or brands. The products you use can only contribute to earning points required for WELL Certification; they do not earn points toward WELL Certification on their own.

How you can use Altro products to satisfy WELL performance criteria

Air

  • Altro floors and walls have undergone rigorous external VOC testing and have low VOCs
  • Our floors are compliant with national and international indoor air quality schemes including:
    • FloorScore, the indoor air quality scheme used with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in North America; FloorScore® certified products meet the indoor emission criteria of the LEED® Green Building Rating System
    • The seal M1, indicating the lowest emission class of the voluntary Finnish emissions classification of building materials. Due to changes in the supply chains and by constantly measuring the VOC emission this has been achieved

Nourishment

  • Help promote healthy eating by creating optimum kitchens with our HACCP-approved hygienic systems for commercial kitchens
  • If you are involved in the production and storage of food and drink, our specialist hygienic systems of floors, walls, doors and resins will deliver the innovative and practical solutions you require

Light

  • Optimise the measure of the amount of visible and usable light reflected from a surface when illuminated by a light source with our floors and walls
  • Create ideal wall and floor combinations using Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) to meet the Equality Act 2010 with our DSDC-accredited ranges

Innovation

  • We are proud of our award-winning world firsts:
    • Altro invented safety flooring, adhesive-free safety flooring, wood-look safety vinyl, shoe and barefoot safety vinyl, and have installed the world’s first in-house safety flooring recycling machine
    • Altro invented the hygienic wall cladding system
    • Altro invented safety vinyl ranges which are 100% recyclable post-consumer
    • Altro were the first manufacturer to produce phthalate-free safety floors
  • We continue to lead the market in making vinyl floors that are free from ortho-phthalate plasticisers
  • We have been using a more renewable source of plasticisers since 2008 globally
  • 100% of Altro construction safety floors contain a bioplasticiser which comes from corn/maize
  • We use plasticisers based on natural raw materials (citric acid ester)
  • All Altro vinyl floors are CE compliant according to DIN EN 14041:2004/AC:2006 (German Institute for Standardisation (Deutsches Institut für Normung)

Mind

  • As you support your employees and provide ongoing education for them, create the right environment to achieve this with our biophilic ranges
  • Incorporate zoning into your designs with our floors and walls to create break-out areas for your staff to relax or meet
  • Don’t forget the importance of colour, pattern, designs and texture as you fashion your space. Visualise your options now!
    • Choose our new Insta-space software, which lets you upload your own picture and view our solutions in your own space

Comfort

  • Promote the wellbeing of your staff and service users by creating a positive sound environment indoors
  • Specify our acoustic and impact sound reduction floors to reduce noise transference both between rooms and storeys in your buildings
  • For comfort underfoot, choose one of our comfort floors, which helps prevent musculoskeletal problems and improves productivity
  • For thermal comfort, you can specify both our adhered or adhesive-free floors with underfloor heating