Samples basket

Operating rooms

Designing for operating rooms

Operating rooms are perhaps the most complex and most important areas in a hospital. They are the profit centers of the facility, capable of earning as much $100,000 in a single day. As such, facility managers require that the finishes used in these areas be able to perform well, even under constant use.

It is critical to select the right flooring and wall cladding for these areas, as well as the appropriate detailing to ensure a successful installation.

Recommended products

Floor and wall solutions

Altro Symphonia is the top choice flooring in ORs, boasting an expansive color palette, impressive stain resistance, smooth to the touch surface and is easy to clean. Altro Symphonia satisfies ISO Cleanroom standards while also providing safety underfoot during long, extensive surgeries.

Altro Operetta’s smooth, durable profile is also ISO cleanroom compliant and provides excellent stain resistance that can be easily cleaned and maintained.

At 2.5mm thick, Altro Reliance 25 offers the best slip resistance of our OR solutions and is a great alternative to epoxy resin flooring. Altro Reliance 25 combines proven stain resistance, slip resistance and incredible durability to create a surface capable of enduring high levels of foot and wheeled traffic without compromising performance.

Altro Whiterock is the ideal wall cladding solution for modern ORs. Its smooth, durable, hygienic, and easy-to-clean surface can help meet demanding regulatory requirements and minimize OR downtime between surgeries — with no surprises along the way. Our heat-formable panels may be installed seamlessly to prevent cracks, gaps and fissures — maintaining the integrity of the encapsulated system by preventing the harboring of bacteria.

Another growing trend is to add more natural images into the surgical areas. This concept, called biophilic design, is proven to reduce stress, improve our well-being, and expedite healing. Altro Whiterock Digiclad and Altro Whiterock PopArt allow you to reproduce images and artwork onto Altro Whiterock wall panels to create durable, vibrant design options for a variety of applications.

Altro Whiterock can also be treated with our Whiteboard film technology allowing it to be used as a dry erase board. This treatment can be applied to one panel allowing it to be heat-welded to the others in the surgical suite. The use of a whiteboard during the “time out” before surgery can significantly improve memory retention among members of the surgical team.


OR floors and walls are consistently exposed to aggressive chemicals. Antiseptics such as Betadine®, Preempt RTU™, Isopropyl alcohol and bleach as well as industrial cleaners can cause havoc on many surfaces if allowed to sit. Therefore it’s critical to specify flooring that has high stain resistance in ORs.

We believe standard industry test values don’t always provide clarity of slip potential and categories of values are too broad, which is why we combine them.

With so many different cleaners and disinfectants on the market it is hard to test every chemical. However, it is our experience that the vast majority of chemicals are made with either:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bleach
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Altro ShieldTec technology

Revolutionary advancements in the manufacturing process of Altro Symphonia have now allowed us to produce our most stain-resistant technology to date. Altro ShieldTec delivers industry-leading commercial performance in key attribute areas like; stain resistance, chemical resistance, and abrasion resistance.

Altro ShieldTec teamed with our tried-and-true Altro Easyclean Technology, will provide you with industryleading commercial flooring performance.

Confidence to install the lightest of colors in any situation and peace of mind that they will stay that way are now possible with Altro Symphonia.

Fast track renovations with Altro EcoFix+ adhesive

We realize that the operation rooms are the lifeblood of a hospital’s profit center. When a single room can generate as much as $100,000 worth of revenue per day, lengthy shutdowns to install new floors are not acceptable.

With our new Altro Ecofix+ adhesive we are able to do faster renovations and allow for rooms to be open as quickly as 48 hrs after installation.

Altro EcoFix+ transitional pressure sensitive adhesive (TPSA) goes above and beyond by withstanding severe moisture and alkalinity. Offering the upfront benefits of a TPSA, it quickly transitions into a hard-set to securely lock your flooring in place.

With its aggressive, fast-grab design, Altro EcoFix+ handles the pressure of heavy rolling loads with ease and is suitable adhesive for resilient flooring.

Meeting the mark - How do Altro products stand up to guidelines?

Engineering our products to perform well in the most demanding of situations means your installation is durable, long-lasting and meets industry standards.

The following national standards outline the fundamental principles, requirements, and objectives that govern the design and construction of operating rooms in North America.

American Institute of Architects

  • Floor/wall should be free of fissures, open joints, crevices that may retain or permit the passage of dirt and particles.
  • Seamless floor/wall finishes should be used to ensure cleanliness and minimize risk of healthcare acquired infections (HAIs).

FGI Guidelines

  • Flooring shall be cleanable and wear-resistant.
  • Slip resistance level of floor shall be appropriate for the area of use.
  • High gloss/reflective surfaces shall be avoided.
  • Operating rooms shall have floor and wall base assemblies that are monolithic and have integral coved wall base up the wall a minimum of 6 inches.
  • Flooring shall be unaffected by wet cleaning, germicidal, and other types of cleaning solutions.
  • Walls shall be washable.
  • Walls shall be free of fissures, open joints or crevices.
  • Walls shall be monolithic or have sealed seams that are tight and smooth.

CSA Z8000

  • Surface material shall be resistant to microbial spread and growth.
  • Floors shall be cleanable and maintainable without toxic stripping and finishing.
  • Operating rooms, Slip-resistant flooring shall be provided.
  • The floors and wall bases of all operating rooms and any delivery rooms used for cesarean deliveries shall be monolithic.
  • In operating rooms, cesarean delivery rooms, airborne isolation rooms, and sterile processing rooms, wall finishes shall be free of fissures, open joints, or crevices that can retain or permit passage of dirt particles.
  • Wall finishes shall be washable.

Pharmacopeia - USP 800 (USA) + NAPRA (CAN)

The US + Canadian Pharmacopeia - USP 800 and NAPRA also have many regulations which may apply to ORs in the future. While many of these overlap with the FGI guidelines, there are additional guidelines that must be addressed. These guidelines are mandatory on a state and federal level and failure to comply can lead to costly shutdowns.

  • Flooring cap should be avoided – smooth floor to wall transitions such as overlap or heat-weld methods are preferred.
  • Preferably floors are overlaid with wide sheet vinyl flooring with heat-welded seams.
  • Particle emission must meet ISO Class 5 and lower.

Additional considerations

  • Indentation resistance – minimum 1,000 psi.
  • Bacteria-resistant surfaces – without the addition of anti-microbials.
  • Stain resistance to chemicals used in procedures, sterilization, and cleaning.
  • Walls shall be impact-resistant.