How to Choose Flooring for Your Dental Practice

Flooring that will stand the test of time is as essential as choosing a comfortable, sturdy dental chair at a dental practice. You want your patient to feel secure. You want the dexterity to give them a perfect smile; likewise, you want vinyl flooring that’s safe, durable and attractive so you can give your patients excellent care in a stylish environment.

“In the world of dentistry, we have seen Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) become a staple of the dental office floor. These floors can be found almost always in operatories, but we have also seen a trend using this material not only in the clinical area, but within the whole office.”

Amanda Griffith, CenterPoint Design Interior Designer

The Mohawk Group offers contemporary Luxury Vinyl Tile (shown at top) style that looks great in an operatory, office or reception room. Before you begin your design plans, there are factors to chew over. Maybe you’re expanding your practice or are planning to start your first. Here are five things to consider before you buy a vinyl floor:

Durability

When you purchase flooring, especially if it’s your first time, it’s important to remember you’re buying commercial vinyl versus residential vinyl. Commercial vinyl flooring applications require a 20 mil wear layer in order to withstand heavy foot traffic and equipment. Wear layer in an important factor to consider when choosing LVT. Vinyl flooring can be measured by different wear layer thicknesses, such as 12, 20, 30, or 40 mils.

Commercial vinyl flooring typically ranges in thickness from 2.5 mm to 3 mm. Some commercial spaces install vinyl up to 5 mm, which allows the vinyl floor to align with the height of the carpet.

IMG_4758
The image features Shaw Contact “Cut” with a Cacao finish in 18″ x 18″ sections.

The photo above features Shaw Contact’s “Cut” LVT with two-to-three vertical accents in either brass metallic or nickel metallic. The unique visual of Cut mimics natural end-cut wood floors in which individual woodblock tiles connect in an imperfect, organic installation; therefore, individual woodblock visuals do not align.

“LVT has come a long way over the years with high-performance value, an array of aesthetic designs, and many benefits such as durability, cleanability, water resistance, price, life span, and maintenance.”

Amanda Griffith, CenterPoint Design Interior Designer

Texture & Size

Two characteristics, texture and size, should be considered when selecting a vinyl floor. Textures range from smooth to light texture to highly textured.

Patcraft Oxidized
Oxidized by Patcraft; photo grab from patcraft.com

Vinyl flooring also has a variety of size options, such as 4 inch to 9 inch wide planks to 24 inch by 24 inch wide tiles to everything in between. If you are looking for something a bit unique, you can also find hexagon and triangle shaped vinyl flooring. Whatever your preference, there is one to fit your style and need.

The photo above shows Oxidized tiles by Patcraft.

Appearance

Strength is an essential factor in flooring. But if it doesn’t look good, why buy it? The LVT you purchase will be in your office for years, if not decades. Choosing vinyl that enhances your practice’s appeal will introduce an allure your patients will appreciate.

Mannington - Amtico Wood
Amtico Wood by Mannington; screengrab from manningtoncommercial.com

Mannington Commercial provides a wide-array of LVT design options to match your existing or planned dental practice, such as their Amtico Wood, (seen above).

Maintenance 

Many dentists choose to put LVT throughout their practices due to the fact that it requires little maintenance. Shaw Contact features ExoGuardTM, an exclusive urethane finish that protects against commercial traffic and requires no polishing.

ExoGuardTM consists of two elements. First, a top coat adds resistance to scratches, scuffing, and staining. Second, a primer coat — a layer added to the topcoat — adds adhesion and durability. Having LVT with this type of top layer can reduce the frequency and cost of cleaning services, saving you time and money.

Lifespan 

Luxury vinyl floors are designed to last. Every LVT floor provider mentioned in this article offers a limited commercial 10-year warranty, at a minimum.

Tarkett - IndigenousEarth_
Indigenous Earth by Tarkett; photo grab from tarkett.com

Like any new product you buy, you want to see it, touch it—even walk on it! If you’re ready to order new LVT for your practice, visit one of three CenterPoint Design showrooms of the nation’s leading dental supplier, Benco Dental.

“Whether you are refreshing an old space or building new, LVT is a great option,” Amanda Griffith, CenterPoint Design Interior Designer at Benco Dental.

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Disclaimer: Warranty claims are subject to manufacturer approval. 

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