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 above) 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:
When you purchase flooring, especially if it’s your first time, it’s important to remember you’re buying commercial vinyl—not home flooring. LVT should have at least a 20-mil wear layer (the thickness of the wear layer is measured in mils, and wear layers are typically 6, 12 or 20 mils thick). This will enable it to withstand heavy foot and equipment traffic.
Commercial vinyl flooring typically ranges in thickness from 2.5 mm to 3 mm. Some businesses install vinyl up to 5 mm, which allows the floor to match the height of carpet.
The photo above features Shaw Contact’s “Cut” VLT 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
Not all LVT surfaces are similar. Some are smoother than others. The smoother the LVT is, the more likely the surface will become slippery. Smooth surfaces can also quickly show imperfections in heavily-trafficked areas. If you have a busy dental office, it’s best to choose a surface that’s textured to avoid accidents. The vinyl also maintains its appearance.
Vinyl flooring is either installed as planks or tiles and come in various sizes. The photo above shows Oxidized tiles by Patcraft. Most tiles come in a range from 12” x 12”, 12″ x 24”, 18” x 18” and 24” x 24.” Planks can be anywhere from 4″ to 9″ wide to 36″ to 72″ in length. Plank and tile both serve the same purpose, to give you an appealing, durable floor for your operatory.
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 a modern allure your patients will appreciate.
Mannington Commercial provides a wide-array of LVT design options. From their robust Aura Amtico Northern Wonder LVT, a vibrant-to-dark blend of green panels, to their Amtico Wood, a conventional yet modern LVT that can fit into any design (seen above). Mannington has dozens of motifs to match your existing or planned dentistry.
Many dentists choose to put LVT throughout their practices because it provides a safe, elegant appearance with 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.
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. That means if your vinyl floor becomes damaged under normal wear-and-tear, you can get sections or your entire floor repaired or replaced.
Tarkett has an excellent warranty for their Indigenous Earth Collection (photo above). They offer a 20-year limited warranty. Vinyl flooring from these manufacturers is likely to last for 20, 30 years or more.
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
Disclaimer: Warranty claims are subject to manufacturer approval.