How Teknoflor meets the needs of the health care environment.
Teknoflor has earned its reputation in the health care industry by providing reliable, durable products that solve the problems people inside the industry need solved. Decades ago Teknoflor led the way in bringing low-maintenance, no-wax, no-buff floors to market. Tony Barzycki, vice president of sales who has been with Teknoflor for nearly 20 years, has seen the kind of loyalty a dependable product paired with constant innovation instills in clients. “When you have a floor that can still look brand-new after five, 10 years—that’s what we’re known for,” he says. Today Teknoflor is continuing to innovate by combining high performance with high design.
The challenges health care environments face are daunting, but Teknoflor has always been committed to overcoming them with a variety of specialized products. Specifically, Teknoflor first made its mark in the commercial flooring industry with its high-performance sheet vinyl that dominates health care facilities.
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In health care facilities and especially patient care areas, surfaces must be able to be easily cleaned and maintained, as anywhere bacteria can grow or a virus can hide presents a life-threatening problem. Teknoflor’s sheet products offer heat-welded, seamless installation for easy cleaning and infection control. However, hospitals are often on tight budgets and the cost of sheet flooring and the expert installation it requires can add up. As such, Teknoflor also offers easy-to-install tile and plank products for less sensitive areas like hallways, cafeterias, and waiting rooms.
Navigating the options for tile, plank, and sheet products to optimize flooring for a hospital that might be 400,000 square feet in area can be a dizzying prospect for a designer—and a painful prospect for a patient in a gurney wheeling over bumpy transition strips between flooring surfaces. In response to this problem Teknoflor recently launched the award-winning Coordination Collection—a line of sheet, tile, and plank products that are designed to easily coordinate both visually and physically throughout the health care landscape without transition strips. It’s another industry problem with another top solution from Teknoflor.
Before the Coordination Collection, designers were on their own to match the sheet flooring they needed for sensitive areas with the tile and plank flooring they needed for other areas, according to Nicolette Grieco, vice president of regional sales at Teknoflor. Because the manufacturing processes for sheet and plank flooring are completely separate, the patterns and colors between the two would often be mismatched. “When you’re standing 10 to 20 feet away, it’s screaming at you,” Grieco says.
Designers needed versatile products with floor patterns in one material that coordinated with floor patterns in another, and now they have it, with Teknoflor going so far as to make sure the widths of the faux panels imprinted into their sheet flooring products are the same as the widths they offer in their modular flooring products.
Responding to the needs of health care designers is something Teknoflor prides itself on. “It’s really second nature to us,” Grieco says. From working with Johns Hopkins designers on what materials and patterns would best suit their needs to studying the ongoing fluctuations and changes in the marketplace, Teknoflor pays attention to what stakeholders in the health care environment are asking for. This rigorous process of listening and learning has led to the creation of the company’s newest collection of luxury vinyl tile, Icon Tile, a visually innovative product that offers a warm, carpet-like visual designed to give patients comfort and ease as well as the benefits of being a 100% virgin vinyl, hard surface floor. “The wearability is superior, the cleanability is superior, and the visuals are truer. They’re not going to give you the problems of carpet,” Grieco says.
Andrew Heeter, Teknoflor’s vice president of strategic sales, says different clients need different things, and as new standards like the Health Product Declaration are rolled out, Teknoflor is eager to make sure their products comply. That’s meant working to remove harmful ingredients like phthalates, chlorine, and in some instances vinyl from their products, and it’s led to products like the Naturescapes HPD Resilient Sheet line meeting the requirements for REACH and Living Product Challenge Petal certification.
Heeter is glad to know all the work Teknoflor has put into improving the materials in its products is paying off in the health care environment. “I really can’t think of a more important or appropriate setting when it comes to the importance of vetting your material selections,” he says. “Healthy design is creating products that positively influence the health and comfort of the building occupants—that’s the main goal. And then sustainability is achieving that healthy design with a beneficial approach to the environment.”
Teknoflor is committed to quality by maintaining ongoing collaborations with health care providers and a reliable body of time-tested products. Recently Barzycki was visiting a hospital and happened to notice some Teknoflor sheet flooring in a couple of radiology rooms. He wasn’t surprised the floors looked good, but he was surprised when he realized this particular color had been discontinued 15 years earlier. “They looked brand-new,” he says. “They just flat out work.”