Mondo Contract Flooring helped transform a dialysis clinic into a restful space.
When designing a dialysis clinic, there are several challenges to overcome. The space needs to accommodate a large amount of traffic, particularly a heavy rolling load of beds and equipment with high foot and wheelchair traffic. Surfaces must be resistant to bacteria to prevent the spread of infection. And, because it’s a space where patients spend a lot of time, it shouldn’t feel like a cold, institutional environment.
These competing priorities were top of mind for IBI Group, the technology-driven design firm behind the renovation and expansion of the Dialysis Management Clinic in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. “The patients are there for many hours at a time—five to six hours a day, three to four days a week,” says Susan Chang, associate manager, interior design, at IBI Group. “We want to give them an environment that, while it’s not home, will at least give them some of the comforts of home.”
It’s the materials used, from floor to ceiling, that create that sense of comfort. The clinic management knew the flooring would need to establish a calm and restful environment while meeting their needs. After evaluating their options, they chose a flooring solution from Mondo Contract Flooring, the global leader in rubber flooring.
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Mondo Contract Flooring’s Natura line was the perfect fit, Chang says, as it offered both the durability and longevity the team needed while evoking a natural product, almost like wood. The muted natural tones of the flooring add a peaceful element to the space.
Rubber flooring fills a unique need in the marketplace, according to Fernanda Coin, Canadian sales manager for Mondo Contract Flooring. She explains there are three major types of flooring options used in the health care industry: rubber, linoleum, and vinyl. Linoleum often requires a vigilant maintenance routine involving stripping and waxing the surface, and it can be susceptible to cracking (which creates spaces where bacteria can grow). Vinyl also needs regular maintenance and can contain toxic phthalates, which have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive problems, and birth defects. That leaves rubber, which is highly resistant to shrinking and cracking and is free of Red List ingredients (those building materials deemed harmful to humans and the environment).
The Natura product is also free of PVCs, heavy metals, chlorine, BPA, and halogen. Chang says this was particularly important during installation, as half of the space remained in use to treat patients during construction, so it was essential to prevent any harmful compounds from penetrating patient spaces.
A Rubber Solution
Coin says Mondo Contract Flooring has demonstrated a commitment to smart environmental practices since its founding in 1948. The Italian manufacturing location is a zero-waste facility, and it’s powered by more than 4,000 solar panels on the roof. Mondo’s products also meet the GREENGUARD Gold standard, which certifies they are low-emitting and safe to use in a health care environment.
The clinic management was particularly invested in avoiding any shrinking of the flooring. “If you have any kind of shrinking or cracking in a health care environment, you’re opening yourself and your clients to infection control issues,” Chang says. And the Natura flooring has additional benefits beyond its resistance to shrinking. It’s antimicrobial and antibacterial, too.
Additionally, the team considered the acoustical properties of the various flooring options. Unlike harder surfaces, rubber can absorb sounds and create a calmer, pleasant atmosphere.
Maintenance was another important factor in the decision process, Chang says. Because rubber flooring is low maintenance, it drastically reduces the amount of chemicals the clinic has to use on a regular basis. With Natura, you don’t have to wax and strip like you would some other flooring, resulting in less overall maintenance costs as well as less chemicals flushed into the water system. “We talk a lot about life-cycle costs,” Coin says. “While other products may have a lower initial cost, they have to be replaced quicker, may need all sorts of chemicals for maintenance, and aren’t resistant to stains.”
Chang says the clinic management, having had difficulties with linoleum flooring products in the past, understood the many benefits of a rubber solution. “They knew the longer-term gain,” she says. “They knew they were going to come out ahead.”
The Dialysis Management Clinic had several complaints about its previous flooring solution. Here’s a look at before and after:
BEFORE: LINOLEUM FLOORING
- Welding shrank and deteriorated over time
- Difficult to find contractors to make repairs
- Spare flooring kept in storage deteriorated
- Often showed evidence of spilled concentrates from dialysis treatments
AFTER: NEW RUBBER FLOORING
- Low required maintenance
- Highly durable product
- Reduced likelihood of slippage
- Formulated to handle spilled dialysis concentrates