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Ask the Expert: Keeping the world outside, outside

When it comes to specifying floor coverings for commercial buildings, it is never enough to just throw down an entrance mat in front of the door.

Sharron Kapellar, National Framework Manager at Forbo Flooring Systems, provides some advice on how best to keep your interiors safe and hygienic in all weather conditions.

Paid feature by Forbo Flooring Systems

01/02/2020 3 min read

When it comes to specifying floor coverings for commercial buildings, it is never enough to just throw down an entrance mat in front of the door. Instead, a well thought-out entrance flooring system is highly recommended in order to keep interior floors and premises looking clean and presentable for longer, and more importantly, ensuring that the building remains safe and hygienic in all weather conditions. Therefore, it is essential that this element is not overlooked at the design stage.

The British Standard 7953:1999 states that an entrance flooring system is necessary in order to reduce the risk of slip injuries, prolong the life of the interior floor finish as well as reduce cleaning, repair and overall maintenance costs. And when used correctly, an entrance flooring system should scrape, wipe and retain soil, making contact with both feet of people entering the building and, in the case of wheeled traffic, with the circumference of the wheels, releasing dirt easily when cleaned.

One of the best ways to plan an entrance flooring system is to take a zonal solution approach – which means thinking of the area in terms of applications – as each zone requires the entrance mat to perform a different function. Starting outside and bringing you inside, breaking the entrance up into zones is an efficient solution that will effectively minimise the amount of dirt being tracked into the building, as well as protect the interior floor coverings.

For zone one, the exterior entrance flooring is placed outside the building and acts as the first line of defence against foot-borne soil by scraping even the coarsest of dirt from the soles of shoes or tread of tyres before they cross the threshold. In this zone, a rigid engineered entrance mat that is tough and durable is required in order to remove the ‘initial’ surface dirt, mud and moisture.


Moving inside, zone two covers the interior entrance and is the next line of defence to remove moisture and finer dirt particles from all feet entering the building. Here, a softer textile floor covering that ensures maximum dirt removal and moisture absorption is ideal. Choose to make a design statement with the use of stylish and aesthetic floors, or create a lasting impression with brand logos. For environments that require little downtime, there are off-the-shelf modular matting systems that are exceptionally versatile and easy to assemble on site.

Zone three, also referred to as the ‘clean-off zone’, applies to other circulation areas within the building such as reception areas, corridors and walkways to other parts of the building, like stairs and lifts, which will also suffer from residual soiling. The entrance flooring in zone three cleans and dries, absorbing any soil or moisture that is remaining, before soles and tyres finally reach the interior floor coverings. In this zone, there are plenty of options and practical colourways to choose from that serves to hide dirt, ensuring a clean appearance for longer.

Forbo Flooring Systems’ Coral collection has been the international market leader in textile entrance flooring for almost 50 years and now offers more choice than ever before. Comprising eight individual ranges, each one has been designed to interact with different soiling behaviour as every entrance has its own unique environment. Testing by Cleaning Research International shows that Coral can stop up to 95% of dirt and moisture from entering a building, with each m2 of Coral able to remove up to 5kg of soil or 6 litres of water, which in turn can reduce the time spent cleaning the building’s other interior floor coverings by up to 65%. Indeed, a well-designed Coral entrance flooring system is an investment and not a cost.


For more information on Forbo’s Coral collection please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/coral

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