When it comes to school flooring, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution since needs can vary greatly depending on the facility based on factors like budgetary guidelines, or specific needs of a particular space like comfort underfoot in the gymnasium, or resistance to moisture in locker rooms.
From preschool, K-12, private institutions, colleges and universities, and beyond, the topic of school flooring is vast, and, in the facilities themselves, the different types of flooring that exist vary from room to room, wing to wing, and building to building.
Historically school flooring consisting of luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and planks has been limited to higher education environments due to pricepoint and limited budgets available to typical K-12 systems. Compared to vinyl composition tile (VCT) flooring has been considered a price-conscious flooring solution when compared to LVT or resilient sheet flooring, though with far fewer design options, benefits, and features. However, as the years have moved along and the popularity and sheer volume of LVT flooring solutions within the marketplace have inflated, so has the opportunity for schools to fit LVT options into their school flooring plans.
In short, LVT tile and planks and resilient sheet flooring in a K-12 setting can be used to solve school flooring needs almost anywhere—from classrooms, common areas, hallways, corridors, locker rooms and offices.
LVT tiles and planks and resilient sheet flooring have long been the choice of school flooring solutions for private institutions and higher ed facilities due largely to the aesthetics of the finished product. When students and parents tour these facilities, first impressions matter. It’s hard to argue that our eyes don’t wander to the floor quite often on these tours, so the aesthetic of the school’s flooring matters. You can easily achieve the look of hardwood, stone, and textile with LVT flooring at a fraction of the cost of utilizing those specific materials.
Different types of general school flooring solutions
Let’s look at the four standard options of school flooring solutions real quick.
VCT is a cheap solution that requires cleaning, polishing, and buffing regularly (maintenance crews conduct this nightly in many cases). It has limited design options and is cold underfoot, but it serves its purpose regarding cost considerations. However, auxiliary maintenance and replacement could drive the cost of ownership when you start looking long-term.
Carpet is a solution that helps dampen sound in applicable education settings but needs to be vacuumed regularly. Even with those efforts in place, carpet can hang on to many unsavory entities within its fibers for as long as it’s in place. It also needs to be noted that carpet isn’t easy to replace and leaves a mess in its wake.
LVT is an increasingly affordable school flooring option that offers versatility and ease of use. LVT flooring comes in various thicknesses (2MM, 3MM, and 5MM) and, as mentioned, myriad looks and feels to fit many different environments throughout the facility.
Resilient Sheet Flooring is an ideal option for multipurpose and athletic surface areas such as cafeterias, athletic courts and gymnasiums, etc.—making it a perfect option for these specific areas in the school environment. TAJ has recently launched its Motivva collection consisting of an approachable assortment of designs and thicknesses (ranging from 2MM upwards of 8MM).
TAJ’s LVT resilient sheet flooring products are antimicrobial and antifungal, making them extremely easy to clean, thus, there isn’t as heavy a janitorial lift and additional cost as with VCT and carpet, which, in the long run, can save you money. On top of routine maintenance, LVT allows you to easily make repairs to damaged floors quickly and easily without the need for a significant renovation overall. LVT tiles and planks are just that—tiles and planks—so if a section needs to be replaced, it’s a relatively easy task to complete. So, instead of VCT or carpet in a dorm room, consider LVT for a more sophisticated look, comfort underfoot, and, of course, ease-of-use from a management perspective.
Sound dampening properties of LVT school flooring
Like what you’ve heard so far, but curious about acoustics?
While libraries and other spaces requiring sound dampening have primarily been outfitted by carpeting to dampen environmental noise for decades, the TAJ Modular Acoustic line of 5MM LVT flooring gives you the option for a nicer-looking environment that’s far easier to clean than carpets. Area rugs can still be laid down for those that wish to sit for storytime and other applicable uses.
Carpet traps all kinds of dirt, hair, fur, mites, germs, and general grit and grime that gets stuck in its fibrous makeup. Modular acoustic flooring is a quick sweep away from cleanliness while offering similar sound dampening qualities.
Resilient sheet flooring expands space usage opportunities
As more and more gymnasiums and cafeterias become utilized as multi-function spaces, LVT resilient sheet flooring, such as our Motivva Sports and Multipurpose Flooring collection, provides you with a seamless opportunity to set up your cafeteria or dining hall surface during the day and a space to conduct your jazzercise and/or yoga classes at night. Motivva’s thickness options have an inherent resistance to scratching and indentation when rolling those tables in and out of place to make space for a different use for the room.
As schools continue to focus on wellness and design today vs. 30 years ago, trend-wise, the adoption rates of LVT as a viable school flooring option in classrooms, offices, and other common areas will continue to be heavily on the rise. This is also true of resilient sheet flooring which enables the conversion of a space to host sports events and community activities with a heavier saturation of movement involved. Now that they’re so much more widely available, the affordability is rising, making these options more attractive to those K-12 schools who can afford it or budget for it more practically. Aesthetics, affordability, ease of cleaning, and protection against spills, messes, foot traffic, weather, repairs allow TAJ’s Motivva school flooring solution leads the charge in terms of long-term sustainability and overall cost reduction.